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proverbialwisdom Donating Member (366 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun May-01-11 10:53 AM
Response to Reply #3
17. Check out
Edited on Sun May-01-11 11:01 AM by proverbialwisdom
The website may look dorky and unsophisticated, it's not. Here's one shocking example of the type of interference you are mocking as 'a conspiracy to keep critical data out of the literature.'

In particular, review the section 'Research, Briefings, Reports, Books,' including:

GM crops and honey bee research
Monday, 26 October 2009 14:50

NOTE: This interview about GM crops and bee research, taken from the new report 'Risk Reloaded' is doubly interesting.

First, it suggests that genetically modified Bt maize could be a possible co-factor in bee die-off.

Second, it seems to confirm the recent concern, including pieces in Scientific American and Nature Biotechnology, over the degree of control and interference that the biotech industry and its supporters may be able to exert over the conduct and publication of research.

For more on this issue, see: -
Interview by Christof Potthof with the bee researcher Prof. Dr. Hans-Hinrich Kaatz, University of Halle-Wittenberg /

Taken from Risk Reloaded
Risk analysis of genetically engineered plants within the European Union
(A report by Testbiotech e.V., Institute for Independent Impact Assessment in Biotechnology
Authors: Christoph Then, Christof Potthof, October 2009)


Christof Potthof: In the past you have done other honey bee research. Can you tell us a little bit about this?

Prof. Kaatz: Before starting the project with the Bt plants we had already done some research on possible hazards to the health of honey bees due to genetically modified herbicide resistant oil-seed rape and maize plants. We did not find anything negative here. Apart from this we also investigated whether the genes that come from the pollen of the plants could be transferred to honey bees. This is called horizontal gene transfer. Our first step was to find out if genes from the plants could be transferred to the microorganisms in the digestive tract of the honey bees. Later on we aimed to determine how high the probability was that the honey bees incorporate the genes themselves. One must consider that the crossover of genes is one of the principal mechanisms of evolution. It happens in very many groups of organisms.

It was more a fundamental question of scientific principles than a practical problem. We cultivated the microorganisms with the pollen and the result was that the microorganisms had indeed taken up the pat gene. In the debate on genetic engineering it had always been said that one thing that could never happen was the horizontal transfer of newly inserted genes. We presented the results to the Nature journal and got two expert opinions. One was very positive, thinking it could be published immediately.

The other thought we should do an additional analysis, a so-called Southern blot which would further verify our results. Then he would back publication. We said, "We'll do that." We did the Southern blot and submitted the article again in the belief that there was now nothing in our way. For a long time we heard nothing at all from the editorial team at Nature but in the meantime we were visited by a ZDF (German public television channel) team who asked us about our research. At the time we told them that nothing could be broadcast until an agreement had been reached with Nature and the article had been published. They nevertheless did broadcast a television programme. It was even on the news all before we had had a final decision from Nature. We intervened strongly whereupon one of the ZDF team said, "Wait a minute, don't you know that your article has been rejected." Until that moment we had had no idea. When we asked him how he knew he said that he had spoken to some people at Monsanto and they had told him. Naturally I was shocked. It is good that they get to know these things, but I find it awful that they should know before the authors know.

Christof Potthof: How extraordinary!

Prof. Kaatz: Well, you know that when the person making the decision has contacts to Monsanto says something ... good. But the editorial team since they were the only ones to have had both reports - that they pass this on, I find that very annoying. Such a highly respected journal. They shouldn't need to do that. In fact such a review process should first and foremost be.....(falters)

Christof Potthof: ....discreet?

Prof. Kaatz: ....very discreet.

Christof Potthof: You probably don't know the names of either of these editors, do you?

Prof. Kaatz: No.

Christof Potthof: Do they know your name?

Prof. Kaatz: Yes, they get the paper and then of course they know the names of the authors. It is not anonymous. Unless you insist. Sometimes that happens. In sensitive cases. I didn't think our data was so sensitive. We have repeated the experiment. And we have been able to prove that horizontal transfer occurs with a whole series of microorganisms of different kinds. (....)

Christof Potthof: Were your findings published somewhere else later on?

Prof. Kaatz: No, not yet. Since they are something no one wants to hear it is difficult to find an adequate place for them. (....)

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