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QUESTION: What is you stance of the GM (genetic modified foods) controversy?
ANSWER: Very few people realize that the GM controversy centers around much of the research work currently being done of dietary lectins, so I am very interested in the health significance of genetic modification of food.
Recently, on eof the premiere lectin researchers, Dr Arpad Pusztai, was recently embroiled in a considerable controversy involving the use of genetically manipulated foods. Researchers have been experimenting with inserting the gene for certain lectins normally found in one species of plant into other species as way of increasing their resistance to disease. When examining the effects in rats of potatoes in which the gene for a lectin normally made by the plant Snowdrop had been inserted, Dr. Pusztai reported that examinations of internal organs of the rats after feeding with the genetically manipulated potatoes showed that there was a potent immune stimulatory effect on all parts of the rat digestive tract and that the genetically manipulated potatoes caused major inflammatory responses.
The result was that Dr. Pusztai was forced to resign from his position at the research institute that had previously employed him. Regrettably, the future looks rather scary with regard to genetically manipulated "Frankenstein lectins." Other researchers are experimenting with inserting wheat germ lectin into a variety of other foods, which of course means that it you have a problem with wheat, you are probably going to have a problem with these foods as well.
And if this was not unfortunate enough, the way the laws are written, no manufacturer will be obligated to disclose that your potato is actually a 'wheat germ lectin-potato."