Monday, October 18, 1999
Not Substantially Equivalent
Those who look to last week's issue of The Lancet for evidence that genetically modified potatoes stunt the growth of rats or otherwise harm animals that consume them will have a hard time doing so. Despite lead author Arpad Pusztai's initial public claims that GM potatoes containing snowdrop lectin stunted growth (see BioCentury, Aug. 17, 1998), after passing through the peer review process Pusztai and colleagues at the University of Aberdeen (Aberdeen, U.K.) substantially modified the conclusions of the research.
What appears in The Lancet thus has no bearing on the growth of rats, but instead on cell proliferation in the intestinal tract. The researchers used