“In the last few decades changes have occurred that are precipitating a serious crisis in science. A major reason for this crisis is that research has become increasingly expensive and consequently it has become more and more difficult for the state to finance it. As a result research, even in the universities, is increasingly being funded by industry .
Warnings from scientists that this may corrupt science have essentially been ignored.
An example of flawed science : Global acceptance of a useless principle for food safety assessment
A drastic example of how seriously flawed scientists may become is illustrated by the decision to accept the principle of “Substantial Equivalence” for the assessment of the safety of Genetically Engineered foods. In brief, the principle means that if a genetically engineered food appears to be similar to its natural counterpart it can be assumed to be as safe as the natural variety.
The concept of “Substantial equivalence” was invented by lawyers working for the Biotech industry with the openly declared purpose of facilitating rapid approval of GE foods in the US. It has no tenable scientific basis, as explained in the document “Inadequate safety assessment of GE foods“. In spite of its obvious lack of scientific backing it was officially supported by scientific expert committees for food safety appointed by the United Nation organ FAO, as well as by the European Union (EU) and the United States. Governments consequently adopted it and integrated it into their laws for regulating GE foods.
“Substantially equivalent” foods were allowed by law to be put onto the market without any thorough testing of their safety, although it has been established in the laboratory that GE may induce the appearance of unexpected and potentially harmful substances (see “The safety of GE foods”).
The consequence is that millions of people all over the world are now being exposed to GE foods that have not been tested sufficiently to ensure their safety.
Scientists who openly questioned this practice have been ridiculed or seriously harassed, the most famous example being the case of Arpad Pusztai, a leading world food safety expert who was suspended and later fired in a humiliating and dishonest way (as it was revealed later) when he publicly said he would not eat GE foods because of the insufficient testing (see ” World renowned scientist lost his job when he warned about GE foods“). At a recent conference on GE food safety he was attacked during sessions and was denied almost any opportunity to respond, seeReport from the OECD/Edinburgh Conference.
Many scientists who are critical to the use of genetic engineering on foods have not dared to express their opinion, fearing that it may threaten their job, their career opportunities, their possibilities of obtaining research grants or their possibilities of getting their research published. They know that the same experts who sit in the governmental expert committees may sit in the committees of research funds and international journals. And these experts may have a decisive influence on their career possibilities….”
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