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June 2015

by Steven M Druker, Clear River Press, Salt Lake City, UT, USA.

Altered-Genes FRONT-COVERIn this revealing book American lawyer Steven Druker uncovers the skullduggery committed since the mid-1970’s by high ranking scientists and organisations on both sides of the Atlantic. It was the US Government’s apathy, with its weak legislation of genetic engineering, that prompted Druker, a public safety lawyer and founder of the Alliance of Biointegrity, to initiate a lawsuit against the US Department of Agriculture in 1998. By forcing the handover of copies of its internal files he made public the blatant collusion with the GM companies in violating its own food safety regulations.

Jane Goodall, the primatologist, writes in her glowing forward that this is the most important book in 50 years for longterm planetary sustainability. She lent her unreserved support at its launch in London in April, timely since, under pressure from the US, the UK and Europe are considering waiving long standing restrictions on GMOs.

Druker dismantles the assumptions that GM is safe and will fulfil its promise of solving the world’s food problems through the manipulation of genes, a process that is imprecise and impossible to recall. He delves into the abuse of science by those intent on reducing the whole of the organism to parts that can be controlled by an elite few. And he explains that engineering a new gene is only possible by first splicing it with a strain of E coli bacteria and a piece of lab constructed, recombinant DNA - two strands of DNA joined together - one being made of a cloning vector such as a tumour or virus.

It was our most august scientific institution, the Royal Society, which targeted Arpad Pusztai when he worked at the Rowett Institute, whose design won out over 30 others as a protocol to test genetically engineered potatoes. Their attempts to crush his findings of significant physiological problems in rats have set off alarm bells that have not stopped ringing. Druker states that since ‘no two GM insertion events are the same’, Pusztai’s potato experiment cannot be repeated because his results were destroyed by the British Government, indicating how much they threatened their agenda to promote GM technology.

Druker makes an insightful foray into the shaky science that GM is based upon but also issues a direct challenge, in the form of his magnum opus, to the Royal Society to acknowledge the misrepresentations it has made about genetic engineering, which have at best been misleading and in some cases entirely erroneous. At the book’s launch his invitation to the Society to list any points of disagreement with the factuality or logic of the book has been met by complete silence.

He draws the brilliant parallel with computer software engineering that even when designed to interrelate in one way, new codes can still interact in ways that their developers never intended and could not foresee. Consequently, after any carefully planned and precisely executed revision, the entire system is thoroughly retested. Known as regression testing, this ordinarily entails a rerun of the tests done prior to the program’s first release and a set of new ones to gauge the effects of the added code. In comparison, the gaps in testing GM and its potential to contaminate the world’s food supply are ever more apparent.

Over the three decades of genetic engineering, science has come under a serious attack and the attack has come from within its mainstream establishments. This book raises greater awareness of the intractable lack of regard for public safety and the blindness of regulators in the rush for commercialisation. Druker concludes that the subversion of standards that scientists were trained to uphold indicate that it is not just the future of food that is at stake, it is the future of science itself.

Druker and Goodall

Photo of Steven Druker and Jane Goodall by Sam Burcher (C) 2015

 

Dr Richard Jennings

 

Dr Steve Druker

 

Dame Jane Goodall