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Lancet editor defends decision to publish GM research paper

BMJ 1999; 319 doi: (Published 23 October 1999) Cite this as: BMJ 1999;319:1845
  1. Phyllida Brown
  1. London

    The editor of the Lancet, Dr Richard Horton, this week defended his decision to publish a controversial paper on genetically modified foods as “absolutely the right thing to do” amid continued criticisms that he had simply fuelled public confusion over the issue.

    The paper, a research letter describing the effects of various diets containing potatoes on the intestines of rats, is based on experiments that have already been reviewed by the Royal Society and condemned as flawed. One of the paper's authors, Arpad Pusztai, was suspended last year from the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen for making claims about the lack of safety of genetically modified foods that were not supported by data.

    Dr Pusztai and Stanley Ewen of the University of Aberdeen fed rats with potatoes containing a snowdrop lectin, a …

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