This is what the Third World Network had to say in their recent press release (see previous bulletin) about Prakash:
"C. S. Prakash who is promoted... as a “leading biotechnologist” is well-known as a spokesman for the biotech industry. He also promotes himself in his website as a “speaker on behalf of the US State Department”. He has traveled to many countries including Malaysia to promote biotechnology, often arranged by the US Embassy."
According to the report below this world leading authority (??!) says the US regulatory authorities are extremely stringent and very a-political.
And where did this independent scientist make this remarkable claim? To "an invited audience at the US Embassy in London".
He certainly appears to have friends in Scotland given this puff of a non-story (non-leading, US- State Department sponsored, scientist supports US interests!) - did Tony Trewavas per chance get this non-story into the Scotsman?
PLEA FOR MORE REASON ON GM FOOD
The Scotsman March 16, 2001
A PLEA for more reason being applied to the debate on biotechnology and genetic modification was issued by one of the world's leading authorities on the subject yesterday. The debate had become of emotion rather than of more substantive issues, said Professor Channapatna Prakash, Director of the Centre of Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University in Alabama US. "We have done more than 25,000 field tests with these crops so far and not one single issue of alarm has been raised and we have very high standards of food safety regulation in the US," he said. The US regulatory authorities were extremely stringent and very a-political, he reminded an invited audience at the US Embassy in London. They had adopted a science-based approach and found that the risks attached to GM material were no different to conventional stock. He acknowledged that there was considerable opposition to GM technology but claimed this was due to the "vested interest" of some groups, such as Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the organic community. "I think we need to engage in dialogue with these groups. For example, Christian Aid is worried about socio-economic inequities that may follow on from the use of these technologies. But these are not clear-cut, black and white issues and they need to be discussed." >
He dismissed suggestions that recent outbreaks of animal and human infections in Britain and the rest of Europe had eroded faith in science and scientists. Without their expertise there would be no knowledge about prion proteins or methods of detecting and treating other conditions. >
"Society has been become hyper-sensitive about these and related issues and that is very unfortunate. "But blaming the science is the opposite to what we should be doing. It is a sign of the times that we have become extremely risk adverse." He said that the current state of genetic technology was equivalent to the Ford Model T. Progress in the study of genomics in plants and animals would eventually lead to advances that consumers could relate to, such as improvements in food safety, reduced toxins and allergens and improved nutrition. There would also be opportunities for tailored applications which would add value to farming products. "These changes will not be very dramatic. Progress will be incremental. There is a danger that progress has been hyped up too much in the beginning and led to heightened expectations which were not realistic," he concluded. LOAD-DATE: March 16, 2001 [Entered March 16, 2001]