By Dr. Mercola
Scientific misconduct and fraud: most of us have no concept of how they influence our food. Jonathan Latham, a scientist with a master’s degree in crop and a Ph.D. in plant virology, sheds much-needed light on this issue.
Together with his wife, Allison Wilson, who is also a scientist, he founded the Bioscience Resource Project, an organization with a mission “to provide the highest quality scientific information and analysis to enable a healthy food system and a healthy world.”
He’s also the editor of Independent Science News.
Part of his career was spent doing medical research in the genetics department at the University of Wisconsin. He also worked in the U.K., where many of his coworkers were proposing ambitious research projects designed to alter soil microbiology and cure plant viruses using novel transgenic techniques.
As explained by Latham in the video, when you make a transgene, you take different parts of genes from different organisms, and you put them together to (hopefully) get them to do what you want them to do.
Once a transgene performs according to expectation, it is used to develop commercial transgenic plants carrying that particular feature. However, Latham noticed that the end results were frequently potentially very dangerous, both to plants and people, which made him question the purpose of it all.
“There were people proposing ideas in molecular genetics and genetic engineering that were incredibly ambitious and interesting to think about from an intellectual perspective, but really quite scary if you thought about what would happen in the real world,” he says.
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Eventually he became quite concerned about the potential implications the commercialization of genetically engineered plants might engender.
“I saw these ideas people were having, which had potentially major