Attention: Fosamax  User's
You now have to be aware of a new side effect - liver failure.
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The Cancer Prevention Coalition releases a well-documented report: How the FDA legalized and continues to legalize food irradiation without testing it for safety. The rest of the story Continue

Fighting the Superbug

From the MPR Newsroom
Ever since doctors started using penicillin to kill bacterial infections in the 1940s, researchers have worried some bacteria would become resistant to antibiotics.
Their fears are now coming true as scientists discover antibiotic-resistant germs. How do our everyday activities contribute to the creation of superbugs and what can be done?

Report Warns on Human Gene Trials

WASHINGTON (AP) via NewsEdge Corporation -

Attempting to change genes and create future generations of perfect, healthy human beings is dangerous, irresponsible and should not be permitted now, a panel of experts says in a report.

A committee of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, in a report issued Monday, called for the creation of a public committee to monitor and oversee the increasingly sophisticated research into genetic modification. Much of the current research is concentrating on modifying the genes to correct health problems in living humans. This is called somatic gene modification and involves changing the genes in existing mature cells. But, the committee said, there is animal research in which there is an alteration of genes that affect future generations. This is called ``inheritable genetic modification,'' or IGM. Applied to humans, IGM could,  in theory, allow the production of ``designer children,'' or babies born with genes modified to make them, and future generations taller, more athletic, more beautiful or more intelligent. IGM could also be used to remove from a family lineage the genes that cause inherited diseases.

Dr. Theodore Friedmann of the University of California, San Diego, said that IGM technology now ``is not safe for humans.'' He said experiments have produced animals born with major birth defects, gross physical distortions and fatal abnormalities. The same thing, he said, could happen in humans if the current IGM technology was applied. Friedmann said reports of gene manipulation and cloning experiments tend to concentrate on the successes. But behind each triumph there can be scores of
animals that were born with terrible and usually lethal genetic problems. This, the committee said, shows that the IGM research is not now safe to use on humans. ``In animal experiments, this technology has been highly inefficient and not
of proven safety,'' said Friedmann. ``There are major technical barriers to using this technology in humans.'


This page was last updated on: April 20, 2003