GeneWatch PR: GeneWatch UK welcomes the Royal Society's call for all facts on GM and cloned animals to be made available to the public

<p>Embargoed until 00.01 Monday 10th June 2002</p>
<p>GeneWatch UK welcomed the Royal Society’s call for all the facts about
GM and cloned animals to be made available to the public (1). Secrecy surrounds
the licensing process for experiments with GM and cloned animals in the UK –
there is no public information on who is allowed to do what and why.</p>
<p>GeneWatch UK also welcomed the Royal Society’s call for a full assessment
of the claimed benefits and animal suffering caused by genetic manipulation
and cloning. A recent GeneWatch investigation highlighted a vast increase in
the numbers of mice genetically modified to have painful and distressing diseases.
Since a disease in GM animals is usually very different to the same disease
in humans, the relevance to developing new treatments is limited. The report
also revealed that in agriculture, drug and organ production there are safer
and more humane alternatives to using GM or cloned animals. Worldwide cattle,
pigs, sheep, goats, monkeys, quail, chickens, rabbits, rats, fish and insects
have all been genetically modified or cloned (2).</p>
<p>GeneWatch UK is calling for an end to secrecy surrounding experiments with
GM and cloned animals and tighter regulations to prevent their use in agriculture,
as pets, for drug production or as organ donors. GeneWatch also believes there
must be an independent inquiry into the use of GM and cloned animals in medical
<p>&quot;There should be a presumption against the use of GM animals unless their
use is genuinely the only way to help relieve significant human suffering. This
needs far more open scrutiny and public accountability than at present,&quot;
said Dr Sue Mayer, GeneWatch’s Director and co-author of the report. &quot;GeneWatch
can find no justification for using GM animals in agriculture, organ manufacture
or as drug factories, but the whole of society – not just the researchers
and their commercial funders – should be involved in making these decisions.&quot;</p>
<h2>For further information contact:</h2>
<p>Sue Mayer: 01298 871898 (office); 07930 308 807 (mobile)</p>
<h2>Notes for editors:</h2>
<li> &quot;Medical Progress at Stake in GM Animals Debate Warns Royal Society&quot;,
Royal Society Press Release on GM Animals, 10 June 2002.</li>
<li>&quot;Genetically Modified and Cloned Animals. All in a Good Cause?&quot;,
GeneWatch Report, April 2002. Available on .</li>

↑ Top