Despite all the problems with plant biotech, GM proponents continually invoke the supposed successses of medical biotech. But on close inspection these "successes" turn out to be something very different.


The following 2 brief excerpts deal respectively with biotech medicines and gene therapy.

What's so fascinating is that despite the disappointing - and in some cases disastrous - results, the investment money continues to pour in.

The summary below (item 1) is taken from a BMJ article that can be read in full at:
or if you have a BMJ subscription at:

British Medical Journal 331:895-897, October 15, 2005 (UK)

We assessed the biotech medicines approved by the European Medicine Evaluation Agency from 1995 to 2003.

Summary points:

Only a small proportion are therapeutically innovative.

Most new products were variations on existing drugs.

Evaluation of these substances was not always based on rigorous methodological criteria.

The promises of good tolerability of biotechnology substances have not been met - most are no less toxic than conventional drugs.

One clear difference between conventional and biotechnology drugs is cost. Those produced by biotechnology are generally more expensive, and this deserves evaluation.

In conclusion, the promises of biotechnology substances to be more effective and less toxic than conventional drugs have been only partially fulfilled. Many of the substances produced so far have contributed little to innovation in medicine.


Dr Richard Nicholson, editor of The Bulletin of Medical Ethics, has made this comment on the record of gene therapy to date: "Ten years ago we were being told that gene therapy was the greatest thing since sliced bread. Today its record stands at: Cures: nil. Deaths: 5. Major adverse effects: at least a thousand."

There have been more deaths and adverse effects since.

EXCERPT from 'Who's Afraid of Designer Babies?'
BBC TV: Horizon

French Anderson has been hailed as one of the most remarkable scientists of our time. He pioneered what claimed to be the biggest revolution in modern medicine, treating genetic disease by inserting healthy genes into patients. It's called gene therapy.

ANDERSON: "When Jesse died it just stunned all of us, it just, it just, we realised that, that we just didn't know enough about what was going on, that the body had reactions, had defences that we didn't really understand, and it really required going back and really rethinking everything we were doing."

QUOTE from Prof Joe Cummins:

"In spite of the billions pored into the industry it has never produced anything that works! Biotech is rather like the invention of a square wheel, it really does not work!

There seems to be a sickening philosophy among the gene therapy researchers that the death of a few children and injury of others is a small price to pay for large grants and high salaries among the elite researchers."