Dr. Árpád Pusztai, one of the most courageous independent scientists of the modern era, has passed away after a long battle with ill health at the age of 91. Dr. Pusztai was one of the first scientists to reveal the potential dangers of GMO crops.
Dr. Pusztai was a Hungarian-born biochemist and nutritionist who spent 36 years at the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen, Scotland. He was a world expert on plant lectins, authoring 270 papers and three books on the subject.
In 1998, Dr. Pusztai publicly announced that the results of his research showed feeding genetically modified potatoes to rats had negative effects on their stomach lining and immune system.
His accurate preliminary research led to the first joint attack by the UK and U.S. governments on an independent scientist on the GMO issue and involved a global polictical and scientific smear campaign, the likes of which have now been repeated again and again on other independent scientists who have warned of the dangers of GMOs and their associated pesticides.
The attack began after Pusztai gave a short interview to the BBC, in which he explained that although he believed in the beneficial use of genetic engineering in food, it was imperative that long-term safety tests be carried out before approval was granted for the widespread planting of GM Crops and due to this he would not eat GMOs himself. The reason for his comments in the interview was simple – he had just carried out some preliminary studies in which rats were fed with a genetically modified potato and the results had shocked him, including serious stomach and immune system damage.
Within a few hours of the interview, Pusztai was in the midst of a violent political attack. He was forbidden to comment further on his research. His research documents were confiscated and access to his laboratories was blocked. Shortly afterwards he was dismissed and expelled from the Royal Society. Pressure from the highest political and scientific authorities destroyed Dr Árpád Pusztai’s professional life within days.