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Open Letter to Terje Travik a

Contact: Rick Roush: (530) 752-8350, rtroush(at)ucdavis.edu

Dear Professor Traavik: March 8, 2004


In the last week or so, there has been some coverage in the media of your claims on health risks from GM crops, particularly in connection with your recent work in the Philippines. We understand from media reports that you consider that these results are too important to wait for peer review and publication.

We believe that bypassing the peer review process is counterproductive and ill-advised. It short-circuits the ability of science to be self-correcting. It fosters public misinformation and miscommunication in the complete absence of data. Public debate must be based on accurate information. In that context, we write to request immediate, open, easy, world-wide and detailed access to your team's data and methods, published in an accessible site on the web, in English and other languages as appropriate.

Providing public access to your experimental methods and data (not just summaries) will make it possible for other scientists to have a chance to review your work, attempt to repeat it, and look for similar examples elsewhere. We assume that both you and your supporters will want this research to be as widely distributed as possible, and to have maximum influence on the scientific community. Potentially inaccurate second hand accounts and possibly exaggerated claims in the news media are no substitute for the presentation of solid scientific evidence.

There are guidelines for the responsible conduct of science. Your turn has come to follow them. Note that failure to release your data and methodology immediately will prevent any and all legitimate scientists and health authorities from taking your claims seriously.

Dr. Rick Roush, University of California, Davis
Professor Charles Arntzen, Arizona State University
Professor Bruce Chassy, University of Illinois
Professor James DeGregori, University of Colorado Health Sciences Center Professor
Thomas R. DeGregori, University of Houston
Dr. Judith A. Kjelstrom, University of California, Davis
Dr. Peggy G. Lemaux, University of California, Berkeley
Professor Martina McGloughlin, University of California,
Davis Dr. Alan McHughen, University of California, Riverside Professor
Wayne Parrott, University of Georgia Professor
C. S. Prakash, Tuskegee University
Dr. Chris Preston, University of Adelaide
Professor Tony Shelton, Cornell University Professor
Steve Taylor, University of Nebraska