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Journal disowns transgene report

11:21am, April 9, 2002

Oops. The journal Nature says it shouldn't have published a report about genetically engineered corn leaking exotic genes into traditional races of the crop in Mexico.

In the Nov. 29, 2001, edition of the prestigious journal, David Quist and Ignacio H. Chapela of the University of California, Berkeley reported that genes artificially inserted into commercial crops wended their way into native maize as well (SN: 12/1/01, p. 342: Transgenes migrate into old races of maize). Mexico lies in the evolutionary cradle of corn, and the government doesn't allow farmers to plant bioengineered corn there. The November paper fueled concerns that such supposed sanctuaries for natural genetic diversity are feeling the impact of bioengineering. However on April 4, the journal took the unusual step of admitting "that the evidence available is not sufficient to justify the publication of the original paper."

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