Árpád Pusztai – Whistleblower
In August 1998, Dr. Árpád Pusztai, the leading scientist in food research, gives a short interview on British television. He explains that although he believes in the beneficial use of genetic engineering in food, it is imperative that long-term tests be carried out before approval.
According to current knowledge, he would not eat genetically modified food.
His reasons for these statements are simple – he has carried out test series in which rats were fed with a genetically modified potato. They suffered serious organ changes, inflammations, immune damage and retarded organ growth.
Pusztai’s explanation bursts like a bomb into the gold rush mood of the genetic engineering food industry. By the time Pusztai makes his discovery public, two thirds of the American and British population are already eating foods containing genetically modified ingredients – without knowing anything about it. Pusztai is aware of this and is particularly aware of it when he gives his BBC interview.
Within a few hours, Pusztai is in the midst of the most violent political crossfire. He is forbidden to comment further on his research. His documents are confiscated, access to his laboratories blocked. Shortly afterwards he is dismissed and expelled from the national scientific body, the Royal Society. Pressure from the highest political authorities causes Árpád Pusztai’s personal and professional ruin within days.