The Scottish Roslin Institute has again performed a miracle of modern genetic engineering. After cloning a sheep, now it has produced a genetically modified hen, which can produce eggs which fight cancer. This is the same institute which cloned Dolly the Sheep. Now it is Britney the Hen. The embryos are genetically modified before the chicks are born, giving them an extra protein useful in the fight against cancer. It is planned that future generations of genetically modified hens will lay up to 250 eggs per year, each one charged with anti-cancerous proteins. Behind this initiative is the north American company, Viragen, which is making the experiments through the Scottish institution. This is not the first time that animals are used to produce substances which are beneficial to humans. Insulin, used by diabetics, has long been produced using genetically manipulated bacteria, taken from pig and cow pancreas. Medicine marches on to new frontiers. Diseases such as smallpox have been eradicated and great advances are made in the fight against AIDS, ebola and other diseases which only decades ago were synonymous with a death sentence. In the front line are the Russian, European Union and US medical foundations but a word of warning should be heard. The AIDS virus started in an area of central Africa where Belgian and US medical teams were making experiments in the 1950s, using chimpanzee livers to produce agents to breed the poliomyelitis virus, to be used in a mass inoculation programme. Nothing has been proved but everything is there to deny. Who can produce scientific evidence which guarantees that genetically modified soya is not detrimental to the health? Who can guarantee that the meat we eat is safe? Who can tell us, eye-to-eye, that the problem which affects cows (BSE) does not already affect sheep, goats, pigs and chickens? Who can confirm that the milk we drink and the cheese we consume is safe? When in its natural state, a cow takes two years to mature, a pig takes a year to fatten and a hen needs six months to lay an egg, is it not obvious that by altering the laws of nature, Man is creating dangers which need not exist? Who wants to eat a pig which in three months weighs 150kg, fed artificially by proteins…especially now that the BSE crisis spreads from Ireland to Murmansk. Herbivores are supposed to eat grass, carnivores are supposed to eat meat and omnivores (human beings) are supposed to eat a little of everything. These are the laws of nature. By manipulating the laws of nature in laboratories, however noble these acts may be, we are doing no more than creating monsters and aberrations…certainly not a favour unto ourselves.

John Ashtead Pravda.Ru London

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