The Dutch government knew in the early seventies an AIDS pandemic was developed, Part 6 of 20
By Johan van Dongen, Groningen, the Netherlands – The title of my book “Aids the greatest crime in medical history” raises to me when I listened and read about the global review of science after working with recombinant DNA techniques. I came to the conclusion that the investigation of the mentioned technique has been launched without preconditions, political and public debate had yet to begin. During that period, the vague ignorant people only rely on gentlemen’s agreements between politicians, soldiers, pharmacologists and science in general.
This poor relationship between politics and science was particularly evident when the United States after an intensive lobbying by the respective establishments three bills regarding the safe use of recombinant DNA techniques in the U.S. Senate brushed aside.
Worldwide there was in that period, and therefore under Hitler of course, no system for biological research in general, potentially hazardous biological material. For years, criminal scientists, experimented with dangerous microorganisms without a cock crowed.
Not only for workers in this dangerous branch of research is difficult, if not impossible given the dangers of scientific developments to be recognized. Similarly this is the way hundreds of nuclear plants were built without a broad public discussion about risks to humans. And we all know the recent explosion within a nuclear plant in Japan. Nuclear Plants which are built on the ring of fire or, so to speak, on the edge of a volcano. Not to mention the atomic bomb tests in the atmosphere which’s Fall Out hit the Sub Saharan Countries unusually hard.
And that only handles simple discussion shows this following report in such a leading country as ours in the field of recombinant DNA research in the Netherlands.
In the Holland it first officially became clear to me that AIDS is caused by science and for military purposes, not to mention the distribution of dangerous medicines like AZT.
For references about the complete absence of well documented guidelines worldwide see article 5.
For a more detailed discussion of the risks of research I would like to point to the presentation of speaker Lucas Reijnders.
The partial and compilation report of the DNA Forum of Information Science Department at the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences, the advisory board of the Dutch government on June 13, 1978 in the exhibition hall in Utrecht, the Netherlands.
The chairman of the forum on genetic engineering C. Le Pair, vice president of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter, announced the first speaker B. Kempinga and introduces it as follows: “Mr. Bart Kempinga was at that time biology student at the University of Groningen, where his doctoral research was at the Department of Science and society sub-faculty of biology with the subject: “Social developments relating to the processing of genes”, he is a member of the high school, and he is working on a combination of the cancer virus SV40 in our intestines common intestinal bacterium Escherichia coli.
Chairman LePair: ‘Mr. Kempinga will discuss with you, the risky and social implications of DNA recombination research. Mr. Kempinga.’
Kempinga: ‘Thank you chairman. The debate about DNA recombination has so far largely limited to the risks of research. It is assumed that research and applications can be separated. Previous developments in other areas make it clear that, when knowledge has become manifest, the control and regulation of the applications is highly problematic. The consequence of this is we believe that when discussing the risks of DNA recombination studies, the risks and social implications of the applications should be involved.
Since most applications still in the preparation phase, it seems now that the room in the debate and involvement in the assessment of the technique to play a role.
The emphasis in the following argument, therefore, the risks of complications and social applications, and how this technology can change society.
As regards the risks of the research, current policies aimed at using the safety guidelines chance to reduce risk.
However, we believe that based on existing knowledge is not accurate to estimate the limitation of this opportunity. In addition, for us the fundamental question whether reducing the likelihood of harmful effects a sufficient condition for accepting any harmful effects. Given the broad macro consequences are at stake, we believe that this question must be answered.
The risks of the applications concern mainly large-scale application in the form of industrial production. This increases we see as the potential spread of recombinant DNA and represents an increase of risks with unknown factor. Thus, security in the industry a part of the economic evaluation process. As a result, they are not determined by security alone.
Furthermore, the industry is already working on the development of other host /vector systems than the E-coli system, Kempinga is referring to the tinkering of different kinds of viruses in bacteria (eds.)
Testing of these new systems on their security is likely to be problematic, given the large costs that will be undertaken. The experience of inspection reports of new drugs in that respect is not encouraging.
As regards the social impact, offering a further development of the technique creepy prospects in the field of eugenics and opens up new possibilities for biological weapons.
With regards to eugenics, particularly the influence of human behavior is currently a number of developments which the war to take recombinant DNA technology could play a role. As an example, medicine made great progress in the technical manipulation of reproduction, such re-implantation of fertilized eggs in the laboratory, and the social field in recent years a tendency to perceive the cause of social problems to look into genetic differences between groups or individuals. For example, now unborn children with an XYY chromosome test are aborted because one expects that they will later have antisocial behavior, while the scientific evidence here, but in other cases, is often hard to find. These and other developments, one may therefore conclude that one begins to agree to social problems using a genetic procedure.
It is expected that further developments such as the biomedical psychiatry and the DNA recombination technique in the framework outlined above the basic ability to act in socially undesirable behavior, which in this case may be.
Some questions the use of DNA recombination technique in the production of biological weapons, because without this technique possible is the most horrific biological weapons. In addition, they point to the international convention on biological weapons.
Reasons for not producing mainly the nonspecific nature and not regulated duration of the current biological weapons. With the DNA recombination technology is now in principle allowed for the above disadvantages of biological weapons removed. It remains to be proved in practice the options are here exactly, but the circumstances that such developments by using the DNA technique recombination seem possible in principle, can an arms deal to stop such a development?
In the above-mentioned international research agreement is permitted but is development, production and storage of prohibited products, while peaceful use properly welcomed. The agreement is based on the philosophy that military and civilian use of the relevant knowledge can be separated. That seems an illusion, since both essentially the same knowledge and techniques required. This means that, through the peaceful uses of technology, the spread of this type of weapon is a given. This raises the comparison with the non-proliferation treaty of nuclear weapons, on the same according to our unsustainable philosophy is based and the spread of nuclear weapons has not been able to stop.
This means that serious consideration should be given to a new, biological time, the arms race. Among military strategists is already being suggested that the United States lagging behind in this area would have. Such gene-gap was once even suggested for strategic bombers and missiles. These bomber and missile gaps, which later turned out not to exist, moreover, have in the past a major acceleration of the arms race to any great extent.
Regarding the spread of nuclear weapons has taken hold among many agreeing that the genie out of the bottle and it will not be reducing. It is said that man with the macro, by the way, the risk of these weapons will have to live. Regarding biological weapons, and the DNA recombination technique should one must question whether half genie out the bottle should be overridden.
My conclusion is that, given the interconnectedness of knowledge and lack of appropriate instruments, both materially and socially, these risk management, we believe that the development of this particular scientific field to rest until the two conditions are met.
The first is that increasing scientific knowledge and / or development of methods in other areas to estimate the risks allows sufficiently reliable in the above sense.
Secondly, that a global social structure is reached, where the abuse of knowledge in the field of recombinant DNA can be adequately controlled.’
Le Pair, ‘Mr. Van Kammen calls the word.’
Professor Dr A. van Kammen, chairman of the committee responsible for overseeing genetic engineering of Kempinga’s work proposes the following question:
Kammen: ‘The discussion on the DNA recombination research has from the first moment characterized by a willingness to think about the potential risks of the study. What do these potential risks pose precisely in Mr. Kempinga?
Because of what you say, does that still need to be proven that the use of DNA recombination technology has risks involved? These are only theoretical risks, the reality and the realization possibility remains to be proven. These risks also differ, therefore the risks of nuclear fission and nuclear power, which not only the application, but the risks are known and whose risk is established and can be calculated. The problem of the theoretical risks are encountered in frontier research, because in such cases theoretical risks. That is, there is no conclusive evidence that can serve as a solid basis for the effect of such investigation or its potential uses, whether good or evil, to predict. This is a common problem and I believe that contributions of recombinant DNA research is also important to the overall problem. The inadequate understanding of the nature of the risks can also lead to an unrealistic demands without risk research.
Kammen continues: ‘Mr Kempinga in your contribution, which also sent to the panel, you have argued that such a situation is highly problematic and you have also illustrated that the DNA recombination research. You say, there are theoretical risks, you would be more about wanting to know, for that you do experiments, but experiments under security could reduce or been able to determine which are precisely what the debate because his DNA recombination experiments. So you are in a circular reasoning that easily could lead to a deadlock.
My question is: do you not the right way, that is chosen to achieve a solution to this problem, namely choosing a bacterial host system, in this case the E-coli and are factors which properties are well known? Those properties are described in the annual report. This is the DNA recombination initiated investigations and thus are also many data have become available that allow these risks better estimates. The available data concluded that there is no reason to assume or to believe that in this research, as currently happens, macro risks are.
Mr Kempinga, do you not get the right way out of such a problem that I have described, to come along the road that has failed?
You do not find it annoying that a recombination of DNA tests done so far, not that there is no dangerous organisms arise and you surely do not think we navigate through the results so far have to lull to sleep?’
Kempinga answer: ‘I want to start with the latter. I do not think you can say that if so far no problems have arisen, there you might conclude that there are no problems.’
Kammen interrupted: ‘I say not. I said you do not think we have to lull us to sleep? “
Kempinga: ‘In relation to macro risks, I believe that is still under discussion or that there is or there is not. There is still no certainty that there is no risk to sit examinations. About the guidelines which seek to offset potential risks, is still debated. In my opinion, the knowledge needed to assess both the risks and safety guidelines to assess their effectiveness, not present in sufficient amounts to about definite answer to give. “
Le Pair, ‘Professor Cohen wants a word.’
Introduction Prof. Dr. H.H. Cohen, who was one of the panelists that the speakers questioned as a physician and bacteriologist world a much sought after figure on the safe safety aspects and a director of the National Institute for Public Health RIV, on behalf of the government responsible for the manufacture of dangerous vaccines:
Cohen; ‘I noticed Kempinga sir, that you keep a completely different argument then was that the documents you have sent us in advance.
Mr. Kempinga, I’m following a little bit with the problem. I have your documents sent in advance where you got the latest development of your research indicates. And on page 3 you say-you must forgive me that I was starting to, because it regards the preparations easier and you will undoubtedly have that sentence read: “Legislation on a national scale and international treaties seem unfeasible for us the risks of the applications of research to control, given the anarchy of interest that our world.
You ended your argument by saying that this can only continue if there exists a global social structure. Are not you a little too pessimistic in your question the value of the social structures that are internationally at the moment already exist? Of course I have limited experience and I have heard in my life that I’ve dealt with dangerous vaccines. Not so, I can assure you. We just try to make harmless!
It is known that in the preparation of such vaccines include certain components could be released. Let me give you an example: it is known that live polio vaccine, also in inactivated polio vaccine, the two forms leukemia, which you currently learnt on television that it contains a possible tumor virus consist namely, the Simian Vacuolating Virus SV40. That tumor viruses (viruses which causes AIDS eds.) have been originally in the polio vaccine, has been discovered only later that they had sat and potentially oncogenic and tumorigenic, were. Then there are the international level, within the framework of the WTO, which established requirements that vaccines should meet. The wonder is that this international community from many countries in East and West are becoming a general consensus on this issue began to emerge, partly socially enforced was because they knew that each other’s preparations would recover. Or not, was the one who has refused suspect.
Cohen continued: ‘In any case, succeeded in the world like causing things (AIDS eds.) to get out. If you would check that at the time, you would conclude that, under the auspices of the WTO succeeded quite well that one is to keep it very nice, except those countries that have very few contacts.’
Cohen stated: “ I have had the privilege of the week from a Chinese delegation in this area to receive that knowledge which I have gained. When I first became members in the conversation, I asked them the type of monkeys they made their live vaccine. When I heard what that was, I knew it already: here comes the tumor for! I noticed immediately the influence of social contact, when I started doing gentle suggestions. I naturally asked whether it was in it, it was not possible, they said. Maybe they’re right, I have not checked. She immediately felt my suspicion and social control pattern began to take effect immediately. My question is: can you, given these facts, though not more than my own experience, a little less rigorous in your claim that a universal social structure in the world should be honored by such research should go? Would it not make sense to trust what emerged and which everyone in the world that illustrate the kind to be?”
Johan van Dongen; ‘So the Chinese continues the injection with contaminated vaccines containing AIDS causing viruses?’ Cohen confuses a lot or part of the audience by admitting there were AIDS causing viruses in vaccines. It was almost certainly a slip of the tongue but nevertheless it was said.
Kempinga: ‘I am not against a legislation, which I applaud. I think this is the essence of the problem. The discussion about the uncertainties regarding the risks will remain as well, even with legislation, exist. Once a technology under development and when there is so many stakeholders involved, legislation does not take much more. I believe that we are of the past could learn a lesson, for example from nuclear technology, the arms race. Those are developments that no one wanted but which the mix of interests has grown into something that has reduced rather than increased security. I believe that legal measures in this regard cannot solve.’
Le Pair: ‘Our next speaker is Dr Lucas Reijnders. He will speak about: The security measures with recombination DNA research.
Just for introduction: Dr Reijnders, studied biochemistry and received his doctorate in 1973 at a molecular-biological subject at the University of Amsterdam and Wageningen Agricultural University. He then worked at the University of Groningen and he has been one of the founders of the Association of Scientific Workers BWA. He was also a member of the Working Group Safety and Health BWA / VWO. Mr. Reijnders.’
Reijnders: ‘The view that the risks of recombinant DNA research significantly lower than originally assumed, has recently gained ground considerably. Often it is tied to the view that the initially established security measures can be relaxed. In America one is quite far in such a relaxation?! Also in the Netherlands but working on. My position on this issue is this, it’s an unpopular position, there is no reason for relaxing the safety guidelines and there are usually good reasons to tighten safety guidelines. What are my reasons for this eccentric and unpopular position? To begin with, in my opinion when drafting safety guidelines as it originally happened, a number of potential risks were overlooked, something that also is common in people who are professionally resolved the risks involved, and the overestimation of their own security is thereby significantly higher-than actually warranted. A second argument for my position comes from my opinion that the trials or the data concluding that it might have been worse, much about interpreting or ‘hineininterpretiert’, as they are Anglicistisch, or Germanist English, German, would talk. It is there still a gap in the knowledge that in principle it should be possible to reliably estimate risks.
Let me begin with the first point: what matters in my opinion overlooked? First, there is no, or at least insufficient risk, taking into account the possibility that mistakes, unfortunate circumstances, so anything is made, it really meant. People find freedom for example, normally the nuclear industry or the chemical industry to these possibilities in mind, but it is insufficient to justice was one of the considerations that the present site of the security directives ground battle has ignored. This connection, I think it might indeed exist a different recombined DNA, possibly as a silent partner in a bacterium to tinker, or else the good recombined DNA in the bacterium wrong to tinker.
Johan van Dongen: The Soviets and Americans worked in the fifties and sixties already tinkering of the Ebola virus and pathogens such as anthrax and tuberculosis as well as coli bacteria to them as biological warfare attractive bacteriophage, airborne virus bacteria to make (eds.)
Reijnders, ‘Secondly, on the implicit assumption underlying guidelines that nude or naked DNA would not pathogenic for higher animals, is not it. I must say, even to my surprise. Subsequently, when developing the guidelines take adequate account of a possible change in the antigenic characteristics of the process being cultures. This change is interesting because it immune reaction of the body are intimately linked. Scenarios made have not been shown to be impossible, and very far-reaching consequences, including for the health of humans, in that they cause autoimmune diseases.
I would like to turn to a number of experiments of Chang and Cohen in the Netherlands. Recombination experiments who are very complicated, but do not use recombination. The conclusion from these experiments is that it appears possible that those things which are considered strict guidelines that are applied in the wild place. And according to some people, there is the implication that we attached to them any significant bump to fall.’
Johan van Dongen refers Reijnders; So now genetically engineered vaccines are applied in Africa? I would like to point to Reijnders because he stated:
Reijnders: ‘But if you free trials from nature and something closer look, you have come to the conclusion that in fact such tests say nothing about how things happen in nature in the minds.’
‘Mr. Reijnders’, calls Professor Planta,’ do you know the difference between a virus and a bacteria?’
Professor R.J. Planta is Professor of Biochemistry at the Free University, Amsterdam.
Planta: ‘You try arguments for that risk to find you by extrapolation of natural systems, predominantly viral systems. Such extrapolations is actually not allowed. What we are talking about in this case modified bacteria and it is not appropriate in many cases, as you regularly do, arguments can be derived from viral systems. You have already given evidence of bacterial and viral systems that can easily confuse you because on several occasions have stated that a flu epidemic is caused by the Hemophyllus influenzae and it is, I thought, slowly clear to everyone that this not the case. The report of the committee discussion about the theoretical risks you mention. I refer the interested very particular to chapter three of the annual report of the committee responsible for overseeing genetic engineering, because there is a very rational refutation of what Mr. Reijnders said this morning. What is at stake now to the question: how hard you have to take account of these theoretical risks, as contrasting with an increasing number of experimental facts obtained showing that the risks are overstated. My first question to you is: do you really an argument that is derived from a study of a bacterium with recombinant DNA, and indicates that at least some basis for the proposition that there are risks associated with this work?
A second short question. Suppose we assume here that theoretical risk because, as previously stated, your infinitely long theoretical risks can think of everything, and it takes a long time before you have done so many tests that you have every conceivable potential risks excluded. Obviously you cannot even do that, but suppose it is right, then we are indeed talking about an aspect of global character. Is it not necessary that an international regime, and that the Netherlands in this respect closely matches the international trend as the only way seems to be the case for well under control? A reference to nuclear systems is taking absolutely unacceptable.
DNA recombination experiments are technically very simple, they ask gene expensive investments, they can in the kitchen of every house are implemented and that means that effective control is not possible. Therefore, only an international, fair system would assist in this research in a disciplined form expires.’
Planta continues later: ‘DNA recombination experiments are technically very simple, they require no expensive investments, they can in the kitchen of every house are implemented and that means that effective control is not possible. Therefore, only an international, fair system that would assist in research in a disciplined form expires. Reijnders your comments sir.’
Johan van Dongen: Reijnders would later have to stick firmly with the aforementioned Cohen, but it was there he first reacted very shocked at the allegations of Planta. With glittering eyes and biting Reijnders voice replied as follows:
Reijnders replies: ‘I do not really thank you for these two remarks, Mr. Planta, because you are not at all points entered my story, but the view I have a number of punches below the belt to give. I find that I should address your questions.
The first question is: is there any indication from experiments that the theoretical risks will be fulfilled? I completely agree with you that that message is not there. The thing is, how far it has been searched and whether there is what is now present is enough to continue so, for example in the direction of the weakening of the guidelines. That they had not been searching for instance, becomes evident when one looks at in some detail to point out that to date for DNA recombination workers no illnesses have occurred. To something one must be able to determine a proper set up epidemiological research.
It is clear that recombinant DNA-workers as well as other sick people know and it takes a really good set of tests to determine where this illness comes, that’s significantly more than in other comparable groups, and more. All this is not done. In addition, a number of natural hazards are relatively sturdy workers said that there might not mind, but that it is possible that weaker characters there are problems with it. And it is also possible that certain things after a certain time to reflect. Furthermore, it remains for me the main point, that the whole atmosphere of the ecology of the E-coli extraordinary living little is known. And there is very little known about the effects such as in this case could occur and in fact occur.
The next question relates to the international regime. I believe that it is indeed a very desirable international settlement. I said, my position is unpopular, and an eccentric position. I realize that very well, but I do not plan to submit to me a system where I cannot stand back because some people think they can. I find that against all basic principles of what a university in inherits. In my opinion you will not be able to demonstrate in the report of the committee that exactly those arguments that have been incorrectly charged. I see no reason why, although I must admit that this should have an international regime, the only reason to abandon the position that these directives should be considerably strengthened.
Cohen interrupts: ‘Mr. Reijnders I’ll try to do no punches below the belt. To me so I have understood from your speech and from what I’ve read from you that you are not from this study are. You say only that on theoretical grounds large risks, and then when you do, then you can only do so under maximum security. I wish you a case to which I believe is possible in the future, as far as I can see, could have socially useful. It’s a real case, it comes at the moment on, I hear it come elsewhere. It hangs together again, I embroidery by the example I just gave those with polio. You know that we have a very minor epidemic in the Netherlands. There are now people, now you have a few details from me, who believe that we are the disease, just like the pox been the case in an international context can eradicate.
We will create both vaccines in the world used to live and inactivated, respectively, Jonas Salk and Albert Bruce Sabin need, analysts said. There are also epidemiological data that these points.
Now the big drawback to the inactivated vaccine, a vaccine that in a much stronger, greater focus should be prepared than we use here, which is very far. This vaccine would not be affordable for developing countries. They have, particularly in developing countries, to another because not enough vaccine in tropical conditions, insufficient protection.
Now there are people, especially in the United States, also in Geneva with the WHO, which is currently playing with the idea that the proteins that the inactivated vaccine are no longer prepared from monkeys, as here present many happens, because that brings enormous burden, checks and costly. They want to try one of the RNA virus through a reversed transcript age to convert to a genetic recombination with coli bacteria to create.
Now my question: given that every year in developing countries especially, several thousand children for life paralyzed by the disease, are you, considering your theoretical objections, for it or against such an inter looking for this possibility is realized even though, perhaps more research, but the application under your maximum security conditions may occur. There are few places in the world that can happen.
Reijnders: ‘I would say the following on Mr. Cohen. I believe that in principle when assessing the safety benefits have to charge. It so that I would believe that the investigations, as would happen in the Netherlands, a significant advantage to sit, then I would be inclined to a large eye to squeeze in terms of safety. But again, this is my personal opinion on this. Nevertheless I believe, on the other hand it is good to each risk to determine whether the costs of avoiding the risk of unacceptable high. Of the case that you outlined, I know the details are not enough, but I would say that the large amount of money currently goes to the arms, there must be enough money to get everyone the perfect vaccine. So I would be inclined to avoid risks in this case. is impossible in practice, then I would be inclined to take risks. So with the qualification that in principle I would like to take a risk, but if it for a reasonable cost can be avoided in practice, I would not accept it.’
Johan van Dongen: After one minute of silence, there ensues a vicious but for me very enlightening discussion between Rörsch, Koningsveld and Jelsma.
Asked by Koningsveld, ‘hich the conviction Rörsch on the value of creative use of genetic engineering recombination is based and the method of passing a descriptive biology in a creative biology and more generally in a technology,’ said Rörsch the next, but I will first introduce him to you because he is the most important figure in the fields of scientific research in the Netherlands:
Professor Dr A. Rörsch, promoted in 1962 on the topic “Genes Involved in radiation resistance in E. coli at the University of Leiden. He worked until 1973 when the medical-biological laboratory of TNO in Rijswijk, until after the outbreak of viral infections in monkeys, carriers where there were terrified and stopped eds. He was also a member of the Academy committee responsible for overseeing genetic engineering, director of the Academy committee biochemistry and biophysics, Secretary General of the European Molecular Biology Conference EMBC, ZWO chairman of the committee for research and development of the Council of Ministers of the European Community and member of the Committee on Genetics of the International Organization of Associations of Microbiologists, and associate editor of the journal Mutation Research.
LePair: ‘The next speaker is Professor Rörsch and he will discuss:
The prospects for practical application of artificial recombination of genes.’
Rörsch: ‘Thanks Mr. LePair. The DNA of higher organisms is not such static material as we thought, but during different stages of development under heavy for significant changes that have major consequences for our understanding of the regulation of life processes in higher organisms, man eds., And hence such also degenerate growth.
There is growing evidence that the international discussion about taking patents on recombined DNA is starting to come. I shall refer to the time not too long to discuss, but I would just like to point out that they not only have to think of the big industry but also the application of enzymes in mini-reactors, mainly to fit the medicine. The question arises, however, that in scientific terms rather absurd to suppose that a given individual during his life with a successful change in its genetic constitution can be applied.
How are we in terms of practical application to the hypothetical dangers of DNA recombination research? I think there is little doubt about the fact that biologists initially molecular hazards seriously overestimated. End, I count myself. Even before the embargo arid Paul Berg and his associates are announced, I was in an article in Science and Technology of the possible consequences of the former research and urged caution. I also heard to those who Asilomar Conference to the attention of the Dutch government have brought. Now, however scientifically sound is reasoned that the risk of an accident, the chances of an accidental spread of a micro-organism is extremely low if simple security measures which amount to the same measures that medical bacteriologists in their work, they may in my see no lab work with recombined DNA in the way more.
Regarding practical applications, the situation is something else. In addition we do not talk about an unintentional release of genetically engineered organisms, but the deliberate in nature, to man in Africa, for example eds., Expand. Deliberately, we will also advance the consequences to assess and, since the potential disruption of ecological balance in the political border stops, the observance of international regulations under supervised. Hence I was in Europe to address the practical application of genetic techniques, particularly unconventional in the context of the European Community propagate.’
Johan van Dongen: Mr. Koningsveld interrupts. I would like him to introduce myself; H. Koningsveld is a philosopher of science ethics.
Koningsveld: ‘Mr. Rörsch, after the results of the next story you’ve taken today, I have the story you’ve written for the Symposium in Madrid to the case, because there is also something about the practical application and future applications of the results of recombinant DNA research. D ear is short, very succinctly stated your position very clearly stated that you believe is necessary that this investigation proceed and that further development of the techniques of cloning and genetic manipulation takes place in relation to the risks and dangers Moreover, the research you’ve perspective again. This you will need a clear statement on, in this sense that the new biology, a major contribution to solving these global problems, overcrowding ..? eds. and that the new biology opens the way to a new world era of industrial revolution.
What always amazes me in that position, is the great naturalness with which it is assumed that social problems, primarily a political nature could be translated adequate technological and technological means that a solution could be put forward. Did we answer the question whether the success of this technological road not even a lot more social technology required? Is not there perhaps a danger that globally an increasing technocratic society threatens this way when you least want to actually succeed in solving the problems?’
Mr. Rörsch: ‘Mr. Koningsveld you ask me where my belief is based on the value of, say, passing a descriptive biology in a creative and biology more generally a technology. We, I ought to say that I own in that area by no means am an innovator. ¬ My belief was based on the fact that I listen to people who I believe wise speaking gibberish. You get my report from Madrid, which is a record of what others have said there and what is discussed in more detail a number of issues. Of course, I completely agree with you that there are extremely important social consequences associated with technological developments. But then again I’m far from an expert in that area.’
Koningsveld: ‘Are you not think that the verdict, this work should continue until it can be reasonably answered when the question of the political scenario in the debate is concerned? The Expert Conference Noordwijkerhout, the Netherlands, is a press release said, for example, we have to learn because there are a lot of things went wrong, as sociologists we are not sufficiently involved. Sociologists in terms of too far-reaching experiments very often a stop-gap and probably a very dangerous stop-gap, because in practice it is often something mean like, we are using social technology that the relevant populations are adapted to the demands of the success of technological developments to ensure. I assume that at least one questionable aspect of such an approach.’
LePair: ‘Mr Rörsch wishes to speak.’
‘Thank you, Mr President. I have very little to say. You keep a treatise on something that is not my profession.’
Johan van Dongen: That was not so. Rörsch knew full well what he was talking. He is the dark side of the dangers of nuclear power and the influence of radiation on the hereditary characteristics of our own gut bacteria studied in his thesis. No, Rörsch knew exactly what he said and given his background and study subjects he knew exactly what could go wrong. We now know that it has gone wrong with the preparation of vaccines. And with our gut bacteria.
Rörsch with puzzled look replied: ‘You keep a felippica about something that is not my profession.’
Whereupon Koningsveld said; ‘You do it the statement that the investigation should be continued move? You will feel that the techniques of cloning and genetic engineering should be developed?’
Rörsch, hardly tarnished as a general Surveying the crowd, said laconically: ‘Yes, sure, there is very little risk in laboratory work. I believe that very serious social consequences attached to the application once deliberately, that I completely agree with you. Although you will first need to acquire knowledge, before you even talk about you. There are very specific opportunities in this technology even five years ago, we hardly have imagined, and on this basis, a technique always be explored. the risks of the research are highly hypothetical, that is, one can draw a lot of scenarios in which all sorts of things are dangerous. For an example, I have just told you the capacity to handle such huge trees available, and the enormous amount of genetic information they contain. You can easily go reason that the tree is the ideal of cloned organisms. All the genetic information that is available around the world, sitting in that tree. I came this morning to the Central Station in San Francisco “and inside I found a pine cone. Which had fallen from a tree that still stands there. I thought, ‘yet’ is, no, that tree is on the march. I’m afraid the pines we gradually come to dominate. It is time we all trees are cut down.’
Rörsch: ‘No, no … I said only that the risks to the correct value for what its worth and is currently a fiction that the laboratory work a real risk would entail.’
Johan van Dongen: To my great surprise grip on Le Pair in that time. Panel Chairman Le Pair, then deputy director of the Foundation for Fundamental Research on Matter FOM tried to debate a new direction trying to give:
Rörsch: ‘I would like to discuss the investigation separate from that of large-scale applica gene. In my opinion, the forum set up for this today. I do not want hammer as casually discussed, but there is now a real discussion to be going too far. Large-scale applications of any kind of science whatsoever constitute a special problem.’
Koningsveld, ‘Aha! Yeah … but these things are well in some relationships, see Madrid symposium, given by Mr. Rörsch for research to legitimize.’
Rörsch: ‘No, no, no, I do not legitimize it.’
Koningsveld: ‘But there is that scientific discourse from you that you and Mr. Bleekman have written? And I do not mean the report of the symposium, but the thing that comes out of Paris in August 1977? So something is inserted in the symposi ¬ um and it is not the report of the symposium, you understand That can never Aug. 10, 1977.’
LePair again: ‘I would like to ask Mr. Allen to the discussion a different direction?’
Drs. J. Kammen is director of the Federation of Scientific Researchers:
Kammen: ‘I want to talk about these experiments with Mr Rörsch. I would just like to come back to the article in Nature and Technology, which you just referred to in your reading. that article talks about linking SV 40-coli DNA to DNA and SV 40 is a virus that occurs in monkeys and that is associated with the occurrence of leukemia immunity serious problems. The virus is also suspected of people, and monkey keepers, to infect. The risk of a hypothetical experiment, the coupling of DNA of that virus coli DNA of humans for example, prevented you did not reject this experiment, because the risk is not considered acceptable.
You compared this experiment was an experiment in terms of risks with a fusion bomb nitrogen in the atmosphere.
Based on the possible macroeconomic consequences so you came to the negative opinion that you should not do such an experiment. Based on what you are saying, I ask the following question: “Keeps your criteria you then said, that rejection of the macro effects, even today as a touchstone for the acceptability of the risks of recombinant DNA research.” If so, the existing measures in this regard than enough? In other words, exclude such risks out altogether?’
Rörsch did not give up the game and stood up. Pedantic and a fake smile around the lips, positively can I as a writer and observer about not, he cleared his throat and began: “It is reasonable, if there exists a reasonable macro risk arguably would be, I’d insist that you are such an experiment should not do. I have previously written that article because I use the knowledge I had then, indeed, thought that the experiment could be performed. This is an example of school become a test case to see how dangerous it is. I can assure you that recently a mutual meeting of the DNA commission of the European Molecular Biology Organization EMBO and the National Institutes of Health NIH in January took place, experimentation, nane with SV 40, but with virtually all other tumor viruses would be proposed that the containment would be reduced to P2 and EKI, that means a normal laboratory sure. The point is that I actually, when I wrote this, ecology whatsoever of any bacteriological or clinical knowledge of E-coli. That is my opinion gathered by now, and I believe you to listen to that kind of reasonable arguments. I agree with you that this is indeed an embargo for one experiment mean. I understand your whining seemed not.’
Kammen, who did not even bother to get up, sneered almost haughty toward Rörsch: ‘But you do believe that macro risks associated with an experiment linking SV 40 to E-coli and other animal viruses are allowed in the guidelines, conducting experiments shotgun DNA from animal tissues in E-coli? Do you, sir Rörsch that these life-threatening risks to one hundred percent to exclude on the basis of existing knowledge?’
Rörsch: ‘The verdict of the workshop that I just mentioned are: working with SV 40 DNA cloned in E. coli is safer than using the free virus.’
Kammen: ‘Yes, but that is a relative criterion. I would like to hear from you whether you really feel that in absolute terms such risk can be excluded?’
Rörsch: ‘Of course you can never say, but we also work with the free virus and we know what risks we take.’
Le Pair, ‘I said at the outset that it is not the intention that we convince each other here. It is included if it is successful, but it will not work …. then yes.’
‘The next speaker is Prof. J. Boldingh Unilever Research, Chairman of Unilever Research Vlaardingen and Duiven, The Netherlands. Besides his position as associate professor of organic chemistry at the University of Utrecht, he is also a member of committees physics, biophysics and biochemistry from the Royal Dutch Academy of Sciences KNAW. He is a member of the Scientific Council for Government Policy and Chairman of the Advisory Board of the Organic Chemical Institute TNO-. He will talk to you about: The significance of DNA recombination research from industrial point of view.Professor Boldingh the floor is yours.’
Boldingh: ‘Thank you mister chairman. The decision by Unilever to us in particular in Vlaardingen active in DNA recombination research activity, which is currently the preparations almost completed, based on the consideration that in this new field of science in 1976, has already suffered such great progress, it probably was that, although in the long term, there Unilever exciting new possibilities for the preparation of certain important proteins might result.
In the Netherlands active in the field of basic science is a prerequisite for maintaining our high level of scholarship, which also is of great importance, such as TNO.
The dangers: the concern is, to this day entirely based on theoretical assumptions about the accidental creation of certain genetic combinations, which for humans and the environment can introduce dangerous new life forms. This has in the circle of scientists, especially during a very early stage Asilomar Conference convened in the United States and in the ensuing public debate, given free rein to unbridled imagination.
It was at that time not yet reached a stage where it was realized that the transferred DNA expressing strong natural boundaries are set. In this phase, it is right that from the circle of the scientists themselves, especially the intervention of the National Institutes of Health in the United States, restrictions were made with recombinant DNA research in four risk classes were grouped and stated what the experimental precautions had to be for each of these four classes.
From research, particularly in the United States, where in 1978 already EIA than 200 institutions exist with recombinant DNA techniques work without proper guidelines exist, it is now clearly shown that there is naturally a large number of barriers exist to support the efficacy – thus expression of transferred DNA in the way, even between relatively closely related species of microorganisms, and the assumption that in an unguarded moment now literally anything would be possible “at least not valid.
In the only hitherto well-developed case of expressed placing of transferred DNA by a selected strain of coli bacteria, clearly showed that, given the many side conditions also must be met, the occurrence of unexpected side effects to the realm of fables can be ordered at least if one focused work.
It is my firm conviction that the continuation of basic research in this area, supplemented with scientific based information outside the circle of specialists, will pave the way to eliminate the current, often emotional criticism from some large public confusion and an atmosphere of distrust threatens to cause. We must not go.
This should of course be clearly linked to good monitoring of the risk to prescribe any safety devices, as formulated in the United States. There is on the safety monitoring a great confusion in our country. The call for separate statutory regulation of DNA recombination research is irrational if one considers that in our country has long been the safety of working in science and technology by the Labour Inspectorate and the Health Inspectorate is monitored. This supervision is governed by law and by definition apply to activities of universities, semi-government institutions, and industrial laboratories. The said authorities shall determine what is permissible on the basis of its expertise and consulting experts in the case of new situations where we have no experience with.
In addition, there is room for public debate on the social acceptability of this work. These are discussions on such matters as the ethical aspects of carrying out of certain investigations. These aspects are certainly not irrelevant when it comes to research in the industry risk ratings, I speak for Unilever is interested. It continues to be far from directions of research that could raise questions about the ethics of objectives, such as genetic manipulation of humans or working with pathogenic elements.
Le Pair, ‘Mr van Hattem, central administration driver of the industry association NVV, like the word.’
Van Hattem: ‘Mr. Boldingh if so, then does the call for a separate statutory regulation of DNA recombination research still irrational if one considers that in our country has long been the safety of working in science and technology by the Labour and the Health Inspectorate is monitored. Could the honourable Mr. Boldingh, even though you do speak with quite a few hats, me examples of security monitoring by said inspection operations are not supported on an implementation of a law or a law?
In the opinion of March 3, 1977 from the Academy, so last year, the government was recommended s, and I quote again, “the short term, a system for recombinant DNA research to take.”
That this was meant a statutory arrangement, resulting in my opinion, from the second annual report 1977 of the committee responsible for overseeing genetic engineering recombination.
The conclusions and recommendations on page 74 is common, “she argues that such legislation is essential for the regulation of civil monitoring the development of recombinant DNA research and the applications that it may come.”
I might totally unscientific on some phrases in this sense the stress. Do I need from what you and the decisions of the commission responsible for overseeing genetic engineering, to conclude that the advice of the advisory committee is an irrational?’
Boldingh: ‘I do not think Mr van Hattem, I think not. What I will answer to this is that there must be a misunderstanding here because I’m at the end of my explanation here said that its implementation will be required under the existing law on security.’
Van Hattem: ‘I’m just not there was a misunderstanding, because I thought you precisely the misunderstanding in the hand works by hand to object, if by legislation as irrational, and later, more special, than in to go on a settlement in the framework of general legal provisions. However I get from the report of the committee responsible for monitoring the genetic manipulation distinct impression that this is a lex specialis, special legislation was intended.’
Boldingh: ‘No sir Van Hattem, I thought that perhaps there is a misunderstanding. I would like to assume that my words might be there for a reason to have given, but I’m talking about that a separate legislation, apart from everything, no question should be, but that it can fit into the existing framework of safety monitoring and the necessity for expensive executive will have to be formulated. I thought there was no misunderstanding about that further.’
Van Hattem: ‘I as a union official from your reasoning can only conclude one thing here: that the differences in opinion clear.’
Boldingh, ‘But my intention is clear, I thought, right?’
Chairman Le Pair made an end to the discussion by saying: ‘If you repeat too often that it is not clear to me more!” And then there rose a uncontrollable bout in the room and there followed applause.’
Boldingh: ‘That may well be President, but I would rather like them answer what I think about this themselves. I have already said that our studies initially focused on the highly targeted transfer of DNA rather Shotgun experiments less sharply defined and all possible tests are carried out as described elsewhere.’
Jelsma answered: ‘But it is important to take policy decisions on this point seems to me, if you now make a particular study should begin or not. That is formulated in advance which knowledge is needed. Otherwise, we still delivered to the dogs!’
Le Pair, ‘The next speaker is mr. Bartlema and he will discuss:
The physical security aspects of recombinant DNA research.’
H.C. Bartlema, which took off in 1950, medical degree at the University of Utrecht, trained as a laboratory physician bacteriologist and graduated in 1955. Then he was subsequently head of the local Public Health Laboratory in Alkmaar, and leader of the microbiological department of the TNO Medical Biological Laboratory in Rijswijk. Then he went to Heidelberg in October to go there as microbiological logical security officer of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in the then German Federal Republic, enter the service:
‘Mr. Bartlema the word.’
‘Thank you, Mr President. I would here this all so far said it would respond. The risk is zero of course, impossible nor is it known by recombinant DNA techniques. It is a very rational measure that the physical containment procedures, which I tried before an overview, has added to the biological security. The experience and knowledge and in practice such a system works, in respect of the recombinant DNA research is still unknown. The experience we have in Heidelberg, in my opinion based entirely on studies carried out with dangerous disease agents , SV 40 example. I give you are absolutely right when you say: It is further found that the risk is not zero, for indeed, in the laboratories where with dangerous microorganisms conducted any investigation, there have been outbreaks occurred-TNO, Marburg, Institut Pasteur ? Ed – who also reported and on which a fairly extensive literature exists. Their number is small, but they exist. An analysis of these cases come to light that it both human error and technical deficiencies have underlying located. I also want to point out that an additional package of measures of biological containment of course did not exist.
The security as I said, physical security is based on working with extremely hazardous, pathogenic micro-organisms and, with all the experience and know the people technically and microbiologically in recent decades but it has gained, up stepped.’
LePair: ‘But Mr. Bartlema, why choose this approach right now and not an ex ante evaluation of the risks?” Allen was clearly annoyed. “Besides, those risks have been assessed you say?’
Bartlema: No, no .. I’m not saying they estimated, because I believe that the risk assessment of what we discuss here is not on and not yet possible.’
Van Hattem: ‘But, please excuse me, how do you know what you need containment if you do not know exactly what the risks are and what you should take measures to address those risks to avoid.’
‘Suppose you do not find acceptable?’ Came the sharp reply from Kammen.
Bartlema cornered by Kammen was nowhere to go and said: ‘I believe that this one is very aware of the extremely safe side or very far on the safe side should prepare and that one has done.’
Van Hattem: ‘Not the lightning, I think this sufficiently clear where the differences lie in the approach. And I want to leave it at that.’
In t’Veld: ‘But proponents say about the benefits of technology are, how dangerous it all is and opponents: the risks we have with this technique running and maybe the benefits that no benefits are to be from social terms.’
Johan van Dongen: In t’ Veld studied organic chemistry at the Technical University of Delft, the Netherlands. He is leading a research group in a large industrial research laboratory, is a member of the council and member of the Corporate members of the Industry Association Group NVV. He focuses on the relationship between research and society and health and safety. He is an active member of the PPR and political party is engaged with environmental matters.
Planta: ‘But if you have supporters speak, and there you talk about, may I please make sure to remind that more than four years ago, precisely those who please the advocates of so called, the people have been that, without pressure from outside or from within, have begun to inform society? You also said in an earlier argument that the development can be stopped now. I hope to have made clear that this is no longer the case. There are so many recombinations extensively throughout the world and we know that at various locations around the world working with great force continued. If you talk about a global risk than I should be clear that it is not so much horrors strongly matter if you are a dangerous bacterium in Los Angeles or in Outer Mongolia or somewhere else in this world, for the bacterium in no time.
On the situation in Eastern Europe the situation is much less clear. I can tell you that the Russian Academy of Sciences has a considerable number of recombinations in his name. We ended up in a process which we must accept the reality, it has begun.’
Le Pair: ‘The next speaker is ir R in ‘t Veld and aside, he studied organic chemistry at the Technical University of Delft and was a member of the corporate members of the Industry Association Group NVV. He will work with you to exchange:
Ideas on how an employee is faced with the recombinant DNA research.’
In t, Veld: ‘Thank you President. To get all the misunderstandings to overcome, I will tell you what title I am standing here today: that is because I am not only a researcher’ in an industrial research laboratory where we deal with these problems to have been, but also because I am a member of Members of the Business Group Industry Association NVV there. I am also in my spare time member of the political party PPR.
We are constantly talking about supporters and opponents but disregards this discussion is a more important question we will first have to make. The question of whether, from a social standpoint, it is desirable in the field of DNA recombination to enter research. This is a question many aspects confined, such as what are the benefits? How much public money will it cost to achieve those benefits? How certain is it that those benefits will actually be achieved? There may be conceivable alternatives that are cheaper and provide greater certainty to achieve the objective? His other research conceivable that society is waiting for more? Expenses are fairly distributed? What are the ethical aspects of research?
It will be clear that this first debate should be conducted in broad sections of society. That’s still not happened, despite this forum today. This is now our main objection. Do we still have learned nothing from the mistakes we made in the past? I refer to the introduction of nuclear energy. There the debate erupted in only a very late stage when the developments were unstoppable. Now we experience the consequences of the decisions was frivolous.
In t’Veld: ‘It is always touching to see how nearly everyone professes to parliamentary democracy and constitutional democracy, especially if under some pressure. That kind of statements are very easy. It is more difficult to actually give content to that thought. Then notice that scientists, at a happy growing number of critical scholars after, immediately behind the ‘value freedom’ and ‘freedom of research “in order to avoid the difficult task of their fine words into practice and views.
In a parliamentary democracy such as ours provides in principle the society which roads we will take, what our future will look like. This ‘power’ we have stepped through a system of representation was transferred to the various layers of decision-making bodies, where elected politicians make decisions on our behalf. The actions of these politicians is basically public, accountable and ultimately through the ballot box to influence. The principle of parliamentary democracy is incompatible with a state of affairs, where scientists behind closed doors to determine how our society will look to see, especially since scientists are aware, but mostly unconsciously, quite easily in the service of small but powerful interest groups. We all know the examples. Scientists also require more and more what our future will look like, because the business by allowing it to our scientific and technological progress continues to keep busy reaching consequences for the nature of our society content. However, it is quite an extremely worrying development, when scientists in public will complain about their need politicians who understand nothing and everything all mess up, just as Professor Kistemaker did in a television program for the VPRO. I support former science minister Trip, the next day the Times argued that such a thought process a threat to democracy.
Added to this is to note that this type of controversial research in an increasingly early stage ‘commodify.’
Planta: ‘The Honourable Mr. Field, I am grateful for the clarity you seek to pursue through a very black and white design to present. You have your speech quite against what you have referred to as “gentlemen scientists”. The wording and the way you used them, I think I can conclude that you yourself are not one of them counts.’
In t’Veld: ‘Which is true.’
Planta: ‘Mr in t’Veld, I would still like to reiterate what I just said, if you talk about a local business risk or a global risk than I should be clear that it is not so terribly expressly much matter if a dangerous bacterium in Los Angeles or in Outer Mongolia or somewhere else in this world, for the bacterium in no time.
On the situation in Eastern Europe, so you know, the situation is much less clear. I can tell you that the Russian Academy of Sciences has a considerable number of recombinations in his name. We ended up in a process which we must accept the reality, it has begun.’
In t’Veld: ‘I am not deaf. But I understand you are really not very good anymore. I have argued that the developments now unstoppable. I did that based on the circumstances that industrial applications is yet to begin with. If you say, Mr. Planta, ‘there are so many made’, I ask me now whether that security thing that people keep talking about, or sufficient. I have always experts in that field told that, in times of disasters or escalation, immediately possible to all stocks of recombined DNA within a few seconds to destroy. So it seems to me that the best developments unstoppable, if we wanted?’
And in Africa? There experimented a wide variety of dubious scientists and the most normal course of business and heavily contaminated with genetically engineered vaccines on innocent and ignorant Afrikaners.
We all know the descriptions in many books and AIDS things developed under the apartheids regime and in the former Belgian Congo… But what about North and South Rhodesia? The land of Ian Smith and the English of Porton Down? And what about the curious diseases within the Hospital Mbare, Harare, Zimbabwe, the formerly Rhodesia….?
To be continued …