GM food critic is vindicated p

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THE GOVERNMENT was facing demands last night that a scientist who was discredited forquestioning the safety of genetically modified potatoes should have his claims re-examined.

Dr Arpad Pusztai, 68, was suspended by the Rowett Research Institute in Aberdeen and ordered to retire after claiming government-funded research had shown that rats that ate GM potatoes suffered damage to their immune systems. The institute said that Dr Pusztai had released "misleading information".

However, Vyvyan Howard, a toxipathologist from Liverpool University who was among a group of 20 international scientists to examine Dr Pusztai's findings, said they could find nothing wrong with his conclusions.

The Minister for the Cabinet Office Jack Cunningham said that any new data would be "thoroughly and quickly" examined but expressed doubt about Dr Pusztai's claims.

Liberal Democrat food spokesman Paul Tyler said that he would ask for an inquiry.