The following was written by Donald D. Kasarda who is a research chemist in the Crop Improvement and Utilization Research Unit of the United States Department of Agriculture. If you have any questions or comments regarding the piece, please address them to Don at: kasarda@pw.usda.gov

The work from Prof. Auricchios laboratory (Troncone et al.) in Naples is certainly of interest and I shall look forward to seeing the details, but I will just point out for the sake of balance that studies with patients who ingest, or have instilled into their intestines, the substance to be tested represent the gold standard and in vitro testing (that is, in glass, or in the test-tube), while valuable, does not carry as much weight. The results from the Finnish group and from Dr. Feigherys group (not yet published), Dublin, Ireland, are very impressive. The results based on in vitro testing would have to be truly exceptional to undermine the excellent work that has been done on the safety of oats. So, we shall have to wait and see, but I doubt there is reason to be overly concerned just yet.

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