The former Chairman of the Commons Science Committee has sparked outrage by claiming that inbreeding may be behind the sharp increase in diabetes cases . Constituents in Norfolk and people throughout the diabetes community and wider medical world were understandably shocked.
The Labour MP Dr. Ian Gibso, commenting on the unexpectedly high number of new diabetes cases amongst children in Norfolk, made the claim: “I would imagine it is linked to the fact that people in Norfolk are quite inbred. It is something that needs to be looked at as a priority.” He continued: “There’s a relatively small gene pool. You need more research to say that environmental matters or nutrition are the predominant cause of diabetes. We haven’t looked at the DNA of these people.”
Dr. Gibso, perhaps surprisingly, is actually educated to PhD level in genetics, and held the post of dean at the University of East Anglia School of biological sciences over a six-year period.
The local response was one of marked disagreement. One diabetologist said: “It’s an insult to people with type one diabetes and their families and an insult to people in Norfolk. There is a genetic element but it may be triggered by an environmental factor . Nobody knows why it is rising.”

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