Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 21:53:18 +0200
From: "ekogaia" firstname.lastname@example.org
Although this is a long post, I thought it may be worthwhile to share this sage information.
Professor Philip James
Dr. George Wald
Professor Bevan Mosely
Professor Richard Lewontin
Professor Arpad Pusztai
Professor Richard Lacey
Dr. Philip Regal
Prof. George Gaskell
Dr Michael Antoniou
Professor John Fagan
Tewolde Berhan Gebre Egziabher
Prof. Samuel Epstein, M.D.
Prof. Dr. Joseph Cummins
Warning from The New England Journal of Medicine
Dr Mae-Wan Ho
Statement by 24 leading African agriculturalists
Prof. Wangari Mathai
Professor Dennis Parke
Dr Peter Wills,
Dr Norman Ellstrand
Dr Erwin Chargoff
Rowett Research Institute
The Foods Standards Agency
Covered up US study shows damage to rats from BST "The perception that everything is totally straightforward and safe is utterly naive. I don't think we fully understand the dimensions of what we're getting into."
"Recombinant DNA technology [genetic engineering] faces our society with problems unprecedented not only in the history of science, but of life on the Earth. It places in human hands the capacity to redesign living organisms, the products of some three billion years of evolution."
" Such intervention must not be confused with previous intrusions upon the natural order of living organisms; animal and plant breeding, for example; or the artificial induction of mutations, as with X-rays. All such earlier procedures worked within single or closely related species. The nub of the new technology is to move genes back and forth, not only across species lines, but across any boundaries that now divide living organisms. The results will be essentially new organisms, self-perpetuating and hence permanent. Once created, they cannot be recalled."
"Up to now, living organisms have evolved very slowly, and new forms have had plenty of time to settle in. Now whole proteins will be transposed overnight into wholly new associations, with consequences no one can foretell, either for the host organism, or their neighbors." "It is all too big and is happening too fast. So this, the central problem, remains almost unconsidered. It presents probably the largest ethical problem that science has ever had to face. Our morality up to now has been to ho ahead without restriction to learn all that we can about nature. Restructuring nature was not part of the bargain. For going ahead in this direction may be not only unwise, but dangerous. Potentially, it could breed new animal and plant diseases, new sources of cancer, novel epidemics."
From: 'The Case Against Genetic Engineering' by George Walt, in The Recombinatnt DNA Debate, Jackson and Stich, eds. P. 127-128. (Reprinted from The Sciences, Sept./Oct. 1976 issue)
"Well, I agree with you in the sense that when you use these methods you don't know what part of the chromosome that the new gene is being introduced into and that is, you know, what I would say is a drawback to the technology."
"An ecosystem, you can always intervene and change something in it, but there's no way of knowing what all the downstream effects will be or how it might affect the environment. We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another."
"I see worries in the fact that we have the power to manipulate genes in ways that would be improbable or impossible through conventional evolution. We shouldn't be complacent in thinking that we can predict the results."
"If it is left to me, I would certainly not eat it. We are putting new things into food which have not been eaten before. The effects on the immune system are not easily predictable and I challenge anyone who will say that the effects are predictable."
And on the ability of the regulatory system to cope with prospect of the arrival of large numbers of GM crops: "Once the floodgate was opened, it's almost impossible. A committee cannot deal with it."
No faith in GM approvals system
"The fact is, it is virtually impossible to even conceive of a testing procedure to assess the health effects of genetically engineered foods when introduced into the food chain, nor is there any valid nutritional or public interest reason for their introduction."
And additionally with reference to the BSE crisis, "We know to our cost that an organism which was utterly unknown to science 30 years ago, the prion, is capable of jumping from species to species, and changing its own physical characteristics each time it crosses the barrier. This shows that it is impossible to forsee what dangers lie in store... If we continue to create new life forms artificially, we lay ourselves open to the possibility of similar unimaginable dangers."
New Scientist - BSE's hidden horror
"Over the last fifteen years, I and other scientists have put the FDA on notice about the potential dangers of genetically engineered foods. Instead of responsible regulation we have seen bureaucratic bungling and obfuscation that have left public health and the environment at risk."
Details of FDA lawsuit launched May 1998 More information on the work of Professor Regal
"The FDA has placed the interest of a handful of biotechnology companies ahead of their responsibility to protect public health. By failing to require testing and labelling of genetically engineered foods, the agency has made consumers unknowing guinea pigs for potentially harmful, unregulated food substances."
"There are a lot of people in Europe in favour of biotechnology, who are prepared to take risks, but a considerable number are resistant and see no benefits. Many people see biotech taking us into the realm of unknown dangers. ...This is a Pandora's box and a lot of people wonder whether it's worth opening it."
"Information provided to governments and food suppliers by the biotechnology industry is not fully representative of the technical limitations of genetic engineering, and therefore does not give a complete picture of the potential dangers in its use."
"The generation of genetically engineered plants and animals involves the random integration of artificial combinations of genetic material from unrelated species into the DNA of the host organism. This procedure results in disruption of the genetic blueprint of the organism with totally unpredictable consequences. The unexpected production of toxic substances has now been observed in genetically engineered bacteria, yeast, plants, and animals with the problem remaining undetected until a major health hazard has arisen. Moreover, genetically engineered food or enzymatic food processing agents may produce an immediate effect or it could take years for full toxicity to come to light."
"Once released into the environment, unlike a BSE epidemic or chemical spill, genetic mistakes cannot be contained, recalled or cleaned up, but will be passed on to all future generations indefinitely".
"The process of genetic engineering always involves the risk of altering the genetics and cellular functioning of a food organism in unanticipated ways. These unanticipated alterations can result in GE foods being allergenic, toxic, or reduced in nutritional value".
"Without labelling it will be very difficult for scientists to trace the source of new illness caused by genetically engineered food".
"The huge arrogance of the companies developing GMO crops and their determination to destroy the line of accountability which links the developer to the product is breath-taking. When something goes wrong, as it inevitably will, there will be a great benefit to those who have taken a stance against genetically modified organisms."
"There are still hungry people in Ethiopia, but they are hungry because they have no money, no longer because there is no food to buy ....we strongly resent the abuse of our poverty to sway the interests of the European public."
"rBGH poses an even greater risk to human health than ever considered. The FDA and Monsanto have a lot to answer for. Given the cancer risks, and other health concerns, why is rBGH milk still on the market?"
BST (rBGH) cancer link BST background genetically engineered Bovine Growth Hormone scandal
"Probably the greatest threat from genetically altered crops is the insertion of modified virus and insect virus genes into crops. It has been shown in the laboratory that genetic recombination will create highly virulent new viruses from such constructions. Certainly the widely used cauliflower mosaic virus is a potentially dangerous gene. It is a pararetrovirus meaning that it multiplies by making DNA from RNA messages. It is very similar to the Hepatitis B virus and related to HIV. Modified viruses could cause famine by destroying crops or cause human and animal diseases of tremendous power."
"...the allergic potential of these newly introduced microbial proteins is uncertain, unpredictable and untestable,..."
"It's never been easy to safely introduce genes into cells S.It has involved attaching genes to viruses with possible harmful side effects. Getting the gene - once it's in the cell - into the right place, then finally getting it to behave itself - to produce the right amount of material in the cell, to produce it at the right time during a person's lifetime, in developmental stages and then making absolutely sure that the gene, because it's not in its usual place, doesn't interfere with any other genes that are near to it - we haven't really made much progress in any of these phases yet."
Medical problems and fatalities with genetically engineered insulin
"My worry is that other advances in science may result in other means of mass destruction, maybe more readily available even than nuclear weapons. Genetic engineering is quite a possible area, because of these dreadful developments that are taking place there."
"Gene technology is driven by bad science. It may well ruin our food supply, destroy biodiversity and unleash pandemics of antibiotic resistant infectious diseases."
"Genetic engineering bypasses conventional breeding by using artificially constructed parasitic genetic elements, including viruses, as vectors to carry and smuggle genes into cells. Once inside cells, these vectors slot themselves into the host genome. The insertion of foreign genes into the host genome has long been known to have many harmful and fatal effects including cancer of the organism."
"We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves."
"History has many records of crimes against humanity, which were also justified by dominant commercial interests and governments of the day. Despite protests from citizens, social justice for the common good was eroded in favour of private profits. Today, patenting of life forms and the genetic engineering which it stimulates, is being justified on the grounds that it will benefit society, especially the poor, by providing better and more food and medicine. But in fact, by monopolising the 'raw' biological materials, the development of other options is deliberately blocked. Farmers therefore, become totally dependent on the corporations for seeds".
"We were the experts. We didn't have many of the answers ... Rather than explain that to a general public it was thought better to give the impression that we had everything under control, which we didn't and which we never have."
Scientists warned of BSE human health risks eight years before CJD link established, BBC report - February 1998
Dr Parke warns that current testing procedures for genetically altered foods including rodent tests are not proving safety for humans. He has suggested a moratorium on the release of genetically engineered organisms, foods, and medicines.
"We see this as a multi-million dollar problem. In Europe, there is already a big problem with gene flow between wild beet and cultivated beet. Oil-seed rape also has close relatives and is going to cause problems in the future. One would expect that the kind of genes that are now being engineered are going to be the ones that have a higher potentiality for causing trouble".
"I have the feeling that science has transgressed a barrier that should have remained inviolate," he wrote in his autobiography, Heraclitean Fire. "Noting the 'awesome irreversibility' of genetic engineering experiments being planned, Chargoff warned that, "...you cannot recall a new form of life...It will survive you and your children and your children's children. An irreversible attack on the biosphere is something so unheard of, so unthinkable to previous generations, that I could only wish that mine had not been guilty of it."
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 18:16:22 +0200
From: Glenda Lindsay email@example.com
Urgent Support Needed for the State Of Rio
Grande Do Sul, Brazil, whose government
has declared its intention to stay free of
The State faces an attempt to remove the
right of its government to make decisions
to protect health, the environment and the
consumer with regard to Genetically
The State faces an attempt to remove the right of its government to make decisions to protect health, the environment and the consumer with regard to Genetically Engineered Organisms
Here is a message from the State of Rio Grande do Sul in Brazil, which has taken a brave stand against genetic engineering in agriculture and also wishes to become free of pesticides and herbicides.
They need our support right now! Here is their message:
We are launching the Manifesto, IN DEFENCE OF LIFE, which goes beyond mere party positions, in support of the Governor of the State, Olivio Dutra. He has decided to veto an attempt to introduce a legal project which seeks to remove from the State of Rio Grande do Sul the right to make decisions on issues related to genetically engineered organisms.
We are counting on your participation to disseminate this Manifesto and get as many people to support it as possible within the State of Rio Grande do Sul, and in other Brazilian states and other countries around the world.
Please send your name and organisation BEFORE 16th March 2000, the deadline for the veto. Please send it to:
firstname.lastname@example.org or by fax to 00 51 211 5546.
If you want more information you can get it from:
Vanete: 00 51 211 5546 Vicente: 00 51 210 2913
Speak to them in Portuguese or Spanish!
Here is the Manifesto:
IN DEFENCE OF LIFE
We wish to endorse the initiative of Olivio Dutra, Governor of the State of Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil, to veto the proposed law which has been designed to remove from the State of Rio Grande do Sul its constitutional competence to make decisions on health and environment with respect to activities involving genetically modified organisms.
We re-affirm that it is the duty of the public authority of the state to protect health, the environment and the consumer and to fully adopt the precautionary principle which now has international recognition.
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 18:11:16 +0200
From: Glenda Lindsay email@example.com CC:
Dear Dr Henney & FDA officials ( JHENNEY@OC.FDA.GOV )
I am writing from South Africa to let you know that as a health practitioner I'm very concerned about genetically engineered food ingredients....and am particularly dismayed South Africa has licensed the use of RBst/RBgh here. Having informed myself via my global networks of health practitioners and scientists of the inherent risks of this prematurely commercialised technology,
I find it outrageous that innocent consumers around the world are being exposed to unlabelled, inadequately tested, novel gene combinations that have never been included in human foods before.
Knowing your country grows and exports so many GMOs, unsegregated and unlabelled, for over two years now I have not bought any foods made in the US, or containing ingredients from the US . I have also recommended this precautionary measure to my colleagues, professional networks, neighbours, family, clients and their families.
As a specialist in nutrition, reproductive and mother & baby health issues, I particularly urge you to support the banning of Monsanto's rBGH/RBst, which is exposing vulnerable populations to unacceptable health risks.
I am especially alarmed at the very real possibility that in developing countries (especially South Africa) where many emerging farmers lack the sophistication or information to choose wisely, BSE (Mad Cow Disease) could easily result from feeding RBst-treated cows cheap 'dumped/black market' (unfortunately common) animal-based high protein feed to boost the body condition cows lose when over-producing milk in response to the GE hormone injections.
It is my hope that the US will live up to their PR as champions of democracy, truth and justice ...a reputation seriously tarnished by the FDA's current global exposure as having ignored its own scientific expert's advice that GE foods are NOT 'substantially equivalent' to their conventionally raised counterparts.
The world is watching. Genetic pollution is irreversible. Please do the right thing for the sake of our world and future generations.
Glenda Lindsay NFMC, CTT, CA, NGMGC
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 18:12:50 +0200
From: Glenda Lindsay firstname.lastname@example.org
WASHINGTON, DC. February 10, 2000
The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) has contracted with a national research company to survey farmers on their planting intentions concerning genetically modified crops for 2000. This survey will fulfill the scientific polling methods missing in many of the earlier surveys on what farmers would plant this coming spring.
"Back in August of 1999, the ACGA forecast a sizeable drop in genetically modified (GMO) planted corn acres for this year based on farmer contacts. While other surveys seem to support the ACGA forecast, our own, scientific, randomly selected survey would either agree or disagree with our prediction. We await the results and are anxious to see what America's farmers have decided to do," said Gary Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer of the ACGA.
This survey is being performed as part of the Farmer Choice-Customer First Program, developed by the Corn Growers to provide unbiased, objective information to production agriculture about the debate surrounding GMOs. Because the ACGA does not accept any financial contributions from the seed or chemical industry, the ACGA has no conflicts of interests in the execution of this informational program.
"Farmers need to be asking the right questions before they can secure the answers. Farmer Choice-Customer First addresses the questions surrounding marketability, certification, segregation, cross-pollination, corporate concentration and liability. By asking these questions and seeking the answers, production agriculture places themselves in a better position to decide what direction they would like to take concerning the issues of biotechnology and genetically modified crops," added Goldberg.
The ACGA survey, possibly the most important and accurate account of production agriculture's planting intentions, will be distributed as soon as it is completed.
Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 18:12:50 +0200
From: Glenda Lindsay email@example.com
You say GMO, I say transgenic. But before we call the whole thing off, Purdue Extension corn specialist Bob Nielsen says there are key facts we all should know about growing the controversial crops. Before passing judgement on so-called genetically modified crops or transgenics containing genes physically transferred from another species we should understand current agronomic and marketing truths.
"First, recognize that insect-resistant or herbicide-tolerant varieties are not critical for the successful production of corn and soybeans in Indiana." he says.
"In other words, growing non-transgenics will not result in economic ruin for most Indiana farmers!" Nielsen also says farmers do not necessarily need to secure a contract to grow non-transgenic crops. "Growing non-transgenics will not automatically require efforts to segregate and certify non-transgenic status," he says. "However, if you want to aim for a non-transgenic market premium, you should arrange for a contract or an agreement with the grain buyer to guarantee that your non-transgenic grain has a home this fall."
Nielsen points out that fulfilling such contracts may require certification that grain is non-transgenic cost-free as producers see the grain through harvest and delivery.
The Indiana Crop Improvement Association (ICIA) will be offering a certification service for non-transgenic corn hybrids in 2000. The ICIA certification guidelines for 2000 corn production include:
For more information on ICIA's certification service, call (765) 523-2535 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
When deciding what to plant this spring, Nielsen says Indiana growers must determine the balance between the agronomic costs, agronomic benefits and market uncertainties.
"The cost of the technology is simple to figure, it is simply the 'technology fee' added to the seed cost by the seed company," he says.
"The agronomic benefit of the technology is more difficult to ascertain. Commonly available sources of information about these benefits include magazine or TV marketing pieces, sales pitches by company sales representatives, and testimonials by folks who have used the technology in the past. All of these sources should be taken with the proverbial grain of salt."
As always, Nielsen stresses that farmers should study performance data comparing the transgenic varieties of interest with alternative non-transgenic varieties.
"Ideally, these data should be summarized from trials conducted over many locations and/or years," he says. "In my opinion, the best way to use such data sets is to compare the top-yielding transgenic varieties in a trial with the top-yielding non-transgenic varieties in the same trial. Comparisons to 'normal' counterparts or to 'top-selling' competitors are not necessarily fair comparisons because these varieties are not always the 'latest and greatest' varieties. This fact is important because you need to determine whether the transgenic variety in question yields as good or better than the best available variety in today's marketplace."
Date: 20 Jan 2000 08:20:08 U
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)
There are several good GE listservs which bring news and discussion on the topic of GE food. etc., everyday. At the end of this message are some more good websites and info on news summaries and periodic reports.
E-mail List Servers
North American GE Websites
SUBSCRIBE to the listserve of the Bioengineering Action Network of North America by sending a message of SUBSCRIBE to: email@example.com BAN can be reached through the Hexterminators at: firstname.lastname@example.org http://www.ceep.com/artactivist http://www.tao.ca/~ban/ar.htm
To get on this list send an email to: email@example.com In message text write: SUB biotech-L your name No commas or periods and all on the same line. For more info contact Scott Fuller firstname.lastname@example.org. Items can also be posted to biotech-L@cornell.edu (biotech and L are not case sensitive) without actually being on it.
The GE List is a service of the Natural Law Party to provide a discussion forum for organisations concerned about the dangers of genetic engineering. Views expressed are not necessarily those of the Natural Law Party. To subscribe or unsubscribe, please email the list administrator at listadmin@NaturalLaw.org.nz
"Gary T. Benner" email@example.com owner "Clive Elwell" firstname.lastname@example.org
Send subscription request to Christine Massey,list manager, at email@example.com
http://www.monitor.net/rachel Subscribe: send E-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org . with the single word SUBSCRIBE in the message. It's free.
Good urls for North American friends who need an introduction to the issues:
E-mail: email@example.com Tel: +46-322622966 Fax: +46-322620944 http://www.psrast.org/indexeng.htm Winner of the StudyWeb Academic Excellence Award
Green Homes For Sale: http://www.greenbuilder.com/realestate
Green Building Pros: http://www.greenbuilder.com/directory