Need Safeguards for Gene-Tinkered Foods

smw at waikato.ac.nz smw at waikato.ac.nz
Tue Jun 22 16:47:55 EST 1993


There have been several posts regarding gene-tinkering of food crops posted
here and in other groups around the net and two clear modes of thought seem to
be arising;  yet no one has defined exactly what this 'Gene-Tinkering' (this
term itself sounds horrible and misleading) is.

Are we talking transgenic organisims with bits of foreign DNA from completely
different species/genus/Kingdom?

For the record I am not opposed to genetically modified organisims being
released into the environment provided that the correct safeguards have been
taken; and these safeguards are already in place in the form of EEC, FDA and
other governmental regulations in nearly all countries.  The regulations do
exist and must be adhered to.

On the matter of genetically modified crops must we label Cauliflower; Brussel
sprouts; Brocoli; and brocoflower (a cauli/brocoli hybrid that looks like a
green cauli) as "tinkered" as these species only came about by 'gene tinkering'
possibly not in the way that is implied here but gene manipulation never the
less.  The public does need to be informed as to what is going on and I do
question the assertion that the public would not understand the genetics. if
the information is presented in a clear manner without hideous technospeak then
you will find that the general public will get an understanding for what is
going on and then they can make informed comment - and informed comment is
exactly what we need not this fearmongering or the other extreme where the
public is ignored and told not to worry we'll take care of it.

Shawn Walsh  	
SMW at waikato.ac.nz


Disclaimer - hey what do I know, I speak through a hole in my head



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