Need Safeguards for Gene-Tinkered Foods

OPIRG wcsbeau at
Wed Jun 23 23:31:17 EST 1993

In article <1993Jun23.210436.6432 at> Jim Owens <jow at> writes:
>In article <C933D9.37B at> Art Eschenlauer,
>eschen at writes:
>>I think that open minded discussion of this topic is merited, even though
>>I feel that the risks are slight, in general. The 
>>tryptophan disaster was *NOT* due to genetic engineering, but to the fact
>>that competition caused the company to go into production without making
>>sure that the product was pure; big mistake! We need time
>>learn from such
>>mistakes, however, so caution is definitely advised, although
>>paranoia is not, IMHO.
>Hear, hear!  I am afraid, however, that there are people on both sides
>who are not interested in an open-minded discussion.

I would just like to reiterate that we posted Prof. Cummins's article to
generate such open-minded discussion. His article, although written in
his usual 'colorful' style, was *not* meant to be flamebait. It was
written for a lay audience - it was intended to bring the issue to the
general public's attention. This had certain advantages (eg., it's
short, non-scientists will easily understand it); it also has some
disadvantages (eg., popular journals won't bother printing cites, it
has to be highly rhetorical to get people's attention).

Unfortunately, Prof. Cummins does not have email, but we can pass on
any questions emailed us, or you can call him at +1 (519) 679-2111 extension
6478.  He says he will provide cites to requests about *specific*
points, and encourages people with questions to call.

One of the sources he mentioned at the end of his article is a book
reviewing the relevant literature; he says it has an excellent
bibliography for people interested in reading peer-reviewed articles.
The other source is a resource library which acts as a clearing house
of information on genetic techniques in agriculture.

Note that OPIRG-Carleton takes no position on his work, except to say
that he raises issues which warrant serious consideration, by both
scientists and the general public.

Reid Cooper
Dianne Murray

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