Genetic engineering is a Good Thing?
Oz at upthorpe.demon.co.uk
Thu Oct 8 00:49:32 EST 1998
In article <1998Oct7.134428.20146 at jarvis.cs.toronto.edu>, Beverly
Erlebacher <bae at cs.toronto.edu> writes
>One of he worst legacies of the Vietnam war is the very high incidence of
>children born with limb defects and neurological abnormalities after their
>parents were exposed to Agent Orange.
I don't think anyone would consider AO an example of a properly applied
pesticide and the amount of dioxin it sometimes contained was way in
excess of that allowed for pesticide use.
>Dioxins and other congeners are both
>mutagenic and teratogenic. They break down slowly, so people in areas heavily
>dosed with Agent Orange continued to be exposed to them for years afterwards.
>How many seriously disabled people do you think a subsistance farming village
OK, so no deaths, but some evidence of known teratogens/mutagens causing
>>>> >and probably at least a few other "properly
>>>> >handled" pesticides have all caused the deaths of many,
>The incidence of leukemias and other cancers has increased remarkably in
>US corn and grain farmers and their families over the past 20-30 years,
>out of proportion to the incidence of these cancers in other rural residents
>or the population as a whole.
Strangely we have such statistical clumping, but it seems to be
associated with nuclear reactor sites and children of city people moving
into country areas. I am always minded of the statistical probability of
something sometime being significant somewhere. Ie amongst all the
myriad of really improbable things that could happen, some are
statistically bound to.
>A survey of veterinarians found that pet dogs are four times more likely
>to get leukemia if they belong to families that use commercial lawn services
>to spray their lawns with pesticides on a regular basis. It's too hard to
>gather data on the children who play on the lawns with the dogs, however.
I wouldn't mind betting that those families also had children with
significantly more plastic toys than the rest too.
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