genetically engineered crops


Sat Sep 19 13:29:17 EST 1998


 >In fact, biotechnology, including genetic engineering has the capacity for
infinite harm.

Please give one, just one, example of any GE food  which has caused harm?
There are at least 3 crops now in production which are products of
biotechnology which have been approved by the US EPA and Canadian Regulatory
Affairs. These crops include canola, corn and soybeans. These three crops
have a naturally occurring enzyme that allow the plant to the non-selective
herbicide, glufosinate. The chemistry of this enzyme has  proven safe
through many years of environmental studies and allows crop production at a
lower cost due to less herbicide use at much lower rates of active
ingredient than has been used before.

>That being said, I think GE also has the capacity so help solve many of
>the problems of agriculture. What determines it's uses in the future will
>depend on a vigilant population.

I agree 100%.

>Are insecticides produced in plant tissues inherently safer than
>manufactured pesticides?

The insect resist crops I referred to contain another product found in
nature. Bacillus thurgensis. The target pest is larva of the insect order
Leptoptera or  the butterfly and moths. The compound produced by the
bacteria is non-toxic to mammals, birds, all other insects and humans. For
example, corn containing the gene for corn root worm resistance has lower
residues of pesticides because less is needed for insect control.

>"Engineering" implies intent. Are you suggesting natural evolution is
>intentional?

Plants have through  millions of years evolution developed chemical defenses
against insect and animal which feed on leaves, roots and flowers. Pyrethrum
is a natural occurring insecticide which comes from chrysanthemums. This
compound has be used for many, many years as an effect insect control. But
it is highly toxic to fish and other animals. So yes plants have
"engineered" defenses  in order to survive against those organisms that
could do them harm. Intentional or not the important note is it happen long
before man was around.

> No one has any reason to be concerned with
>>biotechnology.
>
>No fool, perhaps.

As a scientist I know the science. I don't believe the pseudo-science that
is based on fear, misinformation and political intent. Again what food
produced by biotechnology has harm anyone? Assumption of something new is
dangerous is itself a foolish
notion.

>I'm willing to accept that nothing produced so far is dangerous, but I
>respect others who aren't so sure.

Who are these who say biotechnology is unsafe? Scientist who have done
research on these products? Government officials who have scientific
evidence of harmful effects? Or maybe people who really don't know anything
about biotechnology and are basing assumptions on faulty data and may have
some political agenda in mind?

I know the science. I have tested these products. As one who has first hand
knowledge,  biotechnology is safe and as more products become available to
the consumers worldwide, the  science of fact will supercede the fear based
in ignorance.









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