genetically engineered crops

Wayne Parrott wparrott at
Mon Sep 28 07:06:16 EST 1998

talberto at wrote:

>   I farm some 1600 acres total of row crop and others.  Genetics is a
> powerful tool, but, I am aware of the experiment that was to increase the oil
> content of soybeans.  There was a gene spliced in from a pecan tree that was
> supposed to be fantastic,  until they found they had coded in a protein that
> caused allergies in people that were allergic to pecans.  It was very close
> to marketablity.  This is not a subject to take lightly.  I have no desire to
> have deaths on my hand when it is unavoidable.  Better beware.  Sincerely ,
> T.Graves

The general gist of your comments is correct, and your conclusions are on target
and shared by many.  However, all the details are way off.  The take home message
should that the regulatory system overseeing engineered crops worked in this
case.  Engineered crops have to go through unprecedented levels of testing, and
any unintended effects can be detected at an early stage, and not as this message
asserts, when they are close to marketability.  For the record, the experiment
was to increase the methionine content, not oil, and the source was Brazil nut,
not pecan.  The target market was for chicken feed, not human consumption.

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