Ooooops!

Sheryl White slw at med.uvm.edu
Fri Feb 25 09:55:05 EST 1994


: During the latter part of November and again in early February Lara
: Wiggert, a graduate assistant working at the National Agricultural
: Library, posted several messages to this discussion group responding to
: messages regarding the safety and efficacy of recombinant bovine
: somatotropin (bST/bGH).  The content of these postings was inappropriate
: to be coming from an institution whose purpose is to disseminate
: information in an impartial and unprejudiced manner.  Her postings
(snip)

  This sounds like alot of institutional legal-speak to me.  I did not 
see Ms. Wiggert's posts, so I can't form much of an opinion on what went 
on there, but I am a little ill at ease with this post and its general 
message.  Firstly, Ms. Wiggert is not here to defend herself, unless she 
has managed to obtain another e-mail account. Secondly, I agree with 
Craig, this is a medium where people should be allowed to speak freely, 
whatever their affiliation (most folks these days have a disclaimer in 
their signatures).  I think everyone understands that the postings here 
are personal opinions.  I also don't very much care for what I perceive 
to be going on here: person posts opinions (possibly slandering 
researchers involved with BST work, NOT good netiquette), offended 
persons complain to posters employer, employer responds with internet 
posting an apology and disowns former employee.  I certainly hope that 
most companies will handle this internally...I can just see being swamped 
with posts from various companies (and their lawyer's companies) 
regarding former employees postings.  Please let's not regulate ourselves 
to death here.  Lastly, I found the tone of the last paragraph (sorry, 
had to cut it) patronizing and something of a lecture.  My response to 
that is that this is a free country supposedly, and I believe that 
postings here are protected by our right to free speech.  If my 
institution dared to call me to task for the posting of some of my 
opinions here, I would have them in court so fast their heads would spin.
   Oh...and for those of you who would urge me to read more on BST/BGH 
(unrelated though this suggestion might be)...I know plenty about it 
(please note my institution) and am not a supporter of its use.  UVM was 
among the institutions testing the stuff, and there has been quite a bit 
of trouble over it. I've kept a few articles on the conflict between 
researchers, which was published in the Burlington Free Press.  As a 
molecular biologist, I fully understand what it is, how it works and 
other aspects of its use.  As a Vermonter who does not wish to see all 
the small dairy farms (struggling as they are) squelched by large 
corporate farms, I had hoped that it would be banned by the FDA.  Let's 
just say that Bernie Sanders represents my views (NOT Monsanto).  
Furthermore, I find the legal intimidation tactics of certain companies 
(as in mailing legal notices to co-ops, etc. who want to label their milk 
BST-free) unconscionable. Yet another reason to stay in academia...

FOR ANYONE WHO DOESN'T GET IT YET: THIS IS *MY* PERSONAL OPINION, NOT 
THAT OF MY EMPLOYERS, WHO UNDOUBTEDLY HAVE DIFFERENT OPINIONS!

----------------------- Sheryl L White  -------------------------
    Dept of Mol Physiology, Given Med, UVM, Burlington, VT 05405
       Voice: (802) 656-4433  E-Mail: slw at salus.med.uvm.edu
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