Posted by kim hamilton on May 09, 2000 at 14:51:17:
There is so much misinformation, and so many lies out there about genetically enhanced food it is difficult to even know where to start.
Human health - the lies here are usually antibiotic resistance, decreased nutrition or allergens. Transfer of antibiotic resistence is theoretically possible but fantastically unlikely. Even if transfer occured it DOES not provide resistance to all antibiotics only to that single drug. Even so the antibiotics in question are not used to treat any clinical human pathogens so the point is completely moot.
As for nutrition - how about vitamin A enhanced rice. This genetically engineered rice plant will save the lives of over 500,000 third world children a year. How about cannola and soybean oils that are low in saturated fat? These products exist are the benefits are the result of genetic enhancement.
Allergens - Sure it could happen. The fact is that it IS tested for and HAS been caught in the development process before any products were commercialized.
Worried about herbicides and pesticides? Thanks to herbicide tolerant plants the amount of herbicide applied to plants is dramatically REDUCED. Plants which produce their own Bt (the SAME protein sprayed by organic farmers) no longer require pesticides to be sprayed. If you want food that has been treated with FEWER herbicides and pesticides - then buy biotech foods!
Be careful of who is crying wolf in this whole debate. The efforts of extremist groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth are actually being funded by large corporate organic growers like Whole Foods INC. WHY? Because they have a vested interest (READ $$$!) in scaring you about your food so that you will buy "organic" food at 3X the price.
Why not buy organic? Excess phyto-oestrogens have been proposed as a cause of declines in sperm count. Fungal toxins that are known carcinogens have been shown to be higher in organically grown cereals, nuts and other ground crops. The proportion of cases of food poisoning, some extremely serious, that are caused by organic foods is far higher than the overall percent of organic to conventional wholesome foods. Why? Because they are grown in feces.
Be very careful about how you form your opinions in this debate and from whom you get your information. Try asking trusted regulatory agencies like the FDA, USDA, EPA, or the National Academy of Sciences - the list of reputable scientists and regulators who have endorsed this technology is endless. Try www.whybiotech.com as a starting point to get the accurate side of this story. Don't let other fearmongers make up your mind for you
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