GENTECH archive 8.96-97
Consumer Alert 00101-A: AVOIDING DANGEROUS FOODS, Part 1 of 3
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- Subject: Consumer Alert 00101-A: AVOIDING DANGEROUS FOODS, Part 1 of 3
- From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Peter M. Ligotti)
- Date: Tue, 31 Dec 1996 05:14:53 -0700
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I am resending this with some typos repaired and a new title.
I invite feedback from supporters and critics alike. If you
see some way to improve this, let me know. If you see something
you cannot or do not understand, let me know. If you enjoyed this
great. If not, feel free to communicate your thoughts.
I appologize for the length. I hope that people find it worthwhile.
Consumer Alert 00101-A
AVOIDING DANGEROUS FOODS, Part 1 of 3
AVOIDING DANGEROUS FOODS
You bite into what you perceive to be a carefully prepared,
lovingly seasoned, perfectly cooked potato dish tonight during
your evening meal. You assumed the food to be safe. You had
no idea that the bio-tech industry had used a radical new technology
to artificially mutate the DNA in your potatoes. The genetically
altered potatoes were sold unlabeled, as if they were normal, natural
potatoes. In this three-part communication, you will learn about
genetically engineered food and the fictional Dr. Frankenfood, about
how the bio-tech industry has done exactly the same things that Dr.
Frankenfood would have done. You will learn about the immediate dangers of
genetically engineered foods, and why the bio-tech industries are now
releasing untested genetically engineered foods on the world population.
You will also learn how to shop to avoid these foods, and finally, how we
can stop the proliferation of these experimental foods.
Let's imagine that the fictional Dr. Frankenstein had a modern day
descendent, the evil Dr. Frankenfood. For those people in various parts
of the world who do not know the horror story, Dr. Frankenstein created a
monster using electricity and various dead body parts. The evil Dr.
Frankenfood, like his famous forefather, might also want to do bizarre
technical research. But let us imagine that Dr. Frankenfood has a great
personal fondness for the food industry. Let us imagine Dr. Frankenfood's
mad experimentations. Being in the food industry, and following in his
ancestor's recombinant footsteps, he might want to make strange,
bizarre food products combining vastly different species. He might
combine species that could never exist in nature. If he did so, let us
imagine what he would do. He would go deep with electon microscopes and
sever nature's potato DNA, for example. He would cut the DNA, the precious
twirling genetic nucleotide staircase guiding nature's potato with complete
instructions of how to build itself and how to interact in any environment
millions of generations hence. He would cut the genetic code formed through
millions of years of reproductive natural evolution, natural selection, and
reproductive crossbreeding and hybridization.
With a radical experimental technology utilizing a new instrument known
as a gene gun, Dr. Frankenfood would replace natural selection with his own
unnatural personal selection. He would create a Frankenfood potato by
splicing wax moth insect DNA and the DNA of genetically engineered
bacterium onto the severed natural potato DNA. He would also use his gene
gun to dice and splice the DNA of fish with tomato, pig with human, bacteria
with soy, virus with corn.
What if Dr. Frankenfood was also in charge of the USDA (the United States
Department of Agriculture), the FDA (the Food and Drug Administration);
and what if he was also in charge of giant multi-national chemical
companies such as Monsanto, DuPont, Calgene, and Ciba-Geigy
that have become major players in the new bio-tech global food
business? He would then have access to immense capital resources for his
strange experimentations. He would wield nearly limitless power, and he
could learn how to manipulate the rest of the government, the laws, and
even the courts with his influence. He would give grant money to labs
in the USDA and to university labs and technicians all over the world. He
would have universities, the USDA and the FDA under his control. They
would carry out his recombination experiments with the DNA of
different species as he directed, and then he would feed these experimental
foods to the population unlabeled and without testing. He would
stealthfully export his mad experimental products to other countries, and
if they refused his products, Dr. Frankenfood would use his money, power,
influence, and connections to threaten them with trade war.
Of course Monsanto, DuPont, Calgene, Ciba-Geigy, the bio-tech corporations,
the USDA, and the FDA cannot really be this bad. They are doing their
best to do their jobs. Dr. Frankenfood is a mere dramatization. But the
bio-tech companies, the USDA, the FDA, and all of their hardworking
food technicians are doing the exact same things that the evil Dr.
Frankenfood would do if he was in charge. The multi-national bio-tech
companies, the USDA and the FDA, although well-meaning, operate based on
short-range vision and greed. As scientific technicians, they appear
to have minimal ability to see long-range consequences. The
bio-tech industry and the USDA recombine the DNA of vastly different
species. The bio-tech industry lobbies for regulatory loopholes that
allow them to rush their experimental foods to market. Due to large
PAC money payments (legalized bribes), good-ole-boy networks, and
continuing conflicts of interest between the USDA, FDA and multi-national
bio-tech companies, the U.S. and many other governments have encouraged
and approved these synthetic foods. The bio-tech industries sell these
products untested and unlabeled. And finally, the U.S. government
representatives threaten with trade war if countries do not accept their
We as global consumers have the right to know what we are eating.
We have the right to decide whether we want to eat these foods. We have
the right to decide whether our children should eat these foods.
Wherever you may live in the world, food markets sell these unlabeled and
untested Frankenfoods. Beginning back in 1994, the bio-tech industry
began to sell genetically engineered tomatoes and milk laced with
genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Now in 1997, these
companies want to quickly earn back their accelerating research costs,
and rush approximately 30,000 untested new genetically engineered food
products to market.
SPECIFICALLY WHAT ARE THE DANGERS?
Genetically altered supplements and foods have already caused
debilitating allergies, permanent cripplings, and deaths simply
because consumers were unaware. Thirty-seven people died and 1500
people were permanently disabled from toxic and deadly bacteria
created during the production of genetically engineered tryptophan.
Severe allergies resulted from the introduction of mutated genetically
engineered soy combining DNA from brazil nuts. One can predict
that more deaths and negative side effects will continue to emerge.
Without clear labeling, health problems cannot be avoided or properly
traced back to their source.
Genetic damages to the environment and ecosystem can never be cleaned up,
reversed, or recalled. Once released, once the microorganisms, plants,
and living beings in the food chain and ecosystem become polluted with
these mutant foods, destruction of health and virulent, irreversible,
permanent, and incomprehensible living mutations will spiral wildly
into the future. Genetic pollution becomes immediately locked-in and
self-sustaining -- hosted in the very DNA of living organisms. This
contrasts, for example with the threats of hazardous nuclear waste and
the potential destruction of nuclear war, which, although devastating,
can be eventually reversed and cleaned up with the passage of time.
WHY ARE THEY DOING THIS?
Widespread sales of genetically altered foods increase the profitability
of the bio-tech industry. The bio-tech industry wants to quickly recoup
their billions of dollars in accumulated genetic research and investment
costs. Their strategy involves rushing genetically-altered Frankenfoods
to market en masse as quickly as possible.
The USDA, FDA and their wealthy supporters, the bio-tech companies, claim
that they intend to solve problems of world hunger. But careful
scrutiny shows their true motives. Primarily, the U.S. government
intends to ensure the continuing success and prosperity of their wealthy
supporters, the bio-tech industry, and secondly the bio-tech industry
intends to dominate the global food markets with their experimental
products. We appreciate that governments want to support major
businesses and industries. We also understand that big business wants to
make money. However, in pursuing these goals, the USDA, FDA, and bio-tech
companies have chosen to disregard the long-range effects of these
products on human life.
The bio-tech industries have altered foods for the following specific
traits: to increase profits by artificially increasing product shelf life;
to increase profits by increasing the compatibility of plants with the
bio-tech industry's own chemicals and herbicides; and to increase profits
by creating seeds that cost more but save producers money because the
vegetables or plants create their own herbicide internally.
While taking these actions for immediate short-term profits, the bio-tech
food industry claims that their work represents the cutting edge of science.
TRUE SCIENCE AND FRAUDULENT SCIENCE
If Dr. Frankenfood was in charge, his diabolical scheme would not be true
science, because he would never bother to safety-test his experimental
foods before putting them on our family's plates and serving
them up to the world community. True science uses the "Scientific Method."
The Scientific Method involves alternating between theory and
observation, checking theory to see if it matches past observations and
can correctly predict new observations. The checking comes in the form of
experience, in other words: experimentation. New technology should not be
applied directly to human life until it has proven itself beyond doubt
through the test of time to be safe, useful, beneficial. True science
does not make the human race into experimental animals, into
guinea pigs. Again, we look and see that the bio-tech industry does
exactly what Dr. Frankenfood would have done, marketing these foods
to the world population untested and unlabeled.
We know Dr. Frankenfood's history as a descendent of Dr. Frankenstein.
Let us also look at the past, at the track record of one of the major
bio-tech companies, Monsanto. A look at the past may give some indication
of what we can expect from them now and in the future.
Monsanto created Agent Orange, a defoliant tainted with dioxine that
killed people. They own and market Aspartame, the artificial chemical
sweetener marketed as Nutra-Sweet, widely known as a health risk yet
pushed through the regulatory loopholes as a food additive instead of
a drug. In recent years Monsanto, the USDA, and the FDA have worked
together to add rBGH, bovine growth hormone -- widely implicated in
making cows sick and increasing cancer risk, to consumer's milk.
Now Monsanto and other bio-tech companies want to genetically
engineer the entire global food supply. Can we trust these companies
with the food supply?
The bio-tech food companies have now genetically engineered not only
potatoes, but also tomatoes, corn, soy, squash, canola, cotton seed oil,
and milk. The bio-tech industry claims that these practices
come as a normal, natural extension of time-tested reproductive
crossbreeding and hybridization techniques. In reality, this is a
new, bizarre, experiment utilizing a radical new technology.
Dr. Frankenfood would be well pleased.
Distributors export these mutant foods all over the world. A global
crisis now exists because many other governments have implicit trust
in the U.S. government and its decision to promote these foods. They
have made global consumers out to be experimental animals,
guinea pigs. Although this is a serious crisis, we can stop the
proliferation of these Frankenfoods now.
WHAT CAN I DO?
1. Learn all you can about the dangers of genetically engineered foods.
2. Learn how to shop to avoid these foods. Boycott companies using these foods.
3. Tell all your friends family and loved ones about this problem,
both on-line and off-line. Your job is not done until they change their
eating habits and they teach their loved one's to do the same.
4. Start or join consumer groups to label and ban genetically engineered food.
5. Send letters to your political leaders and representatives.
6. Write and send letters to the media, writers, editors, networkers.
7. Forward this communication to influential people all over the world
8. Take a leadership role. Contact the sources at the end of part three of
9. Request parts two and three of this three part communication from your
Leader, who should be listed below.
Relevant Websites About Genetic Engineering:
(Easily accessible with Netscape mail programs)
IMPORTANT: Your Leader's e-mail address:
Consumer Alert 00101-A
AVOIDING DANGEROUS FOODS, Part 1 of 3