GENTECH archive 8.96-97


More Replies to Another GE List: Words Are VERY Important, New Survey

>Date: Wed, 02 Apr 1997 11:23:36 +0000
>To: Reclaim The Streets <>
>From: Michael Antoniou <>

>I would also recommend avoiding the use of the term "genetically modified
>organism or GMO" which is the official term used to describe engineered
>organisms. Genetic modification can be brought about by traditional
>breeding methods (you and I are genetic modifications of our parents!). The
>use of the term "modification" sounds less sinister and is therefore less
>emotive and more acceptable to the uninitiated. It is therefore a
>misleading term. Better to use "genetically engineered organism, GEO".
>Nevertheless, the term "engineered" also implies precision which, on the
>whole, this technology lacks at present. "Genetically tampered organisms"
>would be a more accurate description at the momment!
>Also, beware of the term "copy gene". This is the official name used to
>describe a gene derived from one organism and transfered to another by GE
>techniques. This again has been adopted in particular to anull concerns
>about animal genes in other food organisms (bacteria, yeasts, plants). The
>idea is that the animal gene is first copied before transfer and therefore
>is no longer animal material which is hoped would be acceptable to
>vegetarians and certain religous groups depending on the genes involved.
>This again is potentially deceptive. The "identity" of a gene is confered
>upon it by it's information content (ie for which protein it is the
>blueprint for). This information content and hence identity never changes
>regardless of where the gene ends up. An animal gene, say for calf
>chymosin, transfered into yeast does not become a yeast gene. It is a calf
>gene in a yeast making a calf protein! Therefore, from a basic genetics
>point of view animal (or human) genes and proteins in plants, bacteria or
>yeasts strickly speaking renders them non-vegetarian and/or ethically
>unacceptable on religous/philosophical grounds. So, beware of so called
>"vegetarian" cheese made with calf chymosin derived from genetically
>engineered bacteria or yeast! Buy organic if you can, it's the only safe bet.
>Michael Antoniou
>At 14:10 01/04/97 +0000, you wrote:
>>>Date: Mon, 31 Mar 1997 08:15:45 -0700
>>>From: (Peter  M. Ligotti)
>>>Subject: Words Are VERY Important: New Survey
>>>We should think about how words are used regarding genetically
>>>engineered food.
>>>Perhaps we should never again refer to Monsanto, Novartis,
>>>et. al as the bio-tech industry. Let us refer to them as the
>>>chemical/genetic engineering industry or something similar.
>>>Let me explain.
>>>We cannot stand still and let them continue
>>>to refer to cross species genetic engineering as "biotechnology."
>>>This helps and allows them to blur things and confuse the public to
>>>their advantage in bringing out these genetically engineered products.
>>>It has become clear from both the Novartis and this last survey
>>>that the government and the chemical/genetic engineering companies
>>>intend to use the terms "biotech and biotechnology" to assist them
>>>in their mission of propogating genetically engineered foods; they
>>>intend to make vague and unclear the definite and clear distinction
>>>between traditional reproductive crossbreeding/hybridization and
>>>cross-species genetic engineering.
>>>They, along with the government are doing everything and
>>>anything possible to fool and lull the public into thinking
>>>genetic engineering is a natural extension of what was done in
>>>the past.
>>>When they ask the public whether they are aware of "biotechnology," this
>>>allows and encourages the public to think that they are asking about
>>>crossbreeding and hybridization. OF COURSE they have heard of reproductive
>>>biotechnologies which have created new breeds of corn, grapes, etc.
>>>Who hasn't heard of this? Basically every adult has.
>>>Then when these chemical/genetic engineering companies
>>>get their predicted answer from the public regarding their
>>>intentionally obfuscated inquiry, the chemical industry claims that
>>>this has relevence to cross-species genetic engineering. It doesn't.
>>>OF COURSE they have heard of this. OF COURSE they
>>>think crossbreeding and hybridization are safe. I think even most
>>>opponents of cross-species genetic engineering feel that reproductive
>>>crossbreeding and hybridization are relatively safe.
>>>PEOPLE, PLEASE BE CAREFUL. Do not let the chemical and genetic engineering
>>>industry control the language used. WE NEED TO CONTROL THE LANGUAGE USED.
>>>This will be another major weapon in this conflict over the food supply.
>>>Use:                       Do Not Use:
>>>Technology                 Science (GE Food is Fraudulent Science)
>>>Chemical Industry          Bio-Tech Industry
>>>Genetic Engineering        Biotechnology
>>>Chemical Companies         Biotechs
>>>Technicians                Scientists (Gives them
>>>                                      too much implied respect)
>>>Peter Ligotti
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