GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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Opinions please



Can I gather some opinions ??

>Is this genetic engineering (GE) technology,
>like many other technologies,
>able to be used in both "good" and "bad" ways ??

We can only assess good and bad applications through
rigorous long-term testing. The fruit of these actions cannot
be known until long-term test results are in.

>Or is it inherantly
>dangerous ??

It is dangerous to alter the DNA within the food supply and then to
release those foods unlabeled and untested onto the population.
It is dangerous to release these artificially mutated plants
into our delicate ecosystem. Genetically engineered production agents
are also dangerous.

>I can see where the argument that it goes against nature
>comes from and that it is therefore immoral perhaps -
>but does that make it dangerous ??

Yes. Absolutely. Extremely dangerous.

>The most acceptable example of GE, I think, is the production
>of insulin for diabetics from yeast GE'ed to produce Human insulin.

Perhaps. But it is ridiculous to make analogies between drugs
and health applications for specific sicknesses and the
DNA-alteration of the entire global food supply. What is ridiculous
is to think in this manner....

1. Some genetically-engineered drugs have done some good
      therefore.....

2. It is OK to genetically engineer the global food
      supply, release the foods unlabeled and untested....
      and then.....

3. Later we will find out that there was maybe some good as well
      as bad results. Since unintended effects will be random and
      unpredictable, they will definitely be negative side effects.
      It is unlikely that accidental unintended side effects
      created by technicians in the lab will bring a positive result
      for the individual or the environment.

4. Essentially, basically, bottom-line, this is doing experiments
      directly on the human population. This is doing experiments
      directly on our delicate ecosystem at a most powerful and
      subtle level. Genetic errors, mistakes and catastrophes will
      be irreversible at least in part because the altered DNA will
      continue on and effects will be propagated throughout the ecosystem.
      Genetic errors will be locked into the DNA of living organisms
      and perpetuate themselves throughout the ecosystem and to
      future generations. However, through this irresponsible activity,
      there may be no future generations. Sickness and chaos may
      be what we will leave to future generations with this technology.


>This insulin is much cheaper to produce and is more easily
>purified from bacteria than it is from the pig and cows
>that used to be the major source of pig/cow (not human)
>insulin for use by diabetics.  90% of insulin in
>Australia is now produced by GE'ed organisms.  What do you think ?

Drugs are a completely different thing. People choose to take
GE or some other type of insulin if they have a sickness --
diabetes. This is a completely different issue than altering the
DNA in the global food supply. Drugs are for the sick. They are
feeding these foods to the (so far) healthy population.

We have a saying "If it isn't broke, don't fix it."
Or, in other words, "Don't screw around with our food."

>Or do I just not "get it" ?????

I hope you will "get it" now.


Peter



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