GENTECH archive


Re: Bt pesticides, archive 2357

Dear Dorothy:

I look forward to your coming back to the debate with some specifics about the risks of Bt Cry proteins in food, but let me ask you something. If you and yours are so keen aboyut mandatory testing and the precautionary principle, can I ask where you stand on long term feeding studies for kiwi fruit, parsnips, adn other sorts of non-traditional or novel foods and herbal remedies? Kiwi fruit cause allergies, parsnips are full of carcinogens, St John's wort is toxic even to sheep and goats. Where was the mandatory testing? More specifically, where was there any sort of scientific assessment that comes close to what has already been done for Bt crops?

Or is this just an anti-GM thing?

The risks of Bt sprays are still very low. What else would you have organic farmers use to control insect pests? I can think of at least one option; many Bt spray products are now recombinants; the Bt gene was placed in another bacterium, Pseudomonas, which is killed before application. No other Bt hazards. Is this better?



Dear Rick

Putting Bt in food does not necessarily compensate by sparing farmers the Bt spray. If Bt is expressed in the food it may be simply taking the problem from the farmers and putting it on the consuming public. Yeah, great thinking Rick. I don't think this is good science. I shall continue to look for more studies before I make an informed comment and you can look forward to further comment then.

Only long term human feeding studies are acceptable as risk assessment. In the meantime I support a moratorium on Bt crops as a safeguard for both the environment and human health - what happened to the precautionary principle......

For the record, I don't support the use of Bt in organic farming.