GENTECH archive


Re: Bt pesticides, archive 2376

Dear Rick

We know foods are full of naturally occurring chemicals/toxins e.g. potato, tomato. Some foods are just within the bounds of being safe to eat...(clipped for brevity)

There are very few studies on the combination of naturally occurring substances in foods and added substances and herein lies a major problem with additives, agrochemical residues etc. It is highly likely that the naturally occurring phenolic compounds in food will enhance the activity of bacteria added by man....(clipped for brevity)

Dorothy: I am happy to wait for your reply, but surely this is at least as speculative and unsupported as anything of which the biotech industry is accused. What bacterial activity is man (and woman) adding?

I object to anything being used on/in food that wasn't put there by nature.

Does that rule out beer and wine yeasts, and therefore beer and wine? What about wheat, to which genes from jointed grass and at least 5 other plant species have been introduced by crosses made by man and not nature?

Adding Bt toxins, antibiotic marker genes, enzymes to confer chemical resistance etc to food is absolute madness in my view.

The food is not chemical resistant. Some varieties of the plants are. Cotton seed oil has no resistance to chemicals, antibiotics, or insects or DNA or protein. It is not GE.

....Lets have a moratorium on GE crops and gene technology in the food supply until we are sure that there is no harm to humans and sustainability is assured. I don't think that is too much to ask.

During that moratorium, will you then either shut down the cotton industry in Australia (think twice; there are jobs and life styles of middle income rural people at stake) or answer those folks in places like Narrabri and Gunnedah that are concerned with their pesticide exposure, all rather than allow Bt cotton to be grown because the oil can be used in food? Will you prefer that atrazine is used to control weeds in canola rather than relatively less risky glyphosate? Even moratoria have risks; who bears the human and environmental cost?



Richard T. Roush
Associate Professor and Director Phone +61 8 8303-6590
Centre for Weed Management Systems FAX +61 8 8303-7125
Waite Institute ;-_|\
University of Adelaide / \
Glen Osmond 5064 ( )
South Australia \_;-*_/
South Australia

"Weeds - Australia's most underestimated environmental threat"