Re: Bt pesticides, archive 2418
- To: "Rick Roush" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
- Subject: Re: Bt pesticides, archive 2418
- From: "Dorothy Bowes" <email@example.com>
- Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 12:56:40 +1100
- Cc: <firstname.lastname@example.org>
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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?
cotton industry is not my problem. I didn't ask them to go into
business. Instead of gene technology money should have been invested on
the development of organic systems that are more environmentally
Dorothy, for me
that's a real worry in this debate. It's too easy to declare that something
"is not my problem", when it is clearly a problem for the
community. I find such an attitude to be selfish. The cotton industry and
governments have invested heavily in research non-chemical systems in
Australia and the US for 40 years. The problem is simply that the pests are
very hard to control and have thus far defeated us. As I have said many
times on this server, if you think it is easy, you should go try it. I have
tried, including 7 years actually in cotton fields.
like a lot of people I have major concerns about the
degradation of the Australian environment. The soils are fragile, we
don't have a lot of water, salinity is becoming a problem, we are still
clearing land for farming at the risk of having less water in our rivers and
dams, more salinity and soil erosion.... If someone doesn't take some
meaningful initiative to turn this around we will have a desert that will
not sustain life. We need to learn to work with the land - not push it
to the max - and I don't believe gene tech has offered any solutions at
all. New Scientist 18 December p. 5 has written up the issue Wytze
brought to the list on pesticides and GE crops. www.newscientist.com. Indeed,
the GE soya already on the market would indicate that we can expect higher
MRLs for agrichemicals used. So while you may have reduced the number
of chemicals used - I suspect you have not reduced the overall volume.
Having said that I have not actually seen any data relating to this.
BUT - increased MRLs are not acceptable.
Canola is also not an
option for anyone with food chemical sensitivity.
Fine, they can select
other oils from current labelling.
What makes you think
glyphosate is not a problem?
Years of studying the data
and complaints of critics.
Many people suffer
excruciatingly when it is used in their environment.
I can't find a polite way
of saying this, but the evidence I have seen, and even conversations with
people like yourself, don't support glyphosate as the cause.
Who bears the cost now of
inadequate risk assessments that have already caused health and
There are many people in the
community that are affected very severely by chemicals in their
neighbourhood, including Roundup. Even in cities we are subjected to
agrochemical use. We have herbicides and pesticides used around us to
control weeds and insect pests. While you may think this should not be
a problem in the city environment, it mixes with the city pollution -
industrial emissions, motor exhausts, etc and I suspect if anyone ever
measured the cocktail it would be very toxic. The problem is that
nobody takes complaints seriously. In fact when I endeavoured to get
some cooperation from government in regard to which component of a
particular pesticide was causing a problem in my community, the issue was
passed on to the manufacturer who did the industry standard thing and
threatened to sue me. Nobody seriously registers or investigates
complaints and all efforts to have an adverse reaction complaints mechanism
established have resulted in the health monitoring plan being put on the
back burner for the last three years or more. A health monitoring plan
would be a wonderful performance indicator as to how efficient risk
assessments really are. People with chemical sensitivities are not
recognised by the government or the medical profession in this country. We
don't even know how many there are, or how seriously they are
You may be right, glyphosate may not be the cause, it may be another
component of the formulation e.g. a solvent. How will we ever know if
we don't seriously investigate the health claims and the chemical
involved. Only a small percentage of chemicals that are widely used
have been comprehensively studied for toxic effects (in animals) and this
rarely includes studies for chronic low-level problems in humans,
neurologic, neurobehavioural, endocrine, reproductive or pulmonary effects.
Until we can get the current technology right I don't believe we should be
moving on to gene technology. it is clear to me we don't have the
scientific expertise to prove safety.
Merry Christmas and I will leave you with this little gem I found in
a magazine somewhere
Your mind is a garden
Your thoughts are your seeds
You can have flowers
Or you can have weeds