GENTECH archive


Re: Patented "Substantially Equivalent" Frankenfood

Personally, I would like to see our social resources poured into more 
validation and verification of organic agriculture. I think that the playing 
with recombinant viruses, the creation of naked viruses lacking the protein 
coat, the use of antibiotic resistance markers, the weakening of genetic 
boundaries in food plants, is inherently to be avoided when it comes to the 
food supply. The risks of serious environmental and public health problems 
are too serious and the payback isn't there, except in the sense of profits 
for the multinationals. There are other ways to feed the world. For medical 
applications, I would accept that more testing can be justified to examine 
the risk/benefit issues. But not for the food supply. Not when diversified 
organic agriculture on a large scale (e.g., Kenya) has been shown to increase 
yield by more than 50%. Not when real informed consent isn't possible, 
because (a) most people aren't going to go to that effort to study what they 
are purchasing for their food -- they will buy at the closet market, and (b) 
environmental contamination goes beyond informed consent. Informed consent is 
an individual, one-on-one issue appropriate to medical solutions and medical 
experimentation, not to mass production of a daily necessity.

- Nina

In a message dated 6/25/1999 6:14:17 AM Eastern Daylight Time, writes:

> On the issue of "Frankenfoods", personally I think such terminology 
>  is inapropriate. If you disagree with the methods which have been 
>  undertaken, ie the lack of testing of the GM foods, then this is 
>  entirely appropriate and probably justified. I am not going to argue 
>  with this point. However, to negatively label the product is 
>  inappropriate. To describe ALL genetically modified foods as "monsters" 
>  which will destroy us all is jumping to conclusions, just as the 
>  corporations producing them have albeit at the opposite end of the 
>  "validity spectrum". Lets not blindly decide that GM food is WRONG, 
>  wrong and always wrong. Should we not advocate more laboratory 
>  testing? More stringent testing? More validation and verification of 
>  the product rather than outright dismissal? 
>  Austin