GENTECH archive


Re: Better [sic] Plants for the "Pharm"

I rarely saw a message that better showed the insanity of the GE industry than
the message by Beth von Gunten below.  Alfalfa (meaning: the father of all
foods) is by itself a medicinal food. No need to change anything!  Alfalfa is
being eaten as seedlings ( or sprouts). Sprouts and seedlings in general are
amongst the most nutritional and medicinal foods on earth. There have been
schools in the US that focused completely on sprouts and seedlings and their
role in healing. The Ann Wigmore Foundation in Boston was the most famous. It
does not exist anymore. However, her books must still be around.
These books teach the REAL medicinal qualities of sprouts and seedlings, which
most likely will be disrupted by any GE performed on them.

Beth von Gunten wrote:

> Transforming Pollen for Better [sic] Plants for the "Pharm"
> ARS News Service
> Agricultural Research Service, USDA
> Don Comis, (301) 504-1625,
> June 29, 1999
> Alfalfa has long been sold in health food stores but it's now on its way to
> becoming a manufacturer of mainstream medicines, thanks to a technique
> patented by the Agricultural Research Service for altering future plants
> through pollen. The technique, pollen electro-transformation, was first
> developed about seven years ago by Agricultural Research Service biochemists
> James A. Saunders and Benjamin F. Matthews in Beltsville, Md. ARS is the
> USDA's chief scientific arm.
> BTG International, Inc., in Gulph Mills, Pa., licensed the ARS technique in
> 1993. Now, BTG has granted a sub-license to Medicago Inc., Québec City,
> Québec, Canada, to create "pharmable" varieties of perennial forage legumes
> such as alfalfa and clover. In pharming, gene-engineered plants make
> medicinal ingredients that pharmaceutical firms can harvest or extract
> directly from plants. This may be less expensive than having microbes make
> the pharmaceuticals in fermentation vats.
> In electro-transformation, pollen receives an extremely brief electrical
> shock that moves the desired new genes into the pollen cells' genetic
> material. After this pollen is used to pollinate new flowers, the plants
> bear seeds coded for the new genes. This eliminates the tedium of nourishing
> gene-engineered cells into tiny plantlets in lab dishes and, ultimately,
> into seed-bearing plants. It also saves time and money. ARS and BTG
> scientists worked together to put the technology into practice for tobacco,
> corn and alfalfa.
> Medicago, Inc.--named for the alfalfa plant genus--plans on using the
> technique to create alfalfa varieties that produce enzymes, proteins and
> other compounds for human and animal medicines, vitamins, skin care
> products, food additives and other products. This is the latest sub-license
> from research agreements between ARS and BTG since 1993. Research agreements
> with BTG resulted in the ARS patent.
> BTG and ARS also have sub-licensing or option agreements with American
> Cyanamid Co., Princeton, N.J., for soybeans and sugarbeets; Sanford
> Scientific, Inc., Waterloo, N.Y., for ornamentals; and Okanagan
> Biotechnology, Inc., Summerland, B.C., Canada, for cherry, peach and other
> stone fruits. BTG officials are evaluating potential sub- licenses for other
> crops and uses.
> ----------
> Scientific contacts: James A. Saunders, ARS Climate Stress Laboratory,
> Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-7477, fax (301) 504-6626,
>; Benjamin F. Matthews, ARS Soybean and Alfalfa Research
> Laboratory, Beltsville, Md., phone (301) 504-5730, fax (301) 504-5320,
> ----------
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