GENTECH archive


Re: On the Subject of Organic Foods and Seed Segragation

On Tuesday, May 09, 2000 Roberto Verzola wrote:

> >*For all activists, once again;
> >"There is no evidence that genetically modified crops are inherently more
> >dangerous than their conventionally bred counterparts"
> >
> >Before arguing again about specific crops/micro-organisms one should
> >that generalizations (ie extending the results to a whole class of
> >organisms) are often wrong.
>Heine, but this is exactly what the industry does with GM food: they
>did two or three actual short-term feeding tests of Bt toxin on
>rats/mice, found no problems, and generalized the results to all
>mammals including humans. So now you can see everywhere industry
>claims that the Bt toxin is not harmful to mammals, though they did a
>few tests only on rats/mice and none on mammals who will actually
>consume the Bt corn, like swine, cattle and human beings.

Here you fall again in the generalization trap; "this is exactly what the
industry does with GM food", while you complain about the lack of studies on
Bt toxin.

Several feeding studies can be found using Pubmed Central and even feeding
studies with whole Bacillus thuringiensis have been done (note the number of
other cytotoxic proteins Bt makes). Knowledge of the Bt toxin used in most
plants is not very extensive but probably sufficient (I did not check
FDA/EPA reports). In pubmed central you can find articles dealing with the
immunogenicity of Bt toxin, the changes in microvilli in rat's ileum due to
toxin exposure etc etc.

The second (implicit) assumption in your argument is a questionable one; if
industry does something that is wrong, it is not automatically allowed or
good to do the same thing wrong.


Heine J. Deelstra