Genetically Manipulated Food News

10 August 98

Table of Contents

Genetically engineered foods debate sows seeds of discontent
African Scientists Condemn Monsanto's Latest Tactics and Call for European Support:
Dorset Farmers advised to avoid Genetically Modified Oilseed Rape
Labelling Petition Online
Biotechnology Morgan Stanley analyst Doug Lind 07/31/98
Open Letter to Monsanto's Robert Shapiro
Let Nature's Harvest Continue
US Children Used to Test Crop Genetic Engineering?
Gene Potatoes Damage Rats' Immune Systems

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Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:36:47 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

(This article can also be accessed at the website http://www.thelancet.com/newlancet/reg/issues/vol352no9125 by first registering as a non-subscriber at http://www.thelancet.com )

Genetically engineered foods debate sows seeds of discontent

by Angela Pirisi, From the Lancet, Vol 352, # 9125, Aug 1, 1998, pp. 380

The issue of genetically engineered foods has given way to heated debates globally over scientific ethics, health and environmental dangers, and labelling laws. And now added to an already morally loaded discussion is the issue of freedom of speech. At a recent public information session on genetic food engineering presented in Ottawa, Canada, attendants were incensed to find that the federal government agency Health Canada had forbidden one of its outspoken scientists, Shiv Chopra, to speak at the event.

Genetically engineered or not?

Richard Wolfson, event organisor and leader of the Consumer Right To Know Campaign in Ottawa, called the action a "gag order". Not only is the public being denied consumer choice regarding unlabelled "mutant foods", he said, but also denied is "access to critical information from scientists with an insider's perspective on genetic engineering and its implications". The general suspicion is that the order comes in the wake of Chopra's last public appearance on a television news show, after which he was reprimanded for commenting that money belied government approval of substances such as bovine growth hormone and that biotech companies held both the purse and the puppet strings.

But the gag order is only a drop in the deluge of accusations about corporate tyranny. In the USA, two investigative reporters accused Fox Television of succumbing to pressures from the biotech company Monsanto after it lobbied to pull or heavily edit a story about bovine growth hormone. After refusing hush money and being fired last December, one of the reporters, Steve Wilson, wrote in The Nation, "We believe that what happened to us should raise concern not only about the rapidly decreasing number of companies that control our media but also about the true character and motivation of those who seek to use the public airwaves to enhance their corporate bottom lines".

Among scientists, many question how rigorous governments are in their testing requirements for biotech products. Margaret Mellon, director of agriculture and biotechnology for the Union of Concerned Scientists warned in a recent issue of Pesticide & Toxic Chemical News that agricultural biotechnology is "not a miracle technology. It's had lots of mistakes. It's an expensive technology that's problematic".

Besides, who can possibly predict long-term effects? Byron P Rigby, president of the Australian Association of Ayurvedic Medicine, recently wrote in the Australian newspaper, Living Now, that biotechnology makes Chernobyl, "mad-cow" disease, and cane toads pale in comparison, given its "completely imponderable effects". Now the question remains, how much are countries willing to gamble for a softer bread crust or a firmer tomato?


Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:36:47 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

From: Tanya Green tanya@gaianet.org (by way of allsorts allsorts@gn.apc.org)

PRESS RELEASE ** IMMEDIATE RELEASE - 3rd August 1998

African Scientists Condemn Monsanto's Latest Tactics and Call for European Support:

Monsanto at the weekend published an advertisement as part of its controversial £1 million advertising campaign. The ad is to persuade the European public that biotech will feed the world's growing population.

More than 24 leading African agriculturalists and environmental scientists representing their countries at the UN _ have issued a statement to counter Monsanto's arguments. They say Monsanto is using the poor to emotionally blackmail sceptical Europeans by making claims that which are blatantly untrue and unproven.

"We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves."

The African statement calls on Europeans and others to stand in solidarity to resist the gene technology, especially the Terminator Technology_ which destroys the capacity of seed to reproduce itself.

"This is a crime against nature and humanity and should be resisted and terminated" said Dr. Tewolde Gebre Egziabher of Ethiopia. Prof. Wangari Mathai of the Green Belt Movement Kenya said: "History has many records of crimes against humanity, which were also justified by dominant commercial interests and governments of the day. Despite protests from citizens, social justice for the common good was eroded in favour of private profits. Today, patenting of life forms and the genetic engineering which it stimulates, is being justified on the grounds that it will benefit society, especially the poor, by providing better and more food and medicine. But in fact, by monopolising the 'raw' biological materials, the development of other options is deliberately blocked. Farmers therefore, become totally dependent on the corporations for seeds".

Others from developing countries are watching developments with extreme concern. Dr. Vandana Shiva of the Research Foundation for Science and Technology says: "Monsanto's technologies are not environment friendly, or sustainable. They pose a threat to ecosystems and agriculture. Monsanto's technologies will push Bangladeshi peasants into debt as they have to spend more money on herbicides, seeds, royalties and technology fees. This rising indebtedness of farmers is intrinsic to industrial agriculture and is the reason why only 2 per cent farmers survive in the U.S. and thousands of farmers have committed suicide in India".

The African statement comes amid growing controversy in the UK over genetically engineered crops. Many groups are now supporting calls for a 5 year moratorium on the commercial growing and sale of genetically engineered crops. A recent survey of the guardians of middle England, the members of the National Federation of Women's Institutes showed that 92.9% of those surveyed felt that more control should be exercised over the multinational companies involved! France ordered a moratorium on GE crops this week and Grameen Bank in Bangladesh withdrew support for it's planned partnership with Monsanto because of environmental concerns.

Enclosures for Editors:

  1. Monsanto's Ad published 1st August in The Independent/ 2ndAugust in The Observer
  2. African Statement "Let natures harvest CONTINUE!"
  3. Communiqué from the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) on Terminator Technology developed by Delta and Pine Land Co now owned by Monsanto.
  4. Copy of the Survey by the National Federation of Women's Institutes
  5. Article by Prof. Wangari Mathai The Linkage between Patenting of Life Forms, Genetic Engineering and Food Insecurity.

FOR MORE INFORMATION - please contact:

  1. Tanya Green, The Gaia Foundation: Tel: 0171 435 5000
  2. Dr. Vandana Shiva, India, Tel: 00 91 11 6855010
  3. Dr. Tewolde Gebre Egziabher, Ethiopia. Tel: 00251 1 186 197 (office) 00 251 1 204 210
  4. Prof. Wangari Maathai, Kenya Tel: 00 254 2 603867
  5. Dr. Jose Lutzenburger, Brazil Tel: 55 513 303 567

Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 10:37:01 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

Dorset Farmers advised to avoid Genetically Modified Oilseed Rape

Press release from: "NLP Wessex" nlpwessex@bigfoot.com 3 August 1998

Sections:
GM Oilseed rape results reveal poor performance
Farmers misled
Testing system doctored to suit GM crops
GM varieties lose farmers money
Food safety dangers
Notes for Editors


GM Oilseed rape results reveal poor performance

The Natural Law Party is advising farmers in Dorset that they should avoid growing genetically modified oilseed rape next year, in the event that government consent for the crop is granted. The Natural Law Party has discovered results of trials in Canada showing genetically modified (GM) varieties are being out-performed by conventional non-modified varieties, despite being approved for official seed registration lists.

Information obtained by the Natural Law Party confirms that GM oilseed rape has not been scoring high enough points in standard performance tests to get onto officially approved seed lists in Canada. In order to overcome this problem the approval committee concerned has had to change the scoring system, and has only succeeded in getting approval for GM rape varieties by awarding special bonus points which do not relate to crop output.

Farmers misled

The Natural Law Party has criticised the Canadian authorities for altering the rules in order to artificially promote GM products when they are agronomically inferior to non-modified varieties, particularly when farmers rely on the official listings for guidance on which crops to grow. Harvested GM oilseed rape in Canada is showing falls in yields of up to 21% compared to traditional varieties.

According to Mark Griffiths, Leader of the Wessex Natural Law Party and NLP national Environment spokesman,"This is a disgraceful state of affairs. Farmers in Dorset and other arable areas of the UK are being pressurised by biotechnology companies to follow their colleagues in North America and plunge into growing GM crops. They are claiming that this is necessary for UK agriculture to remain competitive on world markets. The evidence in this case is that exactly the opposite it is true. The official approvals system is being manipulated to cover this up."

Testing system doctored to suit GM crops

In order to be included in approved seed lists in Canada oilseed rape varieties are evaluated on the basis of their agronomic value. Merit scores are awarded for yield, disease resistance, earliness etc. To be accepted varieties have to score more than 108 points. In this case GM oilseed rape varieties were found by the approval committee to be "not agronomically as good as the check cultivars" and failed to score the necessary points.

However, the committee (which includes representatives from plant breeders and seed growers) decided to change the scoring system to accommodate the GM varieties and awarded them additional bonus points. This extra score allowed a number of Liberty Link cultivars (bred by AgrEvo) and one Round Up Ready cultivar (bred by Monsanto) to be registered in 1995.

The official reason given for changing the system was "the demand and desirability of the herbicide tolerant trait" for which the varieties had been genetically engineered. However, herbicide tolerant crops can lead to considerable rotation management problems, particularly in relation to the control of subsequent herbicide tolerant 'volunteers' and 'superweeds'. AgrEvo has already admitted this will lead to farmers becoming reliant on a wider range of their herbicides in the longer term.

GM varieties lose farmers money

Earlier this year a director of the Ontario Canola (Rape) Growers Association revealed that yields on his farm from Monsanto's Round Up Ready rape seed had fallen to 2.2t/ha compared with a 2.6 - 2.8/ha average for traditional varieties, with no savings in net costs.

"The actual performance of these crops exposes the misleading and entirely subjective basis on which the seed approval system for GM rape has itself been modified. Farmers are being hit by this misinformation directly where it hurts most - in their pockets," adds Mr Griffiths.

Food safety dangers

However, the wider implications of the situation are even more serious believes a concerned Mr Griffiths: "What this experience reveals is that the biotechnology 'experts' are not in control of their science. By engineering one trait they are inadvertently disrupting other aspects of the plant's functioning, which has lead to lower yields in this particular case. But how long will it be before the inherently random techniques used in this technology also trigger a change in plant gene expression which is damaging to human health? The whole approach is 'suck it and see' and unscientific, and that is completely unacceptable when we are dealing with global food security."

The UK government is currently deliberating whether or not to allow the first GM oilseed rape crops to be grown in Britain in 1999. The Natural Law Party, now established in over 70 countries around the world (including all 15 EU nations), is seeking a global ban on genetically modified food because of the uncontainable dangers to human health and the environment.

Notes for Editors:

  1. More information on the dangers of genetically engineered food and agronomic problems of GM crops is available from the Wessex Natural Law Party Web site at www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex .

  2. Mark Griffiths was NLP candidate for West Dorset in the 1997 General Election, and is a Chartered Surveyor with over 20 years agricultural land management experience in the UK and overseas. He can be contacted on 01962 852122.

  3. Details of rape approvals in Canada relate to the activities of the Western Canada Canola and Rapeseed Recommending Committee (WCC/RRC), reported at a workshop meeting of FACTT 11th December 1997.

    FACTT (Familiarisation and Acceptance of Crops incorporating Transgenic Technology) is a body funded by the European Commission and partner organisations in the agricultural sector. Plant Genetic Systems (Belgium), a subsidiary of European biotechnology and agro-chemical company AgrEvo, is the co-ordinator of FACTT. FACTT has a total budget of 3.6 ECU of which 1.6 million is provided by the Commission.

    FACTT can be contacted in the UK through Dr Paul Meakin, Home Grown Cereals Authority, 0171 263 3391.

  4. Ralph Baumlisberger, Director of the Ontario Canola Growers Association, reported reduced GM oilseed rape yields in the UK's "Farmers Weekly", 10 April 1998 (p.14).

Date: Sat, 8 Aug 1998 21:09:05 -0500
From: John Butler johnbutler@boone.net (by way of Soil Technologies)
From: Ekkehart Ekkehart@compuserve.com
Date: Friday, August 07, 1998 9:46 AM

Labelling Petition Online

-------------Forwarded Message-----------------

Mothers for Natural Law has put its petition for mandatory labeling of genetically engineered food online at

http://www.safe-food.org/-campaign/petition.html

We would like to get the word out to everyone in America! Please help us by forwarding the message below to as many people as you can.

-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-

August 4, 1998

An Urgent Message to all Environmentally and Socially Responsible Americans

Right now over 60% of the foods in your local stores contain genetically engineered organisms. Hormones, viruses, bacteria, substances that have never been part of the human food supply now permeate the foods we eat every day. Everything from pizza to chips; soda to baby formula.

There have been no studies or long-term safety testing of these foods. Even worse, none of these foods are labeled so we are denied the basic parental right to choose what we are feeding our families.

Meanwhile, doctors and scientists all over the world are voicing grave concerns about genetically engineered foods, and entire countries are banning them from their borders.

What are they worried about? Allergic reactions, increased estrogen levels, rise in breast and prostate cancer, the creation of super bacteria, the spread of toxic viruses, and much more.

Where do genetically engineered foods come from? They are the brainchild of the same industry that brought us DDT, Agent Orange, and Thalidomide ...

Today these same companies are short-circuiting standards for responsible labeling and testing of the foods we eat. More successfully than any other lobby, they have managed to inhibit the only means of protection consumers have: government regulation and consumer choice.

To get a feel for the depth of the genetic engineering crisis, consider this: The biotech industry is well on the way to controlling development, production and processing of our global seed supply. And if they make a mistake, it cannot be fixed - genetic pollution cannot be contained or cleaned up. It will last as long as there is life on earth.

Mothers for Natural Law is sponsoring a nation-wide Right to Know Campaign. Our immediate goal is to collect 1,000,000 names to a petition demanding truthful labeling of genetically engineered foods by Thanksgiving.

How can you jump in?

I urge you to step forward to protect the integrity of our planet and safeguard the future for our children.

Sincerely,

Laura Ticciati
Executive Director, Mothers for Natural Law

Mothers for Natural law is a non-profit educational organization coordinating a national public awareness campaign on the dangers of genetically engineered foods and the national coordinator for the Consumer Right to Know - One Million in 98 - Campaign.

Mothers for Natural law
P.O. Box 1177 - Fairfield, Iowa 52556
Phone 515-472-2809 - Fax 515-472-2683
mothers@safe-food.org www.safe-food.org


Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:47:50 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

Biotechnology Morgan Stanley analyst Doug Lind 07/31/98

Reporter Hyperbole Check Report on Business Magazine The Globe and Mail Page 14

The Hype- In the early '90s, smart, agile biotech companies were the new Merlins: From drugs to treat cancer and AIDS, to building a better pig, or customizing microbes to eat oil spills, they promised miracles of the medical, environmental and, especially, financial variety. In 1991, more than 100 biotech companies went public in the United States alone, and Canadian companies like Cangene Corp., Biomira Inc., BioChem Pharma Inc. and Allelix Biopharmaceuticals Inc. were golden. That year, biotech was the best-performing sector among U.S. equity mutuals, with an average return of 74%. This rosy scenario led analysts like Michael Jams of Dlouhy Investments to assert, "The thinking is that the way to make money is to buy biotech stocks. This is the hot new sector of the '90s."

The reality Since 1991, biotech has been on a roller coaster, crashing in '92, perking slightly in '94 and flat-lining in '97. Over all, the sector has fired more blanks than silver bullets. The research, development and marketing of new pharmaceutical products is a lengthy, capital-intensive, oft-delayed process, and the gap between the blue sky and the blue Viagra pill on the cover of Time has turned out to be too great for impatient investors in an overheated market.

To wit:

Most products will fail, and many companies will fail. There will be big winners and big losers, but the net effect will probably be dead-in-the-water zero growth."


Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:47:50 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

Posted by: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk (jim mcnulty)

Open Letter to Monsanto's Robert Shapiro

From Salil Shetty, Chief Executive of Action Aid
The Observer [UK] Sunday 9th AUGUST 98.

Dear Robert Shapiro

In last Sunday's Observer, Monsanto, of which you are chairman and chief executive, claimed that food biotechnology will feed 'starving future generations'. This was the latest installment in your company's £1 million advertising campaign aimed at convincing the public that genetically engineered crops will benefit the world. But your company is wrong. Rather than reducing world hunger, genetic engineering is likely to exacerbate it.

My major concern is that the biotech 'solution' being promoted by Monsanto will have a devastating impact on the world's poorest people. Your advert claims 'it is the 'responsible way' to provide food for the next century. I believe the 'Monsanto way' is to make small farmers dependent on your products. This will lead to the decline of sustainable farming, denying farmers their right to use appropriate farming methods to produce their own safe food.

Your company has bought the technology to produce genetically engineered seeds which are sterile and can only be grown for one year. This 'development' will deprive farmers of their right to collect and grow their own seeds freely. As natural varieties die out, farmers will be forced to buy new genetically engineered seeds every year and their current efforts to save and breed their own seeds will be totally undermined. Farmers will be caught in a vicious circle, increasingly dependent on a small number of multinationals, such as Monsanto, for their survival.

For twenty five years Action Aid has been listening to poor farmers and supporting their efforts to maintain sustainable farming. Even though the world's population is growing, we know it produces enough food for all - food mountains are evidence of this. It is the inequitable distribution of food that is keeping millions hungry.

Finally, your advertising campaign completely fails to mention the very significant risks involved in releasing genetically engineered crops into the natural enviroment. Your advert states that that the implications of biotechnology are 'massive'. I agree.

Monsanto could be responsible for introducing a new enemy to developing countries. If crops are genetically engineered to be resistant to weed killer, they may cross-pollinate with 'wild species' to produce 'super weeds' which cannot be controlled.

The truth is, Mr Shapiro, that genetically engineered crops will a 'better way forward' for Monsanto's profits, but could be huge step backwards for the world's poor.

Salil Shetty is chief executive of Action Aid.


Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:47:50 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

Let Nature's Harvest Continue

Statement from all the African delegates (except South Africa) to FAO negotiations on the International Undertaking for Plant Genetic Resources, June 1998; due to be published in the European media in late July 1998

(Document begins) During the past few weeks European citizens have been exposed to an aggressive publicity campaign in major European newspapers trying to convince the reader that the world needs genetic engineering to feed the hungry. Organised and financed by Monsanto, one of the world's biggest chemical companies, and titled "Let the Harvest Begin", this campaign gives a totally distorted and misleading picture of the potential of genetic engineering to feed developing countries.

We, the undersigned delegates of African countries participating in the 5th Extraordinary Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources, 8 - 12 June 1998, Rome, strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly, nor economically beneficial to us.

It is time to look at some of the facts about the company behind this campaign:

Monsanto is one of the world's largest pesticide companies. During the past two years only it spent over US$6000 million to take control over other seed and biotechnology companies and is now the major industrial player in this field. Its major focus is not to protect the environment, but to develop crops that can resist higher doses of its best-selling chemical weedkiller "Roundup".

Rather than stretching a helping hand to farmers, Monsanto threatens them with lawsuits and jail. In the USA, the company employs detectives to find and bring to court those farmers that save Monsanto soybean seeds for next year's planting. Backed by patent law, the company demands the rights to inspect the farmers' fields to check whether they practise agriculture according to Monsanto conditions and with Monsanto chemicals.

Rather than developing technology that feeds the world, Monsanto uses genetic engineering to stop farmers from replanting seed and further develop their agricultural systems. It has spent US$18000 million to buy a company owning a patent on what has become known as Terminator Technology: seed that can be planted only once and dies in the second generation. The only aim of this technology is to force farmers back to the Monsanto shop every year, and to destroy an age old practice of local seed saving that forms the basis of food security in our countries.

In "Let the Harvest Begin" the Europeans are asked to give an unconditional green light to gene technology so that chemical corporations such as Monsanto can start harvesting their profits from it. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves.

In particular, we will not accept the use of Terminator or other gene technologies that kill the capacity of our farmers to grow the food we need. We invite European citizens to stand in solidarity with Africa in resisting these gene technologies so that our diverse and natural harvests can continue and grow.

We agree and accept that mutual help is needed to further improve agricultural production in our countries. We also believe that Western science can contribute to this. But it should be done on the basis of understanding and respect for what is already there. It should be building on local knowledge, rather than replacing and destroying it. And most importantly: it should address the real needs of our people, rather than serving only to swell the pockets and control of giant industrial corporations.

NAME:

Additional statement by Zimbabwean delegate:

"Africa should not be used as a testing ground for technologies and products which have been developed elsewhere. We reserve our sovereign right to test these technologies ourselves, examine their effectiveness and compatibility to the environment in our region."


Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:47:50 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

US Children Used to Test Crop Genetic Engineering?

by Prof. Joe Cummins e-mail jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

Many list members will recollect that I have written a number of articles about the use of Cauliflower Mosaic Virus (CaMV) genes in crop genetic engineering. The clear majority if not all, the genetically engineered crops now being sold use an essential gene, called a promoter, from CaMV to make their for herbicide tolerance, insect resistance, etc. work.

The virus gene takes over an essential function that makes the foreign active in the genetically engineered crop. The CaMV genes were not tested for their safety in humans and there are valid concerns about the impact of such genes and their recombination with other viruses.

A recently published experiment raises disturbing questions about government and academic approval of experiments using human subjects. The article "Pathogen transmission in child care settings studied by using cauliflower virus DNA as a surrogate marker" Jiang,X et.al J.Infect. Dis. 177,881-8,1998 April used CaMV DNA to study pathogen transmission from "sensitized" article such as toys to infants and children child care homes and child care centers in Virginia.

The DNA was stable for over a month in the child environment. Toddlers were found to spread CaMV more efficiently than infants and hand touching was found to be the main source of DNA spread. CaMV was spread from the child care center to the children's homes.

The experiment really follows epidemiological studies of disease bacteria and virus spread in child care environments. The experiments do not contribute a great deal to the study of disease spread in child care environments but they are most valuable to the crop genetic engineering industry, who will use such experiments in the safety evaluation of genetically engineered crops.

The industry will not flaunt such child-infant experiments to the public, but in the back rooms where governments evaluate the safety of crops the experiment provides a piece of evidence to please the needs of huge multinational companies who control patents and production of genetically engineered crops.

However, the use of CaMV DNA with children and infants does entail significant risks that seem to have been ignored by the researchers. A growing body of research shows that DNA taken up by injection (or through cuts and abrasions) or breathed through the nose associated with dust like particulate can trigger production of the protein products of the gene that then trigger allergy .

Spreading virus DNA in public places is likely promote recombination of the virus genes to create novel and threatening virus pathogens but the point is that there is little or no laboratory experimentation to allow judgement as weather or not the experiment is safe or very unsafe. The published experiments show that government and academe accept the principle governing crop genetic engineering that everything is safe until it has been proven to have created a disaster. The United States is plumbing the depths of the third Reich by allowing infants and children to be experimented on.


Date: Mon, 10 Aug 1998 09:47:50 -0500
From: Richard Wolfson

Gene Potatoes Damage Rats' Immune Systems

Nigel Hawkes on new evidence about dangers of genetically modified food
Times (london) August 10 1998 BRITAIN Line

GENETICALLY modified potatoes can damage the immune systems of rats, a research project in Aberdeen has discovered.

Professor Arpad Puztai, of the Rowett Research Institute, will say on tonight's World in Action on ITV that he will not eat genetically-modifed crops until they have undergone at least as exhaustive a trial. "If I had the choice I would certainly not eat it until I see at least comparable experimental evidence," he says.

The trials have been carried out on potatoes carrying genes from both the snowdrop and the jackbean. The genes are responsible for producing proteins called lectins, which protect the parent plants from aphid and nematode attack. Potatoes resistant to these pests could be valuable.

But lectins are known to damage immune-system cells, so the feeding experiments with rats were designed to see if the damage occurred when the lectins were present in the potatoes. In the case of the snowdrop lectin, no such effect was observed, but the jackbean lectin did suppress the immune system.

_________________________________________________________

Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign, for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596 email: rwolfson@concentric.net

Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html contains more information on genetic engineering as well as previous genetic engineering news items Subscription fee to genetic engineering news is $35 for 12 months See website for details.

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