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A New Form of Living Pollution-GMO's

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  • afuture 4all
    Take action to stop GMO s- go to www.truefoodnow.org A New Form of Living Pollution, Genetically Engineered Foods Pose Irrevocable Threats to the Environment
    Message 1 of 2 , Jul 31, 2001
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      Take action to stop GMO's- go to www.truefoodnow.org

      A New Form of Living Pollution, Genetically Engineered Foods Pose
      Irrevocable Threats to the Environment

      Source- www.truefoodnow.org

      Attention shoppers: If you have recently purchased food products containing
      soy, corn, canola (oilseed rape) or a wide range of other ingredients,
      chances are that you have consumed genetically engineered (GE) organisms.
      Biotechnology companies are producing increasing numbers of genetically
      engineered products--such as corn spliced with virus genes in the hope of
      creating disease resistance--and selling them to farmers all over the world.
      GE crops are alive, and once introduced into the natural world they can
      mutate, multiply and breed with surrounding life for generations to come.
      These organisms have the potential to wreak havoc on natural ecosystems and
      threaten human health, yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does
      not even require these foods to be labeled as such.

      What Is Genetic Engineering?

      For years, farmers have used the natural process of cross-breeding closely
      related species of plants in order to develop hybrids with certain desired
      traits. Genetic engineering takes the process out of the fields and into the
      laboratory by allowing scientists to cut out genes, or bits of a living
      organism's DNA, and splice them into totally unrelated species.
      Biotechnology companies have been selling U.S. farmers genetically
      engineered foods for nearly five years, releasing these new organisms into
      the environment and the food chain with inadequate testing or safeguards.

      A New Era of Biological Pollution

      Biological pollution from the introduction of genetically engineered
      organisms into the natural world may cause irreversible environmental
      damage. One major threat is the evolution and rampant spread of
      "superweeds"-undesirable plant species with a high tolerance for otherwise
      toxic chemicals. For instance, some GE crops such as Monsanto's "Roundup
      Ready" soybean, canola (oilseed rape), corn and cotton, have been engineered
      to withstand direct applications of herbicide. When these crops are
      introduced into the environment, the herbicide resistance gene can be
      transferred through pollen to surrounding plants. Once this occurs, farmers
      will have to run the "chemical treadmill," using increasingly higher levels
      of the herbicide or turning to new chemicals to prevent weeds from taking
      over the fields.

      "Superbugs" may also develop as a result of GE crops. This possibility is a
      particular concern in the case of the new "plant pesticide" crops that have
      been engineered to produce a bacterial toxin as they grow. Monsanto, for
      example, has engineered its New Leaf potato to contain Bacillus
      thuringiensis or Bt toxin genes. Bt is a pesticide permitted for emergency
      use by organic farmers, due to its relatively benign impact on the
      environment. As the New Leaf and other Bt crops are widely cultivated,
      insects will be increasingly exposed to the toxin and are likely to develop
      a tolerance to it very quickly, rendering Bt useless. In February 1999
      Greenpeace, along with over 70 other organizations, filed a lawsuit to force
      the Environmental Protection Agency to cancel the registration of all Bt
      plants and stop approving new registrations for such crops. If successful,
      the case will help protect both farmers and the environment.

      These environmental threats hint at the devastating nature of biological
      pollution. Once introduced into the environment, genetically engineered
      organisms can interact with other species, and have the potential to cause
      irreversible damage. Second only to loss of habitat, "exotic" plant and
      animal species introduced into ecosystems in which they did not evolve are
      already among the greatest threats to biodiversity. The release of
      genetically engineered organisms into the environment is likely to hasten
      this loss in diversity, possibly altering the natural balance beyond remedy.

      Human Health at Risk

      Regulatory authorities who have allowed the use and distribution of
      genetically engineered products, including the FDA, U.S. Department of
      Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rely
      solely on safety testing provided by biotechnology companies themselves. To
      date, these industry studies have been very limited in scope and duration.

      Possible health threats from GE foods include an increased risk of allergic
      reaction caused by the foreign proteins used as part of the genetic
      engineering process. Most engineered foods contain proteins that have never
      been tested for their allergenic potential.

      Another threat is an increased resistance to antibiotics. Biotechnology
      companies have continued to use genes for antibiotic resistance as "markers"
      to aid in the engineering process, despite warnings from medical experts. As
      the cultivation of GE crops increases, important antibiotics could be
      rendered useless.

      Fields of Greed

      Biotechnology companies would have you believe that the industry is
      motivated by such noble goals as bettering the environment, improving human
      health and alleviating world hunger. Yet the Union of Concerned Scientists
      found that in 93 percent of the cases it studied, the real goal of genetic
      food alterations is maximizing profits from industrial-scale food production
      and processing. Biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Novartis are
      pursuing these technologies to boost sales of their patented crops and
      related products, despite the threats posed by these risky genetic
      experiments.

      Let the Buyer Beware

      The fact that most genetically engineered products are not labeled can
      frustrate shoppers who want to buy unadulterated foods. Purchasing certified
      organic food as much as possible is the best strategy.

      When buying conventional, or non-organic produce, it can be hard to tell
      what products have been genetically engineered. One strategy is to talk to
      your grocer about suppliers' policies regarding genetically engineered
      foods.

      You can also try to avoid those foods that are most commonly subject to
      genetic engineering, such as conventional processed foods containing any of
      the following ingredients:


      Soy or soy products (about 60% of all processed foods contain soy, most
      commonly as soy lecithin, flour or oil).
      Corn (including corn syrups, cornstarch and oil).
      Canola oil.
      You should also scrutinize processed foods that contain potatoes or tomato
      products. Write to companies whose products you purchase and ask for their
      assurance that they will not use genetically altered ingredients. Dairy
      products are also a concern, as cows may have been given growth hormones.
      Look for a notice that the dairy is "rBGH (bovine growth hormone) Free," or
      buy organic.
      What You Can Do

      1. Buy organic. Thanks to written comments from over 275,000 outraged
      consumers the USDA was recently forced to withdraw a scandalous proposal for
      "organic standards" that would have included genetically engineered produce.
      This victory means that foods labeled organic will remain free from genetic
      engineering.

      2. In May 1998, a coalition of scientists, health professionals, consumers,
      farmers, chefs and religious leaders filed a lawsuit demanding that the FDA
      require labeling and safety testing of these experimental foods. Add your
      voice to the growing number of individuals demanding labeling of genetically
      engineered foods by writing to:

      Dr. Jane E. Henney, Commissioner
      Food and Drug Administration
      5600 Fishers Lane, HF-1
      Rockville, MD 20857
      fax: 301-443-3100



      _________________________________________________________________
      Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
    • afuture 4all
      Take action to stop GMO s- go to http://www.truefoodnow.org A New Form of Living Pollution, Genetically Engineered Foods Pose Irrevocable Threats to the
      Message 2 of 2 , Aug 3, 2001
      • 0 Attachment
        Take action to stop GMO's- go to http://www.truefoodnow.org


        A New Form of Living Pollution, Genetically Engineered Foods Pose
        Irrevocable Threats to the Environment

        Source- www.truefoodnow.org

        Attention shoppers: If you have recently purchased food products containing
        soy, corn, canola (oilseed rape) or a wide range of other ingredients,
        chances are that you have consumed genetically engineered (GE) organisms.
        Biotechnology companies are producing increasing numbers of genetically
        engineered products--such as corn spliced with virus genes in the hope of
        creating disease resistance--and selling them to farmers all over the world.
        GE crops are alive, and once introduced into the natural world they can
        mutate, multiply and breed with surrounding life for generations to come.
        These organisms have the potential to wreak havoc on natural ecosystems and
        threaten human health, yet the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does
        not even require these foods to be labeled as such.

        What Is Genetic Engineering?

        For years, farmers have used the natural process of cross-breeding closely
        related species of plants in order to develop hybrids with certain desired
        traits. Genetic engineering takes the process out of the fields and into the
        laboratory by allowing scientists to cut out genes, or bits of a living
        organism's DNA, and splice them into totally unrelated species.
        Biotechnology companies have been selling U.S. farmers genetically
        engineered foods for nearly five years, releasing these new organisms into
        the environment and the food chain with inadequate testing or safeguards.

        A New Era of Biological Pollution

        Biological pollution from the introduction of genetically engineered
        organisms into the natural world may cause irreversible environmental
        damage. One major threat is the evolution and rampant spread of
        "superweeds"-undesirable plant species with a high tolerance for otherwise
        toxic chemicals. For instance, some GE crops such as Monsanto's "Roundup
        Ready" soybean, canola (oilseed rape), corn and cotton, have been engineered
        to withstand direct applications of herbicide. When these crops are
        introduced into the environment, the herbicide resistance gene can be
        transferred through pollen to surrounding plants. Once this occurs, farmers
        will have to run the "chemical treadmill," using increasingly higher levels
        of the herbicide or turning to new chemicals to prevent weeds from taking
        over the fields.

        "Superbugs" may also develop as a result of GE crops. This possibility is a
        particular concern in the case of the new "plant pesticide" crops that have
        been engineered to produce a bacterial toxin as they grow. Monsanto, for
        example, has engineered its New Leaf potato to contain Bacillus
        thuringiensis or Bt toxin genes. Bt is a pesticide permitted for emergency
        use by organic farmers, due to its relatively benign impact on the
        environment. As the New Leaf and other Bt crops are widely cultivated,
        insects will be increasingly exposed to the toxin and are likely to develop
        a tolerance to it very quickly, rendering Bt useless. In February 1999
        Greenpeace, along with over 70 other organizations, filed a lawsuit to force
        the Environmental Protection Agency to cancel the registration of all Bt
        plants and stop approving new registrations for such crops. If successful,
        the case will help protect both farmers and the environment.

        These environmental threats hint at the devastating nature of biological
        pollution. Once introduced into the environment, genetically engineered
        organisms can interact with other species, and have the potential to cause
        irreversible damage. Second only to loss of habitat, "exotic" plant and
        animal species introduced into ecosystems in which they did not evolve are
        already among the greatest threats to biodiversity. The release of
        genetically engineered organisms into the environment is likely to hasten
        this loss in diversity, possibly altering the natural balance beyond remedy.

        Human Health at Risk

        Regulatory authorities who have allowed the use and distribution of
        genetically engineered products, including the FDA, U.S. Department of
        Agriculture (USDA) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), rely
        solely on safety testing provided by biotechnology companies themselves. To
        date, these industry studies have been very limited in scope and duration.

        Possible health threats from GE foods include an increased risk of allergic
        reaction caused by the foreign proteins used as part of the genetic
        engineering process. Most engineered foods contain proteins that have never
        been tested for their allergenic potential.

        Another threat is an increased resistance to antibiotics. Biotechnology
        companies have continued to use genes for antibiotic resistance as "markers"
        to aid in the engineering process, despite warnings from medical experts. As
        the cultivation of GE crops increases, important antibiotics could be
        rendered useless.

        Fields of Greed

        Biotechnology companies would have you believe that the industry is
        motivated by such noble goals as bettering the environment, improving human
        health and alleviating world hunger. Yet the Union of Concerned Scientists
        found that in 93 percent of the cases it studied, the real goal of genetic
        food alterations is maximizing profits from industrial-scale food production
        and processing. Biotechnology companies like Monsanto and Novartis are
        pursuing these technologies to boost sales of their patented crops and
        related products, despite the threats posed by these risky genetic
        experiments.

        Let the Buyer Beware

        The fact that most genetically engineered products are not labeled can
        frustrate shoppers who want to buy unadulterated foods. Purchasing certified
        organic food as much as possible is the best strategy.

        When buying conventional, or non-organic produce, it can be hard to tell
        what products have been genetically engineered. One strategy is to talk to
        your grocer about suppliers' policies regarding genetically engineered
        foods.

        You can also try to avoid those foods that are most commonly subject to
        genetic engineering, such as conventional processed foods containing any of
        the following ingredients:


        Soy or soy products (about 60% of all processed foods contain soy, most
        commonly as soy lecithin, flour or oil).
        Corn (including corn syrups, cornstarch and oil).
        Canola oil.
        You should also scrutinize processed foods that contain potatoes or tomato
        products. Write to companies whose products you purchase and ask for their
        assurance that they will not use genetically altered ingredients. Dairy
        products are also a concern, as cows may have been given growth hormones.
        Look for a notice that the dairy is "rBGH (bovine growth hormone) Free," or
        buy organic.
        What You Can Do

        1. Buy organic. Thanks to written comments from over 275,000 outraged
        consumers the USDA was recently forced to withdraw a scandalous proposal for
        "organic standards" that would have included genetically engineered produce.
        This victory means that foods labeled organic will remain free from genetic
        engineering.

        2. In May 1998, a coalition of scientists, health professionals, consumers,
        farmers, chefs and religious leaders filed a lawsuit demanding that the FDA
        require labeling and safety testing of these experimental foods. Add your
        voice to the growing number of individuals demanding labeling of genetically
        engineered foods by writing to:

        Dr. Jane E. Henney, Commissioner
        Food and Drug Administration
        5600 Fishers Lane, HF-1
        Rockville, MD 20857
        fax: 301-443-3100

        Take action to stop GMO's- go to http://www.truefoodnow.org


        _________________________________________________________________
        Get your FREE download of MSN Explorer at http://explorer.msn.com/intl.asp
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