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-FLYING JELLYFISH

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  • Robert Cohen
    The Flying Jellyfish Monsanto s genetically engineered cow milk hormone was the first of many genetically engineered products to be introduced into America s
    Message 1 of 1 , Feb 10, 2001
      The Flying Jellyfish

      Monsanto's genetically engineered cow milk hormone
      was the first of many genetically engineered products to
      be introduced into America's food supply. That bovine
      growth hormone was approved under great controversy
      and protest. This summer, those protests will continue,
      and today's news should fuel the fires of discontent.

      As a ten-year-old monster movie fan, I remember a
      favorite film in which a giant moth rescued two 6"
      tall twin singing fairy sisters. The creature's name was
      Mothra, and to the best of my memory, this giant moth
      either flatulated or burped out a most horrible poisonous
      yellow gas that ended up killing Godzilla.

      We have a new monster about to be released in
      America. Today it's resting in larva form and
      tomorrow this genetically engineered monstrosity
      may take over your city.

      The summer, 4,000 genetically engineered moths will
      be released in a three acre cotton field in Arizona.
      These moths are super eaters, having been
      modified by the insertion of jellyfish genes
      inside of their own genetic material.

      The scientists running this experiment have
      sterilized the moths, and will conduct their test in
      a sealed puncture-proof building.

      I spoke with the architect of this experiment, Thomas Miller
      of the Department of Entomology, University of California.
      We spoke about genetic engineering and our current
      state of knowledge. Dr. Miller told me:

      "We've got a runaway freight train with no engineer,
      and precautions have to be taken."

      Dr. Miller was quick to paraphrase Rachel Carson,
      who said something like:

      "I'm not against pesticides, I'm just against the way they are used."

      Field trials will be conducted in test fields, and I am convinced
      that Dr. Miller is doing all that he can to prevent even one
      moth, however sterile, from leaving its temperature
      controlled test environment. I am also reminded of the Juraissic
      Park scientist who predicted of monsters to come by warning:

      "Nature finds a way."

      The pink bollworm loves to munch on cotton plants.
      Immune to many pesticides, this nightmare of a bug
      has caused many cotton pickers to go bankrupt.
      The genetically modified insects contain a
      fluorescent protein derived from jellyfish which
      makes the moths grow green under ultraviolet
      light.

      In speaking with Dr. Miller, I did learn that the
      funding for his research was not provided by
      a pharmaceutical company. The cotton industry
      was the sponsor. The patent and bugs now
      belong to the University of California. Dr. Miller
      and the cotton industry are seeking an alternative to
      the terrifying levels of pesticides now being used to
      treat crops. Will their research and discoveries
      prove to be a plus or minus for mankind?

      Should you wish to reach Dr. Miller, here is his
      EMAIL address and website. He's a nice guy, so
      please be respectful: thomas.miller@...

      http://www.faculty.ucr.edu/~chmeliar/miller_home/home.html

      Robert Cohen
      http://www.notmilk.com
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