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   PastimesGenetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)

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To: Arthur Radley who wrote (66)9/16/1999 5:47:00 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
The latest issue of MIT tech review,
Sept/Oct has the batch of letters to
the editor that go with the "Biotech
goes Wild" article.

I found a couple good thoughts:

One fellow suggested that pest susceptibility
genes are being squandered...there was a longer
letter from the president of BIO...another
letter writer mentioned the food distribution
network as being the real problem behind feeding
the world...and the letter that stood out the
most suggested that "Any kind of agricultural
'green revolution' which is not accompanied by
effective population control merely resets the
limiting parameters at higher levels and enables
countries with a large proportion of starving
citizens to increase the absolute numbers of
starving people". That last one was from P.L.
Abplanalp, a professor of anatomy.

Very good letters all, and folks might check out
both issues.

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (67)9/16/1999 7:22:00 AM
From: Arthur Radley
   of 103
Forgetting all the external issues related to this, but a lot of merit goes with what this writer said....
""Any kind of agricultural
'green revolution' which is not accompanied by
effective population control merely resets the
limiting parameters at higher levels and enables
countries with a large proportion of starving
citizens to increase the absolute numbers of
starving people"

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (67)10/7/1999 8:20:00 AM
From: Arthur Radley
   of 103
Front page article in today's WSJ
"Food Fright....biotech scare sweeps Europe, and Companies Wonder if US is Next"
Hain Food labels its snacks as free of Genetic Engineering; other firms may follow...
Veggie Burgers Feel the Heat.

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To: LLCF who wrote (63)10/22/1999 8:59:00 PM
From: Gordon A. Langston
   of 103

An ed-op piece on genetic engineering and ethics.

Particularly interesting was the final sentence by world famous neurosurgeon, Charles Wilson,

At the end of the day, Wilson, still enthusiastic, was also chastened by the hours of intense
discussion. "We really are on a collision course," he said. "We have been given all these things that
we will not be able to handle in any rational, thoughtful, considered, ethical way. I find that sad."

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote ()11/28/1999 7:59:00 PM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
FDA GMO website including
Public Meetings on Bioengineered Foods

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (71)11/30/1999 8:18:00 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
Genetically modified food and Mr. Rifkin

See "Antibiotech Effort Bloomed Despite
Little Funding and Lack of Consensus"

This Rifkin fella seems a bit over the top, maybe
way over the top judging by the quote the Journal
got from him (GMO foods, with respect to new
technology, will become "the single greatest failure
in the history of capitalism...")

Don't get me wrong--I'm all for organic, and only
partly because I can afford it. But if GMO foods
reduce the use of pesticides and herbicides, then
what is not to like. That is oversimplifying it, but
that is the main point to GMO I think.

I am certainly aware of the balance between living
cheap and living well, I'd love to have a private
vegetable garden from which I could pick nothing but
organic fresh veggies, but I seem to remember from
my last garden that it was quite a battle with pests,
you can expect some veggies to fail. That is unacceptable
if you want to feed the world.

Do people really worry about feeding the world--I could
afford to go totally non-GMO and also organic, but this
is not an alternative for impoverished nations.

Expensive Organic foods might bring peace of mind:
My wife and I have to endure yet another ultrasound--
if this baby turns out to have problems you can be sure
I'll be wondering what junk in the environment did this
to us, atmospheric pollutants, pesticides, what about
chlorinated floridated tap water, quite a list out there.
I certainly wont be blaming GMO foods!

A recent opinion in Nature mentioned that one of the
big problems with Organic farming is the reliance on
Cow manure--see how everybody always has to take their
point to extremes (natural rock fertilizers and green
manure, and allowing a field to lie fallow and
accepting lower yeilds for doing all that are more
is a better way to go organic).

What is my point...well it is that people never seem
to know how to pick the right enemies. Boy, if we just
got rid of pig farms and lawn pesticides in this country
--now that would be the right place to start!

Anyway the fella in Nature...let's see here--that would
be Anthony Trewavas, page 231 of 18 Nov, 99 Nature--he
made a few very good points (setting the cow manure slip
up aside). One point was that the movement of non-native
species around the globe is obviously a much bigger
threat to local gene pools than the threat presented
by GMO crops. Much Food Many Problems was the commentary--
Nature has had quite a lot of GMO news and articles of late.

Sure hope I don't flip out and turn into some green eyed
radical if baby McFarland does indeed have problems. But
rather than going completely organic, and taking up this
radical cause against GMO foods, maybe I'll just blame
God and his cosmic rays. And that is food for thought.

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (72)12/2/1999 2:00:00 AM
From: Mike McFarland
   of 103
<endure yet another ultrasound>

For my online buddies, who might have sifted
through the previous post and
McFarland does have half a functioning renal
system. We have been worried sick these past
two weeks, but turns out, there is indeed
one kidney, and looks like it is all hooked
up and working fine. This happens in one out
of 1-5000 births, and is called unilateral
multicystic dysplastic kidney. Basically one
kidney is missing, or very small and not
functional, with very obvious cysts. The other
is a tad larger than it would be normally,
picks up the slack, and functions normally.
We had been worried about a ureter blockage,
but that was an annoying false alarm, as
the right amount of fluid is indeed getting
through the system and back out.

Batting .500 ain't bad, I'll take it.
Baby is due around leap day 2000, at
which time online slacker time gradually
gives way to late night feedings and diapers <g>

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (73)12/4/1999 5:41:00 AM
From: Arthur Radley
   of 103
Sorry to hear the news, but it appears that things are working out for the positive. Our thoughts will be with you and wife.

Biotech Foods: Future Foods or Fowl Play? Current Reports Available at NTIS
SPRINGFIELD, Va., Dec. 3 /PRNewswire/ -- Take a peek inside your refrigerator. Carrots. Apples. Corn. Peppers.

At first glance, these products seem familiar, but what you may not realize is amid all the produce staples found inside your refrigerator today may be foods that are genetically modified. Although biotech foods promise better and more plentiful products for consumers, the reaction from the public is mixed. To assist the public's understanding of bioengineered foods, the National Technical Information Service announces a variety of reports on the subject.

Are there serious risks to human health and the environment? How can biotechnology help farmers and consumers? These reports can both encourage and facilitate research for the food industry, and give consumers the information they need to decide the biotech issue for themselves. NTIS reports include:

Enhancing the Safety of America's Food Supply--Food Safety Round Table. Participants representing academia, government, industry, and public interest groups address key issues, such as microbial contamination, naturally occurring toxicants, pesticide residues, and genetically modified products and its relation to food safety and supply. Order number: PB93-101582KPO, $28.50.

Mailing of Genetically Modified Microorganisms: A Field Survey. Research institutions regularly exchange genetically modified bacterial strains by mail. Consequently, many countries have introduced strict rules that regulate the mailing of GMOs. Order Number: PB93-178143KPO, $28.50.

Assessing Risks from GMOs to Ecosystems and Human Health; Symposium Paper. Techniques in molecular biology have made it possible to incorporate genes from one organism into virtually any other organism's genetic composition to create new life forms. This paper reviews and assesses health and ecosystem safety of GMOs. Order Number PB97-122717KPO, $33.00.

These titles are available from NTIS, call 1-800-553-NTIS (6847) or (703) 605-6000. There is a $5 handling fee for each total order, no additional charges for shipping. Most major credit cards accepted. Online ordering is available at Order via e-mail: Fax order to (703) 605-6900.

The National Technical Information Service is the federal government's central source for the sale of scientific, technical, engineering, and related business information produced by or for the U.S. government and complementary material from international sources. Nearly 3 million products are available from NTIS in a variety of formats including microfiche, paper, diskette, audiovisual, CD-ROM, and online.

SOURCE: National Technical Information Service

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To: Mike McFarland who wrote (73)12/30/1999 10:38:00 AM
From: Arthur Radley
   of 103
This news cuts both ways.
Gov't reimbursement potential but reduced crop plantings.

Corn Growers State That Farmers Should Not Be Blamed for Higher Food Costs Attributed to GMOs
Agriculture Department Should Pay All Farmer Costs for Testing and Segregating
TULSA, Okla., Dec. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- A leading economist for the Federal Reserve Bank is predicting that food costs could increase to the consumer because of the costs of harvesting, segregating, testing and labeling genetically modified (GMO) crops. Mike Singer, Agricultural Economist with the Chicago Federal Reserve Bank, also predicted a drop in GMO planted acres for this coming year.

The American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) states very clearly that any increase in food costs should not be blamed on the American farmer. In addition, the ACGA believes that the U.S. Department of Agriculture should pay any cost borne by production agriculture for segregating and testing GMO or non-GMO crops.

``USDA has stated many times that genetically modified crops are safe and marketable. They have approved these products and encouraged farmers to plant them in increased numbers without any concern for risks attributed to loss of marketability due to consumer resistance,' said Gary Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer of the ACGA. ``Now that higher cost for the planting, harvesting and marketing of GMOs are falling on farmers shoulders, USDA should be responsible for picking up the tab.'

With current commodity prices hitting historic lows, corn producers are seeing a minimal return on the consumer food dollar. In fact, there is only 2 cents worth of corn in a one pound box of corn flakes costing over $3.35. Therefore, the farmer can not be held responsible for any increase in wholesale or retail food costs since the farm-level value is such a miniscule portion of total food prices.

``Since much of the grain handling, grain exporting, agri-processing, wholesale and retail grocery associations have endorsed the continued planting of genetically modified food products, we believe that they should eat any cost increases for food products attributed to GMOs. After all, those who proliferate this technology should pay for its resulting consequences, and not the general public that doesn't even know that GMOs are in their food supply,' added Goldberg.

The ACGA does agree with one comment made by Mr. Singer when he predicted that there could very well be a reduction in GMO planted acres for this coming growing season. That follows statements made by the Corn Growers who have been predicting a 20 to 25 percent decrease in GMO planted acres.

``Everywhere we turn, more and more problems exist for production agriculture brought about by genetically modified crops. Farmers must decide for themselves whether any perceived benefits outweigh the growing risks to the continued planting of GMOs,' concluded Goldberg.

SOURCE: The American Corn Growers Association

Related News Categories: biotech, environmental

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To: Arthur Radley who wrote (75)12/30/1999 3:47:00 PM
From: banco$
   of 103
12/30 Whole Foods, Wild Oats to Ban Gene-Altered Foods

United Kindom News
Thu, 30 Dec 1999, 8:04pm GMT

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