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May 8, 2000


3 Messages + New York bill would ban biotech crop production for five


New York bill would ban biotech crop production for five years

April 25
Bridge News

Legislation has been introduced in the New York State Assembly that would
impose a five-year moratorium on the planting of biotech crops. Further,
the bill (A09871) would require the New York Department of Agriculture and
Markets to develop a marketing plan "that uses the moratorium as a
promotional tool for New York state agricultural products."

Among the bill's "findings" are that "genetically modified crops pose risks
of unknown dimension to human health and the environment" and that "the
growth of genetically modified crops in New York places all state farmers
at risk in the marketplace. A moratorium on the planting and growing of
genetically modified crops in New York will enhance the value and protect
the reputation of New York's agricultural products, conferring a
significant marketing advantage while preserving the state's ecological

biotech plant
products will be
indistinguishable from non-GM products. There is no test available that can
distinguish between GM and non-GM vegetable oils. Isn't this of fundamental
importance? Using all that science can throw at this problem we will
not be able to tell the difference. Why?
Because there is no difference. This is important because many uses of GM
plants in the future will be as bio factories harvesting drugs etc. Is
Greenpeace opposed to this use of GM crops? I find it hard to pin down
exactly what they are opposed to. Is it the final product (which varies
enormously) or is it the process - the growing of GM plants? It seems to me
that until they state otherwise Greenpeace et. al. must be opposed to the
process which is in my view a religious objection. Organic
farmers/retailers however oppose products. Sometimes these products contain
novel genes or proteins but sometimes only a secondary plant substance like
oil or sugar both of which can be highly purified. The labelling of foods
as containing GM products when there is no difference between the GM
product and the "natural" product is insane.

From: "Paul Geiger"
Subject: Re: Genetic engineering may suffer the fate of nuclear energy.

An interesting point is that not all governments rejected nuclear
engineering. Notice the French get something more than 80% of their power
from nukes (I can't remember the source I read). Other countries I haven't
looked up. Anyone??

Paul Geiger
also at: pjeromeg@jhu.edu