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May 2, 2000


Second Multiple contributions May 4, 2000


<br /> Second Multiple contributions May 4, 2000<br />

- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

(Nine Contribtions below....)

From: "Ross S. Irvine"

Subject: PR folks ignore the internet

The internet has changed virtually every aspect of business. 

public relations professional associations and educational

pay little or no attention to this technology which continues to

transform the corporate world.  Read: "Internet? What
internet? ? PR

folks work in their own unreal world.

Visit: www.epublicrelations.org

oint of view.  I thought scientists
were open to

free discussion of scientific observations.  What some

eco-reactionaries are saying is that the problem with GMOs (to

resistance to round-up and the incorporation of the Bt gene into

crop plants) is simply an extension of the chemical revolution

transformed agriculture.  One major problem with applied
chemicals is the

development of resistance, for example resistanse to atrazine, so

reactions to the current group of GMOs was to be expected.  I
think a

number of health problems that we are seeing to-day relate to the

input in new chemicals, not just agriculture the whole food

    I will be much less skeptical of
the supposed progress when I see

the biotech research examining the potential for real change in

metabolism, for example enhanced nitrogen use efficiency, enhanced

of the sun's energy in photosynthesis, enhanced drought resistance or

tolerance.  Ann Oaks

On Tue, 2 May 2000, Greg Conko wrote:

> Andrew,


> I'm not sure who you've been speaking with, but most of us

> public policy analysts were fighting the eco-reactionary
movement on

> pesticides and other ag chemicals before we'd ever heard of
recombinant DNA.

--------------------------------------------------------------- >-----------

From : prakash@tusk.edu

To: Ann Oaks

I recognize your point calling for more research on improving plant
performance and productivity but surely these are being addressed
albeit in public institutions (at a slower pace because of funding
and also due to complexity of the problems).  Just look at this
month's issue of ISB News Report http://www.isb.vt.edu, a free
monthly newsletter on agricultural biotechnology for a story on
improving the photosynthetic performance in rice, and all other
issues you raise: metabolism, nitrogen use efficiency,
photosynthesis, drought and salt tolerance are being researched with
excellent progress, and again I have written about them highlighting
such discoveries in the ISB News Report.  These traits are
controlled by complex genes often with much interaction and the
progress of genomics will help further in dealing with it
efficiently.  However, criticising the current progress because
'more needs to be done' is unwarranted.  Science always brings
cumulative progress and treads one step a time.  Blaming the
current technology being inferior to tomorrow's discoveries is like
if we had not used the computers at all in the eighties for being
slow and inefficient as nineties brought the enormous speed and
value. What is wrong if the Bt gene reduces pesticide applications on
the farm or the herbicide-tolerant soybean promotes reduced tillage
or most cost effective farming? They may be model T's of
biotechnology but surely the Beetles and Lexus will follow soon if
the critics do not stop this technological progress on frivolous

--------------------------------------------------------------- >------------

From: "Alan H.Hall M.D." <ahalltoxic@netscape.net>

Subject: Re: [Multiple Contributions April 28, 2000]


Nature can and will do it to you!

How about I just list a few "Natural Products" which cause
everything from

allergic contact dermatitis to severe untreatable neurological
diseases from

my annual lecture at the University of Wyoming Poisonous Plants
Class ("Human

Plant Poisoning and Plant Abuse".

-- Poison Ivy/Poison Oak/Poison Shumack:  and toilet seats in
Japan made of

wood coated with the same compounds from the Japanese Yew Tree (got a

ATSDR Case Study in Environmental Medicine about this issue which I

happened to write);

-- Another Yew tree species, whose components are a treatment and

preventaive measure for human female breast cancer;

-- Tobacco:  should be enough said, but the smoking/chewing of
this completely

natural product as well as its role in Green Tobacco Sickness in

harvestors/handlers is also a significant occupational illness,
especially on

small family farms in certain parts of the USA as well as elsewhere
-- don't

let's even get into the issues of active/passive smoking, cancer,

various forms of heart disease, etc. -- QUERY:  why can't these

groups truly focus on something where they could REALLY make a

contribution to public health?;

-- Cassava (Manihot esculenta Crantz et al):  4 diseases: 
1)  Acute Cassava

Poisoning -- indistinguishable from acute cyanide poisoning and which
can be

treated with avaialbale cyanide antidotes; 2) TAN:  Tropical

Neuropathy; 3) Goiter/Endemic Congenital Cretinism; 4) Konzo (I'd be
happy to

explain more fully, but this is a disease common in certain parts of

Africa, crippling, and at present incurable.

I could go on and on and list various mushroom and hundreds if not

of "natural" plant poisonings, but I find that I become
weary when trying to

save the whole world against persons who don't seem to believe in


of Arizona -- Asian in origin if all tales be true -- speak of
"The ... Way"

[add your own concept, but healing, balance, and other concepts are
not far

from their thoughts, even if I am a Billighana [spelled phonetically

doesn't really translate easily into English -- it literally means
"anyone who

is not of THE PEOPLE"; wonder what Coyote (who waits) or the
Cloud Brothers or

any other of the Navajo panolpy would have to say (I could quote

cultures, but a thing isn't necessarily untrue just because it

necessarily happen (John Steinbeck -- Sweet Thursday) -- GOETHE
perhaps said

it best im Deutsche as "Alle menschen werden broders"
"-- All men are brothers

" -- and a deaf man had to compose the music which he couldn't
even hear and

which is now a theme for the International Olympics.

"God, what fools these mortals be."

Yours truly,

Alan H. Hall, M.D., FACEP


-------- color="#000000">--------------------------------

From: "Kershen, Drew L"

Subject: Triticale

In our recent discussion of crops developed through mutagenesis, I
mentioned triticale. Someone responded that they had not heard of
triticale in recent years, implying that triticale was a failed

Information given to me by a grain seed dealer indicates that the
most recent world-wide figures show that triticale is grown on
approximately 1.5 million hectares. Poland (600,000 hectares) and the
United States (400,000 hectares) grow the most triticale.

The Canadian plant breeders who developed triticale in the 1950s --
and onwards into the multiple variety grain of today -- were
Wittmack, Larder, Zillinski, and Jenkins.

As for the chemical mutagenesis, the acid used to change the
chromosomol number (to make triticale a fertile grain) was

Drew L. Kershen Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law University of
Oklahoma College of Law Norman, OK 73019-5081 (405) 325-4784 FAX
(405) 325-6282 dkershen@ou.edu



Subject: RE: Comment on USDA's proposed
organic rule

Very well said, Jim ... I fully agree with your approach and
suggestions. All agricultural and food production
"technologies" -- "old", recent and new ones --
should be treated/tested by the regulatory authorities and the public
with the same scrutiny and in the same fashion. This is not the case
today ... Because "organic" farming would appear somewhat
more "natural" on the surface, the public has the
impression that it is maybe safer, but the public (my friends!) have
no idea about how it is (not) controlled !

All the best, Bernard P. Auxenfans


From: Scott.Carpenter@aventis.com

Subject: Greenpeace Paper

Dear all,

has anyone got a hold of and read the Greenpeace Paper and dissected
it yet?

If it is going to be presented to a number of councils, like all good

it should be peer reviewed by a number of scientists.

I am sure that people have already considered this, however, using

network a number of scientists from many disciplines and across a
number of

countries (hopefully including "third world" countries)
could be used to

critique this paper.

Just a thought.



From: Greg Conko <conko@cei.org>

Subject: RE: More on Labeling

Roger, You're making an argument that's easy to ridicule with
reductio ad


By your standard, if potatoes are to be incorporated into a processed

item, packagers would have to note not just that "potatoes"
were used, but

also that the specific potatoes incorporated in the product were a

Burbank variety, grown just outside of Boise Idaho, which were
sprayed with

two applications of chloropicrin, at x dosage per application,

harvested with a John Deere tractor, and contained 100 milligrams of

glycoalkaloids a-solanine and a-chaconine per kilogram of

Why?  Because some people will have an interest in knowing each
one of these

specific attributes.  Lest you think I'm joking, or going over
the top with

this hypothetical, consider the following:  every couple of
years the

California state legislature considers a bill that would mandate

labeling of machine-picked produce.  And, of course, some of the

listed above (such as the level of synthetic and natural pesticides)

conceivably have an impact on human health.

The point is that unless there is a compelling reason to believe that

specific product attribute is tangibly related to health, neither

government of the United States nor of any US state or municipality

force producers to list this information on their labels.  The
question for

public policy is this: Does the thing itself (the product) possess

attributes that consumers expect from it?  That is, does an

potato variety possess qualities that consumers would expect from

potatoes?  If the only difference is that one or more genes have
been added,

which do not change the nutritional composition, the toxicological

the level of known allergens, the storage, handling, or

qualities of the potato, then it's just a potato, and sellers can not

forced to say it's something else.

Furthermore, you dodged my point about cost-shifting.  Why
should consumers

who are indifferent to genetic status be forced to bear the cost

providing information to consumers who do?  I am certainly not
advocating a

mandate that non-rDNA-engineered foods be labeled as such, but that

seem to make more sense.  It accomplishes exactly the same
purported goals

as an affirmative rDNA-engineered label, but comes with the added
bonus that

people who don't care don't have to pay for it.

-Greg Conko

-----Original Message-----

From: Rcjohnsen@aol.com [mailto:Rcjohnsen@aol.com]

   No!  I'm sorry but manufactureres don't have the
right to with hold

information on listing ingredients/ additives to their product. 

ingredients are to be listed, then notation should be made that the


From: EEntis@aol.com

Subject: Re: New York bill would ban biotech crop production for

Who is the author of the enlightened legislation to ban GM crops in
New York?

I believe he deserves a very direct Bronx cheer - and lots of

Elliot Entis