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May 24, 2000


Bees, Greenpeace in India, herbicide use


Subj: Re: PSRAST article and ZDF news release
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 10:31:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Bob MacGregor

Klaus Ammann forwarded the release about Dr. Kaatz' bee research. I
don't see why this is so alarming all of a sudden. Is there some
evidence that transgenes are especially likely to be taken up by bee gut
bacteria or yeasts? If not, then should we not be equally fearful (or
not!!) that bee bacteria will take up any of the other of tens (hundreds?)
of thousands of plant genes and eventually move them into the human
genome? You never know when kids will start showing up with chlorophyll
in their skin-- or, is that bark?-- or putting down roots in their parents

There just is no bioLOGIC to these arguments!


Subj: Greenpeace launches into India
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 10:35:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Gurumurti Natarajan

To Dr. C Prakash and all others who devote a lot of time and effort in
sharing the science in the world of biotechnology, my sincere
appreciation; you are doing a great job; do keep up your efforts.

I would like to bring to your attention an ad that appeared in "The Hindu"
Newspaper which is widely circulated in India (and my guess is that
additional insertions have been made in other Indian newspapers as well)
by Greenpeace inviting applications for the position of 'Chief Executive
Director' to "lead an organisation that really sees the big picture" .

This ad further reads as follows:

...... "Greenpeace is seeking to establish a permanent presence in India,
with a central office in New Delhi and campaign office in Mumbai. As
legal registration procedures are underway we are looking for a creative
and inspiring person to lead our small but highly motivated and
enthusiastic team" .....

Any one who has even remotely followed the hysterical and often emotive
campaigns of Greenpeace in other parts of the world would shudder to
wonder 'does India really need Greenpeace?'

There are others out there among your mailing list who know more about the
Grossly negative and vituperative stance of Greenpeace and such other
organisations and the disservice that they have been perpetuating on this
society in the name of caring for and protecting the environment.

I would think that every right thinking Indian would write to his elected
representative in the state and the centre to rein in such organisations
that are fat on overseas funds with the sole agenda of reeking havoc on
the innocent and gullible masses in the garb of championing their cause.
Their track record on commendable and affirmative achievements is
conspicuous by its absence; theirs is a litany of sensational
demonstrations, laying siege of normal public life and down right
hooliganism as witnessed by their burning of fields raised on GM crops.
The world can do without such obstructionists to progress of science;
India certainly can do
without foreign funds to create a ruckus based on non-science.

Let any one in any part of the world that has experienced the disservice
of Such organisations write to their friends and associates in India to
dissuade the spread of the tentacles of such organisations who have shown
that they are upto no good.

Get a campaign going. Stop it before the cancer spreads.

And many thanks for your time.

Subj: Re: National Survey: Organic Labels Are Misleading
Date: Thu, 25 May 2000 12:26:28 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Steven Milloy

The best place to submit comments to the USDA rulemaking is through

You can win $1,000.00 just for submitting your comments. Got to


Steve Milloy

Date: May 25 2000 12:27:40 EDT
From: "Mitchell-ENV, Brad" (Brad Mitchell)
Subject: re: herbicide use

I cannot speak knowledgeably on the volume of on herbicide used in
herbicide resistant crops.

I can say that volume of chemical is NOT a good indicator of risk from the
use of a chemical. Risk posed by a chemical is a function of the
toxicological properties of that chemical and the potential for exposure
of the species of concern to that chemical. expsoure. While volume used
does impact on the exposure portion of the risk equation, it is only a
small section of the formula. In risk comparisons, toxicity factors and
other exposure factors can
often "overide" the equation to where chemical A may pose less risk than
chemical B, even if you are using more of A.

So, even if more herbicides are used with herbicide resistant crops, it
does not mean that the risk is greater. I think most would agree that the
bottom line is risk.

Case in point:

We have a growing population in Massachusetts and consequently an
increasing need for water. For many communities the answer to this need is
to sink more wells. Very often, agricultural land or land near ag land is
the only choice for these wells. Other locations are protected open space
or have been developed.

We had a recent situation where a town was forced to site a well on land
it had been leasing to a local farmer for several decades. He had been
using the land to grow field corn for his dairy herd. Herbicides
traditionally used in corn production are notorious contaminants of
groundwater (the properties of these chemicals make them susceptible to
leaching thereby increasing the exposure
section of the risk equation). We have regulations which pretty much
prohibit the use of these potential groundwater contaminants in the
primary recharge area of public water supplies.

Both the town and the farmer would like to see this land continue to be
farmed. Two years ago, there would not have been any options. It could
not be farmed (at least for field corn which is what the need is for in
this particular situation). However, the acceptable remedy to the
situation for both the farm and the farmer was to plant genetically
modified crop that is resistant to herbicides which are not on our list of
chemicals not allowed to be used near public water supplies. They are not
on this list, because they do not exhibit
properties which make them likely to leach - even if yo do use more.

Brad Mitchell
Director, Division of Regulatory Services
Massachusetts Department of Food and Agriculture
100 Cambridge St.
Boston, MA 02202
fax - 617.626.1850

Visit Our Website at http://www.massdfa.org

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