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Date: Jun 06 2000 08:12:09 EDT
From: Paul Geiger (by way of C. S. Prakash)
Subject: Re: Vandana Shiva's Opposition to Food Aid
More stupidity from Shiva. One of the first things learned in emergency
medicine is STOP THE BLEEDING! Use whatever is available, hands, cloth,
something to apply pressure. Worry about cleanliness and/or antibotics
It's difficult not to be angry, and why should one suffer fools gladly
Assoc. Prof. Emer.
USC Sch. of Med.
Subj: RE: Anthony Trewavas - GM is the best option we have
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 2:30:21 PM Eastern Daylight Time
This is a wonderful piece of communication, and one that speaks directly
to activists' concerns in a positive, non-threatening way. One comment,
however: Why is the profit motive automatically suspect? Must we in the
private sector forever apologize for producing products and services that
people need and want, for employing people the world over, for generating
revenue that benefits our stockholders, many of whom are ordinary men and
women who participate in private corporations through mutual funds, 401ks,
IRA's or other modest investment vehicles? I find this particular
prejudice offensive, and supporting that prejudice in this otherwise
marvelous essay both diminishes its impact, and plays right into the
Pioneer Hi-Bred Int'l, Inc.
Des Moines, IA 50306
Subj: The Elusive Butterfly of Truth
Date: Mon, 5 Jun 2000 9:14:11 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "John W. Cross"
Driving home last Friday evening (June 2), I heard John Nielsen's "All
Things Considered" segment, Monarch Butterflies," an interview with
Lincoln Brower. The Monarch butterfly is one of North America's most
beloved creatures. This insect harms no one, and, unlike some of its moth
and butterfly relatives, does no economic damage, while it inspires us
with its beauty and its amazing annual migrations. However, the interview
was characterized by misinterpretations and misinformation.
In the interview, Lincoln Brower claimed that pollen from transgenic Bt
corn is a threat to the Monarch. Naturally, if transgenic corn is a
threat to the Monarch butterfly, most people should be concerned.
However, although the Monarch may, in fact be threatened, it is not
threatened by transgenic Bt corn. After a preliminary lab study showed
cause for concern a year ago, a large, full-scale research study was done
last summer. The results, announced last November, demonstrated there is
no serious risk to the Monarch population from Bt corn. But in your ATC
report the study was dismissed, despite the fact that it was performed by
a group of recognized Monarch experts.
Although Bt corn pollen was toxic to Monarch larva in the lab, in the
field corn pollen was not a significant problem. Why? For several
reasons: corn pollen is a large, heavy pollen that does not travel very
far, and virtually all pollen grains land within ten yards of the field.
Monarchs do not normally consume corn pollen, since their eggs are most
prevalent after corn pollination has occurred. Death to Monarchs from
conventional insecticides is far more likely than from Bt pollen. In fact
last summer there was a very high Monarch count in the Midwestern US.
This occurred in spite of the fact that 25% of the Midwestern corn crops
last summer was derived from biotechnology.
A real danger to Monarchs is the logging of certain forests in Mexico
where the insects spend the winter. This fact was mentioned, but
de-emphasized, in your program.
Rather than re-hash an issue that has been scientifically shown to be of
questionable significance, I suggest that you investigate the tireless
fear-mongering and misinformation being put out by anti biotechnology
activists, like Greenpeace and Jeremy Rifkin. These individuals and
groups have a major economic stake in the donations that their alarmist
propaganda generates from sympathetic, well-meaning folks.
Unfortunately, like in the song, "Elusive Butterfly of Love," the facts
seem to have escaped Mr. Nielsen's net.
John W. Cross
P.S. I have no financial connection to the seed or plant biotechnology
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