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July 24, 2000


Cancer and the "perfect" vegetable; US Presidential Election; Funding


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

From: Richard D North
Subject: Cancer and the "perfect" vegetable

May I draw your attention to a report in The Sunday Telegraph (July 23,
2000) written by the paper's (sceptical) science corr. Robert Matthews:
"The modern obsession with cleanliness, already blamed for the rise in
asthma cases in Britain, may also have left people more vulnerable to
cancer, medical researchers believe."

Quoting work by Prof Mel Greaves, of the Institute of Cancer Research
London, the ST notes "Evidence is emerging that the tenfold increase in
childhood leukaemia over the past 80 ears is tied to socio-economic class,
pointing to a link with hygiene standards.

"Clean homes and an insistence on perfect-looking vegetables are falling
under suspicion for having prevented exposure to mild infections and
natural anti-cancer agents now thought to play a vital role in protecting
against the disease." The ST continues: "The fad for perfect-looking
vegetables may also be increasing the risk of developing cancer, according
to Prof Robin Phillips, a leading cancer expert at St Mark's Hospital,
Middlesex. "Studies of broadleaf vegetables such as lettuce have shown
that when attacked by plant viruses, they fight back using compounds
called salicylates. These aspirin-related compounds are thought to be
natural anti-cancer agents." ##ends

I suppose the question for our list is: maybe organics are good for us
because they cannot pander to our desire for aesthetically-pleasing, but
relatively unhealthy (or: relatively less cancer-protecting) foods? If
this is so, the GM/conventional pitch will have to be adjusted to one
which encourages an element of pesticidal laxity - which of course may
also help the ecological pitch all farming methods need to include with
their productivity message.


From: Red Porphyry
Subj: "eco-realists", ag biotech and u.s. 2000 election

At 11:27 PM 7/18/2000 -0000, you wrote:
>From: Andrew Apel
Subject: Nader
>With US presidential campaigns looming, and no incumbent in the
>lineup, eco-reactionaries have been pressing the Nader candidacy as a
>way to threaten a split in the Gore vote in order to force Gore to
>embrace an anti-biotechnology stance. .......

Andy, first off, you still haven't given pro-gm foods folks a catchy label
like you've given to the environmentalists (eco-reactionaries). my
suggestion is "eco-realists". it's both catchy *and* easy for everyone to
understand. i urge anyone who supports gm foods on this list to refer to
themselves as "eco-realists" from now on.

Second, i'm heartened to see that, by bringing up Nader, you're finally
getting down to brass tacks, to wit, the scientific is the political.
clearly, no sane person involved in any aspect of ag biotech research can
in good conscience support Nader and the green party. but we both know
there isn't an ice cube's chance in hell that nader can win the u.s.
presidential election. the more pertinent question is, can a sane person
involved in any aspect of ag biotech research in good conscience support
al gore, the presidential candidate of the democrats (or is it democRATS?
:-) ), and author of the best-selling eco-reactionary book "earth in the
balance"? after reading this list for about five months now, it's pretty
clear that the sentiment on this list is basically no. given that, it
would appear that that leaves only two realistic choices for those
involved in ag biotech research in the u.s.: George W. Bush, the
presidential candidate of the republican party (the party of
"compassionate conservatism"), or Patrick j. Buchanan, presumptive
presidential candidate of the reform party (the party of "National
Capitalism"). which candidate ag biotech researchers ultimately go with
should prove very interesting.


From: Andrew Apel
Subject: Funding Crime

The CFFAR website (see link below) does a good job of identifying
corporations and organizations which directly fund anti-GM criminals, and
it's well worth a visit. However, the list seems incomplete when it comes
to organic food companies and at least one organic farm certifying agency.

>From: MsGreenLady@aol.com

>the more they promote the notion that GM food is dangerous, the more
money they make. You may not want to believe this, but corporate
sponsorship of environmental activists is widespread. I direct your
attention to