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Further reasons for stopping the GE crops
[Reprinted with permission from the October 1999 issue of 'Alive - Canadian Journal
of Health and Nutrition', 7436 Fraser Park Drive, Burnaby, BC V5J
Biotech Soybeans Deficient
New research shows that
genetically engineered (GE) soybeans may be less potent sources of
phytoestrogens than their conventional precursors. The research,
published in the Journal of Medicinal Food (Vol. 1, no. 4, 1999),
reported an overall reduction in phytoestrogen levels of 12-14 percent
in genetically altered soybeans, compared to non-GE varieties. Soy
foods are recommended largely for their dietary phytoestrogen
This research refutes claims that genetically engineered
foods are 'substantially equivalent' to their non-GE
Genetically engineered herbicide-resistant soy is already
the market in Canada, unlabelled and mixed in with
Industry Claims Torpedoed
New research by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA)
shows that biotech crops do not produce higher yields or result
in reduced pesticide use, as claimed by industry.
experts studied biotech soy, corn, and cotton across huge tracts of the
U.S. farming belt, where both GE and non-GE varieties were being grown.
The researchers found no increase in yields from GE crops in 12 of 18
areas. In some areas, conventional varieties produced yields 10
percent or more higher than comparable GE varieties.
of 12 areas studied, farmers growing biotech varieties used at least
the same amount of pesticide as those growing traditional crops.
Farmers growing Roundup Ready (herbicide-resistant) soybeans used 2 to
5 times more herbicide per acre, compared to the other popular weed
management systems with non-GE soybeans. The research shoots down
arguments that Frankenstein foods could help stop hunger in the Third
World, or are more environmentally friendly.
Roundup Linked to
A recent study published in the Journal of the American
Cancer Society (March 15, 1999) showed that exposure to the
herbicide glyphosate results in increased risk of non-Hodgkin's
lymphoma, a form of cancer.
Glyphosate, commonly known as
Roundup, is the world's most widely used herbicide. Seventy-one percent
of biotech crops planted in 1998 (including biotech soy, canola, and
corn) were genetically engineered to be resistant to glyphosate or
other herbicides. Herbicide resistant crops allow increased use of
these toxic chemicals to kill weeds.
Marks & Spencer First to go GE-Free
Marks & Spencer, one of UK's largest food chains, announced that it has
become the first major UK retailer to go completely genetically-engineered
food free. From July 1, all M&S foods were produced without GE ingredients
or derivatives. More than 5,000 ingredients made from soy and corn were
checked and changes were made to 1,800 recipes to strip all products of GE
ingredients or derivatives.
FDA Ignored Warnings
Records from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) reveal that in
approving genetically engineered foods, the agency ignored some of its own
scientists. These people repeatedly cautioned against GE foods because of
unexpected and untested toxins and allergens.
For instance, Dr. Louis Priybl of the FDA Microbiology Group, stated "There
is a profound difference between the types of unexpected effects from
traditional breeding and genetic engineering which is just glanced over in
this document." He added that several aspects of gene splicing "...may be
Codex Fails to Approve Hormone
At a recent Codex (the international food regulating body) meeting in Rome,
governments failed to agree on an international standard on genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone (BGH). BGH is widely used in USA, where
it injected into cows to increase milk production. BGH is not allowed in
Canada or EU due to concerns for both human and animal safety.
Failure to agree on Maximum Residue Levels (MRLs) for BGH means that
individual governments will maintain their freedom to decide whether to
allow BGH in their countries. Consumers International applauded the
decision not to approve BGH internationally as a victory for the health and
safety of consumers.
[Transcibed from Biotech_activists listserve Richard Wolfson [mailto:firstname.lastname@example.org] and Scoop:
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