The "other" side
Chris J. Durden
drdn at mail.utexas.edu
Tue Aug 1 23:02:20 EDT 2000
I think you mean well, but, mistakes and deception continue.
Mistakes by the chemical industry and chemical pesticide industry are
still appearing. Look at the appearance of gasoline additives and lawn or
agricultural chemicals in groundwater and municipal water supplies, at
least here in Texas. The harmful effects of commercial lawn treatment
chemicals were documented and publicised in Canada as early as 1985.
Fifteen years later we see the hard-to-ameliorate effects in our groundwater.
Remember one of the events chronicled by Rachel Carson was an event in
Austin, Texas where a chemical company loading dock was hosed down. This
single mistake caused a massive fish kill in the Colorado River, from
Austin to the Gulf of Mexico. This kind of thing happens even now. The
Bhopal event was not very long ago and is still fresh in my mind, as is the
contamination of Spanish cooking oil be jet fuel.
My agenda is not hidden and is the same as the one stated recently by
Anne Kilmer. I think we can change economic misbehaviour in a democracy. I
think we should keep the noses of the applied chemists to the grindstone
until they clean up their act. I think our regulators should leave poor
young Bill alone and go after bigger miscreants.
You have some great observations on monarch biology. Please keep posting
At 12:04 2/08/00 -0800, you wrote:
>The "mistakes" and "deceptions" of the chemical industry (e.g. Love
>Canal & DDT) happened 30-50 years ago. It was a era when such
>things were fairly common in a wide range of industries (e.g.automakers
>fought seat belts and catalytic converters). It was also an era
>when scientists and conservationists were people of high integrity -
>people who could be trusted not to use their position of authority
>to frighten and mislead the public to serve some hidden agenda.
>Take at look at the original Cornell press release
>in May 1999 in regard to Bt corn and monarchs:
>Look at the frightening, sensational, cry wolf type comments
>John Losey and his research partner Linda Raynor made:
- - -
That was a press release not scientific paper. Surely you know that a
publicist may inflate details and draw limp-based conclusions in order to
capture the public attention.
The observations of the Cornell group are still valid, but the
interpretation and implications is still subject to revision based on more
and different data.
- - -(Chris)
>If you check out the Leps-list and dplex-list archives you will see I
>(like thousands of others who have had experience with Bt products)
>quickly recognized Losey's claim
>that the pollen "could represent a SERIOUS RISK to populations
>of monarchs and other butterflies" had no scientific foundation.
- - -
For the rest of us the active lobbying by biotech interests to prohibit
the labelling of GE/GM food products smells very much like a rat! I am
still very skeptical about this yechnology applied to food, but maybe with
food allergies I am a special case.
- - -(Chris)
>Similarly, the NABA website
- - -
I do not pay much attention to official announcements by NABA. I think
the zeal of their crusade against collectors has clouded their objectivity.
I do think highly of the knowledge and skills of the majority of NABA
members. I do not hold them accountable for official NABA statements
because I understand that they have no voting rights in governance of the
- - -
>Chris, when the final word comes out later this year or next
>that Bt corn pollen represents a NEGLIGIBLE risk to monarchs
>or other non-target leps will you and others "remember the mistakes and
>deceptions" of the ACADEMIC community? Will it bother you they
>cost the world economy hundreds of millions of dollars, needlessly
>worried millions of people about a non-existent problem
>and wrongfully protrayed the chemical industry as untrustworthy
>and irresponsible? Probably not, because I seriously doubt you
>would view what Losey & Rayor or the NABA website have done
>represents a mistake or cry wolf type deception. **
- - -
I view the press interpretation and coverage of the Cornell work as an
irresponsible mistake, above and beyond the perfectly honest scientific
I view the supression of the Scottish study of the snowdrop/potatoes on
the intestinal function of rats, to be reprihensible and a malicios,
self-serving mistake. The parties responsible for this supression will bear
the full responsibility of a future disaster, if any, with these foods.
>- - -
>**Please do not interpret this as a personal attack - I have the utmost
>respect for your awesome knowledge and experience with leps and
>I don't think YOU could ever intentionally frighten or mislead the
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