Genetic Engineering does indeed have problems

Chris J. Durden drdn at
Wed Feb 23 11:41:44 EST 2000

At 04:40  22/02/00 -0800, you wrote:
>Chris J. Durden wrote:
>> There are numerous consumers who would prefer to be careful if they
>> could, and not eat GE/GM foods until more testing has been done.  It
would also 
>> permit those with
>> life-threatening allergies to determine the potential threat of hidden
>> allergens in new food. This would be the democratic way.
>Democratic but scientific? What double blind, peer reviewed scientific
>references can you give us Chris that indicate the GE/GM food crops
>NOW in production and on the supermarket shelves are substantially more
>to cause allergic reactions or other unintended problems as compared to
>crops developed in years' past using traditional artificial selection
>In other words, what double blind, peer reviewed scientific
>studies exist that would suggest the newest GE/GM crops
>now in production would be more likely to fail special food safety
>tests as compared to crops developed in the past using traditional
>artificial selection techniques (and apparently not ever subjected to such
>safety testing)?
>Paul Cherubini
  None. I do not think they have been done yet. What market engineer would
try to find fault with a new and promising product. That, unfortunately is
why we need regulators. Although we knew some years ago that this
technology was under development, many of us did not know it had already
gone to market until the 'monarch report' last fall. Why were we not told
when these products went on the market in the early '90's? Surely the
developers were proud of their accomplishments.

  GM/GE products are different from traditionally selected foods because
they are patentable life forms!

  I am willing to take my chances with non patented food but I would like
some safety tests done first on food that is different enough to be

  My family knew there were likely to be some problems with DDT when we
first used it sparingly in 1945. Double blind experiments were not done
until many years later and the extent of serious damage showed up and was
publicised by the press after Rachel Carson stuck her neck out. Peer review
had not been invented then, and Sir Cyril Burt who was also his two
assistants when he dressed the part, devised the 11-plus exam that told
many kids they could not go to university, but I did anyway. Fudged results
exposed in 'Science' in the early 1960's, completely devaluing his work.
Cases of pulmonary silicosis showed up in war-effort asbestos workers as
early as 1948, discussed in 'Nature' and "New Scientist' at that time.
Double blind experiments were not done until much later. Give us a break.
Some of us just like old natural foods because they taste better.
..........Chris Durden

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