- "From pizza to chips, soda to infant formula, ice
cream to cookies, vitamins to candies, genetically engineered organisms
are in the foods we feed our kids every day. Virtually every food you can
think of is in the genetically engineered pipeline. And coming soon . .
. rat genes in your lettuce, cows that make human milk, and bananas with
- -- Dr. John Hagelin
- From Betty Martini <Mission-Possible-USA@altavista.net
- Very Important information. Aspartame (a GM product)
victims and MCS victims are reacting to Genetically Engineered food and
this is a serious report.
- Hagelin Stuns The EPA With Stirring 'Starlink' GM Corn
- On Tuesday, November 28, Dr. John Hagelin presented a
powerful statement about the hazards of genetically engineered foods to
an open meeting of an Environmental Protection Agency panel in Arlington,
- The Scientific Advisory Panel for the Federal Insecticide,
Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) held the meeting to consider the
possible allergenic effects of StarLink corn on human health. Starlink,
a variety of genetically engineered corn that has not been approved by
the EPA for human consumption, was recently discovered to have contaminated
corn products being sold at supermarkets around the country. Dr. Hagelin's
testimony created an explosion of concern among the largely pro-genetic
engineering audience at the open meeting and created a fresh wave of scientific
scrutiny about the hazards of GE foods. His testimony is reprinted below,
along with an editorial from the Providence Journal about his leadership
in the effort to protect our food supply.
- STATEMENT FOR THE FIFRA SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY PANEL OPEN
MEETING ON STARLINK CORN Arlington, Virginia November 28, 2000
- By John Hagelin, PhD
- Director, Institute of Science, Technology and Public
Policy I speak to you as a scientist who is striving to ensure that our
best scientific knowledge be applied for the solution-- and prevention--of
society's problems. I am a nuclear physicist who has published extensively
in superstring theory and, during the last three elections, I have been
the Presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party.
- I want to address an issue much deeper than whether the
CRY9C protein in StarLink corn is likely to be allergenic. I want to address
the assumptions that underlie the entire agricultural bioengineering enterprise.
I am deeply concerned that life scientists are implementing bioengineering
technologies without adequately understanding the lessons we have learned
from the physical sciences. One of the key revelations of modern physics
is that phenomena unfold in a far less linear and predictable fashion than
eighteenth and nineteenth century thinkers assumed.
- Today, we know that there are inherent limitations on
our ability to make precise predictions about the behavior of a system,
especially for microscopic systems and nonlinear systems of great complexity.
- Numerous eminent molecular biologists recognize that
DNA is a complex nonlinear system and that splicing foreign genes into
the DNA of a food-yielding organism can cause unpredictable side effects
that could harm the health of the human consumer.
- Yet, the genetic engineering of our food--and the widespread
presence of genetically altered foods in American supermarkets --is based
on the premise that the effects of gene-splicing are so predictable that
all bioengineered foods can be presumed safe unless proven otherwise. This
refusal to recognize the risks of unintended and essentially unpredictable
negative side effects is just plain bad science. It is astounding that
so many biologists are attempting to impose a paradigm of precise, linear,
billiard-ball predictably onto the behavior of DNA, when physics has long
since dislodged such a paradigm from the microscopic realm and molecular
biologicalresearch increasingly confirms its inapplicability to the dynamics
- Moreover, the premise of predictability is not just scientifically
unsound; it is morally irresponsible. The safety of our food is being put
at risk in a cavalier, if not callous, fashion, not only in disregard of
scientific knowledge, but in disregard of recent technological history.
- Here, too, lessons should have been learned from the
physical sciences. Time and again, the overhasty application of nuclear
technologies led to numerous health and environmental disasters.
- For example, in the early days of nuclear technology,
the rush to commercialize led to the sale of radium tipped wands designed
to remove facial hair. Nine months later the cancers came. Similarly, the
failure to comprehend the full range of risks and to proceed with prudence
has led to many disasters in the nuclear power industry.
- In the case of genetic engineering, even greater caution
is called for: a nuclear disaster only lasts 10,000 years, whereas gene
pollution is forever--self-perpetuating and irreversible.
- The irresponsible behavior that permitted the marketing
of bioengineered foods has not been limited to the scientific community,
but includes the executive branch of the federal government. The FDA's
internal records reveal that its own experts clearly recognized the potential
for gene-splicing to induce production of unpredicted toxins and carcinogens
in the resultant food. These same records reveal that these warnings were
covered up by FDA political appointees operating under a White House directive
to promote the biotech industry.
- It is unconscionable that the FDA claimed itself unaware
of any information showing that bioengineered foods differ from others,
when its own files are filled with such information from its scientific
staff. And it is unconscionable that it permits such novel foods to be
marketed based on the claim they are recognized as safe by an overwhelming
consensus within the scientific community, when it knows such a consensus
does not exist.
- The StarLink fiasco further demonstrates the shoddiness
of the government's regulation, since the system failed to keep even an
unapproved bioengineered crop out of our food. Indeed, the contamination
was discovered not by the government, but by public interest groups. The
FDA had no clue and had taken no measures to monitor. This incident also
demonstrates how difficult it will be to remove a bioengineered product
from our food supply if it is eventually found to be harmful and, therefore,
how important it is to prevent the introduction of new ones and to phase
out those currently in use.
- It is high time that science and the truth be respected,
and that the false pretenses enabling the commercialization of bioengineered
foods be acknowledged and abolished. I call upon the members of this panel
to uphold sound science so that you can hold your own heads up as the facts
about the hazards of bioengineered food become increasingly well known.
- I call upon you not only to resist the pressures to approve
the pesticidal protein in StarLink Corn; I call upon you to honestly acknowledge
the inherent risks of genetic engineering and to affirm that, due to these
risks, neither StarLink nor any other bioengineered food can be presumed
safe at the present stage of our knowledge.
- Only John Hagelin Saw Genetic Peril Editorial - The Providence
- One of the key issues that never got discussed in the
presidential debates this campaign season was the most serious one facing
us today. The fact is that our democracy has been stolen by the powerful
lobbies of the special interests. The most conclusive and blatant example
of this has been the dangerous experiment being conducted by the biotech
industry on the American people. They have genetically manipulated our
food supply so that 60 percent of the food on our supermarket shelves has
been genetically engineered. The most outrageous thing is that they did
it without the knowledge or consent of the American people.
- Forty years ago, most scientists thought DDT a safe and
promising addition to agriculture. Thalidomide was given to pregnant women
by their doctors. Nuclear power was touted as the cleanest energy source
on Earth. Marketed prematurely, each of these technological innovations
brought unforeseen, unwanted and tragic consequences that could have been
easily avoided through proper long-term safety testing. Haven't we learned
anything from our mistakes?
- From soil to superviruses: In 1994, a genetically engineered
bacterium developed to aid in the production of ethanol produced residues
that rendered the land infertile. New crops planted on this soil grew three
inches tall and fell over dead.
- The food chain: In 1996, scientists discovered that ladybugs
that had eaten the aphids that had eaten genetically engineered potatoes
- The immune system: In 1998, research by Dr. Arpad Pusztai
uncovered the potential for genetically altered DNA to weaken the immune
system and stunt the growth of baby rats.
- Monarch butterflies: In May 1999, researchers at Cornell
University discovered that monarch butterflies died unexpectedly from eating
milkweed plants that had been dusted with the pollen of genetically engineered
- Pregnant mice: A 1998 study showed that DNA from the
food fed to pregnant mice ended up in their intestinal lining, white blood
cells, brain cells,and their fetuses. This suggests that the genetically
engineered DNA in the food we eat can end up in our own cells.
- Honeybees: Last May, a leading European zoologist found
the genes from genetically engineered canola jumped the species barrier
and were picked up by the bacteria in the digestive tracts of bees. This
indicates that antibiotic-resistant genes in genetically engineered foods
can cause the bacteria in our own intestines to mutate into superbugs that
cannot be killed by antibiotics.
- Superviruses: Viral promoters are invasive agents used
by genetic engineers to trick a cell into accepting and integrating an
alien gene into the cell's own DNA. Some scientists predict that releasing
viral promoters into the gene pool could lead to the creation of superviruses
and novel infectious diseases for organisms at every level of life--from
bacteria to humans.
- These are just some of the dangers that are discernible
in the premature marketing of genetically engineered products. The biotech
industry is eager to point to their so-called successes while keeping their
failures under wraps.
- Next is the story of rBGH, recombinant bovine growth
hormone (or the story of genetically engineered milk). A Monsanto lawyer
drafted a letter to the FDA to get rBGH approved. He then stepped down
from Monsanto and took an appointment as FDA deputy commissioner for policy.
He then opened his own letter and helped draft the FDA's 1992 policy on
genetically engineered food and rBGH. The law that followed, in true violation
of First Amendment rights, states that it's illegal to say rBGH is in milk
and it's illegal to state that it's not in milk. The lawyer returned to
corporate life and became Monsanto's vice president for public policy.
- Incidentally, rBGH is banned in Canada, Europe, Australia,
and New Zealand--all major dairy producers. It is also banned in other
countries. I quote Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee
for Responsible Medicine, from a magazine entitled Safe Food News (to get
this magazine and to sign the national Genetically Engineered Food Alert
petition, call 1-800-REAL-FOOD).
- "Monsanto's rBGH increases milk production. It also
increases udder infections (mastitis) and reproductive problems in cows
and shortens their life span. To treat the mastitis, farmers have to give
their cows antibiotics. Studies have shown that milk from rBGH cows often
contains residues from those antibiotics.
- And because rBGH-induced mastitis leads to increased
amounts of white blood cells--or pus--this is also secreted into rBGH
milk. But the risks of rBGH go far beyond even this. More troublesome
is the fact that rBGH has been linked to increased risk of breast, prostate
and colon cancers."
- From pizza to chips, soda to infant formula, ice cream
to cookies, vitamins to candies, genetically engineered organisms are in
the foods we feed our kids every day. Virtually every food you can think
of is in the genetically engineered pipeline. And coming soon . . . rat
genes in your lettuce, cows that make human milk, and bananas with vaccines.
- The only presidential candidate who brought this issue
to the forefront of his campaign and informed the American people of the
hazards of genetically engineered foods has been the quantum physicist
John Hagelin of the Natural Law/Independent Party. As he traveled the country
during the campaign speaking in public forums, he talked frankly about
the long-term consequences of such experimentation, asking the question:
- "Who gave the biotech companies the right to threaten
our food and environment? The Clinton-Gore administration and our 'Republicrat'
Congress, awash in biotech money. We need mandatory labeling and safety
testing of genetically engineered foods, plus a moratorium on the release
of these experimental lifeforms into the environment until proven safe."
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