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[SANET-MG] secret pharm crop tests may be fatal
The article below is another on the a rational judgment on pharm crop
tests. Tests of crops such as corn with aprotinin are still going on
even this year. Aprotinin is capable of sensitizing people who are
exposed once then they may suffer fatal anaphylaxis on a second exposure
to the field or to surgery in a hospital. Information on pharm crop
tests is a life or death matter.
Judge Orders Hawaiian Locations of Biopharm Crops Revealed
HONOLULU, Hawaii, August 6, 2004 (ENS) - The U.S. Agriculture Department
must disclose the Hawaiian locations of experimental crops that are
genetically modified to grow pharmaceuticals, a federal judge ruled
Chief Judge David Ezra agreed with the plaintiff Center for Food Safety,
represented by the public interest law firm Earthjustice, that the
locations of the so-called biopharm crops is not confidential
proprietary business information.
The lawsuit was filed in federal district court in Honolulu in November
2003 asking the court to order the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA)
to assess the environmental and public health risks of, and better
regulate, the open air testing of biopharmaceutical crops in Hawaii and
throughout the United States.
This is the first time in the United States that locations of biopharm
tests will be revealed to an outside party. Similar disclosures in other
states might follow for biopharm crops and possibly for all genetically
modified crop research.
In Hawaii, Monsanto Co., the Hawaii Agriculture Research Center,
ProdiGene Inc. and Garst Seed Co. have been granted permits to test
Under Judge Ezra's order, the locations of the experimental fields will
be disclosed to Earthjustice, which must keep the information
confidential for at least 90 days.
Hawaii has more than 4,000 field test sites for genetically engineered
crops, more than anywhere else in the world, including more than two
dozen tests of biopharm crops, Earthjustice says.
Biopharm crops are genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals,
industrial chemicals, and other medical and industrial products,
including a blood clotting agent, a blood thinner, various blood
proteins, experimental animal vaccines, industrial enzymes, antibodies,
and a potent abortion-inducing compound once considered for use as an
Earthjustice attorney Isaac Moriwake argued that none of these biopharm
crops has been approved for human or animal consumption, or even for
general release into the environment.
Yet the USDA allows these tests to be conducted in open fields, conceals
the trials’ locations from the public, and in most cases refuses to
disclose the substances being grown.
Moriwake says the tests use food crops like corn and soybeans,
increasing the risk of contaminating the food or livestock feed supply
with powerful, biologically active chemicals. The tests also pose a
serious hazard to endangered plants and animals, of which Hawaii has
more than any other state.
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