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[SANET-MG] questions from a student
In reply to your questions:
1. What do you think is the potential risk of plant molecular farming?
The main threat from plant molecular farming is the pollution of food
crops and feed crops with active pharmaceutical products.Crops such as
maize, potato, rapeseed (canola),soya and barley have been tested in the
field but the practice of using food and feed crops to produce
pharmaceuticals in the field should not be allowed. Once the practice is
established export of the food crops will be a major problem and genetic
pollution of the food cost could coat thousands of lives. Not only is
food and feed pollution is a problem but both ground and surface water
may be polluted with the potent drugs leading to human and animal injury
2. What is the status of Plant Molecular Farming in Canada? Secretive
and careless field tests of pharmaceutical crops have been undertaken in
Canada for about ten years.Some products tested included powerful
immune suppressing drugs and anticoagulants that would be deadly if
ingested in food ,feed or water. Regulation of the pharmaceutical drug
tests is handled only by the Canadian Food Inspection Agency that has
little or no expert knowledge in the area of drugs. Many of the tests
are done in the outskirts of London and other large cities a fundamental
flaw. The nature and location of the tests are kept in dark secret and
those injured by the tests will have no way of knowing what has hurt
them. The extensive secretive tests have been ignored by the Canadian
News Media such as CBC because they are owned by the government.
Most of the tests are done by Agriculture Canada who believe secrecy if
better than adequate security at the sites, and as well people injured
by the tests have no way of knowing what poisoned them!
3. How do you think should the Plant Molecular Farming be regulated
in Canada? Canada is surely the most poorly regulated country allowing
tests of pharmaceutical crops.This is probably because the Canadian News
media are unwilling to publish any criticism of the unhealthy
practice.They are aware that food crop exports could be damaged or
destroyed if governmental carelessness is revealed to the public. The
courts in Hawaii recently ordered that the locations of pharmaceutical
crop test sites be revealed to the public. I think that the Canadian
courts are more prone to support unhealthy actions of the government and
multinational corporations.Interestingly, the third world countries,
China and EU have been much more careful about pharmaceutical crop
testing than Canada
Field testing and production using food and feed crops should not be
allowed. Confined glass and plastic structures should be used when
non-food crops are used to produce pharmaceuticals.In the past two years
Alberta has allowed employed safflower test production of
pharmaceuticals. Safflower is , to me, a poor choice because it can
become a weed or cross pollinate with weeds.
Most of all field test and production sites must be disclosed to the
public who may be injured by their presence. Canada must stop the
barbaric practice of secrecy to protect corporations and government when
they injure people!
Hope this helps,Prof. Joe Cummins
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