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[SANET-MG] pharmaceuticals in gm flax opposed
Using flax to produce pharmaceuticals is a very bad idea. The crop is
very well known to be sexually promiscuous and to have feral weeds and
to pollinate weedy relatives.
It seems just incredibly stupid that flax is being used in US and Canada
to produce pharmaceuticals because natural flax contains compounds
called lignans used to treat cancer and other diseases. The
effectiveness of flaxseed in treating cancer is well supported by both
animal experiments and clinical studies of humans. If flax is
contaminated by the a wide array of man made pharmaceuticals it will
destroy its effectiveness in treating human disease.
The biotechnology industry seems to have a death wish for food
production and for people.
Growers oppose drugs made of flax
GRAND FORKS, N.D. - A North Dakota flax marketing group is opposing a
plant-based pharmaceutical company planned here, citing potential
contamination of traditional flax fields by genetically modified crops.
"Are we going to risk our new and emerging markets for the flax on
something that hasn't even been licensed yet?" said Ernie Hoffert, a
Carrington farmer and secretary-treasurer of AmeriFlax, a branch of the
North Dakota Oilseed Council. "This is absurd."
Agragen, a company started by Cincinnati entrepreneur Sam Huttenbauer
Jr., has leased space in the University of North Dakota technology park.
The company plans to use North Dakota-grown flax in medicines such as
albumin, which would be used in blood transfusions for trauma patients.
Huttenbauer said the market potential for plant-made pharmaceuticals
would boost the flax industry in North Dakota, which grows more than 90
percent of the U.S. crop.
AmeriFlax said it worries about genetically engineered grain entering
the food chain, a prospect it calls "unacceptable."
AmeriFlax last week met with about 30 people involved in the North
Dakota flax industry, seeking help in drafting a statement that would
strengthen its opposition to production of pharmaceuticals made from flax.
"I do not want to make this specific to Agragen," Hoffert said.
A statement from Huttenbauer that was handed out at the meeting pledged
not to move ahead with transgenic flax in North Dakota until regulatory
agencies and AmeriFlax agreed that all necessary safeguards had been
met. Agragen also is seeking the full support of AmeriFlax, and help
from the group and the state in finding development money.
No plant-made pharmaceuticals have been approved for the market by the
U.S. Food and Drug Administration, according to the federal Agriculture
Department. Last year, only about 45 acres of the crops were grown
nationwide, under strict federal guidelines.
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