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---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Sat, 22 Mar 1997 10:42:22 -0500
From: dbriars@world.std.com
To: mclibel@europe.std.com
Subject: Honest Scientists Talk Back

Subject: Honest Scientists Talk Back
Date: Mar 22, 1997

  1. Genetically Engineered Foods
  2. Global Warming

From: "John Coleman" <jscolem@ibm.net>

          Eminent Scientists Comment on the Dangers 
             of Genetically Engineered Foods

*       Professor Richard Lacey, microbiologist, medical doctor, and
Professor of Food Safety at Leeds University has become one of the
best-known figures of food science since his prediction of the BSE  (mad
cow disease) crisis made more than seven years ago. Recently  Professor
Lacey has spoken out strongly against the introduction of  genetically
engineered foods, because of 'the essentially unlimited  health risks' _
"The fact is, it is virtually impossible to even conceive  of a testing
procedure to assess the health effects of genetically  engineered foods
when introduced into the food chain, nor is there any  valid nutritional or
public interest reason for their introduction."

*       Professor Mae Wan-Ho, of the UK Open University  Department of
Biology says, "Genetic engineering bypasses  conventional breeding by using
artificially constructed parasitic genetic  elements, including viruses, as
vectors to carry and smuggle genes  into cells. Once inside cells, these
vectors slot themselves into the  host genome. The insertion of foreign
genes into the host genome  has long been known to have many harmful and
fatal effects including  cancer of the organism."

*       Professor Dennis Parke of University of Surrey School of
Biological Sciences, a former chief advisor on food safety to Unilever
Corporation and British advisor to the US FDA on safety aspects of
biotechnology writes: "In 1983, hundreds of people in Spain died after
consuming adulterated rapeseed oil. This adulterated rapeseed oil  was not
toxic to rats". Dr Parke warns that current testing procedures  for
genetically altered foods including rodent tests are not proving  safety
for humans. He has suggested a moratorium on the release  of genetically
engineered organisms, foods, and medicines.

*       Dr Peter Wills, theoretical biologist at Auckland University
writes: "Genes encode proteins involved in the control of virtually all
biological processes. By transferring genes across species barriers  which
have existed for aeons between species like humans and sheep  we risk
breaching natural thresholds against unexpected biological  processes. For
example, an incorrectly folded form of an ordinary  cellular protein can
under certain circumstances be replicative and  give rise to infectious
neurological disease".

*       Dr Joseph Cummins, Professor Emeritus of Genetics at the
University of Western Ontario warns: "Probably the greatest threat from
genetically altered crops is the insertion of modified virus and insect
virus genes into crops. It has been shown in the laboratory that genetic
recombination will create highly virulent new viruses from such
constructions. Certainly the widely used cauliflower mosaic virus is  a
potentially dangerous gene. It is a pararetrovirus meaning that it
multiplies by making DNA from RNA messages. It is very similar to the
Hepatitis B virus and related to HIV. Modified viruses could cause  famine
by destroying crops or cause human and animal diseases of  tremendous

*       Dr John Fagan, an award winning microbiologist and  cancer
researcher, Professor of Microbiology at Maharishi University of
Management, has renounced $3 million in US government research  grants to
publicise the dangers of misuse of biotechnology. He  advocates a
science-based precautionary approach requiring the  labelling of all novel
foods. He says "without labelling it will be very  difficult for scientists
to trace the source of new illness caused by  genetically engineered food".

*       The British Retail Consortium which represents over 90%  of food
retailers in the UK has issued a policy statement calling for  clear
labelling of foods produced using genetic engineering: "Retailers  in the
UK and Europe as a whole are clear that the preservation of  consumer
choice is paramount, and that substantial work over several years on
product ingredient traceability should not be compromised".  The Consortium
has decided to boycott suppliers of raw ingredients  who cannot guarantee
that natural foods are kept separate from those  produced using genetic

*       Dr Norman Ellstrand, Professor of Genetics at the University  of
California, is one of the world's leading authorities in genetic
engineering. He comments on the economic implications for farmers  of gene
exchange between crops and weedy relatives. "We see this  as a
multi-million dollar problem. In Europe, there is already a big  problem
with gene flow between wild beet and cultivated beet. Oil-seed  rape also
has close relatives and is going to cause problems in the  future. One
would expect that the kind of genes that are now being  engineered are
going to be the ones that have a higher potentiality  for causing trouble".

*       Dr Michael Antoniou, Senior Lecturer in Molecular Pathology  at a
London teaching hospital says, "the generation of genetically  engineered
plants and animals involves the random integration of  artificial
combinations of genetic material from unrelated species  into the DNA of
the host organism. This procedure results in disruption  of the genetic
blueprint of the organism with totally unpredictable  consequences. The
unexpected production of toxic substances  has now been observed in
genetically engineered bacteria, yeast,  plants, and animals with the
problem remaining undetected until a  major health hazard has arisen.
Moreover, genetically engineered food  or enzymatic food processing agents
may produce an immediate effect  or it could take years for full toxicity
to come to light." Because  genetically engineered foods reproduce
themselves and can never be  recalled from the environment, Dr Antoniou
warns of an unprecedented  health risk for humanity
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From: pmligotti@earthlink.net (Peter  M. Ligotti)


	Climate scientists, attacked in an unprecedented fashion
by industrial intereests and their paid experts in the media, have
responded in recent months with a growing chorus of mutual support
and of criticism for their opponents' charges and debating style,
according to the trade newsletter Global  Environmental Change

	The "scientific backlash" follows a series of articles,
letters to the editor, and other writings from climate change
skeptics in publications ranging from the Wall Street Journal to
coal industry journals.  The skeptics' fire has been concentrated
on the Second Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on
Climate Change (IPCC), published last fall, which found evidence
that human activities (e.g., the burning of fossil fuels) have
begun to affect the Earth's climate.

	The Report cites three major publications in its November
	8 issue:

o       Betrayal of Science and Reason, a new book by
environmental scientists Paul and Anne Ehrlich, which includes a
chapter on "Fables About the Atmosphere and Climate."  "Fables"
reviews some of the older myths spread about by anti-environmental
groups and individuals, and also attacks some current professional
skeptics such as Dr. Fred Singer of the Science and Environmental
Policy Project (SEPP).

o       Environmental Science Under Siege, a report by U.S. Rep.
George Brown (D- Calif.) that offers a detailed examination of the
testimony of climate skeptics who appeared before the U.S. House
of Representatives Committee on Science in late 1995.  Brown's
report finds shortcomings in testimony presented by Dr. Patrick
Michaels  of the University of Virginia, who edits the World
Climate Report, a climate change publication funded by the Western
Fuels Association.  While Michaels asserted that mainstream
climate scientists have failed to be honest about discrepancies
between their models and actual weather measurements, the report
said, he was unable to provide specific instances of misleading
reports or statements.  A detailed examination of Michaels'
testimony on differences between satellite temperature
measurements and climate models finds that the testimony
"established a false 'straw man'  for the apparent purpose of
presenting contradictions that do not exist."

o       A letter of support for Dr. Benjamin Santer, the target of
attacks published in the Wall Street Journal, from the American
Meteorological Society (AMS) and the University Corporation for
Atmospheric Research (UCAR) that appeared in the September issue
of the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society.  The
letter says in part, "There appears to be a concerted and
systematic effort by some individuals to undermine and discredit
the scientific process that has led many scientists working on
understanding climate to conclude that there is a very real
possibility that humans are modifying Earth's climate on a global
scale.  Rather than carrying out a legitimate scientific debate
through the peer-reviewed literature, they are waging in the
public media a vocal campaign against scientific results with
which they disagree."

	The letter concludes, "[W]e restate our strong support for
the integrity and openness of the IPCC process and for you and the
many other scientists of diverse views who have participated
objectively and in good faith in providing this valuable
assessment of the state of our knowledge about climate change."
>From the electronic edition of WIND ENERGY WEEKLY,
Vol. 15, #724, 25 November 1996, published by the American Wind
Energy Association.  The full text of the WEEKLY is available in
hardcopy form for $595/year and is recommended for those with a
serious commercial interest in wind energy (the electronic edition
is lagged by several weeks and contains only excerpts).  A monthly
hardcopy publication, the WINDLETTER, more suitable for those
interested in residential wind systems is included with a $50/year
individual membership in the Association.  AWEA's goal is to
promote wind energy as a clean and environmentally-superior source
of electricity.  Anyone sharing this goal is invited to become a
member--please help!.  For more information on the Association,
contact AWEA, 122 C Street, NW, 4th Floor, Washington, DC 20001,
USA, phone (202) 383-2500, fax (202) 383-2505, e-mail
<windmail@mcimail.com>.  Or visit our World Wide Web site at

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