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Re: GE in OZ
Don Tovey - there are many arguments that can be used from a food
safety perspective, and I'll encourage others who work more closely
with this arena to respond to these. I'd like to just raise one
issue that might make them pay a bit more attention. The same issue
has been raised with BT-crops, namely, we currently have a method of
pest control (either Roundup for weeds or BT (natural) for certain
insects) which is relatively benign and effective (no flames pls
about the poisenings from Roundup etc. etc. - I use the term "benign"
in a relative sense). Benbrook and others have written extensively
on the merit of naturally occurring BT not just for backyard organic
growers but for practicioners of IPM, seeking to break dependence
upon chemical biocides.
In both cases, it is not just possible but likely that resistance
will evolve - and quite likely that resistance will evolve quickly.
The larger the hectarage sown to crops engineered for resistance to
Roundup and lep insects, the faster the resistance. Some estimates
put the lifespan of BT-crops at about 3-5 years.
Somehow, I don't think the proprietors of BT-cultivars or
Roundup-resistant cultivars will be excessively alarmed at the
prospect of this resistance, strange though it may seem. consider
what producers will do then - what choice will they have when these
"benign" products are disfunctional? Use less benign alternatives
which, by chance, happen to be owned by these same proprietors. So,
it is a win-win for them, and a lose-lose for everyone else. Just
something to think about. Ann
Dr. E. Ann Clark
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON N1G 2W1
Phone: 519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX: 519 763-8933