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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
Associate Professor
Crop Science
University of Guelph
Guelph, ON  N1G 2W1
Phone:  519-824-4120 Ext. 2508
FAX:  519 763-8933