Global Days of Action Against Genetic Engineering
Press Release 13/10/97 For immediate
Genetically Engineered Soya has Elevated Hormone Levels:
Public Health Threat
International Scientists Appeal To Governments World-Wide
Today, an urgent appeal has been made by scientists from around the
attending the Third Meeting of the Open-ended Working Group on Biosafety
of The UN-Convention on Biological Diversity (13-17 October) in Canada.
The scientists implored "all governments to use whatever methods
to them to bar from their markets, on grounds of injury to public health,
Monsanto's genetically manipulated (GM) [herbicide-resistant]
(RR) soybean." New findings indicate that EU member nations should
immediately invoke Article 16, the safeguard clause of Directive 90/220,
banning the soya on the grounds of specific health risks.
Dramatic scientific evidence has revealed that the application of
glyphosate (such as the herbicide Roundup) increased the level of plant
estrogens of bean crops. Plant estrogens are known to affect mammals
including humans. The signatories to the appeal, including Dr Ricarda
Steinbrecher, UK Geneticist, stated: "Young children are especially
susceptible to elevated levels of estrogen. Thus there is a clear and
serious health issue at hand."
Further alarming evidence has now been released concerning the GM
hitherto ruled as been substantially equivalent to ordinary soybeans and
safe for introduction into our food supply: Cows fed with the
were found to produce milk with significantly higher fat content than
fed with ordinary soybeans. The scientists concluded this to be direct
proof of a substantial difference between the GM- and ordinary soybeans.
Monsanto's application for market approval of the RR-soybean provided no
data on estrogen levels of RR-soybeans sprayed with glyphosate. Indeed,
all data provided on the concentration levels of different compound was
derived from unsprayed beans!
Scientific advisor to the UK Genetic Engineering Network commented on the
findings: "It is horrifying that Roundup-Ready soya was released into our
food chain with such insufficient data, especially as such as large
proportion [60%] of supermarket products contain soya derivatives.... The
lack of independent, full investigations prior to the approval of these
genetically manipulated soybeans is illustrative of the US biotechnology
industry's strangle-hold on the regulatory bodies entrusted with our food
Further reports also presented at the Meeting, include the latest
of the detrimental environmental and agricultural impact of Novartis
(formerly Ciba) insect resistant maize prematurely approved by the
Commission for marketing and cultivation (23 January 1997). The report
calls for an urgent "moratorium for transgenic insect resistant plants"
details the evidence supporting legal action, which has been filed
the USA Environmental Protection Agency over its approvals by over 30
scientific, environmental and agricultural groups. The Meeting coincides
with the Global Days of Action Against Genetic Engineering (2-16
For further information or interviews, contact the Genetic Engineering
Network in London at: 0181 374 9516
Richard Wolfson, PhD
Campaign for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods
Natural Law Party, 500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
Tel. 613-565-8517 Fax. 613-565-1596
Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
contains more information on genetic engineering.
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