Several people asked for further references on the recent claim that the
herbicide roundup can increase the level of plant estrogens. This press
release provides some references.
URGENT APPEAL TO ALL GOVERNMENTS TO REVOKE THE MARKET APPROVAL OF
We the undersigned scientists ask all governments to use whatever
methods are available to them to bar from their markets on grounds
of injury to public health Monsanto's genetically engineered Roundup
Ready (RR) soybeans. In the case of the European Union, of course,
we urge the individual governments to invoke Article 16 (Directive
90/220). We make this appeal on the following bases:
1) There is clear scientific evidence that application of glyphosate
can increase the level of plant estrogens. This has been shown for
the bean Vicia faba by German researchers (Sandermann and Wellmann,
1988, in Biosafety, p. 285-292, ed: German Ministry of Research and
Technology). Soya belongs to the same plant family (legumes) as
2) Plant estrogens are known to affect mammals including humans.
3) Feeding experiments were done on cows with transgenic and
ordinary soybeans by Monsanto. A statistically significant
difference in the daily milk fat production between the test groups
was found. Those fed transgenic RR-soybeans produced more fat per
day than those fed ordinary soya. All test groups had the same
intake of soya per day (Hammond et al., Journal of Nutrition, 1996).
We conclude that this is an indication of a substantial difference
between the transgenic and the non-transgenic soybean.
4). Monsanto's application for market approval provided no data on
estrogen levels of RR-soybeans sprayed with glyphosate. All data
provided on the concentration level of different compounds in
RR-soybeans was derived from unsprayed beans. Despite the lack of
information on sprayed beans, RR-soybeans were approved. And sprayed
beans have since entered the food chain.
We are concerned that the increased milk fat production by cows fed
RR-soybeans may be a direct consequence of higher estrogen levels in
those soybeans. Growing numbers of children are dependent on
soy-milk due to allergic reactions to cow's milk. Young children are
especially susceptible to elevated levels of estrogen. Thus there is
a clear and serious health issue at hand.
There is urgent need for further and independent scientific
investigation. In adherence to the precautionary principle, until
these investigations are completed, RR-soybeans should no longer be
allowed to enter the food chain.
Dr. Brian Goodwin, UK
Dr. Mae Wan Ho, UK
Dr. Hartmut Meyer, Germany
Dr. Peter Saunders, UK
Dr. Vandana Shiva, India
Dr. Ricarda Steinbrecher, UK
Dr. Beatrix Tappeser, Germany
Christine von Weizsacker, Germany
Montr=E9al, 13 October 1997
Third Meeting of the Open-ended Ad hoc Working Group on Biosafety of
the UN-Convention on Biological Diversity
1) H. Sandermann, E. Wellmann, 1988, Bundesministerium fuer
Forschung und Technologie (Hrsg.), Biologische Sicherheit
1, Pages 285-292)
2) H. Sandermann (1994, in: W. van den Daele, A. Puehler,
H. Sukopp (Hrsg.), Verfahren zur Technikfolgenabschaetzung
des Anbaus von Kulturpflanzen mit gentechnisch erzeugter
Herbizidresistenz, Issue 6, Part A
This press release was distributed by the RTS genetics information email
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
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