Dr. Joe Cummins
Comments on National Research council Report
"Field testing Genetically Modified Organisms,"1989
The United States National Research Council has proposed a panel of experts
in biotechnology (including a lawyer!) to review the safety of
genetically modified crops.
The current effort will follow a report from the US National Research Council
of a decade ago. That report "Field Testing Genetically Modified
Organisms-Framework for Decisions" 1989 has had tremendous impact and led the
way to release of genetically
engineered crops to the environment around the world.
The report was prepared by committees under a steering committee chaired by
Burris, University of Wisconsin( Burris had been a member of my PhD
advisory committee in the late 1950ís to 1962). Burris was an able
science bureaucrat and politician, his area was biochemistry of nitrogen
fixation, he did not know much in the way of genetics. That observation
was true of the majority of the committees writing the report. The
report is available in most University libraries world wide.
The NRC was not exactly dishonest in areas such as the spread of
modified genes in pollen in crops such as canola . The report provided
opinions geared to facilitate rapid release of modified crops , It
provided false assurance that genes would not be spread in a threatening
way by pollen release. Ignoring reality it maintained that crops were
either foreign introductions with few or no weedy relatives or crops
like wheat with multiple combined genomes that preclude gene spread by
pollen. It is clear that the report promoted crop release that has
resulted in wide spread of the modified genes. The report's risk
analyses were political statements geared to promote the fledgling
The current committee seems to have been selected to do a political job
of work on the opponents of genetic engineering ( it was shameless in
excluding opponents of genetic engineering). The document produced by
the committee will show the bias of the committee and serve as a public
relations scheme to revive the worldwide image of biotechnology.
Date: Thu, 25 Mar 1999 17:56:05 -0500
From: joe cummins <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: B-GE: National Research Council committees
-- http://www.greenbuilder.com modem: 512.288.3903-- Green Building Professionals Directory at http://www.greenbuilder.com/directory/
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command "unsubscribe sanet-mg". To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command "subscribe sanet-mg-digest".
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: http://www.sare.org/htdocs/hypermail