May 20, 1999 issue of Nature contains the report from Cornell where
entomologists showed in the laboratory that pollen from GMO corn can kill a
significant portion (44%) of Monarch butterflies feeding on it. The same
day, the European Union invokes the precautionary principle and announces
that it is "freezing" further consideration of Pioneer's application for
approval of its Bt-transgenic corn. News clip below sets forth the details.
The other big story -- very, very important -- is the strong
evidence re antibiotic resistance and livestock use and over-use of
antibiotics. Several posts have already been made on the two articles in
the just-released New England Journal of Medicine. Based on what experts in
the field are saying, the new data clearly falls in the "sound science" and
"very compelling" category. Yet unlike Europe's swift action on the pending
Bt corn application, here in the U.S. the animal drug and livestock industry
will continue to fight any restrictions, will nitpick the science, suggest
that its over-treatment of ear-infections on transatlantic flights, will
call for another NAS study, etc etc.
More and more people are noticing the decisive differences in the
willingness and political ability of U.S. public health and regulatory
agencies to act in the face of adverse information documenting real risks.
Reticence to act in the U.S., and the reasons prudent, low-cost actions are
routninely blocked or delayed, are more about political science than sound
science. As more people realize this, public confidence, here and abroad,
in the safety of the food supply and adequacy of regulatory oversight will
erode. The consequences could be both significant and long-standing because
trust, once lost, is hard to regain.
The clip follows announcing the European Union's decision.
Thursday May 20, 7:52 am Eastern Time
EU says to freeze approval procedure of gene maize
BRUSSELS, May 20 (Reuters) - The European Union executive said on Thursday
it would freeze an approval procedure for a genetically modified maize
developed by Pioneer Hi-Bred International (NYSE:PHB - news) following a
which found that other pest-resistant grains could kill butterflies.
``We would of course want to apply the precautionary principle and there's
no way any new products can be approved where this information might have
any value or
any bearing on that approval process,'' a European Commission spokesman
told the EU's daily news briefing.
The spokesman for European environment commissioner Ritt Bjerregaard said
the decision would affect the Pioneer product, which the Commission had been
preparing to send up to EU ministers for approval after it failed last year
a majority for clearance among lower-level experts.
``That will not be done until we have had the opportunity to evaluate this
new information,'' the spokesman said.
Charles Benbrook 208-263-5236 (voice)
Benbrook Consulting Services 208-263-7342 (fax)
5085 Upper Pack River Road firstname.lastname@example.org [e-mail]
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864 http://www.pmac.net
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at: