Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 08:51:54 -0500
From: Jeff Ishee <email@example.com>
Subject: Avery/Benbrook transcript
The GMO debate hits the airwaves! Alex Avery and Dr. Charles Benbrook
square off on a talk-radio farm program about Genetically Modified
Organisms (GMOs) and the Implications for Agriculture. Valid points were
scored by both sides in the hour-long radio show, and listeners came
away better informed about this controversial topic at the forefront of
A short excerpt is posted below.
You can read the entire transcript by going to:
http://www.emarketfarm.com - scroll down the page to the "Agribusiness"
section, and click on the button that reads "Click here for the
Avery/Benbrook GMO Transcripts."
Alex Avery: What are the risks here? Right now we've got Europeans who
are completely anti-biotech. We've got many nations completely
anti-biotech, banning this technology without a single realistic risk
associated with it. We've not found a single problem with using these
technologies. We've got activists who are fueling the fear of these
foods . . .
Charles Benbrook: Well Alex, if you think there is not a single problem
with these foods, then you need to start spending a little time reading
the scientific literature. There is an abundance of research that shows
problems that are being discovered with genetically transformed foods.
Tomato plants, cotton plants, sheep - all organisms have very elaborate
defense mechanisms against the incorporation of foreign DNA, viruses,
bacteria and microorganisms that aren't part of the organisms genome.
That's why species are able to maintain their genetic integrity.
Alex Avery: No, they are not.
Charles Benbrook: Alex, Alex. I am on, so let me finish.
Alex Avery: Well, I'm not going to let you mis-characterize it
Charles Benbrook: The process of genetic transformation in creating a
GMO food involves overcoming these natural defenses. What the recent
science is showing, is that some of these genetic modifications are not
as stable over time as once thought. And they are causing some
unexpected silencing of certain genes. They are turning on other genes,
and there are really unusual patterns of protein formation, and the
stimulation of certain biosynthetic pathways, etc that can lead to the
production of novel allergens or toxins, or influence the development
of organisms. We are just beginning to understand how organisms
counter-act genetic modification. The new science is saying that it is
not as simple as we once thought. Sometimes it could lead to adverse
-- For the complete transcript (free), go to: http://www.emarketfarm.com -- www.emarketfarm.com Resources for farmers' markets and market farmers firstname.lastname@example.org P.O. Box 52 Middlebrook, VA 24459
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