LISTSERV mailing list manager LISTSERV 16.5

Help for SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Archives


SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE@LIST.UVM.EDU


View:

Message:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Topic:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

By Author:

[

First

|

Previous

|

Next

|

Last

]

Font:

Proportional Font

LISTSERV Archives

LISTSERV Archives

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE Home

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE  August 2010

SCIENCE-FOR-THE-PEOPLE August 2010

Subject:

Regulation must be revolutionized

From:

Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

Science for the People Discussion List <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Fri, 6 Aug 2010 09:19:53 +0200

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (296 lines)

Just to modify somewhat my comment about Stuart's piece: He does say
that GM crops are here to stay. I think that needs to be the starting
point for a non-hysterical science for the people, rather than pipe
dreams (such as expressed by Phil) that the technology should be
banned. What we should want is a sober and reasoned examination of
each case on its own merits, rather than an opportunistic exploitation
of the average person's ignorance of science.

MB

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 6:30 AM, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

I think it's very clear from Ingo Potrykus's own opinion piece in
Nature, as well as the profile of him by Martin Enserink in Science,
that--rightly or wrongly--he is motivated by a desire to do good in
the world and not just some sort of stooge for corporate
bioagriculture. Indeed, his relationship with industry, which under
capitalism he must have to make his project work, is obviously
ambivalent. By pigeon-holing someone like him into the usual big
agriculture conspiracy and by failing to address these issues on a
case by case basis but rather with sweeping statements, those
responding here demonstrate why the anti-GM movement has not had more
influence than it has--and why over time it is increasingly losing the
argument. Even Stuart's piece, which is the most interesting and
thoughtful, seems somewhat oblivious to this reality.


MB

On Fri, Aug 6, 2010 at 3:08 AM, Stuart Newman <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

A less corporate-friendly take on the history of of GM foods than the
coverage in Science, which includes an example of enablement of outright
deception by Science's editors, can be found in my recent essay on the
subject, attached.

On Thu, 5 Aug 2010 19:09:11 +0200, Michael Balter <[log in to unmask]>
wrote:

>It seems a little late to ban it completely, unless Phil and his political
>organization have a plan to make that happen. The writer of the piece I
>posted makes a very specific argument about the golden rice he is involved
>in, and its potential to supply vitamin A, deficiency of which apparently
>kills a lot of people. His specific argument needs to be met with an
>effective counter-argument if such can be made, and not a lot of rhetorical
>handwaving. Otherwise the anti-GMO movement is bound to lose both the
>argument and the battle. I've made similar comments about the anti-nuke
>movement. It's all fine and good to regale this list with smug rhetoric,
>it's another thing entirely to have an influence in the real world.
>
>MB
>
>On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 6:31 PM, Phil Gasper <[log in to unmask]> wrote:
>
>> Yeah, we should simplify matters by banning it completely. The idea that GE
>> crops will save millions from starvation is straight out of the agribusiness
>> propaganda handbook. What we need is to stop financial speculation in
>> agriculture (http://harpers.org/archive/2010/07/0083022), but�oops�that
>> will require more regulation. --PG
>>
>>
>> On Thu, Aug 5, 2010 at 11:10 AM, Michael Balter
<[log in to unmask]>wrote:
>>
>>> The writer argues that genetic engineering is subject to too much
>>> regulation, with examples. Could he be right in some cases?
>>>
>>> MB
>>>
>>> http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html
>>>
>>> <http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html>
>>>
>>> NATURE | OPINION
>>>  Regulation must be revolutionized
>>>
>>>    -  Ingo
Potrykus<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html>
>>>
>>> Nature  466, 561  (29 July 2010)  doi:10.1038/466561a Published online 28
>>> July 2010
>>>
>>> Unjustified and impractical legal requirements are stopping genetically
>>> engineered crops from saving millions from starvation and malnutrition, says
>>> Ingo Potrykus.
>>>  Article tools
>>>
>>>    -
print<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html>
>>>    -
email<http://www.nature.com/nature/foxtrot/svc/mailform?doi=10.1038/466561a&file=/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html>
>>>    - download
pdf<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/pdf/466561a.pdf>
>>>    - download
citation<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/ris/466561a.ris>
>>>    - order
reprints<https://s100.copyright.com/AppDispatchServlet?author=Ingo+Potrykus&orderBeanReset=true&title=Regulation+must+be+revolutionized&pageNumbers=pp561&publisherName=NPGR&volumeNum=466&amp;issueNum=7306&numPages=1&contentID=10.1038%2F466561a&amp;publicationDate=2010-07-28&publication=Nature>
>>>    - rights and
permissions<https://s100.copyright.com/AppDispatchServlet?author=Ingo+Potrykus&title=Regulation+must+be+revolutionized&pageNumbers=pp561&publisherName=NPG&volumeNum=466&issueNum=7306&numPages=1&contentID=10.1038%2F466561a&publicationDate=2010-07-28&publication=Nature>
>>>    -
share/bookmark<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html>
>>>
>>>  See online collection.<http://www.nature.com/news/specials/food/index.html>
>>>
>>> Genetically engineered crops could save many millions from starvation and
>>> malnutrition � if they can be freed from excessive regulation. That is the
>>> conclusion I've reached from my experience over the past 11 years chairing
>>> the Golden Rice Humanitarian project (http://www.goldenrice.org), and
>>> after a meeting at the Vatican last year on transgenic plants for food
>>> security in the context of
development1<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html#ref1>
>>> .
>>>
>>> Golden rice will probably reach the market in 2012. It was ready in the
>>> lab by 1999. This lag is because of the regulatory differentiation of
>>> genetic engineering from other, traditional methods of crop improvement. The
>>> discrimination is scientifically unjustified. It is wasting resources and
>>> stopping many potentially transformative crops such as golden rice making
>>> the leap from lab to plate.
>>>
>>> More defensible � on scientific and humanitarian grounds � and more
>>> practical would be for new genetically modified crops to be regulated, not
>>> according to how they are bred, but according to their novelty, as are new
>>> drugs. All traits, however introduced, should be classified by their
>>> putative risk or benefit to the consumer and to the environment. Researchers
>>> and regulators could then focus on cases in which risks are real and
>>> fast-track crops urgently needed in the developing world.
>>>
>>> Golden rice is a series of varieties modified with two genes (phytoene
>>> synthase and phytoene double-desaturase) to produce up to 35 micrograms of
>>> vitamin A precursor per gram of edible rice. Within the normal diet of
>>> rice-dependent poor populations, it could provide sufficient vitamin A to
>>> reduce substantially the 6,000 deaths a day due to vitamin A deficiency, and
>>> to save the sight of several hundred thousand people per
year1<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html#ref1>.
>>> None of the existing varieties of rice has even low levels of the vitamin A
>>> precursor in the part that is eaten, so conventional breeding cannot
>>> increase it. Golden rice was possible only with genetic engineering.
>>>
>>> The crop was stalled for more than ten years by the working conditions and
>>> requirements demanded by regulations (see 'From bench to belly'). For
>>> example, we lost more than two years for the permission to test golden rice
>>> in the field and more than four years in collecting data for a regulatory
>>> dossier that would satisfy any national biosafety authority. I therefore
>>> hold the regulation of genetic engineering responsible for the death and
>>> blindness of thousands of children and young mothers.
>>>
>>> Our experience is far from unique. It generally takes about ten times more
>>> money and ten years longer to bring a genetically modified crop to market
>>> than a non-genetically modified one. This keeps public research institutions
>>> out of the game and has given a handful of companies a de facto monopoly on
>>> the technology. Private ventures justifiably focus on the most profitable
>>> opportunities � industrial crops such as corn, cotton and soya beans.
>>> Genetic engineering, however, has massive potential to also address
>>> food-security problems � to increase yield by protecting subsistence food
>>> crops from pests and diseases, to strengthen crops' competition with weeds
>>> and to improve plants' nutritional value.
>>>  Running the gauntlet
>>>
>>> Existing regulation demands many years' worth of molecular and biochemical
>>> safety tests. Yet multiple international agencies have found
>>> genetic-engineering crop technology to be benign. There have not been any
>>> substantiated cases of harm to the environment or to humans, even in the
>>> litigious United States where the adoption of genetic engineering is
>>> widespread.
>>>
>>> Meanwhile, a new plant created by traditional breeding methods � which
>>> also modify the genome � requires no safety data, only the demonstration
>>> that it performs at least as well as others. It is a quick and cheap
>>> process. This imbalance allows non-scientific opponents of genetic
>>> engineering to raise unfounded concerns, which a nervous public cannot
>>> properly evaluate, especially in Europe.
>>>
>>> All of this means that engineering varieties for the public good depends �
>>> ironically � on the private sector.
>>>
>>> Golden rice is a prime
example1<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html#ref1>.
>>> Only within the framework of a public�private partnership with Syngenta was
>>> our team able to navigate the product-development morass. Without Syngenta
>>> we could not, for example, have reduced the number of patents involved,
>>> secured free licences, established managerial and marketing structures or
>>> developed plants that are optimized to meet regulatory requirements and to
>>> express high levels of desired
traits1<http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v466/n7306/full/466561a.html#ref1>
>>> .
>>>
>>> Yet it is the responsibility of the public sector to address the crop
>>> needs of poor people. And it is wiser to spend public funds on feeding the
>>> world's growing population than on jumping through regulatory hoops, or
>>> worse on spurious, politically expedient research into hypothetical risks
>>> for the environment or the consumer, which have already been studied
>>> carefully over the past 25 years.
>>>
>>> A good next step would be for a country with political and economic
>>> independence to recognize the arguments in favour of reducing the current
>>> regulatory burden for genetically engineered crops. Such a country would
>>> gain enormously by freeing funds, time and energy for research, development
>>> and deployment of many more genetically engineered crops for poor people;
>>> its public sector and small enterprises would be able to compete with the
>>> larger industries. Without compromising safety, that nation would easily
>>> progress faster than those continuing to focus on hypothetical risks, and it
>>> would provide some much needed leadership. Perhaps then, lab-ready varieties
>>> from the public domain such as golden cassava, golden banana, iron-, zinc-
>>> and protein-rich rice might get from bench to belly in 5 years, rather than
>>> 15, if at all.
>>>
>>> --
>>> ******************************************
>>> Michael Balter
>>> Contributing Correspondent, Science
>>> Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>>> New York University
>>>
>>> Email:  [log in to unmask]
>>> Web:    michaelbalter.com
>>> NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
>>> ******************************************
>>>
>>> "When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the
>>> poor have no food, they call me a Communist." -- H�lder Pessoa C�mara
>>>
>>
>>
>
>
>--
>******************************************
>Michael Balter
>Contributing Correspondent, Science
>Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
>New York University
>
>Email:  [log in to unmask]
>Web:    michaelbalter.com
>NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
>******************************************
>
>"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why the poor
>have no food, they call me a Communist." -- H�lder Pessoa C�mara
>



-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
******************************************

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why
the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa
Câmara



-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
******************************************

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why
the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa
Câmara



-- 
******************************************
Michael Balter
Contributing Correspondent, Science
Adjunct Professor of Journalism,
New York University

Email:  [log in to unmask]
Web:    michaelbalter.com
NYU:    journalism.nyu.edu/faculty/balter.html
******************************************

"When I give food to the poor, they call me a saint. When I ask why
the poor have no food, they call me a Communist." -- Hélder Pessoa
Câmara

Top of Message | Previous Page | Permalink

Advanced Options


Options

Log In

Log In

Get Password

Get Password


Search Archives

Search Archives


Subscribe or Unsubscribe

Subscribe or Unsubscribe


Archives

March 2021
February 2021
January 2021
December 2020
November 2020
October 2020
September 2020
August 2020
July 2020
June 2020
May 2020
April 2020
March 2020
February 2020
January 2020
December 2019
November 2019
October 2019
September 2019
August 2019
July 2019
June 2019
May 2019
April 2019
March 2019
February 2019
January 2019
December 2018
November 2018
October 2018
September 2018
August 2018
July 2018
June 2018
May 2018
April 2018
March 2018
February 2018
January 2018
December 2017
November 2017
October 2017
September 2017
August 2017
July 2017
June 2017
May 2017
April 2017
March 2017
February 2017
January 2017
December 2016
November 2016
October 2016
September 2016
August 2016
July 2016
June 2016
May 2016
April 2016
March 2016
February 2016
January 2016
December 2015
November 2015
October 2015
September 2015
August 2015
July 2015
June 2015
May 2015
April 2015
March 2015
February 2015
January 2015
December 2014
November 2014
October 2014
September 2014
August 2014
July 2014
June 2014
May 2014
April 2014
March 2014
February 2014
January 2014
December 2013
November 2013
October 2013
September 2013
August 2013
July 2013
June 2013
May 2013
April 2013
March 2013
February 2013
January 2013
December 2012
November 2012
October 2012
September 2012
August 2012
July 2012
June 2012
May 2012
April 2012
March 2012
February 2012
January 2012
December 2011
November 2011
October 2011
September 2011
August 2011
July 2011
June 2011
May 2011
April 2011
March 2011
February 2011
January 2011
December 2010
November 2010
October 2010
September 2010
August 2010
July 2010
June 2010
May 2010
April 2010
March 2010
February 2010
January 2010
December 2009
November 2009
October 2009
September 2009
August 2009
July 2009
June 2009
May 2009
April 2009
March 2009
February 2009
January 2009
December 2008
November 2008
October 2008
September 2008
August 2008
July 2008
June 2008
May 2008
April 2008
March 2008
February 2008
January 2008
December 2007
November 2007
October 2007
September 2007
August 2007
July 2007
June 2007
May 2007
April 2007
March 2007
February 2007
January 2007
December 2006
November 2006
October 2006
September 2006
August 2006
July 2006
June 2006
May 2006
April 2006
March 2006
February 2006
January 2006
December 2005
November 2005
October 2005
September 2005
August 2005
July 2005
June 2005
May 2005
April 2005
March 2005
February 2005
January 2005
December 2004
November 2004
October 2004
September 2004
August 2004
July 2004
June 2004
May 2004
April 2004
March 2004
February 2004
January 2004
December 2003
November 2003
October 2003
September 2003
August 2003
July 2003
June 2003
May 2003
April 2003
March 2003
February 2003
January 2003
December 2002
November 2002
October 2002
September 2002
August 2002
July 2002
June 2002
May 2002
April 2002
March 2002
February 2002
January 2002
December 2001
November 2001
October 2001
September 2001
August 2001
May 2001
March 2001
February 2001
January 2001
December 2000
November 2000
October 2000
September 2000
August 2000
July 2000
May 2000
April 2000
March 2000
February 2000
January 2000
December 1999
November 1999
October 1999
September 1999
August 1999
July 1999
June 1999
May 1999
April 1999
March 1999
February 1999
January 1999
December 1998
November 1998
September 1998
August 1998
July 1998
June 1998
May 1998

ATOM RSS1 RSS2



LIST.UVM.EDU

CataList Email List Search Powered by the LISTSERV Email List Manager