--- Carmelo Ruiz <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

> Date: Thu, 21 Jul 2005
> Subject: Molcular pharming, chloroplast
> Transformation

> Molecular Pharming – the New Battlefront over GM
> Crops
> The biggest battle for democracy in the ‘heartland
> of
> democracy’ is being fought over GM crops and it has
> shifted to molecular pharming. Dr. Mae-Wan Ho
> The battlefront over GM crops in the United States
> and
> Europe has shifted to molecular pharming, the use of
> GM crops to produce pharmaceuticals.
> California-based
> company Ventria Bioscience has been at the forefront
> of pharm crops development, and has planted 75 acres
> of genetically engineered rice near Plymouth in
> Eastern North Carolina [1].
> Ventria made applications to grow GM rice producing
> human lactoferrin and lysozyme, normally produced in
> human milk, saliva and tears, in California,
> Missouri
> and North Carolina, stirring up a storm of
> opposition.
> Ventria was driven out of California last year [2],
> and forced out of southeast Missouri earlier this
> year
> by a last minute uprising from rice farmers who
> feared
> contamination of their crops and damage to a $100
> million industry that depends heavily on exports
> [3].
> The USDA was under pressure to turn down Ventria’s
> request and others like it. The Grocery
> Manufacturers
> of America, representing $500 billion in annual
> sales,
> says that the government lacks a way to prevent
> pharmaceutical proteins from contaminating food.
> Advocacy groups presented Agriculture Secretary Mike
> Johanns with 30 000 signatures asking for a ban on
> the
> use of food crops to produce pharmaceuticals.
> Northwest Missouri State University President Dean
> Hubbard insists, however, that his institution is
> going ahead with a $40 million agricultural
> pharmaceutical centre that would house Ventria and
> other companies.
> On 30 June, the USDA approved Ventria application to
> grow its GM rice on 270 acres in North Carolina [3],
> despite opposition from scientists working at the
> state and federally-operated Rice Quarantine Nursery
> at the Tidewater Research Station, just over half a
> mile from the Ventria test site. USDA also cleared
> the
> way for Ventria to grow its pharm rice on 200 acres
> in
> the middle of Missouri’s chief rice-growing region,
> even though Ventria has already withdrawn its permit
> applications for that site. Anheuser-Busch, the
> nation’s largest brewer, had indicated it would
> refuse
> to buy any rice from southeastern Missouri’s
> hundreds
> of growers if the Ventria pharm rice was planted
> there. But USDA dismissed the concerns as
> “non-scientific” and beyond its legal purview.
> Molecular Pharming by Chloroplast Transformation
> The advantages are also its greatest hazards; no
> environmental releases should be considered. Dr.
> Mae-Wan Ho and Professor Joe Cummins


Activism enriches our lives in multiple ways. It brings us into personal contact with other people who are informed, passionate and altruistic in their commitment to help make the world a better place. These are good friends to have, and often they are better sources of information than the experts whose names appear in the newspapers. Activism, in our opinion, is a path to enlightenment.

- Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber
(from "Trust Us, We're Experts: How Industry Manipulates Science and Gambles with your Future")

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