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The Blood Type Diet Archives Volume 2

Immediate action needed

Posted By: Jean
Date: January-19, 1998 at 18:27:19

I received the following e-mail yesterday and felt it was important
to post on this page.

>January 18, 1998
>Hello Folks,
>As you walk, it moves and grows. When you step on the earth where it has been
>introduced, it is on your feet. It will be in the White House lawn, in the
>White House Blue Room, everywhere. Chelsea will take it to Stanford in the
>fall. Genetically modified (GMO) Rhizobium bacteria will pollute the world
>within 7 years. Genetically modified Rhizobium will profit no one and has the
>real potential for disrupting the entire earth eco-system. It is time to halt
>and with valid and quality information rethink our future.
>As an organic farmer and a citizen, I went to DC two years ago to testify
>against the introduction of genetically modified Rhizobium bacteria into the
>environment through inoculation of legume planting seed. It is now on the
>agenda for spring 1998 planting which starts two weeks from now in Texas.
>Rhizobium bacteria take nitrogen out of the atmosphere which is composed of
>80% nitrogen. This process is called nitrogen "fixation" among organic
>farmers. Rhizobium bacteria, actually growing within the plant root cell
>walls in a synergistic relationship, provides nitrogen to surrounding plants.
>Nitrogen is the essential and often limiting building block for protein
>production in plants, and therefore ultimately other life who consumer the
>living or dead plants.
>On land, to my knowledge, there are really only two methods for extracting and
>converting nitrogen from the atmosphere for plant growth (and ultimately all
>other life growth): lightning/precipitation and microbiological action, a
>large part of that being legume nitrogen "fixation." All other life, ocean,
>plant and animal growth, microbiology, all other forms of life depend on these
>two natural occurrences for the ultimate conversion of nitrogen from the
>atmosphere. A cow may produce nitrogen rich manure, but it only comes from
>eating plants, which receive their nitrogen from a combination of these two
>basic conversion processes.
>Building on Ms. Suzanne Wuerthele historical understanding, Rhizobium bacteria
>have been doing their job since life on earth began. In fact, they may have
>been the first life on earth. Rhizobium bacteria were used by humans in
>legume based crop rotations for thousands of years in every part of the world.
>Legume based crop rotations were perfected by the anti-baptist, present day
>Mennonites and Amish, etc. in the fifteenth century and are today the
>foundation of organic and all regenerative based farming.
>It was only seventy-five years ago the scientific community validated the
>primary role of Rhizobium bacteria in providing nitrogen to annual and
>succeeding crop growth. Rhizobium bacteria are essential to all life on earth
>and a, really the, critical component in world agricultural ecology health.
>In the long run, the proposed introduction of this genetically modified
>bacteria into the environment would initiate the most unheralded experiment
>(we cannot begin to call it scientific) on the earth since the first
>interaction of basic elements and electromagnetic impulses that produced the
>first bacteria. Corporate/government labs have introduced an extra set of
>genes for the enzyme that fixes nitrogen into a natural bacteria. This
>genetic modification has the potential for upsetting the environmental balance
>beyond anything introduced by humans up to now, including nuclear weapons,
>which are much easier to control. Ms. Suzanne Wuerthele well describes the
>scientific basis for such introduction--simply none.
>Rhizobium bacteria "fixing" of nitrogen is the most basic biological process
>used to produce the world's human food and fiber supply. It is regenerative
>and controllable by humans. Legume nitrogen fixation, in farming practice,
>legume based rotation, makes possible sustainable agriculture. The nitrogen
>generated provides food and fiber, trees, the ocean and plants of all kinds
>with the building blocks of health-- available nitrogen--to make protein. In
>turn, all other life, including microbiology, earthworms, birds, insects,
>animals and humans are all dependents on the work of Rhizobium bacteria for
>their nitrogen needs. To introduce human modified nitrogen "fixing" bacteria
>that "fixes" three times more nitrogen than natural bacteria and that are
>resistant to two valuable disease preventing bacteria provides the potential
>of disrupting the entire earth eco-system.
>Questions asked are:
>What happens when increasing amounts of nitrogen over normal amounts are taken
>out of the atmosphere, or increased amounts of nitrogen are introduced in the
>soil? What happens when the soil ecology is upset by a new race of man-made
>bacteria that is resistant to antibiotics used in farming and by humans to
>cure or prevent disease? By introducing such bacteria into the soils of our
>earth, are we not opening the door to modifying radically the nutrient flow
>structure of the earth? What is the effect of synthetically derived
>antibiotic resistant bacteria being introduced in the soil ecology? What
>happens when the recent discovery that bacteria can exchange genetic material
>without reproduction occurs between the genetically modified Rhizobium
>bacteria and other types of bacteria? What is the cumulative effect of such
>bacteria spreading by footprints throughout the world? What will be the
>effect when this mutant bacteria enters the water tables and interacts?
>The US Administration through its environmental office, EPA, has decided to
>allow the introduction of these genetically modified bacteria into the US
>environment. EPA is proposing introduction of a mutated bacteria they are ill
>qualified to make judgement on. How did this occur: A business petitioned for
>commercial introduction of the genetically modified bacteria. EPA, by law,
>had to respond and did publish the proposal for public comment in the Federal
>Register, held a public meeting and seems to have thought about introduction
>of this bacteria the way they attempt to assess pesticides--without the most
>experienced and qualified people providing testimony--experienced farmers,
>organic farmers, soil microbiologist, ecologist, bacteriologist, etc. were
>never consulted in depth. The consequence is the potential introduction of an
>ecological catastrophe.
>Every step a person takes that contacts such bacteria can and will transfer
>the genetically modified bacteria to where the following steps are made - to
>the next field, into the house, on the plane and out of the country.
>Geometric progression indicates it may only be 7 or less years before the
>bacteria is worldwide. Once the progression begins, there is no control
>possible without declaring the bacteria a pest and introducing new, at the
>present undeveloped, pesticides to control it on a worldwide basis. The
>Administration allowing the introduction of these genetically modified
>bacteria is unconscionable.
>It is time for US citizens to stand in the gap. The gap between governmental
>approval of genetically modified Rhizobium bacteria and it's use in the fields
>this spring. The use of genetically modified Rhizobium bacteria is
>potentially distorting the future soil health for all citizens of the world,
>of potentially sending the US and world soil ecology into a whirlpool of
>defensive battle between bacteria. Sounds a little extreme? At the bacteria
>level, it is for real--there will be a war for survival. The implications to
>humans, the environment, are not clear or even diagnosed. The gain to humans
>by introducing this genetically modified bacteria is unsubstantial,
>unsubstantiated and an extreme risk. We have done well without it for 10,000
>years of agriculture and 300,000,000 years of life, why introduce it in the
>spring of 1998?
>I encourage all of us to seek more information and move to calling, writing,
>emailing your Congressional Representative. I believe it is essential to use
>every legal means possible to stop the EPA supported, corporate introduction
>of synthetically derived, mutant Rhizobium soil bacteria. Congressional
>action and investigation plus an injunctive relief should be sought
>immediately. Who ever is preparing to market these products to the farming
>sector needs to cease and desist. The issue needs to become a national
>I stand to be corrected on any of these points, but it appears to me that
>Oprah, whoever, publicly needs to discuss this very important issue and about
>to happen world event.
>Best Regards,
>Eric Kindberg, organic farmer for 24 years.
> Hello, I'm Suzanne Wuerthele, and I am afraid that
> my introduction will not bring you any comfort. I
> have a B.S. in Biology, a Master of Arts in
> Teaching Science, a Ph.D. in Pharmacology seven
> years of post-doctoral work and I'm a
> Board-certified toxicologist. I've worked in one
> of the regional offices of the U.S. Environmental
> Protection Agency for 13 years, and am considered
> a "national expert" in toxicology and risk
> assessment. I provide information on the potential
> harm to humans from chemicals for EPA's pesticide,
> toxics and air programs. I'm also an expert
> witness in enforcement cases and have opportunity
> from time to time to shape national policy on risk
> assessment in EPA.
> I was introduced to GE a few years back when I was
> shown the "risk assessment" for a GE
> nitrogen-fixing bacteria, Rhizobium meliloti. EPA
> was reviewing it for environmental release. R.
> meliloti had been given an extra set of genes for
> the enzyme which fixes nitrogen, genes to help it
> produce extra internal energy and a gene
> conferring resistance to the antibiotics
> streptomycin and spectinomycin. It's supposed to
> be coated on alfalfa seed in an effort to boost
> yields (farmers have used the wild strain of this
> bacteria for about 75 years as "insurance" that
> they will get good yields; some people think it's
> effects are imaginary).
> It was instantly apparent to me that my colleagues
> in our HQ office in Washington did not know what a
> risk assesment was, as this one was simply a few
> pages of speculation that this organism would be
> harmless. It didn't address issues like whether
> or not this would alter the ecology or fertility
> of the soil, or cause increases in
> antibiotic-resistant organisms. It contained only
> the results of a couple of field trials on
> nitrogen fixation which were equivocal. The basis
> for approval was that "the parent organism has
> been used without ill effect". The staff which
> reviewed the application had no idea why I was
> concerned; they thought this organism would be
> "green" technology because it would presumably
> reduce the need for fertilizers.
> To make a long story short (for more details,
> contact me at,
> we wrangled over this for a couple of years, and I
> learned some very disturbing things about
> regulation of GE:
> o EPA has an official position of "fostering"
> biotechnology.
> o There is no process - across all U.S. federal
> agencies - to evaluate the hazards of GE
> organisms (We have such a process for chemicals,
> and it works pretty well). For GE, however, no
> formal risk assessment methodologies. No
> science policies (These are positions you take
> on unresolved issues. For example you might
> decide to consider a chemical to be carcinogenic
> by all routes of exposure if you only know for
> sure it causes cancer by inhalation). No
> conferences where scientific issues of GE are
> debated. No understanding of the full range of
> hazards from GE organisms. No discussion of or
> consultation with the public to determine what
> consititutes "unacceptable risk". No method to
> even measure magnitude of risks. Etc, etc.
> In the U.S., each risk assessment for GE
> organisms is done on an ad hoc basis by different
> scientists in different departments of different
> agencies. Some of these agencies have
> conflicting missions - to promote and to
> regulate; to consider "benefits" as well as
> risks". There is rarely any formal peer review.
> o When peer review panels are put together, they
> are not necessarily unbiased. They can be
> filled with GE proponents or confined to
> questions which avoid the important issues, so
> that a predetermined decision can be justified.
> These revelations and others have convinced me
> that this technology is being promoted, in the
> face of concerns by respectable scientists and in
> the face of data to the contrary, by the very
> agencies which are supposed to be protecting human
> health and the environment.
> The bottom line in my view, is that we are
> confronted with the most powerful technology the
> world has ever known, and it is being rapidly
> deployed with almost no thought whatsoever to its
> consequences. In fact, we don't even know yet the
> full extent of what it can do to the environment
> and to our health. The few scientists in
> regulatory agencies who are concerned are ignored
> or their concerns are dismissed. Or they are told
> to be silent. Good risk assessment and good
> science, which if they were used rationally, would
> tell us that we're making a big mistake, is not
> being used or is being twisted.
> Thus, I'm afraid that the only effective control
> of GE will be political: groups such as this one
> raising public consciousness, especially that of
> the economically powerful American public.
> In the U.S. there has been little debate over GE,
> because there are few popular stories and little
> news coverage of the issues. To be sure, we need
> scientists to point out the detailed technical
> problems with GE, but it is equally important for
> the majority of citizens to realize the
> implications of GE and to use their collective
> power to say no.
> Sorry this was a bit long, but I thought you
> should know. And the Rhizobium? Based on a much
> longer, but equally flawed "risk assessment", it
> was approved and will be released into farm fields
> all over North America this Spring.

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