Here you can search the thousands of posts from our older message boards. Just click on the link for the time period you wish to search and you will be taken to the fill-out form for that volume. You can also click on the 'Return to Index' link and display all the messages in threaded form.
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
>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
>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.
>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 email@example.com),
> 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"
> 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.
Messages in This Thread
- Immediate action needed
Jean -- Tuesday, 20 January 1998, at 5:59 p.m.
heidi -- Tuesday, 20 January 1998, at 5:56 p.m.
Oganic Farming Website
Jean -- Tuesday, 20 January 1998, at 1:08 a.m.
Re: Immediate action needed
heidi -- Tuesday, 20 January 1998, at 5:59 p.m.