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Genetically modified crops - February issue

Martin Tom Brown Martin at nezumi.demon.co.uk
Mon Feb 8 02:50:05 EST 1999


On Sunday, in article <36BDC28C.C4CF596F at uga.cc.uga.edu>
     wparrott at uga.cc.uga.edu "Wayne Parrott" wrote:

> Again, no.  Round up has been around for so long that its patent has run out. 

Has or is about to ?  

> have about 2 decades of data on its use.  My understanding is that glyphosate
>  does
> persit in the crop, so its safety had to be assured before EPA and FDA
>  permitted its use.

Did you mean to say "does persist in the crop" ?
My understanding was that it should not as before Roundup ready 
GM crops any plant you spray with Glyphosate becomes quickly dead. 

I was a bit concerned by one report which claimed most of the safety 
work was done on plants which had *not* been sprayed with Roundup.

> There are lots of studies showing that Roundup does not persist elsewhere. 

It's certainly not persistent long term. Half life is a few months.

> this is Roundup's Achilles heel, from a farming point of view.  Late-germinating
> weeds are not affected by Roundup, as its activity is so short-lived.

It is a contact herbicide to work it more or less has to hit the
green leaves of a plant (or be present in massive doses) after it
hits the soil it is physically bound up but still the same chemical.
 
> > only precautions that I have heard of being taken are political in
> > nature, rather than scientific.
> 
> Again, no.  The amount of data that must be gathered prior to FDA/EPA approval
>  is
> astronomical.  Our USDA has an entire grants program solely focussing on Risk
> Assesment of Engineered Crops.  The list goes on...

The US FDA still has some credibility with the US public though. 

You must remember that in Europe following BSE our corresponding 
authorities are no longer trusted by anyone to make scientifically
based decisions. Witness the recent ban of beef on the bone.
 
Regards,
-- 
Martin Brown  <martin at nezumi.demon.co.uk>     __                CIS: 71651,470
Scientific Software Consultancy             /^,,)__/




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