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Genetically modified crops - February issue

Victoria Clare victoria at nogrod.u-net.com
Sun Feb 14 12:36:23 EST 1999


Hybrid-T <hybrid_T at hotmail.com> wrote:

>Phil Jones wrote:
>
>> It is being put about by the media that genes from GM foods could
>> enter the human gene pool via the stomach, and so cause human
>> gene modification.
>
>I realize it's the MEDIA saying this, but does anyone on this thread
>believe this? How could genes enter the "human gene pool" through the
>*stomach*?? Any genetic material ingested is broken down into
>constituent nucleotides so that cells have a pool of free nucleotides to
>work with as they need.

Well, it certainly seems most unlikely - but I certainly don't know
enough about genetics to say for definite it couldn't happen (in the
same way I can't be certain that my postman won't suddenly decide to
do his rounds on a pogo stick).

However, given that an alarming number of people writing to and even
in the newspapers seem to have been hitherto unaware that food had
genes in it at all, I suppose that it's good that:
 a) they now know it does, and 
b) the panic is on the side of caution rather than risk.

Even if there is no direct risk to human beings from GM food, that
doesn't mean we should put our sorely-pressed UK ecosystems to any
further risk if we can help it.
Victoria



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