December 2, 1999

Subject: Food safety Files #3: FDA OFFICIALS TO BE CHALLENGED OVER GM FOOD APPROVAL + DORMANT VIRUSES CAN BE REACTIVATED WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS + GE News / Genetically Engineered/Modified FrankenFoods + How to avoid genetically engineered FrankenFoods(tm) + Day 18 of Robert Cohen's Hungerstrike

Hello eveyone

Since I've had absolutely no time to prepare my last series of Y2K updates as promised, I'm sending you instead this compilation of mostly recent updates about the GMO issue that is ready to be sent.

Lots of whistle-blowing and mind-boggling stuff as usual

Jean Hudon
Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator
http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000




Subject: FDA OFFICIALS TO BE CHALLENGED WITH FDA INTERNAL WARNINGS RE: GENE-ENGINEERED FOODS
From: biointey@kdsi.net
Date: 29 Nov 1999

EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR OF ALLIANCE FOR BIO-INTEGRITY TO CHALLENGE U.S. FOOD
& DRUG ADMINISTRATION (FDA) OFFICIALS AT NOVEMBER 30TH MEETING ON
GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS IN WASHINGTON, D.C.

WILL CONFRONT AGENCY WITH EVIDENCE IT COVERED-UP MEMORANDA FROM FDA
EXPERTS WARNING ABOUT UNIQUE HEALTH RISKS OF BIOTECH FOODS


FDA Commissioner Dr. Jane Henney and her top officials will receive
strong criticism of the agency's policy on genetically engineered foods
from a public interest attorney at the open meeting to be held by the
agency in Washington, D.C. on November 30. Steven M. Druker, executive
director of the Alliance for Bio-Integrity, will fault the FDA for
ignoring scientifically justified safety concerns in approving
genetically engineered foods.

He has been invited to present his views as a member of the panel on
Scientific, Safety, and Regulatory Issues.

His criticisms will be aired on the day the World Trade Organization
conference starts in Seattle, with the U.S. delegation insisting that
FDA policy on genetically engineered foods is science-based and that
widespread concerns in Europe and Asia are unscientific and irrational.

Mr. Druker will specifically critique the FDA for turning its back to
repeated warnings from its own scientists about the unique risks of
genetically engineered foods and for then proclaiming itself "...not
aware of any information showing that foods derived by these new methods
differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."

These warnings recently came to light when the FDA was required to
disclose its internal files during the course of a lawsuit headed by
Druker's organization, Alliance for Bio-Integrity, et al. v. Shalala
et al.

The suit, which is pending in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C.,
demands that the FDA institute mandatory safety testing and labeling of
all genetically engineered foods. Mr. Druker organized an unprecedented
coalition of eminent scientists and religious leaders to stand as
plaintiffs, and he is also serving as one of the attorneys.

After Druker and co-panelists have made their statements, Commissioner
Henney and other FDA officials will have an opportunity to dialogue with
them.

The panel discussion will occur during the morning session, which runs
from 10:00 A.M. until 1 P.M at the Cohen Auditorium in the Wilbur J.
Cohen Building, 330 Independence Ave S.W., Washington, D.C.

Exact copies of several FDA documents expressing concern about
risks of bioengineered foods are now on the Alliance for Bio-Integrity
website: http://www.biointegrity.org




Subject: B-GE: DORMANT VIRUSES CAN BE REACTIVATED WITH GENETICALLY MODIFIED ORGANISMS

NEW RESEARCH Nov. 17/99

PRESS RELEASE

Dormant viruses can be reactivated with genetically modified organisms - new research see also http://www.scup.no/mehd/ho New Research Results on Genetically Modified Organisms The use of the Cauliflower Mosaic Viral promotor (CaMV) has the potential to reactivate dormant viruses or create new viruses in all species to which it is transferred. CaMV is known to be found in practically all current transgenic crops released commercially or undergoing field trials. This transgenic instability increases the possibility of promotion of an inappropriate over-expression of genes to the transferred species. The development of cancer may be one consequence of such inappropriate over-expression of genes. The scientists behind the research "strongly recommend that all transgenic crops containing CaMV 35S or similar promoters which are recombinogenic should be immediately withdrawn from commercial production or open field trials. All products derived from such crops containing transgenic DNA should also be immediately withdrawn from sale and from use for human consumption or animal feed". These research results will be published in an article by scientists Mae-Wan Ho, Angela Ryan, and Joe Cummins, researchers at The Open University in England and University of Western Ontario, Canada. The article, "Cauliflower Mosaic Viral Promotor - A recipe for Disaster?", will appear in the December issue of the international scientific journal Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (no 4, 1999). See http://www.scup.no/mehd/ho for pre-publication full text. This article confirms the growing concern over the safety aspects of the use of viral promoters in the production of genetically manipulated food products, hence the recommended precautionary measure of withdrawing all such products. This uncertainty around the use of viral promoters should add fuel to the arguments of the anti-genetically modified organism lobby groups. The Editor-in-Chief of the journal, Professor Tore Midvedt, who is head of Medical Microbiology and Ecology at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, is willing to discuss the serious implications of this article with journalists who wish to obtain further information. Professor Midvedt is heavily involved in the sensitive issues around genetically modified organisms. He aims to take a neutral standpoint and is actively encouraging both sides of the debate to use the journal as a forum for discussion. He believes that we need an open debate, with strict guidelines to control the potential dangers of genetically modified organisms.

Background material for this new research can be found in an excellent article co-authored by Mae-Wan Ho, "Gene technology and Gene Ecology of Infectious Diseases". The article can be read in the same journal at http://www.scup.no/mehd/ Table of contents /Volume 10/ no. 1.

For instructions on joining, leaving, or otherwise using the Ban-GEF list, send email to Ban-GEF@lists.txinfinet.com with HELP in the SUBJECT line.




Subject: GE News / Genetically Engineered/Modified FrankenFoods
Date: Fri, 12 Nov 1999
From: Richard Wolfson [mailto:rwolfson@concentric.net]

Here is a recent GENews Email posting. For those who wish to receive these
postings regularly, we request a subscription fee of $35/12 months for
those who can afford it. For those who cannot afford it, they can pay
whatever they can afford. (Please ignore this message if you have already
sent in a subscription fee.)
Richard.

(The following is a report by me of recent developments at Health Canada)

200 Hundred Health Canada Scientists Speak Out

by Richard Wolfson, PhD

Over two hundred Health Canada scientists recently sent a letter to Alan
Rock, Canada's Minister of Health, saying they are very concerned about the
erosion of safety standards at Health Canada, which is risking the health
of Canadians. The rapid approval of hormones and other drugs for use in
food-producing animals, and genetically modified foods for humans, without
extensive safety testing, were examples of their concerns.

The scientists were also concerned that through proposed legislation (Bill
C-80), the Ministry of Health would lose the ability to enforce food safety
altogether. The scientists recommended that the responsibility for
ensuring food safety be kept with Health Canada. They said, "Failure to do
so will be disastrous to the health of infants, children and adults."

Several weeks later, the Minister of Health had his Deputy, David Dodge,
meet with the scientists. Mr. Dodge expressed dissatisfaction with their
letter, which he described as "alarmist" and "unprofessional." The
scientists stood their ground and reiterated their concerns about
dangerously declining safety standards, which had already allowed products
of questionable safety on the Canadian market.

For 200 Health Canada scientists to sign the letter of concern is of
immense significance. Some of the scientists also sent in a second letter
expressing their dissatisfation with the remarks of the Deputy Minister of
Health. Two of the key scientists, Dr. Shiv Chopra and Dr. Margaret Haydon,
who had been forbidden from speaking to the public about these concerns,
are now before the Federal Court of Canada challenging their gag order.
The hearing is scheduled for June 20, 2000. The scientists are represented
by their union, the Professional Institute of the Public Service of
Canada, who can be contacted in Ottawa.

.......

Science Headlines

Tuesday November 9

Green Group Warns on GM Tree Development

BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An international environmental group said on Tuesday a
growing number of genetically modified (GM) trees were being cultivated
without reliable safeguards and called for a global moratorium on their
commercial release.

The World Wide Fund for Nature said in a study that commercial GM tree
production could begin in the next two years, probably in Chile, China and
Indonesia, despite what it said were inadequate regulations and
insufficient research into the environmental impact of trees modified by
biotechnology.

``WWF is calling on governments worldwide to declare a global moratorium on
the commercial release of GM trees until enough research has been conducted
and proper safeguards have been put in place,'' Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, head
of WWF's Forests for Life Program, said in a statement.

``It is far too early to judge whether biotechnology can make a safe and
effective contribution to the forest sector.''

WWF said there could be a risk of genetic pollution, the development of
``superweeds'' and unwanted effects on non-target species from trees
engineered to be resistant to pests and agricultural chemicals.
..........

THE WINDSOR STAR

Thursday, November 4,1999, Page A5

PUBLIC URGED TO SPEAK OUT

Activist warns about genetically-altered food

By Sharon Hill
Star Agriculture Reporter

Consumers need to stand up and say they don't want genetically
engineered food in order to get it off the market, says Richard Wolfson,
PhD, an Ottawa activist against biotechnology.

Wolfson said to buy organic food or demand their supermarkets take
genetically-altered food off the shelves. He was speaking to about 500
people at the Genetic Engineering and the Future of Food forum at the
Caboto Club Wednesday.

Like scientist David Suzuki, Wolfson said Canada hasn't done enough
long-term testing to know such foods are safe. He said we don't know
enough about DNA to know what adding genes from one species to another
could do, such as unpredictable mutations of the genetic code or the
introduction of new toxins or allergens into food.

"We're virtually acting like God. This is what worries Prince Charles,"
Wolfson said. "These foods are being fast-tracked to market before they've
been tested."

Wolfson, a health adviser to the Natural Law Party who has a website
dedicated to genetic engineering, said consumers in Europe and Japan fought
back and now genetically-altered foods are labeled there.

Wolfson said the genetically-altered crops have been rushed to market
and benefit the companies that produce them and not consumers. He said if
we find humans or the environment are adversely affected, it will be too
late.

"If one has a car with a defect they can withdraw that car and take it
off the market. With a genetically engineered product you can't recall
it," he said in an interview before his speech. "Even dog food in Europe
can't have genetically engineered food in it. In North America they won't
even allow us to label it."

Novel foods approved

Genetic engineering allows scientists to take DNA from one plant or
animal and insert it into another plant or animal. Health Canada has
approved 42 novel foods that use genetic engineering and an estimated 70
per cent of food in Canadian supermarkets contains genetically-altered
ingredients from soy-based infant formula to many processed foods.

Jane Roberge, a 65 year old Windsorite who was raised on a farm, said
she didn't know until recently that she's likely eating
genetically-engineered food. She wants it off the market.

"Yes it does scare me because you don't know it's in your food."

The forum's speakers offered a critical view of genetic engineering and
followed Suzuki's call for a moratorium on genetically-altered foods
because the long-term hazards are not known.

But in the last few days other scientists and farmers have defended
genetic engineering. Monday a group of Canadian scientists formed a
national coalition to support biotechnology and genetically-engineered
food. They said Canada has one of the finest regulatory systems in the
world and called for an informed dialogue about biotechnology. Tuesday,
the Consumers' Association of Canada, which doesn't support or oppose
biotechnology, said Canadians needed accurate information more than food
labeling.

.......

Wednesday, November 10

Greenpeace challenges French green light for GM-modified maize

LUXEMBOURG, Nov 9 (AFP) -

The international environmental group Greenpeace went before the European
Court of Justice on Tuesday in a bid to annul France's green light for the
marketing of genetically engineered maize.

The case marks the first time that the European Union's court is being
asked to pass judgement on genetically modified foods.

Greenpeace lawyers argued that a French decree in February 1998 authorizing
Novartis, the Swiss chemicals group, to market so-called Bt-maize had been
adopted in violation of an agreed principle of precaution.

That principle requires the full evaluation of environmental and health
risks prior to the marketing of genetically modified products.

Advocate general Jean Mischo is to deliver his conclusions on November 25,
with a decision from the court due before the middle of next year.

.........

EU's top judges asked to rule on landmark GMO case

BRUSSELS, Reuters [WS] via NewsEdge Corporation : The European Union's top
judges were asked on Tuesday to rule whether France had the right to
suspend authorisation of genetically modified (GM) crops.

In a crucial test case for the future of biotechnology, the
Luxembourg-based European Court of Justice heard evidence from eight
different parties, with opponents of GMOs led by environmental group
Greenpeace pitched against leading life sciences companies and the EU's
executive Commission.

The French Council of State had earlier asked the court to rule whether
Paris was justified in freezing the approval of three strains of
genetically modified (GM) maize developed by Switzerland's Novartis AG
(NOVZn.S).

Greenpeace and agricultural lobby Confederation Paysanne told the court
that EU legislation on approving GMOs ``cannot be interpreted as being
intended to deprive member states of all power of assessment when
delivering written consent'' to give a new product the go-ahead, said a
court report of the hearing.

Novartis, the company at the centre of the controversy, argued that France
had a legal obligation to allow the seed to be marketed, particularly as it
was the country which originally sponsored the application through the EU's
licensing procedure.

It was supported by rival company Monsanto Co (MTC.N) and the Commission,
the EU's executive, which argued that national authorities ``have the
obligation to assure the execution of a favourable decision'' under the
legislation.

CASE COMES AT CRUCIAL TIME FOR GM CROPS

The hearing came amid growing confusion about the future of GM crops in the
15 member EU. No new GMOs have been approved since April 1998 as consumer
fears grow about the safety of foods derived from GM crops.

The freeze on approvals has increased the likelihood of further trade
friction between the EU and the United States, whose exports of bulk
commodities to Europe have been limited.

The Novartis maize was one of the first GM crops approved in Europe. The
authorisation came in controversial circumstances and despite the
opposition of a number of governments.

France then blocked the seed from being planted on its own territory, even
though it was the country which originally applied for a licence on behalf
of Ciba-Geigy Ltd, the forerunner of Novartis.

A court spokeswoman said that an advisory, non-binding ruling would be
issued by an Advocate-General of the court in four to six weeks.

A final judgment is likely to take between 17 and 22 months from when the
case was originally submitted to the court, in January this year.

If the court finds that France does have jurisdiction in the case, it will
be returned to the Council of State in Paris to take a final decision on
the complaint, Greenpeace said in a statement

......

EU'US green, consumer groups demand labels on biotech food

WASHINGTON, Reuters [EB] via NewsEdge Corporation : A coalition of U.S.
environmental and consumer groups will urge the Food and Drug
Administration (FDA) to tighten regulation of bioengineered foods and
require labels on them, the groups said on Tuesday.

The push for more federal scrutiny of genetically modified (GM) foods comes
at a time when Clinton Administration officials are preparing to defend the
safety and benefits of biotech crops in world trade talks at the end of the
month.

The European Union, Japan and Australia are among those balking at imports
of U.S. bioengineered crops and food.

Consumers Union, the Sierra Club, the Centre for Food Safety and several
dozen other activist groups will ask the FDA on Friday to adopt stricter
rules for companies testing GM foods.

** NOTICE: In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material is
distributed for research and educational purposes only. **

Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street
Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596
email: rwolfson@concentric.net

Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic
contains more information on genetic engineering as well as previous
genetic engineering news items.




How to avoid genetically engineered FrankenFoods(tm)

From: http://www.safe-food.org/-consumer/foods.html

What to Eat, How to Shop

If you really want to avoid the influence of genetic engineering, buy fresh
organic produce. If you want to buy processed foods and avoid genetically
engineered ingredients, you will have to read product labels. If the label
mentions any of the ingredients listed below without explicitly qualifying
it as organic, then the product probably contains genetically engineered
ingredients.

Primary Suspects: Ingredients and Products to Check

Soybeans: Soy flour, soy oil, lecithin, soy protein isolates and
concentrates. Products that may contain genetically engineered soy
derivatives: vitamin E, tofu dogs, cereals, veggie burgers and sausages,
tamari, soy sauce, chips, ice cream, frozen yogurt, infant formula, sauces,
protein powder, margarine, soy cheeses, crackers, breads, cookies,
chocolates, candies, fried foods, shampoo, bubble bath, cosmetics, enriched
flours and pastas.

Corn: Corn flour, corn starch, corn oil, corn sweeteners, syrups. Products
that may contain genetically engineered corn derivatives: vitamin C, tofu
dogs, chips, candies, ice cream, infant formula, salad dressings, tomato
sauces, breads, cookies, cereals, baking powder, alcohol, vanilla,
margarine, soy sauce, tamari, soda, fried foods, powdered sugar, enriched
flours and pastas.

Canola: Oil. Products that may contain genetically engineered canola
derivatives: chips, salad dressings, cookies, margarine, soaps, detergents,
soy cheeses, fried foods.

Cotton: Oil, fabric. Products that may contain genetically engineered cotton
or its derivatives: clothes, linens, chips, peanut butter, crackers,
cookies.

Potatoes: Right now the only potato that has been genetically engineered is
the Burbank Russet, but you still have to look out for potato starch and
flour. Products that may contain genetically engineered potatoes or
derivatives: unspecified processed or restaurant potato products (fries,
mashed, baked, mixes, etc.), chips, Passover products, vegetable pies,
soups.

Tomatoes: No plum or roma tomatoes have been genetically engineered. But one
cherry tomato has, as have regular tomatoes. Products that may contain
genetically engineered tomatoes or derivatives: sauces, purees, pizza,
lasagna, and all of those wonderful Italian and Mexican foods.

Dairy Products: Milk, cheese, butter, buttermilk, sour cream, yogurt, whey.
You have to ask several questions when you are looking at dairy products.
Have the cows been treated with rBGH? What kind of feed have they been
given? If they are not being fed organic grains, chances are quite likely
that they will be eating genetically engineered animal feed. What does this
do to their milk products? No one knows.

Animal Products: Because animal feed often contains genetically engineered
organisms, all animal products, or by-products may be affected.
Please note that a food may contain some of these items and yet be free from
genetically engineered organisms, but we have no way of knowing without
tracking down every brand, every product and every ingredient. Even reading
labels is no guarantee that you will be able to avoid genetically engineered
ingredients, because manufacturers are not required to list every little
ingredient, enzyme or organism used in the manufacturing process. The
following products may also be genetically altered, contain or originate
from genetically engineered organisms: candies, cookies, breads, cereals,
corn syrups, oils, juices, detergents, dough conditioners, yeast, sugar,
animal feed, vitamins and enzymes used in the processing of cheese.

http://www.safe-food.org/-consumer/brands.html

Natural Products (GE / GM free)

Dairy Products: The following dairies state that all of their products are
made with 100% organic ingredients. Their animals are not treated with rBGH
or other hormones and are only fed organically grown feed. There are no
bioengineered dairy cultures or enzymes in their products.

(clip - please read the rest at http://www.safe-food.org/-consumer/brands.html)

(continued)

Supplements

Many of our members have called us with concerns about the vitamins and food
supplements they take every day. NOW Foods, one of the supplement
manufacturers M4NL works closely with, offered to explain the impact GE is
having on their industry.

NOW Foods is a family-owned manufacturer and distributor of dietary
supplements and natural foods. For nearly a year, despite the enormous
challenges the company faces because of this technology, NOW has offered its
whole-hearted support to our organization, distributing our materials to
tens of thousands of customers around the country and providing us with
substantive guidance, feedback and practical advice.

Mothers for Natural Law spoke with James Roza, Director of Quality Assurance
of Now Natural Foods, and 20-year veteran of the Natural Products Industry.
James is on the board of Natural Nutritional Foods Association's Compliance
Committee, and the Quality Control Committee of the American Herbal Products
Association. He is currently chairing a committee to establish standards for
Grape Seed Extract Products and as a member of the GMO Task Force (with
Mothers for Natural Law), working towards the preservation of Identity
Preserved Foods and Ingredients.

Jim, can you tell our readers how vitamins are made?

"There are many different ways vitamins can be produced. Some of the more
common ways would include: hydrolyzation (breaking things into smaller
components), enzymatic conversation (using enzymes to convert substances),
and purification of food commodities such as corn syrup or soy oil,
bio-fermentation, and chemical synthesis. For example, Ascorbic Acid
(vitamin C) is produced from the glucose extracted from corn syrup by using
some of the aforementioned procedures."

So, GE ingredients have found their way even into supplements?

"Unfortunately, yes. Because the starter material used to produce some of
our most commonly used vitamins are food commodities such as soy and corn,
the use of genetically modified foods reaches the consumer even at the
supplement level. The proteins or fragments of the soy or corn remain intact
through the various permutations the foods must undergo before they reach
their finished forms as vitamins. This also applies to the excipients
(fillers, lubricants, processing agents, etc.) that are also used in vitamin
production."

What is NOW doing about these GE ingredients?

"NOW Foods is pro-actively working with suppliers to make them aware of the
potential problems inherent in GE foods. It is our expressed desire to lobby
for the preservation of non-GE foods so that they can be labeled as such and
give the consumer the right to make an educated decision of their own. We
hope to create a situation whereby manufacturers have easy access to
vitamins and food ingredients produced from non-GE foods. At this point it
is a grass roots effort, but all great causes have their start there. Given
the potential hazards posed by these genetically modified foods, it is the
only ethical thing to do."

What are your feelings about the GE components in the supplements industry?

"I believe there will be a divergence of supplement products offered to the
consumer. Some companies will take the high road and use non-GE food
components in their products and others will not, seeing it as a frivolous
concession to "radical activist groups." Whichever the case, I believe,
based on the groundswell of support this is receiving from the public, that
it will be incumbent upon manufacturers to label their products accordingly.
The challenge will be to move this issue forward expeditiously. I believe we
are only seeing the tip of the iceberg in regards to an issue that will
continue to grow as new transgenic and genetically modified material are
produced."

How is NOW addressing consumer concerns about GE foods? What is your
position on labeling?

"By being part of an industry task force to champion the cause of GE-free
foods, working with Mothers for Natural Law, and making our suppliers aware
of its potential down sides. We are also embarking upon a continual program
in all our divisions to do everything possible to eliminate genetic
engineering from our products. We will start with letters to our suppliers
to solicit information about the possible use of GE components in their
products, and set standards for what is and is not acceptable. In terms of
labeling, we will work towards finding a position that is meaningful and
workable for all concerned. This will require input from all parties and be
in accordance with labeling requirements that we would all adhere to."

see also: (temporarily offline)
http://www.safe-food.org/temp/registration.html




From: jeff.gordon@wellnow.com
Date: Thu, 25 Nov 1999
Subject: [Well Now] Day 18 of Robert Cohen's Hungerstrike

On November 7, Robert Cohen, author of "Milk - The Deadly Poison", and
others, began a hunger strike, taking a stand against the use of
Monsanto's genetically modified rBGH in dairy farming (i.e., agribusiness
dairy production).

Cohen finds sufficient reasons to avoid cow's milk altogether, including
the presence of IGF-1, the only cross-species hormone yet identified.
IGF-1 is naturally-occurring in cow's milk. In humans, it has recently
been implicated in the worsening, the "driving", of particular cancers
(breast, prostatic, lung). IGF-1 levels are measurably higher in dairy
products when rBGH is employed.

Cohen's reasons and daily diary entries are on the web at:

http://www.hungerstrike.com

This is his entry for Wednesday (Thanksgiving Eve):

************************************

Wednesday, November 24 - Day 18

Today is Day 18 of my hunger strike. Tomorrow is the day of giving
thanks. I'd like all of those who read this to take a moment during your
Thanksgiving meal and reflect upon why we do the things we do. I am
motivated to seek the health and safety of my children and your children.
When I see a sick child, I do all I can to become an advocate for that
child. Nothing will ever deter me from that course.

Five days ago, I attended a session at the Center for Veterinary Medicine
and presented my argument for revoking Monsanto's genetically engineered
bovine growth hormone from the market. Kimberly Gorall took notes of my
presentation and FDA's responses. It is a luxury having the gift of an
eyewitness reporter, and I now reproduce her notes for you.

My presentation began and I said that there was an "open door policy
between FDA and Monsanto and that is the public's perception."
Furthermore, I said that "Monsanto's experiments were poor science and FDA
accepted them. Monsanto lied and defrauded the FDA."

The major part of my presentation revealed that "Monsanto acknowledged the
creation of a 'freak amino acid' in an obscure British journal. The
reason to take the drug off the market is that the hormone that is on the
market today is not the one that was approved."

I also discussed scientific evidence and reason for concern. After cows
are injected with rbGH, levels of IGF-I in their milk increase by about
80%. I gave FDA studies from peer-reviewed scientific journals indicating
that IGF-I has been named as a key factor in breast, prostate, and lung
cancers. I also furnished a study revealing that IGF-I levels increase by
a factor of 10% in people who drink milk. I also discussed mandatory
labeling of food products containing genetically modified organisms
(GMOs).

Dr. Tollefson, Director of the Office of Surveillance and Compliance,
asked, "How would you insure compliance with mandatory labeling?" My
response was that it is up to FDA to find those who don't comply.

Dr. Beaulieu, Deputy Center Director, asked, "Where do you think you'll
ultimately go with the milk argument?" I went into about a sixty-minute
discourse consisting of studies indicating that bovine proteins have
allergenic effects on humans, and that bovine hormones survive digestion.
Beaulieu asked, "How is it that mammals have evolved in the presence of
this substance?" I responded, "Milk is nature's perfect food for infants
and there is a different formula for every species. One should not drink
milk from another animal and certainly not as an adult." Beaulieu then
asked, "What about meat?" I responded, "IGF-I is in meat but gastric
acidity breaks down proteins in meat. Milk buffers gastric pH."

Tollefson asked, "What about products other than fluid milk?" I
responded, "Those hormones are very powerful and casein is a tenacious
glue and very allergenic." Beaulieu asked, "Would milk from
rbGH-treated cows qualify for this label? The milk itself is not
genetically engineered." I responded, "Of course, it would, as would all
cheese and ice cream." Beaulieu then asked, " Would you call
biotech-created insulin genetically engineered?" I responded, "I love
genetic engineering, I don't love mistakes." Beaulieu asked, "What's the
purpose of the hunger strike? To get rbGH off the market?" I responded,
"Yes, and I don't want to die. I don't question your right to put things
on the market. I just want the right to know what I am eating."

Dr. Lathers, Director of New Animal Drug Evaluation, asked, "What are you
seeking from us?" I responded, " Let's explore a process in which
everyone wins."

I do not hate Monsanto and I have no fear of biotechnology. When mankind
makes errors, we must correct them. To not do so is to not act as a
fiduciary. When we betray people, we commit a crime. Monsanto betrayed
FDA and, in doing so, betrayed all Americans, and their drug must be
immediately removed from the market. That is why I and nearly 200 other
people are fasting for one day or longer. I hope that you hear us and
fairly examine our petition.

Have a very Happy Thanksgiving and say a prayer for those who continue to
consume the genetically engineered and unlabeled poison.


Robert Cohen



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