December 17, 2000
Subject: Miscellaneous Subjects #51: Easy-to-read analysis of the Supreme Court decision + We Need 3 Electors With a Conscience + BUSH SUES SANTA + HAGELIN STUNS EPA WITH STIRRING "STARLINK" TESTIMONY
Here is some new material that really got my attention. It is all quite compelling as you'll see.
You will want to pass this on...
Earth Rainbow Network (ERN) Coordinator
*** To receive on average 3 email compilations every week on a wide range of subjects, simply ask to be added on the ERN list at firstname.lastname@example.org - Subscription is free!***
FIRST I CANNOT RESIST PASSING THIS ONE TO YOU (SEVERAL PEOPLE SENT IT TO ME!) AS IT SO CLEARLY DESCRIBES IN MINUTE DETAILS WHY THIS PRESIDENTIAL ELECTION WAS STOLEN FROM GORE - CERTAINLY WORST THAN THE WATERGATE SCANDAL, OF COURSE NOT WORST THAN THE CIA-ELITE-PLANNED ASSASSINATION OF PRESIDENT KENNEDY (more on this shortly), BUT STILL A TERRIBLE BREACH OF THE DEMOCRATIC PROCESS AND A SHAME THAT WILL FOREVER TARNISH THE REPUTATION OF THE PSEUDO DEMOCRATIC UNITED STATES OF AMERICA...
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000
Subject: FW: Easy-to-read analysis of the Supreme Court decision
Here's a marvelous easy-to-read analysis of the Supreme Court decision from
a California attorney.
Q: I'm not a lawyer and I don't understand the recent Supreme Court decision
in Bush v. Gore. Can you explain it to me?
A: Sure. I'm a lawyer. I read it. It says Bush wins, even if Gore got the
Q: But wait a second. The US Supreme Court has to give a reason, right?
Q: So Bush wins because hand-counts are illegal?
A: Oh no. Six of the justices (two-thirds majority) believed the hand-counts
were legal and should be done.
Q: Oh. So the justices did not believe that the hand-counts would find any
A. Nope. The five conservative justices clearly held (and all nine justices
agreed) "that punch card balloting machines can produce an unfortunate
number of ballots which are not punched in a clean, complete way by the
voter." So there are legal votes that should be counted but can't be.
Q: Oh. Does this have something to do with states' rights? Don't
conservatives love that?
A: Generally yes. These five justices have held that the federal government
has no business telling a sovereign state university it can't steal trade
secrets just because such stealing is prohibited by law. Nor does the
federal government have any business telling a state that it should bar guns
in schools. Nor can the federal government use the equal protection clause
to force states to take measures to stop violence against women.
Q: Is there an exception in this case?
A: Yes, the Gore exception. States have no rights to have their own state
elections when it can result in Gore being elected President. This decision
is limited to only this situation.
Q: C'mon. The Supremes didn't really say that. You're exaggerating.
A: Nope. They held "Our consideration is limited to the present
circumstances, or the problem of equal protection in election processes
generally presents many complexities."
Q: What complexities?
A: They don't say.
Q: I'll bet I know the reason. I heard Jim Baker say this. The votes can't
be counted because the Florida Supreme Court "changed the rules of the
election after it was held." Right?
A. Dead wrong. The US Supreme Court made clear that the Florida Supreme
Court did not change the rules of the election. But the US Supreme Court
found the failure of the Florida Court to change the rules was wrong.
A: The Legislature declared that the only legal standard for counting vote
is "clear intent of the voter." The Florida Court was condemned for not
adopting a clearer standard.
Q: I thought the Florida Court was not allowed to change the Legislature's
law after the election.
Q: So what's the problem?
A: They should have. The US Supreme Court said the Florida Supreme Court
should have "adopt[ed] adequate statewide standards for determining what is
a legal vote"
Q: I thought only the Legislature could "adopt" new law.
Q: So if the Court had adopted new standards, I thought it would have been
A: Right. You're catching on.
Q: If the Court had adopted new standards, it would have been overturned for
changing the rules. And if it didn't, it's overturned for not changing the
rules. That means that no matter what the Florida Supreme Court did, legal
votes could never be counted.
A: Right. Next question.
Q: Wait, wait. I thought the problem was "equal protection," that some
counties counted votes differently from others. Isn't that a problem?
A: It sure is. Across the nation, we vote in a hodgepodge of systems. Some,
like the optical-scanners in largely Republican-leaning counties record
99.7% of the votes. Some, like the punchcard systems in largely
Democratic-leaning counties record only 97% of the votes. So approximately
3% of Democratic votes are thrown in the trash can.
Q: Aha! That's a severe equal-protection problem!!!
A: No it's not. The Supreme Court wasn't worried about the 3% of Democratic
ballots thrown in the trash can in Florida. That "complexity" was not a
Q: Was it the butterfly ballots that violated Florida law and tricked more
than 20,000 Democrats to vote for Buchanan or Gore and Buchanan.
A: Nope. The Supreme Court has no problem believing that Buchanan got his
highest, best support in a precinct consisting of a Jewish old age home with
Holocaust survivors, who apparently have changed their mind about Hitler.
Q: Yikes. So what was the serious equal protection problem?
A: The problem was neither the butterfly ballot nor the 3% of Democrats
(largely African-American) disenfranchised. The problem is that somewhat
less than .005% of the ballots may have been determined under slightly
different standards because judges sworn to uphold the law and doing their
best to accomplish the legislative mandate of "clear intent of the voter"
may have a slightly opinion about the voter's intent.
Q: Hmmm. OK, so if those votes are thrown out, you can still count the votes
where everyone agrees the voter's intent is clear?
Q: Why not?
A: No time.
Q: No time to count legal votes where everyone, even Republicans, agree the
intent is clear? Why not?
A: Because December 12 was yesterday.
Q: Is December 12 a deadline for counting votes?
A: No. January 6 is the deadline. In 1960, Hawaii's votes weren't counted
until January 4.
Q: So why is December 12 important?
A: December 12 is a deadline by which Congress can't challenge the results.
Q: What does the Congressional role have to do with the Supreme Court?
Q: But I thought ---
A: The Florida Supreme Court had earlier held it would like to complete its
work by December 12 to make things easier for Congress. The United States
Supreme Court is trying to help the Florida Supreme Court out by forcing the
Florida court to abide by a deadline that everyone agrees is not binding.
Q: But I thought the Florida Court was going to just barely have the votes
counted by December 12.
A: They would have made it, but the five conservative justices stopped the
recount last Saturday.
A: Justice Scalia said some of the counts may not be legal.
Q: So why not separate the votes into piles, indentations for Gore, hanging
chads for Bush, votes that everyone agrees went to one candidate or the
other so that we know exactly how Florida voted before determining who won?
Then, if some ballots (say, indentations) have to be thrown out, the
American people will know right away who won Florida.
A. Great idea! The US Supreme Court rejected it. They held that such counts
would likely to produce election results showing Gore won and Gore's winning
would cause "public acceptance" and that would "cast a cloud" over Bush's
"legitimacy" that would harm "democratic stability."
Q: In other words, if America knows the truth that Gore won, they won't
accept the US Supreme Court overturning Gore's victory?
Q: Is that a legal reason to stop recounts? Or a political one?
A: Let's just say in all of American history and all of American law, this
reason has no basis in law. But that doesn't stop the five conservatives
from creating new law out of thin air.
Q: Aren't these conservative justices against judicial activism?
A: Yes, when liberal judges are perceived to have done it.
Q: Well, if the December 12 deadline is not binding, why not count the
A: The US Supreme Court, after admitting the December 12 deadline is not
binding, set December 12 as a binding deadline at 10 p.m. on December 12.
Q: Didn't the US Supreme Court condemn the Florida Supreme Court for
arbitrarily setting a deadline?
Q: But, but --
A: Not to worry. The US Supreme Court does not have to follow laws it sets
for other courts.
Q: So who caused Florida to miss the December 12 deadline?
A: The Bush lawyers who first went to court to stop the recount, the
rent-a-mob in Miami that got paid Florida vacations for intimidating
officials, and the US Supreme Court for stopping the recount
Q: So who is punished for this behavior?
A: Gore, of course.
Q: You're telling me that Florida's laws are unconstitutional?
Q: And the laws of 50 states that allow votes to be cast or counted
differently are unconstitutional?
A: Yes. And 33 states have the "clear intent of the voter" standard that the
US Supreme Court found was illegal in Florida
Q: Then why aren't the results of 33 states thrown out?
A: Um. Because ... um ...the Supreme Court doesn't say.
Q: But if Florida's certification includes counts expressly declared by the
US Supreme Court to be unconstitutional, we don't know who really won the
election there, right?
A: Right. Though a careful analysis by the Miami Herald shows Gore won
Florida by about 20,000 votes (excluding the butterfly ballot errors)
Q: So, what do we do, have a re-vote? Throw out the entire state? Count
under a single uniform standard?
A: No. We just don't count the votes that favor Gore.
Q: That's completely bizarre! That sounds like rank political favoritism!
Did the justices have any financial interest in the case?
A: Scalia's two sons are both lawyers working for Bush. Thomas's wife is
collecting applications for people who want to work in the Bush
Q: Why didn't they recuse themselves?
A: If either had recused himself, the vote would be 4-4, and the Florida
Supreme Court decision allowing recounts would have been affirmed.
Q: I can't believe the justices acted in such a blatantly political way.
A: Read the opinions for yourself:
http://frwebgate.access.gpo.gov/supremecourt/00-949_dec12.fdf (December 9
stay stopping the recount)
http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/00pdf/00-949.pdf (December 12
Q: So what are the consequences of this?
A: The guy who got the most votes in the US and in Florida and under our
Constitution (Al Gore) will lose to America's second choice who won the all
important 5-4 Supreme Court vote.
Q: I thought in a democracy, the guy with the most votes wins.
A: True, in a democracy. But America is not a democracy. In America in 2000,
the guy with the most US Supreme Court votes wins.
Q: So what will happen to the Supreme Court when Bush becomes President.
A: He will appoint more justices in the mode of Thomas and Scalia to ensure
that the will of the people is less and less respected. Soon lawless
justices may constitute 6-3 or even 7-2 on the court.
Q: Is there any way to stop this?
A: YES. No federal judge can be confirmed without a vote in the Senate. It
takes 60 votes to break a filibuster. If only 41 of the 50 Democratic
Senators stand up to Bush and his Supremes and say that they will not
approve a single judge appointed by him until a President can be
democratically elected in 2004, the judicial reign of terror can end. And
one day we can hope to return to the rule of law.
Q: What do I do now?
A: E-mail this to everyone you know, and write or call your senator,
reminding him that Gore beat Bush by over three hundred thousand votes (three
times Kennedy's margin over Nixon) and that you believe that VOTERS rather
than JUDGES should determine who wins an election by counting every vote.
And to protect our judiciary from overturning the will of the people, you
want them to confirm NO NEW JUDGES until 2004 when a president is finally
chosen by most of the American people.
Mark H. Levine
Attorney at Law
THIS IS PROBABLY WORTH A TRY...
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000
From: Mark Graffis <email@example.com>
We Need 3 Electors With a Conscience
December 15, 2000
There is still one more chance to stop the theft of the 2000 election.
On Monday, the electors will gather in their respective state capitals to
cast their votes for President. If just three of the Republicans' 271
electors switch their votes, Bush loses. I have to believe in any gathering
of human beings there is at least 1% of them who will always be willing to
commit an act of courage and conscience. That's roughly the percentage we
need of those 271 Americans who hold the country's fate in their hands. Like
Bush, they all know that in order to prevent the election of Al Gore, the
counting of the votes in Florida had to be stopped -- because it was clear
what the outcome would be. When the Supreme Court called a halt to the
counting at 2:45pm last Saturday, the Bush lead had dropped to only 58
votes! And that was with only a third of the recount completed.
Please understand -- this appeal is not coming from a Gore supporter. It is
not a partisan thing for me. It is about counting all the votes of the
citizens. The way I see it, if this theft could happen to one of their own
(namely, Gore, who is funded by the EXACT same people as Bush), imagine what
would happen to any of us if we ever decided to run for office -- and got
close to winning. For the sake of our future, we must oppose this
I am going to send an e-mail to those electors who have e-mail addresses. I
am asking all of you to do the same. For a complete list of the Republican
electors (with their names, phone numbers and addresses), go to
or use this list of electors I am enclosing if you prefer to do a mass
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org;
email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com;
Ask these electors, with the most sincere passion you can muster, to vote
for the candidate the American people chose. Gore won by 300,000 votes
nationwide and there is strong evidence he would have the electoral vote if
the counting had not been stopped in Florida.
If any of these Republicans break ranks, they will be ostracized for life by
their political allies. They need our support. They should be told that they
will go down in history as a true Profile in Courage. We are all given a
conscience so that we know right from wrong. When you write to these
electors, you must go right to that raw nerve of their conscience.
It's only 3 out of 271! That's all we need, just three, and a wrong will
have been righted. One of the reasons the founding fathers set up this
nutty system was so the electors could correct any wrongdoing that may have
taken place. They are not supposed to be a rubber stamp. They are expected
to act on their own sense of what is right.
We have less than 72 hours. This is not about Gore, and it is not about
Bush. It is simply about electing the person whom the American people have
said they want to lead the country. What could be so hard about that?
Just in off the AP wire...
BUSH SUES SANTA
AUSTIN, TX - Dec.15 - Attorneys for Texas Governor George W. Bush filed
suit in federal court today, seeking to prevent Santa Claus from making
his list and then checking it twice. The complaint seeks an immediate
injunction against the beloved Christmas icon, asking the court to
effectively ban his traditional practice of checking the list of good
boys and girls one additional time before packing his sleigh.
The suit, filed in the Federal District Court of Austin, Texas, asks a
federal judge to "hereby order Mr. Claus to cease and desist all
repetitive and duplicative list-checking activity, and certify the
original list as submitted, without amendment, alteration, deletion,
or other unnecessary modification."
"There are no standards for deciding who is naughty, and who is nice.
It's totally arbitrary and capricious. How many more times does he
need to check? This checking, checking, and re-checking over and over
again must stop now," said former Secretary James Baker.
Baker further claimed that unnamed GOP observers witnessed an elf
remove all boys named Brad from the "nice" list, filing them under
"naughty" instead because "everyone knows all boys named Brad are brats."
Gov. Bush cited the potential for unauthorized list tampering, and
blasted what he called the "fuzzy math up there at the North Pole."
"Their security is really awful, really bad," said Bush. "My mother
just walked right in, told 'em she was Mrs. Claus. They didn't check her
ID or nothing."
Meanwhile, Dick Cheney, Gov. Bush's running mate, issued a direct
plea to St. Nick himself. "Mr. Claus, I call on you to do the honorable
thing, and quit checking your list. The children of the world have
had enough. They demand closure now," Cheney said, adding that his
granddaughter has already selected a name for the pony that she's
Santa Claus could not be reached for comment, but a spokes-elf said
he was "deeply distressed" by news of the pending legal action against
him. "He's losing weight, and he hasn't said 'Ho Ho Ho' for days," said
the spokes-elf. "He's just not feeling jolly."
THIS ONE IS A *REALLY* SOBERING REMINDER OF THE TIME BOMB WHICH HAS BEEN SET TICKING BY THE BIOTECH INDUSTRY AND ITS POLITICAL ACCOMPLICES (UNDER THE CLINTON/GORE ADMINISTRATION...). A MUST READ FOR ANYONE CONCERNED WITH THE BIOPOLLUTION OF THE ENTIRE WEB OF LIFE OF OUR PLANET. YOU THINK CHERNOBYL WAS BAD - AND IT WAS AND IS STILL REALLY AWFUL AS EXEMPLIFIED BY THE MILLIONS OF PEOPLE IN UKRAINE AND RUSSIA DYING OF CANCER OR BEING BORN HORRIBLY DIFFORMED - BUT THIS IS GOING TO BE WORST. AND AS HAGELIN RIGHTLY POINTED OUT, THERE IS NO WAY TO UNDO THE DAMAGE ALREADY DONE...
Subject: USA based, but an excellent piece.
Date: Fri, 15 Dec 2000
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Nexus Magazine-UK)
Subject: Hagelin's EPA Testimony
HAGELIN STUNS THE EPA WITH STIRRING "STARLINK" TESTIMONY
On Tuesday, November 28, Dr. John Hagelin presented a powerful statement about the hazards of genetically engineered foods to an open meeting of an Environmental Protection Agency panel in Arlington, Virginia.
The Scientific Advisory Panel for the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide, and Rodenticide Act (FIFRA) held the meeting to consider the possible allergenic effects of StarLink corn on human health. Starlink, a variety of genetically engineered corn that has not been approved by the EPA for human consumption, was recently discovered to have contaminated corn products being sold at supermarkets around the country.
Dr. Hagelin's testimony created an explosion of concern among the largely pro-genetic engineering audience at the open meeting and created a fresh wave of scientific scrutiny about the hazards of GE foods. His testimony is reprinted below, along with an editorial from the Providence Journal about his leadership in the effort to protect our food supply.
STATEMENT FOR THE FIFRA SCIENTIFIC ADVISORY PANEL OPEN MEETING ON STARLINK CORN
November 28, 2000
JOHN HAGELIN, Ph.D. Director, Institute of Science, Technology and Public Policy
I speak to you as a scientist who is striving to ensure that our best scientific knowledge be applied for the solution-- and prevention--of society's problems. I am a nuclear physicist who has published extensively in superstring theory and, during the last three elections, I have been the Presidential candidate of the Natural Law Party.
I want to address an issue much deeper than whether the CRY9C protein in StarLink corn is likely to be allergenic.
I want to address the assumptions that underlie the entire agricultural bioengineering enterprise. I am deeply concerned that life scientists are implementing bioengineering technologies without adequately understanding the lessons we have learned from the physical sciences. One of the key revelations of modern physics is that phenomena unfold in a far less linear and predictable fashion than eighteenth and nineteenth century thinkers assumed.
Today we know that there are inherent limitations on our ability to make precise predictions about the behavior of a system, especially for microscopic systems and nonlinear systems of great complexity.
Numerous eminent molecular biologists recognize that DNA is a complex nonlinear system and that splicing foreign genes into the DNA of a food-yielding organism can cause unpredictable side effects that could harm the health of the human consumer. Yet, the genetic engineering of our food-- and the widespread presence of genetically altered foods in American supermarkets --is based on the premise that the effects of gene-splicing are so predictable that all bioengineered foods can be presumed safe unless proven otherwise. This refusal to recognize the risks of unintended and essentially unpredictable negative side effects is just plain bad science. It is astounding that so many biologists are attempting to impose a paradigm of precise, linear, billiard-ball predictably onto the behavior of DNA, when physics has long since dislodged such a paradigm from the microscopic realm and molecular biological research increasingly confirms its inapplicability to the dynamics of genomes.
Moreover, the premise of predictability is not just scientifically unsound; it is morally irresponsible. The safety of our food is being put at risk in a cavalier, if not callous, fashion, not only in disregard of scientific knowledge, but in disregard of recent technological history. Here, too, lessons should have been learned from the physical sciences. Time and again, the overhasty application of nuclear technologies led to numerous health and environmental disasters.
For example, in the early days of nuclear technology, the rush to commercialize led to the sale of radium tipped wands designed to remove facial hair. Nine months later the cancers came.
Similarly, the failure to comprehend the full range of risks and to proceed with prudence has led to many disasters in the nuclear power industry.
In the case of genetic engineering, even greater caution is called for: a nuclear disaster only lasts 10,000 years, whereas gene pollution is forever--self-perpetuating and irreversible.
The irresponsible behavior that permitted the marketing of bioengineered foods has not been limited to the scientific community, but includes the executive branch of the federal government. The FDA's internal records reveal that its own experts clearly recognized the potential for gene-splicing to induce production of unpredicted toxins and carcinogens in the resultant food. These same records reveal that these warnings were covered up by FDA political appointees operating under a White House directive to promote the biotech industry.
It is unconscionable that the FDA claimed itself unaware of any information showing that bioengineered foods differ from others, when its own files are filled with such information from its scientific staff. And it is unconscionable that it permits such novel foods to be marketed based on the claim they are recognized as safe by an overwhelming consensus within the scientific community, when it knows such a consensus does not exist.
The StarLink fiasco further demonstrates the shoddiness of the government's regulation, since the system failed to keep even an unapproved bioengineered crop out of our food. Indeed, the contamination was discovered not by the government, but by public interest groups. The FDA had no clue and had taken no measures to monitor. This incident also demonstrates how difficult it will be to remove a bioengineered product from our food supply if it is eventually found to be harmful and, therefore, how important it is to prevent the introduction of new ones and to phase out those currently in use.
It is high time that science and the truth be respected, and that the false pretenses enabling the commercialization of bioengineered foods be acknowledged and abolished. I call upon the members of this panel to uphold sound science so that you can hold your own heads up as the facts about the hazards of bioengineered food become increasingly well known.
I call upon you not only to resist the pressures to approve the pesticidal protein in StarLink Corn; I call upon you to honestly acknowledge the inherent risks of genetic engineering and to affirm that, due to these risks, neither StarLink nor any other bioengineered food can be presumed safe at the present stage of our knowledge.
THE PROVIDENCE JOURNAL
Editorial November 9, 2000
ONLY HAGELIN SAW GENETIC PERIL
One of the key issues that never got discussed in the presidential debates this campaign season was the most serious one facing us today. The fact is that our democracy has been stolen by the powerful lobbies of the special interests. The most conclusive and blatant example of this has been the dangerous experiment being conducted by the biotech industry on the American people. They have genetically manipulated our food supply so that 60 percent of the food on our supermarket shelves has been genetically engineered. The most outrageous thing is that they did it without the knowledge or consent of the American people.
Forty years ago, most scientists thought DDT a safe and promising addition to agriculture. Thalidomide was given to pregnant women by their doctors. Nuclear power was touted as the cleanest energy source on Earth. Marketed prematurely, each of these technological innovations brought unforeseen, unwanted and tragic consequences that could have been easily avoided through proper long-term safety testing.
Haven't we learned anything from our mistakes?
From soil to superviruses: In 1994, a genetically engineered bacterium developed to aid in the production of ethanol produced residues that rendered the land infertile. New crops planted on this soil grew three inches tall and fell over dead.
The food chain: In 1996, scientists discovered that ladybugs that had eaten the aphids that had eaten genetically engineered potatoes died.
The immune system: In 1998, research by Dr. Arpad Pusztai uncovered the potential for genetically altered DNA to weaken the immune system and stunt the growth of baby rats.
Monarch butterflies: In May 1999, researchers at Cornell University discovered that monarch butterflies died unexpectedly from eating milkweed plants that had been dusted with the pollen of genetically engineered Bt corn.
Pregnant mice: A 1998 study showed that DNA from the food fed to pregnant mice ended up in their intestinal lining, white blood cells, brain cells and their fetuses. This suggests that the genetically engineered DNA in the food we eat can end up in our own cells.
Honeybees: Last May, a leading European zoologist found the genes from genetically engineered canola jumped the species barrier and were picked up by the bacteria in the digestive tracts of bees. This indicates that antibiotic-resistant genes in genetically engineered foods can cause the bacteria in our own intestines to mutate into superbugs that cannot be killed by antibiotics.
Superviruses: Viral promoters are invasive agents used by genetic engineers to trick a cell into accepting and integrating an alien gene into the cell's own DNA. Some scientists predict that releasing viral promoters into the gene pool could lead to the creation of superviruses and novel infectious diseases for organisms at every level of life--from bacteria to humans.
These are just some of the dangers that are discernible in the premature marketing of genetically engineered products. The biotech industry is eager to point to their so-called successes while keeping their failures under raps.
Next is the story of rBGH, recombinant bovine growth hormone (or the story of genetically engineered milk). A Monsanto lawyer drafted a letter to the FDA to get rBGH approved. He then stepped down from Monsanto and took an appointment as FDA deputy commissioner for policy. He then pened his own letter and helped draft the FDA's 1992 policy on genetically engineered food and rBGH. The law that followed, in true violation of First Amendment rights, states that it's illegal to say rBGH is in milk and it's illegal to state that it's not in milk. The lawyer returned to corporate life and became Monsanto's vice president for public policy.
Incidentally, rBGH is banned in Canada, Europe, Australia, and New Zealand--all major dairy producers. It is also banned in other countries. I quote Neal D. Barnard, M.D., president of the Physicians Committee for Responsible Medicine, from a magazine entitled Safe Food News (to get this magazine and to sign the national Genetically Engineered Food Alert petition, call 1-800-REAL-FOOD).
"Monsanto's rBGH increases milk production. It also increases udder infections (mastitis) and reproductive problems in cows and shortens their life span. To treat the mastitis, farmers have to give their cows antibiotics. Studies have shown that milk from rBGH cows often contains residues from those antibiotics. And because rBGH-induced mastitis leads to increased amounts of white blood cells--or pus--this is also secreted into rBGH milk. But the risks of rBGH go far beyond even this. More troublesome is the fact that rBGH has been linked to increased risk of breast, prostate and colon cancers."
From pizza to chips, soda to infant formula, ice cream to cookies, vitamins to candies, genetically engineered organisms are in the foods we feed our kids every day. Virtually every food you can think of is in the genetically engineered pipeline. And coming soon . . . rat genes in your lettuce, cows that make human milk, and bananas with vaccines.
The only presidential candidate who brought this issue to the forefront of his campaign and informed the American people of the hazards of genetically engineered foods has been the quantum physicist John Hagelin of the Natural Law/Independent Party. As he traveled the country during the campaign speaking in public forums, he talked frankly about the long-term consequences of such experimentation, asking the question: "Who gave the biotech companies the right to threaten our food and environment? The Clinton-Gore administration and our 'Republicrat' Congress, awash in biotech money. We need mandatory labeling and safety testing of genetically engineered foods, plus a moratorium on the release of these experimental lifeforms into the environment until proven safe."
John Hagelin's message is urgent and of utmost importance. It is essential that the American people act without delay to preserve their own health and that of future generations.
Don Lovejoy, who has a doctorate in health and human services, is an educator based in Cranston.
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