Friday, October 10, 2003

Vitamin E on the Cob

This a very interesting story about the new era of biotechnology. Most people still think about Roundup Ready or Bt when they hear biotechnology but enhanced nutritional aspects are the next wave. For extensive information on the advantages of biotechnology, click here for the link to the Council for Biotechnology Information. Following is an interesting article that came out this week.

Buttered corn may replace bland Vitamin E pill

Southeast Farm Press reported this week, forget getting your Vitamin E from an uninspiring supplement you wash down with a glass of water each morning. Thanks to work by USDA scientists you may soon be able to get the same amount of Vitamin E offered by that tasteless pill from a much tastier, buttered ear of corn.

Edgar Cahoon, a research molecular biologist with the USDA-ARS Plant Genetics Research Unit, and his colleagues from DuPont Crop Genetics have produced corn with six times the Vitamin E content of regular corn.

"Most of the biotechnology we hear about — Roundup-Ready soybeans, Bt corn — has been directed toward reducing the farmer’s input costs," Cahoon says. "Our research, however, involves the development of a trait that improves the dietary quality of food."

What is your tolerance?

Some of you have told me that your wife deletes Loos Lips because she thinks it is a porn site. Well, this picture may give her more assurance. This billboard was placed on a roadside this month in New Zealand. This article is very, very interesting reading about the ethics of genetically engineered food. If we could use human DNA to improve cow’s milk for human consumption, would you agree to it? Where we draw the line is a very fair question in this article. I am sharing this with you for the very same reason: the FACTS and the ethics about genetic engineering need wide discussion. Hope it works. Read entire article here.

Why not just genetically engineer women for milk?

MAdGE (Mothers Against Genetic Engineering in Food and the Environment) today launched a highly controversial billboard campaign in Auckland and Wellington to provoke public debate about the social and cultural ethics of genetic engineering in New Zealand.

“New Zealanders are allowing a handful of corporate scientists and ill-informed politicians to make decisions on the ethics of GE. Our largest science company, AgResearch, is currently putting human genes into cows in the hope of creating new designer milks. The ethics of such experiments have not even been discussed by the wider public. How far will we allow them to go? Where is the line in the sand? Why is the government lifting the moratorium on GE when we have not even had a public debate on ethics?” said Alannah Currie Madge founder and billboard designer.

Fonterra, New Zealand’s largest milk company recently purchased the patent rights to large amounts of human DNA from an Australian genetics company. (Dominionpost 15.9.2003) “The mothers of New Zealand would like to know exactly what our milk companies are doing with this human DNA. We at MAdGE want an assurance from Fonterra that they will continue to keep our milk GE Free now and in the future and not use human genes in cows to boost milk production.” said Ms Currie.

And finally, to summarize the impact of biotechnology, Truth About Trade & Technology has posted the results of the recent GOA report. Link to Truth About Trade by clicking here.

Oh by the way my Birthday is tomorrow…

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