Commentary on "Biodemocracy News"

From: Robert J. Bradbury (
Date: Sun Jul 16 2000 - 14:26:25 MDT

Y'all may find my post to purefood, regarding an error
in their recent news of some interest...

> Subject: Recent mistake in "Biodemocracy News"
> Ronnie,
> If you are going to critique the AgBio industry, you have to
> get the science right (otherwise you look pretty silly)...
> You said that:
> > over consuming Vitamin A can be dangerous for pregnant women, young
> > children, people with liver disease, diabetics, and people with
> > hyperthyroid conditions. How do the gene engineers propose to regulate
> > the dose of Beta-Carotene that people will be ingesting with a diet
> > composed primarily of Golden Rice?
> From "Beta-Carotene", by Dr. Bruce B. Miller, from the Research
> Institute for Preventive Healthcare: "to the best of our knowledge
> beta-carotene is *not* toxic in large amounts. The worst that can
> happen if you eat an excessive amount, your skin can turn orange."
> From "Nutrition Almanac", from Nutrition Search, Inc. "The upper
> intestinal tract is the primary area of absorption of vitamin A;
> it is here that the fat-splitting enzymes and bile salts convert
> carotene into a usable nutrient... Once converted into vitamin A,
> carotene is absorbed in the same way as is the preformed vitamin".
> In short, large amounts of vitamin A is toxic, which is why eating large
> quantities of polar bear liver (with high vitamin A concentrations)
> can kill you BUT eating carrots (which contain beta-carotene) by the
> bushel will not kill you. The quantity of vitamin A you receive is
> determined by the quantity of enzymes your body manufactures to
> convert beta-carotene into Vitamin A. A human body does not produce
> a sufficient quantity of enzymes to convert beta carotene into
> Vitamin A at absorption levels that would be toxic. Presumably
> the AgBio people are aware of this and that is why they engineered
> the rice to produce B-C instead of Vitamin A. So it is entirely
> unnecessary to regulate B-C consumption.
> If you are interested in having your commentary reviewed for scientific
> accuracy, I would be happy to do that for you.
> Regards,
> Robert Bradbury
> President, Aeiveos Corporation

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