Re: FDA recalls Starlink

From: Samantha Atkins (
Date: Sat Nov 04 2000 - 14:32:41 MST

Barbara Lamar wrote:
> >
> > Mike, I am certainly no fan of the FDA, but I think I have to side
> > with them
> > on this one. The food in question is engineered to produce its own
> > pesticide. This new corn is not chemically equivalent to natural
> > corn, but
> > is chemically equivalent to natural corn plus pesticide.
> Given that toxins tend to concentrate in urine, milk, and fat I wouldn't
> want to drink milk or eat meat from animals that had been fed this corn,
> nor would I want to use manure from these animals on my garden.

This is a bit strange considering that you are already consume animal
based products from animals fed foods quite saturated with pesticides.
The point of modifying a plant genetically to produce its own pesticide
is that it produces just enough (and if possible of a happier chemical)
for its needs. This results in much lower concentration of pesticides
than non-genetic means like spraying crops. The latter is a shotgun
approach and likely to result in much higher health risks and accidental
contamination of nearby lifeforms.

> I've had the experience of using manure from horses who'd been fed hay
> cut from pastures sprayed with 2,4-D. The herbicide residue in the manure
> killed all my broad leaf plants. Even the county ag extension agent here,
> who was educated at a university which advocated the liberal use of
> pesticides in agriculture now questions whether it is, afterall, a good
> thing.

Exactly. Old style pesticide use is much more dangerous. However, some
kind of pesticides must be used to have effective crop yields. So you
do what is most controllable.
> I doubt that it's any worse to eat Starlink corn itself than it would be
> to eat animals who'd been fed on it.

Actually it should be much better to eat animals fed this corn and the
corn itself than corn that had been massively sprayed the old-fashioned
way. The pesticide is in the plant but not necessarily as concentrated
in the actual corn. But I would need to see studies on that idea.

- samantha

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