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Error in Genetic Engineering

Putting a wrong gene into a commercial product is something we all hope won't happen. We are told it cannot happen because of tight quality controls in both the industry and government agencies.

In July 1997 the unthinkable did happen. Monsanto announced it had recalled "small quantities" of genetically engineered rape seed which contained an unapproved gene that had got into the product by mistake. (St Louis, Missouri)

Altogether 60,000 bag units of two types of rape seed were withdrawn, because one or both types contained the unauthorised gene. It appears the seed in question was not authorised for human or animal feed. The bags contained enough seed to plant 600,00 to 750,00 acres of land, and it was reported that some of the seed had already been planted.

The recalled rape seed had been genetically engineered to withstand spraying with Monsanto's herbicide, 'Roundup'.

Note:The rapeseed involved in this fiasco was said by Monsanto to be a commercial, non-edible variety. Rape seed is also grown and bred for the production of Canola Oil.

Monsanto is now focussing its business on biotechnology-related products. It is reported that former Monsanto employees have taken up positions in the FDA, the agency which holds the decision-making power over the development and use of biotechnologies.


Resources:

"Fats that Heal, Fats that Kill" Udo Erasmus - Alive Books, 1986.
Report by Darleen Bradley - Australasian Health & Healing - Aug/Oct 1998.
"The Canola Oil Hoax" Carol Clark Keppler


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