(UK/US) Is Biopharming Worth The Risk?
info at animalconcerns.org
Sun Jun 1 09:15:48 EDT 2003
The cultivation of genetically engineered plants for industry may save
money, but many are being developed in secret and there are already many
cases of environmental contamination
The latest trend in genetic engineering is to grow modified crops that are
not intended for food. 'Pharma' crops are GE plants that produce proteins
or chemicals for pharmaceutical and industrial uses. Since 1991, more than
300 open-air field trials of pharma crops have been conducted in the US,
although few details have ever been released to the public.
Today, detailed public information is available on only 10% of the 400
products currently being developed by about 20 companies and universities.
These products include vaccines, anti-HIV drugs, anti-clotting agents and
industrial enzymes. Even the American government is involved - the US
National Institutes of Health are now safety testing a corn-grown oral
treatment for traveler's diarrhea.
For products like gelatin and aprotonin - which are sourced from animals -
biopharming eliminates exposure to animal contaminants like the rogue
proteins responsible for BSE, or 'mad cow' disease.
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