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Sent: 22 May 2003 09:34
To: '[email protected]'
Subject: 71: Regulations for each sector? // Conference ends 1 June
[Thanks to Professor Muir (below) for raising for the first time one of several topics mentioned in Message 70 that we especially hoped to see discussed during this conference. It has now been decided to extend this conference on GMO regulation by 1 week, so the last day for receiving messages for posting in the conference will be Sunday 1st June. There will be no further extension past this date. We encourage you all to participate fully in the time remaining...Moderator].
Professor Muir again, I thank the moderator for getting us back on track again and setting out a number of very interesting but difficult questions in Message 70 (May 21). This message addresses the last question posed "Different issues are raised by the application of genetic modification in the agro-industry, crop, forestry, animal or fisheries sectors. Are different sets of regulations required for each sector?"
Again, risk assessment/management is tied in with regulatory issues. Human health risks differ depending on use of the product not the sector that produces it. Products that are consumed present more health risks than those that are not. For example, products from trees, cotton, and spider silk in goats milk are all associated with production of fiber for manifacturing fabric, tissue, paper, or lumber, but go across three sectors (forestry, crops, and animals). Thus, regulations related to human health should be associated with intended use rather than how the product is produced.
On the other hand, environmental risks can occur for all species regardless of intended use, i.e. any GM organism could potentially cause ecological harm through displacement or disruption if it can spread into the environment. Thus for environmental risks, regulations should be universal across all sectors. Having said that, there are certain species which pose more ecological risks than others. Those are species that can escape captivity, are mobile, and easily become feral. Thus maize, soybeans, and cows present a low degree of concern while trees, fish, pigs, and insects all present a higher degree of concern. However, those concerns can usually be addressed, but that is another story.
Bill Muir, Ph.D.
Professor of Genetics
Department of Animal Sciences
915 W. State Street
W. Lafayette IN 47907-2054
bmuir (at) purdue.edu
Sent: 22 May 2003 09:47
To: '[email protected]'
Subject: 72: Regulating for socio-economic risks
This is from Héctor Villaverde, Chile.
Maybe for developing countries the most important issue to address is the socio-economic risks from GM foods and organisms, and how to regulate to manage those risks. This is the main regulatory gap in developing countries.
The discussions are basically on food safety and environmental risks, but not at all on the seed monopoly by the transnational corporations (TNCs)(90% of the global area covered by GM crops benefits only one TNC), the lack of ompetition at national level due to the acquisition of national and local seed companies by TNCs, the lack of evalution of the costs/benefits of GM crops (for example, Mon 810 (Bt corn) fights a pest that doesn't exist in Chile or Uruguay; what are the benefits of growing such a crop in these countries? What are the benefits for its farmers, consumers, food manufacturers, and what are the costs?)
Food Programme Co-ordinator
Office for Latin America and the Caribbean
Las Hortensias 2371
Phone: (56-2) 335-1695
Fax: (56-2) 231-0773
Email: programalimentario (at) consint.cl