San Bernardino County, CA November 7, 2000 Election
Smart Voter

Say NO to Genetic Engineering

By Gwyn E. Hartley

Candidate for United States Representative; District 42

This information is provided by the candidate
The science of genetics has opened profound new knowledge to mankind, but the hasty and irresponsible commercialization of genetic engineering must be curbed for our health, the environment, and for national security.
The Natrual Law Party is calling for an immediate moratorium on release of genetically modified organisms until adequate tests can be devised to assure the security of our health and environment.

Experts consider genetic engineering the most important new economic and cultural influence PERIOD. Bigger than computers were in the last thirty years. They are beginning right now to conduct the most radical nutritional experiment in the history of life on earth -- or at least since algea tried photosynthesis more than a billion years ago. And guess who the guinea pig is?


About 70% of the processed foods in your grocery store this afternoon contain some genetically engineered products -- like a synthetic-genetic combination of corn and one or more viruses or bacteria. Would you have bought those sugar bisquits if you knew that? You guess you'll check the label more closely in the future? Well, you'll be needing a better pair of glasses than any I've ever seen. Good enough to let you in on private corporate memos and work papers -- because almost none of those genetically engineered foods have anything on the label to give you an informed choice.

A choice, for instance, whether when you buy a round red thing to slice in your salad, you'll be eating tomato or a combination of plant and fish. That's right, the North Atlantic flounders produce an antifreeze that's supposed to protect those red, tomato-likenesses from freezing. Lets the corporation store them colder, longer, and pay their executives 25% more. You wouldn't mind eating a tomatofish for such important goals, would you? By the way, I hope you're not a vegetarian? Or have any fish allergies? No matter. The holder of the patent assures you there will be no problem. I just hope it doesn't trouble you to know that no insurance company is currently willing to write comprehensive product liability policies for bio- tech products like the tomatofish, because there is no way to assess the risks to a degree that meets corporate standards. Your children's health, apparently, exists at a lower standard.

Anyone Jewish out there? I'm just now trying to remember which new grain -- or was it an oil seed? -- will soon come infused with pork genes. You'll have to look that up in the USDA materials. That information will also definitely not be on the product label. Nor will the new pork and fish products, already in testing, carry information about the human genes included in them. The genes that code for growth hormone -- human growth hormone -- apparently it makes the flesh more tender. I wonder if any of that material would pass as Kosher? But, of course it will if Monsanto and the USDA get their way, because no rabbi would be able to find out what had been done in the laboratory.

It's perhaps unfair to spread rumors -- even though most of the claims for genetically-engineered benefits are themselves no better than rumors-- but I want to reproduce one that I found on the internet just to make a point. This remark was supposedly offered by a professor at a European university, an enthusiastic advocate of genetic engineering.

He predicted that we would soon be able to merge the DNA from humans and chimpanzees and as a result we could relieve our labor problems for industrial tasks that were, as he put it, dull, repetitive, or dangerous. Also the resultant hybrid organisms -- or would it be more correct to call them products? -- could enhance our organ donor pool. The language in which he made this suggestion was so banal that it took me an extra half second to think of the words, slavery and cannibalism. And I honestly don't think those words occured to him at all, or if they did, his mind, the mind of the bio-tech century, had begun to give them new meanings, most sinister for their banality.

Now I ought to remind readers at this point, that my story of the European professor comes from a single Web source, and since the Web is largely a wilderness of electronic graffitti, it may not be true, but it does lead to the pointed lesson of this bio-frontier. The instance of pigs growing juicy and tender based on a human growth factor from implanted genes is quite verifiable and intended for your dining table. If that reveals the ethics we are to expect, and if the science is as claimed -- that we can take genes from anywhere and put them anywhere we want, that we can subdivide life and treat it like data manipulated for commercial purposes -- if that is a pattern we are willing to accept, and most especially if we are willing to accept it without warning labels, then it doesn't matter if this particular slavery and cannibalism story is true or not. Just open your mouth if you buy genetic engineering, open your mouth and get ready to eat this image of a zuccini, which is in reality an insecticidal bacteria, a pig, your uncle George, and a stable of cockroaches. Open your mouth and get ready to feed this contamination to your children and your children's children's children as long as life subsists on earth. Just wink at the status quo and this will be your irredeemable legacy.

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