Friday, April 13, 2007
Published on Thursday, December 30, 2004 by Inter Press Service
‘Pharma Crops’ Threaten Food Safety
by Stephen Leahy
BROOKLIN, Canada – Medicine and farming are merging as genetically engineered (GE)
maize and soy crops promise cheap drugs, but they also threaten to contaminate food and
the environment, warn activists and experts.
The United States has planted very small amounts of these experimental ‘pharma crops’ since
the early 1990s, including about 18 hectacre in 2004, according to the U.S. Department of
Agriculture. Although full-scale production is a few years away, a new report is warning that
when it begins, the U.S. food supply will be contaminated sooner or later.
”It is sobering that drugs and industrial chemicals could have so many routes to the food supply,”
said David Andow, the report’s editor and a professor at the University of Minnesota.
The Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS), an environmental non-governmental organization
(NGO) that asked six independent scientists to prepare the report, is calling for an immediate
ban on the field production of food or feed crops engineered to produce pharmaceuticals and
”Biopharming” is a subset of biotechnology that turns ordinary plants and animals into protein
production factories through genetic engineering.
Read Full Story Click Link Below