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Renowned biologist: Transgenic plant behavior unpredictable, dangerous

(Jan. 17, 2002 – CropChoice news) – The biotechnology industry has long tried to convince us that genetically engineered crops are safe by insisting that the transference of genes from one organism to another – usually across the species barrier – results in specific and predictable changes in the target organism. But this isn’t the case, reports renowned biologist Dr. Barry Commoner in the February issue of Harper’s Magazine.

"My position is that this (genetically engineered crops) is an experiment that never should have been let out into the field," Commoner told CropChoice. "The behavior of any transgenic plant is inherently unpredictable and therefore dangerous."

With the genetic modification of almost 70 percent of the U.S. soybean and cotton crops and 25 percent of the corn crop, and with Monsanto, Aventis, and other biotech companies pushing for the commercialization of new transgenic seed varieties, Commoner fears that agronomic and environmental disaster is waiting to happen.

Dr. Commoner can be reached at the Center for the Biology of Natural Systems http://www.cbns.qc.edu; 718.670.4182