GM in the UK:good GM is Aussie

To: "'martin butterfield'" <>, "'canberrabirds'" <>
Subject: GM in the UK:good GM is Aussie
From: "Pete John" <>
Date: Wed, 23 Mar 2005 10:31:19 +1100
Intelligent GM is a good thing for birds.

A good example is seen in Australia right now in the ability of cotton
farmers to use 90% less insecticide than they formerly used; therefore not
killing all the insect food of birds.  Our cotton crop now contains a
protein that is toxic to larvae that gorge on cotton leaves.  The protein is
known as BT and as named after the BT bacterium from which it derives.  It
is classified as organic and used to be used by spraying the actual
bacterial suspension around the fields!  It is now more neatly done by
transferring the gene for the protein into the plant, so BT protein is made
by the plant.  The protein is only toxic if you are an insect and eat your
body weight of raw leaf.  Anyway the protein is not present in the cotton
fibre that we wear.

In contrast the old 900% greater use of insecticide involved spraying
chemicals that are directly toxic to all animals and birds and also
eliminate bird food.

Unfortunately the first wave of GM crops were introduced by chemical
companies to sell their agrichemicals ie herbicides!  So plants were created
that allowed neighbouring weeds to be killed with herbicide. Yes herbicide
is toxic (see the web site Martin gives). A moronic use of GM.  And what is
worse the plants were secretly introduced in the USA without notifying
consumers, who now understandably feel somewhat paranoid.  Especially in

In Australia we actually need more GM - to create plants that need less
water and less fertiliser (less emptying and polluting of rivers).  This is
perfectly possible since our crop plants have been adapted from wild plants
that are not perfect for our use.  We can make them better and make our
environment better too.  This work is funded by governments not by chemical
companies and is done with great care to achieve entirely beneficial

Please don't let early moronic GM colour your views.

Pete John

-----Original Message-----
From: martin butterfield 
Sent: Tuesday, 22 March 2005 5:57 PM
To: canberrabirds
Subject: GM in the UK

The story covered in this URL is one
of the few that I have read that spells out some of the issues with
genetically modified organisms in a clear way.  Many of the comments are
directly relevant to birding so I thought it worth posting on this list.


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