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More Evidence of Possible Allergenicity of Bt Corn in the Philippines

PRELIMINARY RESULTS OF STUDY SHOW IMMUNOLOGICAL REACTION TO Bt TOXIN

August 12, 2004

Today with Mang Gima
http://www.searice.org.ph/


A scientist who analyzed the blood samples of some farmers and individuals
living near the plots where a certain type of Bt corn was planted last year
in a town in Mindanao, in Southern Philippines, has shown a coincidence in
time which may or may not show a cause and effect relationship between the
production of antibodies against Bt toxin and the disease allegedly suffered
by these farmers and individuals.

³Antibodies in the human blood show that these people have been exposed to
the Bt toxin during the last few months," said Dr. Terje Traavik, the
scientist from the Norwegian Institute of Gene Ecology who conducted the
study.

Around July of last year, when the nearby Bt corn plot was flowering in that
Mindanao town, several individuals complained of headache, flu, nausea and
general weakness of the body.

Their condition persisted for several weeks, prompting the Social Action
Center, an arm of the Roman Catholic Church under the Diocese of Marbel, to
seek the help of several local organizations and NGOs like SEARICE and
MASIPAG to help identify the cause of their symptoms in order that they can
get the proper medication.

Aware of the need to do more follow-up studies to what he has already done,
Dr. Traavik emphasized that ³the most pressing issue now is to see that the
rest of the studies here are carried out as soon as possible.²

With the commercialization of Monsanto¹s Bt corn, the Philippine government
has received a number of applications of other varieties of genetically
engineered corn for commercial cultivation, apart from dozens of genetically
modified organisms for food, feed and processing, approved since January
2003.#

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This GMO news service is underwritten by a generous grant from the Newman's
Own Foundation and is a production of the Ecological Farming Association
www.eco-farm.org <http://www.eco-farm.org/>
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