The Biotechnology Project's mission is to educate the public about the underlying ethical
issues and possible public health and ecological consequences of the wholesale substitution of
genetically modified food crops for more traditional crop varieties.
Much of this work is derived from CETOS's early efforts in 1997-98 (see
Against the Grain, Common Courage Press, 1998 -- in its third printing as of early 2004),
which identified the most pressing issues related to the introduction of
genetically modified food crops as being loss of genetic diversity of food crops, non-engagement of
the public in dialog, labeling, and absence of adequate safety testing, monitoring and tracking of
potentially harmful crops or their byproducts.
The focus of the current project is the expansion of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)
into previously underutilized agricultural lands (e.g., Brazil's Amazon Basin) and developing
countries more generally (e.g., India); the risks attendant on spread of genetically modified
germ plasm to non-engineered varieties (e.g., the spread of GM corn into Mexico); and the
ecological disruption that comes with over-reliance on single herbicides or biological controls.
Our ongoing work on biotechnology links the
Genetic Integrity Project's efforts to ensure genome stability and the
Critical Habitat Project's concern about loss of genetic diversity
with the expansion of pesticide use required by herbicide tolerant genetically modified crops.
Marc Lappé spoke about biotechnology on the TODAY SHOW (NBC) on October 27, 2003.
On March 2, 2004, Mendocino County in California - where CETOS is located -
became the first county in the nation
to ban the growing of genetically altered crops and animals.
Genetically Altered Soybean Research and Article
CETOS has conducted research on genetically engineered and conventional
soybeans, testing the levels of phytoestrogens present (particularly
the isoflavones thought responsible for protective benefits). Our Study
titled, "Alterations in Clinically Important Phytoestrogens in Genetically
Modified, Herbicide-Tolerant Soybeans" has been published in the
Journal of Medicinal Food (Copyright © Maryanne Liebert
Publishers, Vol. 1, no.4, 1 July, 1999.)
Biotechnology Articles & Reports