Newsletter - Animal Writes sm
23 August 2000 Issue

Beginners Guide to Genetic Engineering
Submitted by [email protected] (Viva!)

Aimed at those who don't know their genome from their mosaic virus, the useful little guide, Genetic Engineering, by the animal charity Viva!, takes readers by the hand and gives them a tour of the new technology. It costs just 1.50 (including p&p) [approximately $2.50 American money] and is available direct from Viva!, 12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD. Call 01273 777688.

With Europe now giving the green light for the widespread introduction of genetic modification, the timing is perfect. Genetic Engineering confirms that the publics reaction against Frankenstein foods wasn't irrational and sets out clear reasons why they have every reason to be worried.

It explains how genes are engineered and what they're used for -- including plants, animals, xenotransplantation and cloning. It then simply and clearly runs through the failures that have already occurred and possible future dangers for animal welfare, human health, the environment and hopes of a sustainable future. It reveals that we are eating genes that have never been part of the human diet -- genes from alien bacteria, rats and scorpions. This reasoned argument against gene tampering is introduced by Luke Anderson, author of the book Genetic Engineering, Food and our Environment.

Perhaps just as worryingly, Genetic Engineering reveals that decisions governing the introduction of this new technology have more to do with political influence, commercial blackmail and friends in high places than sound science. Professor of Genetics at Harvard University, Richard Lewontin, sums up the fears: "We have such a miserably poor understanding of how the organism develops from its DNA (genetic blueprint) that I would be surprised if we don't get one rude shock after another."

For further information or copies of the guide, contact:

Juliet Gellatley or Tony Wardle
Vegetarians International Voice for Animals
12 Queen Square, Brighton BN1 3FD, UK
Tel: 01273 777688 Fax: 01273 776755
Registered Charity No. 1037486

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