Action Alert--Stop the EPA's Reapproval/Reregistration of Bt Corn Crops

Take Action!

Tell the EPA to End the Registrations of Bt crops
Send your comments by August 31, 2001 to:

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently determining
whether genetically engineered insecticidal crops should continue to be
grown in the United States. Because the permits under which the agency first
approved insecticidal corn and cotton expire in 2001, EPA must decide in the
near future whether or not-or under what conditions-to allow farmers to
plant the crops in 2002 and beyond. Genetically Engineered Food Alert urges
you to send comments to EPA before August 31, 2001.

To date, all commercialized genetically engineered insecticidal plants
produce a type of Bt toxin, one of a family of related molecules produced by
a soil bacterium, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). To develop what are known as
Bt crops, a company clones the insecticidal gene from the bacterium and
inserts it into a crop plant. The plant then produces the toxin in most, if
not all, parts of the plant through all or most of a growing season.

For more details, see Sample Letter, below. Send Comments to EPA by
August 31

You can put your comments right into the text of your email message. If you
choose to send your comments as an attachment to your email message, make
sure they are formatted in Word Perfect 6.1/8.0 or as an ASCII file.

IMPORTANT! you must note the reference: Docket Number OPP-00678B in your
comments. Put this docket number in the subject line of your message.

Sample letter:

To: EPA Office of Pesticide Programs
Re: Docket Number OPP-00678B

Dear Administrator Whitman:

I am writing to express my opposition to the EPA's re-registration of three
Bt crops Bt corn, cotton, and potatoes. There should be a moratorium on
all GE foods until long-term studies show that these crops are safe for
human health and the environment. Continued registration of these Bt crops
ignores evidence of their potential for serious harm. Bt crops:

· Pose unacceptable risks to butterflies such as monarchs and the
endangered Karner Blue. Monarchs in states such as Minnesota and Iowa are
exposed to Bt corn pollen right at the time of their peak migration to
Mexico. Insufficient scientific studies have been carried out to show that
Bt corn doesn't pose a threat to endangered butterflies like the Karner
· Threaten human health with the potential to cause allergic
reactions. One Bt crop - StarLinkT corn - has already been withdrawn from
the market because of its allergenic potential. New research shows that Bt
cotton also contains a protein that affects the immune system. Consumers
shouldn't be the guinea pigs to see if Bt corn in particular Bt sweet corn
is also allergenic.
· Contaminate organic farmers' crops and conventional non-GE fields.
Organic and non-GE corn farmers have lost valuable markets because of
contamination. GE corn and non-GE corn cannot coexist in the same region
because of the potential for corn pollen to travel in the wind. The EPA's
analysis has not considered the significant economic impacts of Bt corn on
the organic and non-GE farm sectors.
· Will inevitably lead to the loss of Bt for organic pest control.
The resistance management plans EPA is proposing are fatally flawed, because
a number of assumptions they rely on are invalid. For example, grower
compliance is not 100% and neither Bt cotton nor Bt corn contain a high dose
against cotton bollworm/corn earworm.
· Pose other potential environmental consequences for agricultural and
natural ecosystems. Bt crops have potential effects on soil organisms and
natural enemies of crop pests. Pollen from Bt crops, in particular Bt corn
and Bt cotton, can flow to wild and weedy relatives, with potential
long-term ecological consequences. The most important of these wild
relatives in North America is teosinte, a close relative of corn. Growing
of Bt corn in the US poses a significant threat to this important reservoir
of corn genetic diversity.

The EPA should act to protect consumers and the environment by denying the
re-registration of these crops. Thank you.


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