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-----Original Message-----
From: Fred Johnson []
Sent: 10 June 2000 18:08
To:
Subject: Unidentified subject!


ACTIVISTS CHANGE STANCE ON GMOs AFTER SCIENTISTS GENETICALLY ALTER MARIJUANA

June 9, 2000

AMSTERDAM, HOLLAND -- The debate over agricultural biotechnology took a
sharp turn yesterday as Dutch scientists announced that they have produced
genetically altered marijuana plants which are more potent than those found
in nature. "By replacing a single gene we have developed plants which
produce over 100 times as much THC, the active ingredient in marijuana,"
said Dr. Wim van Halder, project leader at Amsterdam based BioCenter.

The recent discovery has already affected the discourse concerning
genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as members of organisations such as
Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have begun to embrace the technology. "I
was, like, totally against genetic modification," said Nigel Robinson, a
British member of Greenpeace, "but this changes everything!"

Paul van Poppel, a spokesman for the Dutch branch of Friends of the Earth
also expressed appreciation for the discovery, saying that biotech research
is finally moving in the right direction. "For years they have been telling
us that biotechnology would feed starving people and help the environment,"
he said while inhaling smoke through a water pipe. "But now the GM
scientists have finally given us something of value." Added van Poppel: "By
the way, could you pass me that bag of peanuts?"

Other outspoken critics of GM technology were not as optimistic. Mae-Wan Ho
of the Open University's Institute of Science in Society and Biology
Department observed that, "increased THC levels may horizontally transfer
through the taste buds, causing uncontrollably high levels of the munchies."
A spokesman for Prince Charles also expressed concern and said that
increased appetite levels may be extremely dangerous for some people, such as HRH's personal friend Vandana Shiva: "I mean, she's big enough already. Toking genetically modified superweed could only make matters worse."

Shiva, who is currently blocking food aid to cyclone victims in Orissa,
could not be reached for comment.

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