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Biotechnology Program

The Health and Genetically Engineered Food Project

The Saratoga Foundation for Women Worldwide Biotechnology Program examines the impact of genetic engineering on women’s lives in the domains of health, food, environment, reproduction and economics. Two projects make up the Biotechnology Program which promotes social, economic and political justice opportunities for women worldwide and socially responsible use of biotechnologies. There is a race worldwide to patent genetic knowledge, including reproduction of crops, which may result in increased hunger and poverty of indigenous peoples. Exploration of the benefits, risks and danger of biotechnology is the key focus of our Biotechnology Program.

...studies the issues of food labeling, allergic reactions from foreign proteins gene-spliced into common foods, Genetic Engineered Foodrecombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) injected into cows and its link to breast, colon and prostate cancer, contamination of organic crops by genetically engineered agriculture, food safety standards, ecological effects, food slander laws, soil ecology and intellectual life patents which permits patents on living organisms and their genes. Priority is placed on public and environmental health with a view to ending corporate control of food production and abrogation of national sovereignty by relinquishing control to international law, agreements and treaties.

Although rBGH has been banned in Europe and Canada (rBGH is a genetically engineered drug which is injected into 30% of cows in the U.S. Genetically Engineered Milkto make them produce more milk) due to its link to prostate, colon and breast cancer, the US Food and Drug Administration, Environmental Protection Agency and Department of Agriculture continue to license the drug and other genetically engineered foods relying solely on the safety tests conducted by the company which produces the product. Pre-market safety tests are not performed by independent researchers, and as a result, the public and the environment are being used as guinea pigs to test genetically engineered food which may have diminished nutritional value, and are injected with bacterium and genes of animals, humans and other species.

Poverty is the cause of worldwide hunger, not food shortage. It is an international embarrassment for leaders to allow hunger and poverty to pervade communities in the United States as well as undeveloped and developing countries. Biotechnology companies collect gigantic profits and seek to control the world food supply. Often these corporations obtain patents to genetically engineered seeds and thereby steal the agricultural resources of developing countries. Enactment of food slander laws in several states in the US which make it a civil and/or criminal penalty to criticize a food product violates constitutional and human rights for free speech and safe, nutritional food.

Women's Human Rights Science and Technology Project...

Human Rights and Science...examines cloning research with a focus on genetic engineering and its participation in the increase of drug resistant viruses and diseases, genetic discrimination, medical privacy, predictive testing, and women’s control of their childbearing decisions, as well as the role played by the medical profession, scientists, insurance companies and society. The Human Genome Project and cloning will generate opportunities for insurance companies, employers and others to discriminate against individuals based on their genetic make-up. Reappearance of diseases around the world which were formerly eradicated, scientific evidence of the risks of horizontal gene transfer (transfer of genes to unrelated species), genetic engineering breeding new animal and plant diseases and antibiotic resistant infectious diseases are raising life and health questions for all people worldwide. In addition to examining the issues of environmental welfare and health, this Project looks closely at the potential for discrimination in insurance, employment and other areas and how to avert this risk to women’s civil rights.

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