A new "grassroots" farmers' group with close ties to Monsanto has been formed to outlaw labels that would notify consumers they are buying milk from cows not treated with recombinant bovine growth hormone (rBGH). Monsanto genetically engineers rBGH, called Posilac, which is injected into cows, forcing them to produce more milk.
I've been asked how people can find the movie, "Strange Culture," the documentary about the trial of artist-activist Steve Kurtz that I described in my blog post earlier this week. The director of the film, Lynn Hershman Leeson, has her own website as well as a separate movie website, which includes sales and exhibition information. YouTube also has a brief video that features interviews with Kurtz and the director, as well as the movie trailer.
Slate magazine has an online slide show this week about "bio art" — in which people use genetic manipulation to insert coded messages into DNA, or produce a transgenic rabbit using a gene derived from a jellyfish that makes it glow fluorescent green.
I was a little disappointed, though, that Slate failed to mention the work of Steve Kurtz, a bio artist whose work goes further than most in provoking debate about the ethical issues involved with genetic engineering — so far, in fact, that he is currently awaiting trial on charges that could land him in prison for 20 years.
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has tentatively determined that milk and meat from cloned cows are safe to eat and indistinguishable from non-cloned cows. The agency may complete approval procedures for consumption of the animals and milk before the end of 2007.