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3-Food: Recent developments in GE food market penetration

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TITLE:  Recent developments in GE food market penetration
DATE:   June 20, 1999

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Below are developments in the agri-food sector (some unconfirmed)
which we believe have taken place recently which have important
implications in the fight to preserve global GM-free food

1) In contrast to some other major US agri-food companies
   ConAgra, the second largest food processor in the US, has
   announced that it will accept GM maize grown by US farmers
   regardless of whether it has been approved for sale on
   international markets. This announcement is the result of a
   joint marketing agreement with Monsanto. Ealier this year a
   subsidiary of ConAgra announced a seed joint venture in the UK
   with one of the largest British farming co-operatives, SCATS.

   Further US penetration of the UK food chain has recently been
   achieved with the purchase of ASDA by US food retail
   corporation, Wal-Mart, the world's largest retailer with
   global sales equivalent to a tenth of Britain's total economic
   output. One route for ensuring that GM products permeate the
   food chain is for companies like Monsanto, ConAgra and Wal-
   Mart to form strategic alliances. The strength and influence
   of such companies is such that further developments of this
   kind would mean that keeping UK food and farming free of GM
   products would become increasingly difficult.

2) AgrEvo have signed an agreement to acquire the following
   Brazilian seed companies
   - Sementes Ribeiral Ltda
   - Sementes Fartura Ltda
   as well as the corn research company Mitla Pesquisa Agricola
   These companies account for approximately 8% of the hybrid
   maize seed market in Brazil. They are also active in the
   production and marketing of soyabean and sorghum for the
   Brazilian market.

3) AgrEvo has also announced that it intends to acquire Rio
   Colorado Seeds Inc. in Bakersfield California. This is a
   company specialising in the research, production and marketing
   of hybrid onion seeds to be cultivated world-wide.

4) Earlier this year AgrEvo acquired the Proagro group of seed
   companies in India. Proagro is the market leader of maize in

For a wider discussion of biotechnology companies' strategies in
relation to the acquisition of seed houses and the switching of
seed houses to GM varieties by stealth, as well as other GM
agricultural marketing issues see:

-| Hartmut Meyer
-| Co-ordinator
-| The European NGO Network on Genetic Engineering
-| Reinhaeuser Landstr. 51
-| D - 37083 Goettingen
-| Germany
-| phone: #49-551-7700027
-| fax  : #49-551-7701672
-| email:

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