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2-Plants: Crystal-ball 2 - "Real gains from GMs were close" U.S. Rockefeller Foundation says

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TITLE:  Confront GM fears, professor tells firms
SOURCE: PA News, by Eileen Murphy
DATE:   June 25, 1999

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Professor Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller Foundation
-the world's largest philanthropic organisation aimed at
improving the lives of the poor, who was speaking in Washington
at the invitation of the board of directors of Monsanto, was
cited as telling the group that biotechnology companies needed to
take a more responsible approach to the introduction of
genetically modified (GM) technology if a consumer or legislative
backlash was to be avoided.

Prof Conway was further cited as saying that although many
promising advances had been put forward as arguments for GM
technology to improve the world's food supply these could be
pushed aside under the weight of the "increasingly passionate"
arguments against GMs. He argued that, prior to the widespread
rejection of GM technology across Europe, real gains from GMs
were close, including insect and disease resistant rice and rice
which contained added beta-carotene to combat Vitamin A
deficiency. In developing countries this affects 180 million
children and two million die every year from the complaint.

Conway was quoted as saying, "Many concerns from consumers and
environmental groups are legitimate and need to be properly
addressed and monitored." He called on biotechnology companies to
enter an "open, honest dialogue" over the issues, including a
commitment to drop the idea of so-called "terminator seeds" which
could hit traditional farming methods in developing countries. 

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