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GENET mail out 5/99



mailinglist genet-news
-------------------------
----------------------GENET-mail out 5/1999----------------------
                             May 21
- MORE GE-FREE SHOPS IN EUROPE
- CANADA DROPPED US-POSITION ON GM-FOOD-LABELLING
- US PLANS TO DISCUSS GMO ISSUES AT WTO
- BRAZILIAN GMO DEBATE
- UK MEDICAL REPORT ON GMO HAZARDS
- U.S. STUDY REVEALS TOXIC EFFECTS OF BT-POLLEN ON MONARC
  BUTTERFLY
----------------- archive: http://www.gene.ch/ ------------------



MORE GE-FREE SHOPS IN EUROPE
Germany: Frosta      main provider of frozen food (brand "Vital")
Spain:   Pryca       largest supermarket chain
         M & S, Spar supermarket chains
         Helios SA   food company (jams, tinned fruit/veg)
         Ian SA      food company (tomate pastes, sauces, jams,
                     asparagus, olives)
         Danone SA   food company (dairy products)
         Cuetara SA  food company (biscuits)
UK:      Nestle      world wide largest food company
         Unilever    second largest food company
                     UK subsiduaries: Birds Eye Walls & Van den
                     Bergh Foods
         Cadbury     confectionary company
         Tesco       largest supermarket chain
all May 5, 3-Food: VICTORY in Germany, Unilever UK and Nestle UK
stepped out of GM food, UK chocolate company Cadbury abandons
gene soya, UK supermarket chain Tesco cuts GM foods
May 15: 3-Food: Spanish companies or branches of companies not
using GMOs

CANADA DROPPED US-POSITION ON GM-FOOD-LABELLING
Canada has agreed to lead an international effort to reach
consensus on (mandatory) GM-food-labelling after it became
apparent this week there was no hope of consensus at the regular
meeting of Codex Alimentarius, a UN agency that sets food
standards. Consumer representatives say Canada, along with
Australia, New Zealand and other countries, has retreated from
previous support of the U.S. position, leaving the U.S. isolated.
Surveys show that more Canadians feel they aren't getting enough
reliable information from the federal government or biotech
industry. "There is no way the industry can ignore public
concerns in Canada. We expect these companies to give Canadians
the same guarantees, not to treat us like second-class
customers," says Peter Bleyer, the Council of CanadiansŒs
executive director. Denny Warner, chairperson of a citizen's
panel on biotechnology: "It's the government's role to set up
some public discussion about this. The people that we have talked
to as the citizens panel are very concerned and they want to have
a say. To post a document on the web and think that average
citizens are going to make comments on this just isn't realistic.
So the consultation that they say has happened to date isn't
consultation."
all May 7, 3-Food: Canadians want more info on biotech foods,
Non-GM-labelling policy of Canadian food industry under pressure,
Canada left US position on labelling GM food at Codex
Alimentarius meeting

US PLANS TO DISCUSS GMO ISSUES AT WTO
The U.S. is looking to put the issue of GMOs on the agenda at the
WTO round. The U.S. will continue its bilateral talks with the
E.U. to speed up approval of GM-corn developed by Monsanto
(U.S.), Novartis (CH) and Hoechst Schering AgrEvo (D). The U.S.
could be shut out of the E.U. corn market because of delays in
approving the sale of GM-corn varieties grown in the U.S..
May 9: 7-Misc: U.S. seeks to put gene-modified crop issue on WTO
agenda

BRAZILIAN GMO DEBATE
In London, the Secretary of Agriculture of the Brazilian state
Rio Grande do Sul, Mr. Jose Hermetto Hoffman called for
international support for the State's decision to become a GMO
free zone. The Government has main priorities in strong
agricultural policy with the objective of  sustainable
agriculture, support to small farmers and sees GMO's as a serious
hazard to the environment and food security. The recent decision
by major retailers and manufacturers to go GMO-free is a
significant boost to this decision and to guarantee that there
will be a GMO-free market. 18 of the 27 Brazilian states call on
the Federal Government to forbid the commercial release of GMOs
while concerns pending are outstanding. To stop the Brazilian
debate, the Brazilian Agriculture Ministry has authorised the
cultivation and sale of five varieties of herbicide resistant,
GM-soya of Monsanto. If Brazil fails to follow the example of
other leading producers, it runs the risk of losing valuable
export revenue.
May 15, 7-Misc: 18 Brazilian States call to halt commercial
releases of GMOs, Brasilian state Rio Grande do Sul wants to stay
GMO-free; May 20: Brazil allows GM soya

UK MEDICAL REPORT ON GMO HAZARDS
The British Medical Association, which represents 115,000
doctors, argues that GM-crops should not be grown commercially in
Britain until more trials are carried out. The benefits must be
clearly shown before biotechnology companies are allowed to go
ahead. The BMA report 'The Impact of Genetic Modification on
Agriculture, Food and Health' will also cast doubt on the use of
data from the U.S to predict consequences for Britain. The threat
of cross-pollination could be greater here because the country is
smaller and fields are closer together. The most serious
reservations concern lack of knowledge about health implications.
The doctors will express doubts about using antibiotic resistance
marker genes in GM plants. The call for strict labelling and
segregation immediately increased trade tensions with the U.S..
Senator John D. Ashcroft, whose home state houses Monsanto Co.,
the global leader in agricultural biotechnology, said: "Studies
such as this demonstrate with absolute clarity why progress must
begin with action by the president to address biotech trade at
the head-of-state level at the upcoming G8 summit."
May 18: 3-Food: British Medical Association sounds alarm on GM
food
May 19: 3-Food: US reacts promptly on British doctor's report on
GM food

U.S. STUDY REVEALS TOXIC EFFECTS OF BT-POLLEN ON MONARCH 
BUTTERFLY
A Cornell University team published a report in the journal
Nature revealing that monarchs fed milkweed leaves dusted with
Bt-corn pollen ate less, grew more slowly and suffered a higher
mortality rate. Nearly half of these larvae died, while all of
the monarch caterpillars fed leaves dusted with nontransformed
corn pollen or fed leaves without corn pollen survived the study.
Research leader John E. Losey said: "Pollen from Bt-corn could
represent a serious risk to populations of monarchs and other
butterflies, but we can't predict how serious the risk is until
we have a lot more data. And we can't forget that Bt corn and
other transgenic crops have a huge potential for reducing
pesticide use and increasing yields. This study is just the first
step, we need to do more research and then objectively weigh the
risks versus the benefits of this new technology." With regard to
this study, the E.U. will freeze approval for a BT-corn developed
by Pioneer Hi-Bred.
May 21, 2-Plants: five messages on monarchs and Bt-pollen




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