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2-Plants: Monsanto supports Chinese scientists attacking NIES/Greenpeace Bt cotton report



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TITLE:  'Greenpeace Conclusions On Bt Cotton Incorrect'
SOURCE: Financial Times - Asia Intelligence Wire
DATE:   June 23, 2002

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'Greenpeace Conclusions On Bt Cotton Incorrect'

Academics in China have come forth to trash Greenpeace campaign against Bt 
cottonseeds. The conclusions made by the author of the Greenpeace report 
are incorrect, said Prof Yufa Peng director, Centre for Biosafety Research, 
Institute of Plant Protection and Prof Shirong Jia of Biotechnology 
Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural Sciences (CAAS), 
Beijing in a joint statement released by Monsanto.

After carefully reading the report 'A Summary of Research on the 
Environmental Impact of Bt Cotton in China' by Dayuan Xue, Nanjing 
Institute of environmental Sciences and published by Greenpeace earlier 
this month, the two scientists in the fields of agricultural biotechnology 
and plant protection in their statement said: The governmental and private 
sector funded research on biosafety were significantly increased in last 
five years and according to the scientific data generated from these 
research the greatest environmental impact of Bt cotton was its benefit to 
the environment in the form of significant reduction (70-80 per cent) of 
the chemical pesticide use. It is known that pesticides used in cotton 
production in China are estimated to be 25 per cent of the total amount of 
pesticides used in all crops. Further, the statement adds it not only 
reduced the environmental pollution, but also reduced the rate of harmful 
accident to the human and animals caused by the overuse of pesticides.

Farmers and scientists in China are currently realizing the benefits of 
using GM insect resistant cotton crops. Risks to beneficial insects and the 
environment are negligible. As of the end of 2001, 13 insect-resistant 
transgenic cotton varieties were grown in 12 provinces in China. Since most 
of these provinces belong to Northern China, we take this areas as example 
where cotton is the most important cash crop. The overall economic and 
social benefit is estimated to be more than two billion remnibi. No risks 
to beneficial insects and the environment have been observed in the field. 
Therefore, based on the above facts and other related findings, we think 
that the conclusions made by the author of the report published by 
Greenpeace are incorrect. In fact the report has only collected very 
limited research data. A large amount of positive results have not been 
quoted by the author, and many other results have been painted in a 
negative way.



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