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SEGREGATION / BUSINESS: Severe decline in corn gluten exportsweakens US ethanol industry's future

"GM technology doesn't threaten Victoria's clean and green image. One of
the motivations behind the original GM ban was the concern that if GM crops
were grown in the state, Victorian food exports to non-GM countries would
be threatened. The reality is that both Canada and the United States have
GM crops and none of their markets has been affected."
                               John Roskam, The Age, Australia, 23.05.2007

                                 PART I
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TITLE:  Severe decline in corn gluten exports weakens US ethanol
        industry's future
SOURCE: American Corn Growers Association, USA
AUTHOR: Press Release
        file attached: default_clip_image002.gif
DATE:   18.05.2007

Severe decline in corn gluten exports weakens US ethanol industry's future
New ACGF survey shows only 26% of elevators segregate GMO from non-GMO

WASHINGTON, May 18, 2007--The American Corn Growers Foundation (ACGF)
surveyed 1,057 grain elevators during April 2007 in the eighteen (18)
states that produce the majority of U. S. grain. "Only 26% of the
elevators surveyed report that they require the segregation of GMO
(genetically modified) varieties from Non-GMO varieties. This finding
raises concerns about the ability of the U.S. to hold on to the critical
corn gluten export market that is so important to the future health of
our ethanol sector," reports Dan McGuire, Director of the ACGF Farmer
Choice-Customer First program. "Both the ACGF and the American Corn
Growers Association (ACGA) are again warning U.S. corn farmers and the
critically-important U.S. ethanol industry that key U.S. corn gluten
export markets are being lost due to unapproved biotech varieties,
specifically an unapproved Bt corn variety was detected in U.S. cargoes
of corn gluten feed and pellets in April 2007 at the Port of Rotterdam
and shipped from New Orleans."

"According to USDA data for the current corn marketing year which began
on September 1, 2006, U.S. corn gluten exports are 38.1% below the year
earlier to the European Union-27 for the September to March period and
the EU has been by far the most important export market for U.S. corn
gluten feed and meal," said McGuire. "Foreign demand for U.S. corn
gluten is extremely important for the economic future of corn processing
ethanol plants. As recently as the 1999-00 marketing year the EU
imported 5 million of the 5.8 million metric tons (MMT) of total U.S.
corn gluten exports. By marketing year 2005-2006 U.S. corn gluten
exports had dropped to only 3.6 MMT with the EU-27 importing only 2.655
MMT. It's time to re-learn the marketing reality that 'the customer is
always right' in deciding what they choose to buy."

"Farmers are realizing relatively strong corn prices as a welcome change
due to growth in the domestic ethanol industry, which needs the export
market for corn gluten as well as distillers dried grains (DDG)," said
Larry Mitchell, ACGA Chief Executive. "Biotech companies have preached
that the U.S. should be able to grow the grain varieties it wants, but
given the failure and arrogance of U.S. 'export-oriented' farm policy
over the past ten years of telling the world what they will buy, taken
together with the grain export sector's ill-conceived attempts to
'privatize' export grain inspection at our ports, importers are losing
confidence in the U.S. system. It's time for both the biotech and export
sectors to reconsider their arrogant policies."

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                                 PART II
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TITLE:  GM foods offer a rosy future
SOURCE: The Age, Australia
AUTHOR: Opinion by John Roskam
DATE:   23.05.2007

GM foods offer a rosy future

We should not allow fear to vanquish the possibilities of scientific
advance, writes John Roskam.
John Roskam is executive director of the Institute of Public Affairs.

PENICILLIN wouldn't exist if we had the same attitude to pharmaceuticals
as we do to genetically modified food. One of the arguments against GM
food is that genetic engineering is somehow "unnatural". Yet creating
antibiotics to take as medicine is just as "unnatural" as manipulating
the genes of plants to produce food.

Penicillin has dramatically improved the quality of life of the people
who are lucky enough to have access to it. GM food could have the same
beneficial impact. GM crops need less pesticide, use less water and
require less fertiliser than conventional crops. GM food can make up for
the vitamin deficiency of the world's malnourished. While the use of
penicillin is taken for granted, growing GM crops is prohibited in Victoria.

What is "unnatural" is in the eye of the beholder. There's nothing
unnatural about using science and human ingenuity to make our lives
better. What would be unnatural is if we denied ourselves the advantages
of science because of an unfounded concern about the unknown.

The State Government's ban on GM food will expire at the beginning of
next year. Quite appropriately, the Government has announced that before
a decision on whether the ban will continue or be lifted, there will be
public consultation. That consultation will reveal two things about the
GM debate.

The first is the widespread misunderstanding about the subject.

The second is that much of the resistance to GM food is not based on
science. Instead, it is the product of opposition to multinational
companies and their role in the supply and marketing of GM technology.

Despite the ban on GM crops, we already consume genetically modified
food. Thirty-five per cent of the vegetable oil consumed in this country
is from GM cottonseed, most of which is grown in Queensland.

GM technology doesn't threaten Victoria's clean and green image. One of
the motivations behind the original GM ban was the concern that if GM
crops were grown in the state, Victorian food exports to non-GM
countries would be threatened. The reality is that both Canada and the
United States have GM crops and none of their markets has been affected.

In other countries, both organic and GM crops are cultivated and
marketed successfully. All the evidence is that the consumers actually
like having the choice between organic food, GM food and food grown as
it is now.

The claim that GM organisms might escape and infect non-GM animals and
plants is scare-mongering. Sensible precautions are necessary when
growing GM food.

Opponents of GM crops protest that GM technology is a profit-driven
enterprise. There's one simple answer to that accusation. Of course it
is. All food production is profit-driven. Dairy farmers don't produce
the milk that we pour on our morning cereal out of the goodness of their
hearts. GM is a big business and developing GM technology is expensive.
Naturally anyone who invests in GM wants to make a profit. The search
for profit encourages innovation. The profit incentive encouraged the
great figures of Australian agriculture such as

H. V. McKay who invented the Sunshine Harvester and William Farrer who
developed Federation wheat. Thanks to Farrer's wheat-breeding
discoveries, the yield from the national wheat crop at the beginning of
the 20th century was more than doubled.

Another complaint is that many patents for GM technology are owned and
controlled by "multinational agribusiness companies". This is true -- but
it's irrelevant to the question of whether GM crops should be grown in
Victoria. Farmers themselves are in the best position to know what is in
their own best interests.

The patents to the computer software packages used by farmers to manage
their business are also owned by multinational companies. No one is
suggesting that farmers should not be allowed to use these computer programs.

Our farmers would not be among the world's best if the only technology
they had access to was that owned by other Australians.

Victorian Labor MP Tammy Lobato has warned that the introduction of GM
crops "would mean the end of agriculture as we know it". And she's
right. Agriculture is continuously changing and every year the process
of farming is different from the year before.

GM technology is an improvement that should be welcomed -- not feared.

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