GENTECH archive 8.96-97
- To: email@example.com
- Subject: IATP II
- From: E.Stein@em.uni-frankfurt.de
- Date: Tue, 11 Feb 97 10:16:07 +0100
- Sender: E.Stein@em.uni-frankfurt.de
------- Forwarded Message
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 97 15:20:58 -0800
From: IATP <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: Recipients of conference <email@example.com>
Subject: IP/Biodiversity News February 5, 199
Intellectual Property & Biodiversity News
February 5, 1997
Produced by the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
Volume 6, No. 2
- - FRANCE REQUIRES LABELING TO MARKET GENETICALLY ALTERED CORN
- - SWISS GROCERS TO LABEL GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD SHELVES
- - UK SUPERMARKETS BAN UNLABELLED GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS
- - UK APPROVES GENETICALLY ENGINEERED OILSEED SALE
- - MONSANTO TO RESEARCH WEEDS RESISTANT TO ROUNDUP
- - MONSANTO BUYS HOLDEN'S TO SUPPLY 35% OF CORN SEED IN U.S.
- - GENETICALLY ALTERED FOODS POSE POSSIBLE ALLERGIC REACTIONS
- - TRANSGENIC WHEAT PATENT APPROVED
- - INDIA STOPS GENETICALLY ALTERED CROP
FRANCE REQUIRES LABELING TO MARKET GENETICALLY ALTERED CORN IMPORTS
A regulation published in the Official Journal on February 2
cited mandatory labeling of gene-altered organisms and derived
products. According to a farm ministry official, it is expected
that France will authorize the marketing of
genetically-modified maize as early as this week. The comment
from the ministry official followed a statement by the Ministry
that a regulation authorizing the marketing would be published
in the Official Journal soon. The statement did specify that
the marketing authorization would apply only to "the import of
maize and derived products," and not yet to the cultivation of
gene-altered maize. French farmers will not be authorized to
grow genetically engineered maize until it is listed in the
"official register of species and plants grown in France."
REUTERS, February 3, 1997.
SWISS GROCERS TO LABEL GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD SHELVES
The Swiss cabinet agreed to allow companies more time to put
special labels on food containing genetically engineered
soybeans. The food was allowed to go on sale on February 1, but
special labels are not required until December 31 The Federal
Council approved an interim measure that allows advisories to
appear on signs or placards on shop shelves near the products.
The food will be identified as "GVO products," using the German
acronym for genetically altered organism. The Ministry said,
"The interim rule allows consumers to be informed
comprehensively on the one hand without on the other hand
forcing existing packaging material to be destroyed." A number
of Swiss stores have refused to stock the new food stating that
consumers do not want it.
"Swiss G-E Food Labeling," REUTERS, January 15, 1997.
UK SUPERMARKETS BAN UNLABELLED GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS
Unlabelled genetically engineered foods will be banned by two
British supermarkets, Asda, and Iceland which has 770 stores in
Britain. Chairman of Iceland, Malcolm Walker, said, "if we can
identify it as containing genetically modified produce, we will
not sell it. Millions of ordinary people are very worried about
genetically engineered food and I am one of them." Michael
Antoniou, a senior lecturer in molecular biology at a London
hospital indicated there were risks that "could give rise to
the unwitting spread of new poisons, new allergies and even a
reduction in a food's nutritional value. There is no practical
argument against full-disclosure labelling."
"Frankenstein Food Faces Supermarket Ban: British Chains Reject
Genetically Modified Goods," THE SPECTATOR, January 27, 1997.
UK APPROVES GENETICALLY ENGINEERED OILSEED SALE
The sale of genetically engineered oilseed used in some
imported margarines, shortening and cooking oils was approved
by the U.K. government, based on a recommendation by the
Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes. The Advisory
Committee encouraged voluntary labeling, although no special
labeling is required. The American-grown seed is genetically
engineered to be resistant to a herbicide, bromoxynil.
"Gene Change Oilseed Gets Go-Ahead," AGNET, January 29, 1997.
MONSANTO TO RESEARCH WEEDS RESISTANT TO ROUNDUP
An Australian university, Charles Sturt University, has
entered into a three-year contract with Monsanto to determine
whether a a rye grass weed has developed resistance to
Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. Jim Pratley, Director of the
university's Farrer Centre for Conservation Farming has been
given ryegrass seeds from a farmer who indicated that he
couldn't kill the ryegrass weed with Roundup.
"Herbicide is to be Retested," JOURNAL OF COMMERCE, January 31,
MONSANTO BUYS HOLDEN'S TO SUPPLY 35% OF CORN SEED IN U.S.
In early January, Monsanto bought Holden's Foundation Seeds
Inc., which supplies the germplasm and parent seeds for more
than 35% of the corn acres planted in the U.S., for $1.02
billion. Such a high price had "very little to do with Holden
as a seed company," said an advisory report of the investment
banking firm Dain Bosworth, "and a lot to do with the battle
between the chemical giants for future sales of herbicides and
insecticides... tying up germplasm so that it works only with
your chemical products."
AgrEvo, Monsanto's main competitor, recently bought Plant
Genetic Systems for $750 million. AgrEvo is about to market a
genetically engineered seed that is tolerant to its own brand
of herbicide, Liberty.
In the first nine months of 1996, Monsanto's worldwide
agrochemical sales increased by 21% to $2.48 billion, due
largely to increased sales of Roundup. The patent for Roundup,
which accounts for 17% of Monsanto's annual sales of $8.6
billion, will expire in 2000. Sales of Monsanto's new
Roundup-Ready Soybeans require growers to sign a contract
prohibiting them from using any herbicide other than Roundup
and to allow Monsanto's agents to randomly inspect their fields
for three years.
"Monsanto Will Buy Holden's, Seed Firms," JOURNAL OF COMMERCE,
January 7, 1997; "Monsanto Agrees to Change Ads," AGNET,
January 12, 1997; "No Way Around Roundup," MOTHER JONES,
January - February 1997; "Analysis of Monsanto Soybean
Contract," FARMER'S LEGAL ACTION GROUP, February 5, 1997; "Seed
Industry Overview," DAIN BOSWORTH INDUSTRY REPORT, December 2,
GENETICALLY ALTERED FOODS POSE POSSIBLE ALLERGIC REACTIONS
The development of genetically altered food crops presents a
health concern related to the inadvertent expression of a
protein that causes an allergic reaction in individuals.
Testing genetically altered plants that have suspected
allergens can be done using an IgE test with serum from
individuals with an allergy. However, there are cases in which
genes cloned from sources that are not known to be allergenic
are being introduced into plants.
Allegenic proteins often share similar properties such as
resistance to enxymatic and acid degradation or heat stability.
Monsanto researchers have developed an assay to evaluate the
allergenicity of proteins. The assay is based on the assumption
that stability to digestion is a general property of allergenic
proteins. The researchers tested the digestive stability of 16
major peanut, soybean, mustard, egg and milk allergins to a
simulated gastric fluid (SGF) containing the protease pepsin.
Purified allergins such as egg ovalbumin or milk
beta-lactoglobulin were stable in SGF for 60 minutes, but
common plant proteins such as spinach ribulose bis phosphate
carboxylase or phosphofructokinase were digested in 15 seconds.
The stability of the test proteins to SGF was unchanged when
assayed in the presence of a typical food matrix such as crude
soybean extract. The results demonstrate that stability of a
whole protein or protein fragments to SGF digestion is an
acceptable method for assessing the potential allergenicity of
"Potential Allergenicity of Transgenic Foods," AGNET, February
TRANSGENIC WHEAT PATENT APPROVED
Novartis Corporation received a U.S. patent for genetically
engineered wheat on January 21. The patent includes technology
to insert genetic traits into wheat such as disease and insect
resistance. Patent 5,596,131 is the first patent on genetically
altered wheat. Novartis plans to license the intellectual
property rights on a broad scale. The patent was issued on
technology research conducted by Ciba Seeds. Ciba Seeds and
Northrup King merged on January 1, 1997 to form the new
Novartis Seeds, Inc.
"Novartis Corporation Receives Patent for Transgenic Wheat,"
PRNEWSWIRE, January 22, 1997.
INDIA STOPS GENETICALLY ALTERED CROP
The Agricultural Research Institute was forced to destroy a
test field of eggplant that had been genetically engineered for
insect resistance. The researchers did not have permission to
grow the genetically altered crop, and could face fines and
prison terms under India's Environmental Protection Act.
"Bitter Fruit," WALL STREET JOURNAL, February 4, 1997.
"Bija: The Seed," a quarterly monitor on biodiversity,
biotechnology and intellectual property rights; Research
Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy,
A 60 Hauz Khas, New Dehli 110016.
Otto H. Frankel, Anthony H.D. Brown and Jeremy J. Burdon, "The
Conservation of Plant Biodiversity," discusses the preservation
of individual species, the drive for increasing agricultural
productivity, and the design and management of reserves;
Cambridge University Press, 40 West 20th Street, New York, NY
"Innovations in Food and Agriculture: Are Consumers Leading or
Being Led?" March 13-14, 1997, Washington, DC. Contact: 20th
National Food Policy Conference, Public Voice for Food and
Health Policy, 1101 14th Street, NW, Suite 710, Washington, DC
20005; fax: 202-371-1910.
Intellectual Property & Biodiversity News, Vol. 6, No.
2 Page 2
Produced by The Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy,
Mark Ritchie, President. Editor: Jean Carruthers. Email
versions are available free of charge from Econet or IATPnet
subscribers. For more information about fax or mail
subscriptions, or for a list of other IATP publications,
contact The Institute For Agriculture and Trade Policy, 2105
First Avenue South, Minneapolis, MN 55404. Voice
612.870.0453, fax 612.870.4846. Bulletins cannot be reproduced
or distributed without prior permission. Any use of this
material must include proper attribution. A copy of any
publication citing material from this bulletin is appreciated.
For information about IATP's contract research services,
contact Dale Wiehoff at IATP, 612.870.3401 (direct line) or
email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Date: Mon, 10 Feb 97 15:20:58 -0800
From: IATP <email@example.com>To: Recipients of conference <env.biotech@
conf.igc.apc.org>Subject: IP/Biodiversity News February 5, 199
------- End of Forwarded Message