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GE - news catch up 6th Sept



1) `Bolt Weevils' say action protests genetic engineering
Published: Saturday, September 4, 1999  ASSOCIATED PRESS 
2) France to stand firm on GMOs at WTO meet - Chirac
Saturday September 4 - By Christopher Noble 
3) Farmers Weekly UK Sept. 3-9th, 1999 -GM THEORY REQUIRES FACTS
4)  INDEPENDENT (London) September 2 -- MICE MADE SMARTER WITH GM BRAINS GM
BRAINS CREATE NEW `SMART MICE'
5)  EU commissioner-designate vows greater food safety By Timothy Heritage
BRUSSELS, Sept 3 (Reuters) - 
6) 09/03  DJ EU Would Accept ADM Corn
7) GAZETA MERCANTIL ONLINE September  3, 1999,  Friday SECTION:
> Agribusiness More Rio Grande do Sul  genetically  modified cropsx
>  Brasilia and Porto Alegre, 09/03/99 
8) THE JOURNAL (Newcastle, UK) September  3, 1999,On standby for GM  labels 
9) The Times (London) September  3, 1999, Friday SECTION: Business
> HEADLINE:
> Lamy will not bow to US pressure BYLINE:  Alasdair Murray in Brussels
10) United Press International September  3, 1999 HEADLINE: UPI Farming Today
11)  09/03  WSJE: World Wire: A Special Report From Major Capitals
> Compiled  by  Margaret de Streel with Philip Shishkin and Edward Taylor 

1) `Bolt Weevils' say action protests genetic engineering
Published: Saturday, September 4, 1999  ASSOCIATED PRESS 
                    Vandals calling themselves the Bolt Weevils claimed
responsibility for damaging a field
                    of corn in Goodhue County being grown for research by
Novartis Seeds Inc.

                    The group also claimed to have put glue in locks at the
company's headquarters in Golden
                    Valley early Wednesday.

                    ``It was substantial damage to corn that was broken off,
but it did not appear to be anything
                    by anybody with a political cause,'' said Tony
Minnichsoffer, communications manager for
                    Novartis. ``It just looked like an isolated prank at that
time.''

                    Minnichsoffer said the company didn't know that anyone had
claimed responsibility for the
                    damage until reporters who received news releases about it
contacted him Friday.

                    The Bolt Weevils, in a statement distributed by the
Bioengineering Action Network based
                    in Eugene, Ore., said the corn stalks were trampled and
crushed early Wednesday to protest
                    Novartis' research into genetically modified crops.

                    The action was to ``prevent another day of profiting off
the dirty business of genetic
                    engineering,'' the vandals' message said. Melissa
Sorensen,
a Minneapolis spokeswoman
                    for the Bioengineering Action Network, said BAN did not
know who the vandals were.

                    Minnichsoffer said the company was still assessing the
damage. Various types of corn
                    were being grown in the field near Stanton. The damage was
reported to the Goodhue
                    County Sheriff's Office.

                    The vandals' statement said much of the destroyed corn was
labeled as genetically modified
                    Bt corn, designed to make plants resistant to insects.

                    Seeking to address concerns about genetically altered
crops, the U.S. Department of
                    Agriculture said in July it will seek an outside review of
the process it uses to approve new
                    varieties and set up regional research centers to track
their long-term effects.

                    Advocates say biotechnology has vast potential for
developing crops that are more
                    nutritious, need less water and have a variety of new
uses.
Environmental groups fear
                    genetically altered crops can be unhealthy and could harm
the food chain if they escape
                    from farms into the wild.
===================

2) France to stand firm on GMOs at WTO meet - Chirac
Saturday September 4 - By Christopher Noble 


PARIS, Sept 4 (Reuters) - President Jacques Chirac said on Saturday that
France
and the EU would oppose the sale of genetically modified foods and hormone
treated beef at a global trade summit starting in November. 

Chirac, speaking on France's TV5, said his stance was not incompatible with
his
overall support for the benefits of a globalised economy. 

He said France would vigorously defend its position at the upcoming
ministerial
meeting of the World Trade Organisation (WTO) in Seattle from November 30 to
December 3. 

"Some in Seattle at the WTO are going to support the possibility of selling
freely on the market food products for livestock and for people that are
genetically modified or have undergone treatment with hormones,'' Chirac
said. 

"Our conviction is that we have no assurance that these practices meet
standards for the health of mankind and we cannot play with that,'' he said.
"We French will be very firm on this point in Seattle.'' 

Chirac spoke against a background of a summer-long wave of protests by French
fruit and vegetable farmers at what they say are unacceptably low prices
imposed by large supermarket chains that buy in bulk. 

The outcry has overlapped with a series of violent protests against U.S.
companies like McDonald's (NYSE:MCD - news) and Coca-Cola (NYSE:KO - news) in
reaction to tariffs imposed on some French luxury goods by the United States. 

The U.S. tariffs were imposed punitively after the WTO ruled the European
Union
was illegally restricting the import of U.S. and Canadian beef treated with
hormones. 

There is no evidence that genetically modified organisms (GMO) harm humans and
scientific studies by the EU have failed to produce proof that hormone treated
beef is a health hazard. 

Chirac said one way of resolving the dispute was to create an impartial
scientific body within the United Nations to assess the risks of GMOs,
hormones
and other agricultural issues. 

But he said that as long as any doubts remained, countries should be
allowed to
ban the import of contested foods. 

"Either we are sure that everything is fine and the concerned scientists say
so, in which case there is no problem,'' he said. 

"Or we are not sure, which is the case with GMOs and hormone treated meat, and
we accept that countries protect themselves against possible imports of this
sort until the scientific authorities have given the green light,'' he said. 

He said Europe's worries were compounded because GMOs also carried
environmental risks, as shown by a U.S. study earlier this year which showed
pollen from genetically modified corn harmed the larvae of the monarch
butterfly. 

"We know very well that GMOs can destroy certain parts of the environment,
remember the case of the butterfly,'' he said. 

The U.S. study found that the hybrid corn was safe for human consumption. 

==================

3) Farmers Weekly UK Sept. 3-9th, 1999 -GM THEORY REQUIRES FACTS

Attitudes to genetically modified crops are shifting in the US. Freelance
journalist Stephen Leahy reports some of the latest concerns...

************************************
US GM CONCERNS [inset box]

• Enviro-work on-going.

• Implications not all known.

• Assumptions need testing.

• Further work needed.
************************************

REGULATORY decisions on genetically-modified crops should be made on the
basis of good science not hysteria, say pro-GM advocates. But some American
scientists believe the science claiming GM crops are environmentally safe
is based on too many assumptions and a poor knowledge of ecology.

"When it comes to GM crops, American agriculture favours a risk-taking
approach," says David Andow, an entomologist at the University of
Minnesota. But the level of risk taken should be based on what is known
about the potential problems and their seriousness, he maintains.

Illustrating his point Mr Andow says that since European corn borer might
develop resistance to Bt maize, which has been engineered to produce a
toxin from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis, resistance management
plans were needed.

At first researchers thought those should be 4% of the planted area, then
20%, and now some, including Mr Andow, think at least 40% of the maize
should be in non-Bt varieties to prevent resistance developing for at least
20 years.

However, those judgements are based on assumptions about the level of toxin
produced by GM plants, the rarity of resistance in pest populations and
that pests mate randomly. The changing refugia sizes reflect the slowly
growing research on the issue, he says.

Although no resistant corn borers have yet been found Mr Andow's research
team has detected indications of genetic sub-populations and complex
behaviour patterns. "It makes it less than clear that resistance management
will work," he says.

Work at the University of Arizona adds to concerns. Pink cotton bollworms
with some Bt resistance were found to take five to six days to develop into
adult moths and mate, instead of the usual three or fewer, increasing the
chance of resistant moths breeding and producing more resistant offspring.

"This laboratory study published in early August in Nature has yet to be
verified in the field. I expect we'll find some developmental delay like
that in ECB," says Mr Andow.

Assumptions need to be clearly identified and continually examined in order
to be able to properly assess the level of risk involved, he concludes.

The assumption that Bt maize posed no risk to other species is also proving
shaky. The potential impact of Bt on endangered species was said to have
been carefully assessed by the US EPA. "Their approval reads 'there are no
endangered species that eat corn'," says Philip Regal, an ecologist at the
University of Minnesota.

But early this year Cornell University lab studies found 40% of American
Monarch butterfly larvae eating plants coated with Bt maize pollen died.
Given the widespread use of Bt maize in North America that could affect
1-15% of the continent's 100 million Monarchs.

The implications for the Karner Blue butterfly could be worse still, says
Mr Andow.

Much effort and money is being spent to save this endangered species >from
extinction. However, it favours maize field margins. The effects on the
Karner Blue are not yet known.

"There has been inadequate analysis by independent scientists of the
hazards GM crops pose to the environment," says Mr Regal. "The potential
hazards in this
area are serious."

Assumptions need to be clearly identified and continually examined in order
to be able to properly assess the level of risk involved, Mr Andow
concludes.
==================

4)  INDEPENDENT (London) September 2 -- MICE MADE SMARTER WITH GM BRAINS GM
BRAINS CREATE NEW `SMART MICE'
> 
> SCIENTISTS HAVE genetically engineered a breed of "smart mice", which
> raises the possibility of boosting the intelligence of humans with
> drugs
> or gene enhancement.
> 
> The research shows it is feasible to improve mental ability by
> tinkering
> with the genes involved with producing or interacting with the key
> neuro-
> transmitters of the brain - a step towards designer babies.
> 
> The study also paves the way to designing drugs that could improve
> learning and boost memory in people suffering from age-related
> disorders
> such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's disease.
> 
> A team of scientists genetically engineered the genes of the mice to
> boost
> levels of a brain protein that acts as a receptor for a key
> neurotransmitter, called NMDA, which is known to be involved with
> memory
> and learning.
> 
> The genetically engineered mice performed significantly better than
> ordinary mice in a range of tests such as learning how to escape from
> a
> maze or how to locate a sunken platform in a water tank.
> 
> "This points to the possibility that enhancement of learning and
> memory or
> even IQ is feasible through genetic means, through genetic
> engineering,"
> said Joe Tsien, assistant professor of molecular biology at Princeton
> University, who led the research team.
> 
> Professor Tsien nicknamed the smart mice Doogie, after the teenage
> genius
> in the American television show Doogie Howser, M.D.
> 
> Research published in the journal Nature showed that the enhanced
> learning
> and memory abilities of the smart mice were the result of an
> over-expression of a particular protein sub-unit of the NMDA receptors
> in
> the brain. Now that the precise role of this brain protein is known,
> drug
> companies can develop ways of interacting with it to reproduce the
> effect
> of enhancing cognitive ability, said Tim Bliss, head of
> neurophysiology at
> the National Institute for Medical Research at Mill Hill in London.
> 
> "We know that the same gene and protein are present in humans and it
> is
> likely that the same neural mechanisms are used in mice and men. So
> the
> research is likely to be useful in the design of drugs for memory
> disorders," Dr Bliss said.
> 
> "It would be a way of alleviating the problems of memory in an ageing
> population. We know that these animals are in some sense smarter and
> have
> better memories," he said.
> 
> A more controversial, and ethically questionable, application of the
> research would be to alter the genes of babies to overcome inherited
> disorders or to improve the chances of a better academic performance
> in
> later life.
> 
> "What we are looking at is the baby steps toward a world in which we
> can
> design our descendants," said Arthur Caplan, director of Pennsylvania
> Health System and a leading bioethicist. "I don't think that is
> necessarily bad. Finding ways to repair autism or mental retardation
> associated with Down's syndrome or Alzhei-mer's or other disabling
> neurological diseases is a very good thing," he said.
> 
> Because of the inherent risks, it makes more sense ethically to begin
> applying this discovery to treating diseases and disorders rather than
> trying to create smarter babies, Dr Caplan said.
====================

5)  EU commissioner-designate vows greater food safety By Timothy Heritage
BRUSSELS, Sept 3 (Reuters) - Ireland's David Byrne, pressing his case
> to be
> confirmed as European commissioner responsible for food safety, vowed
> on
> Friday to take decisive action to prevent a repeat of recent food
> scares in
> Europe. The 52-year-old former Irish attorney general told a committee
> of
> parliamentarians vetting his appointment to the EU Commission that he
> would
> present proposals to improve food safety by the end of this year and
> that a
> set of new measures should be in place by 2002. Byrne said this was
> vital to
> lift consumer confidence, battered by the contamination of animal feed
> in
> Belgium this year which caused Europe's worst health scare since an
> outbreak
> of mad cow disease in Britain.      "What is important for me at
> end of the day is that the consumer will have confidence in
> decisions taken on questions of food safety," Byrne told the
> committee.
>      All appointees to the new 20-member commission must be
> approved by members of the European Parliament before taking
> office.
>      Byrne promised immediate, wide-ranging discussions on all
> food safety issues in an effort to prevent contaminated food
> reaching the consumer.      "My idea is that a white paper
> (draft plan) on food safety should be prepared quickly. Such a
> white paper could, for example, set down all the changes needed
> to bring food safety measures to the highest world standards,"
> he said.
>      "To show our determination to move quickly, we should set
> ourselves a date -- say 2002 -- by which all these measures
> would be implemented."      The new commission, the 15-nation
> European Union's executive, has been appointed to replace the
> team of Luxembourg's Jacques Santer which resigned in March in
> a fraud scandal. It must be approved or rejected in its
> entirety.      The new team, led by former Italian Prime
> Minister Romano Prodi, seems to have averted a showdown with the
> parliament over the approval process.      Byrne was praised for
> his commitment to food safety, but he failed to satisfy all
> parliamentarians at the three-hour hearing.
>      Some sought more details of his plans and others questioned
> his political experience, his ability to force through his ideas
> and his commitment to ending tobacco subsidies.
>      Byrne indicated he would not back a moratorium on the
> production of genetically modified products, a source of
> controversy in relations with the United States, but said he
> would seek more information on the issue.
===================

6) 09/03  DJ EU Would Accept ADM Corn If It Proves To Be GMO -Free
> BRUSSELS
>  (Dow Jones)--The European Union sees no reason why it wouldn't buy
> corn
>  from U.S. food processors like Archer Daniels Midland Co. (ADM) if
> they can
> prove that the corn is not genetically modified, an E.U. farm official
> said
>  Friday. The European Union Commission holds an import tender on
> behalf of
>  Spain several times per year. For the past year the E.U. has only
> accepted
>  Argentine corn because U.S. farmers aren't segregating traditional
> crops
>  from genetically altered ones. Up until now it has been impossible
> for
>  U.S. importers to prove that their grain import does not contain
> non-authorized GMOs," she said. "Without segregation they can't prove
> that."
>   But earlier this week, Illinois-based food processor ADM sent
> a statement to its suppliers encouraging them to separate the
> two types of crops.   "If ADM can prove at the border that their
> corn is GMO-free to the satisfaction of custom authorities, then
> from a regulation point there is no obstacle (to imports into
> the E.U.)," the official said.
>   She said the Commission is likely to hold a tender in November
> because the harvest for corn in Spain has been particularly weak
> this year.   Some U.S. farmers and producers have bristled at
> ADM's decision, but the company claims that customers are
> beginning to demand corn and soybeans not manufactured with
> genetically modified organisms.
>   "Some of our customers are requesting and making their
> purchases based upon the genetic origin of the crops used to
> manufacture their products," ADM said. "If we are unable to
> satisfy their requests, they do have alternative sources for
> their ingredients. We encourage you as our supplier to segregate
> non-genetically altered crops to preserve their identity."   -By
> Martin Boer; 32-2-285-0131; martin.boer@dowjones.com   (END) DOW
> JONES NEWS  09-03-99
>   11:09 AM
> Copyright 1999 Dow Jones & Co., Inc.  All rights reserved.
===================

7) GAZETA MERCANTIL ONLINE September  3, 1999,  Friday SECTION:
> Agribusiness More Rio Grande do Sul  genetically  modified cropsx
>  Brasilia and Porto Alegre, 09/03/99 
 BODY:  The president of the
> Brazilian
>  seed producers association (Abrasem), Iwao  Miyamoto has drawn
> attention to
> the increased area planted with  genetically modified soya seeds
> smuggled
>  from Argentina into Rio Grande do Sul. "The sale of conventional
>  certificated seeds has fallen by 20% in the state and consumption of
> the
>  herbicide Roundup Ready has increased a lot since the last harvest,"
> said
>  Miyamoto. Abrasem estimates that there will be at least 1 million
> hectares
> cultivated with  genetically  modified seeds in southern
> territories. This represents a third of the total planted in Rio
> Grande do Sul.
>  Mauro Zanatta and Marcelo Flach, Gazeta Mercantil -
> Translated by Daniel Cooke)
========================

8) THE JOURNAL (Newcastle, UK) September  3, 1999,On standby for GM  labels  
> CATERING
>  businesses have been warned to prepare for new regulations on the
>  labelling of  genetically -modified foods. From  September 19, the
>  presence of GM soya or maize in food products has to be  labelled for
> the
>  benefit of consumers. The new rules apply to caterers  such as
>  restaurants, cafes, pubs, take-aways, mobile burger bars and school,
> works
>  and hospitals canteens. Customers must be told if foods contain GM
>  ingredients, either by specific wording on a label, menu or
> ticket or by staff, if they ask for the information.    A
> spokesman for Northumberland Trading Standards department, which
> will police the new rules, said: "Extreme caution should be
> exercised when using a claim such as 'GM-free' on products."
>    Guidance notes and advice on the regulations are available
> from trading standards offices in Morpeth, Blyth and Alnwick.
================= 
9) The Times (London) September  3, 1999, Friday SECTION: Business
> HEADLINE: Lamy will not bow to US pressure BYLINE:  Alasdair Murray in
Brussels
> BODY:
> Pascal Lamy, the new European Trade  Commissioner, yesterday revealed
> he had
> no intention of bowing to US  pressure to water down European food
> safety
> requirements, leaving the two  sides on a collision course over the
> issue of
> genetically modified foods. The US has instituted sanctions against
> Europe
> because of its ban on hormone treated beef and believes the World
> Trade
> Organisation may support further punitive measures if the EU
> does not end its moratorium on GM products. Last month, Richard
> Morningstar, the US Ambassador to the EU, issued a stern warning
> that Europe's attitude to GM products was in danger of provoking
> a trade war.
>  However, M Lamy, who was speaking at his European Parliament
> confirmation hearing, defended Europe's right to take a tough
> line on food safety issues, claiming it was fully justifiable
> under the WTO's "precautionary principle". In contrast, the US
> has repeatedly argued that the ban on hormone treated beef and
> GM foods is illegal because Europe lacks firm scientific proof
> that the products are harmful.
>     However, M Lamy said he was confident the two sides could
> make progress towards a solution.
>     M Lamy previously served as cabinet chief to Jacques Delors,
> the former Commission President, and MEPs questioned him closely
> over his role in a number of contract scandals during his stint
> at the Commission and the potential conflict of interest caused
> by his swift departure in 1994 to take up the number two job in
> Credit Lyonnais, the formerly state-owned French bank. 
==================

10) United Press International September  3, 1999, Friday, BC cycle
> -02:46
>  Eastern Time SECTION: Standing Feature HEADLINE: UPI Farming Today
> --
>  Friday, Sept. 3 -upi- Texas A&M researchers clone steer  BODY: Texas
> A&M
>  University researchers have cloned a calf from a 21-year- old Brahman
>  steer.  Researchers Jonathan Hill and Mark Westhusin told a news
> conference
> Thursday the research could have enormous implications in the beef
> cattle
>  industry and in the future applications of cloning technology.  In a
> year-long project, they cloned a steer named Chance, whose owners in
> Lagrange, Texas, wanted the animal's genes preserved because of his
> gentle
> nature. ''Chance'' died three months ago from natural
> causes.  Hill and Westhusin said the calf, called Second Chance,
> was born three weeks ago and displays identical markings as his
> father and has identical DNA. Hill described Second Chance as
> ''an intact male'' who should be able to sire offspring.  Hill
> said there is considerable interest in keeping track of Second
> Chance throughout his lifetime because of the age of the cells
> used to clone him. Last spring, scientists revealed that the DNA
> of Dolly, the first cloned sheep, had some characteristics of
> the older cells used to generate her.  -upi- ADM orders GM crops
> separated     Giant grain processor Archer Daniels Midland Co.
> has asked its suppliers to separate  genetically  modified grain
> from the rest of their crops.  The move is expected to dampen
> farmer interest in  genetically  engineered grains. Segregating
> the crops would mean extra costs for growers and the operators
> of grain elevators, who might have to build new storage
> facilities or separating equipment.  Gene-altered seeds make up
> about half of the U.S. soybean crop. With Midwest farmers on the
> brink of the fall harvest, it may be too late to make major
> changes in time for this year's grain crop. But the statement,
> which was faxed Wednesday to ADM suppliers, will serve as a
> warning for next year.  The separation order seems aimed at
> placating ADM customers in Europe and Asia, where  genetically
> modified crops have faced more consumer resistance than in the
> United States. ADM said it still supports the science and safety
> of  genetically  engineered crops but wants to provide more
> choice for consumers. -upi- British farmers demand assistance
> Leaders of Britain's National Farmer's Union are meeting with
> agriculture minister Nick Brown to press for government
> assistance to remove a glut of unwanted calves and ewes from the
> market.  Brown is blaming farmers' overproduction for the crisis
> and has ruled out using money from his budget to bail them out,
> saying the plan would violate European Union agricultural
> subsidy rules.  Meanwhile, both the Scottish and Welsh executive
> branches of government indicate they are considering emergency
> aid for sheep farmers. The Famer's Union of Wales, where farmers
> have been dumping calves and ewes in telephone booths in
> protest, has suggested sending the surplus livestock to war-
> ravaged Kosovo to restock farms. Brown has not yet responded to
> that proposal.  -upi- Help for New England fishermen
>     Vice President Al Gore is announcing a new federal task
> force on ocean conservation and a $5 million aid package for
> hundreds of fishermen whose grounds off New England were closed
> by regulators to protect the dwindling stock of cod and other
> fish.  The fishermen, in exchange for the aid, will help
> government scientists over the next two years study the severity
> of the crisis brought on by years of over-fishing. The fishermen
> have long accused government scientists of overstating the
> crisis.  According to The Boston Globe, the aid package will pay
> some 750 New England fishermen $1,500 for each day their fishing
> grounds from Cape Ann in Massachusetts east to the Canadian
> border were closed this past spring.  -upi- Smithfield acquires
> Murphy Family Farms Smithfield Foods, Inc. said Thursday it has
> reached an agreement in principle to acquire all of the capital
> stock of the entities collectively known as Murphy Family Farms,
> the second largest U.S. hog production company. Headquartered in
> Rose Hill, N.C., Murphy Family Farms has approximately 325,000
> sows producing 5.5 million market hogs annually.  Smithfield,
> based in Smithfield, Va., said the acquisition would roughly
> double its hog production capacity and boost its level of
> domestic vertical integration to approximately 60 percent.  -
> upi- Cargill cleared in citric acid suit
>     Cargill says it's out of the woods in a suit alleging it
> conspired with four other firms to fix the price of citric acid.
> Minneapolis-based Cargill said in a statement Thursday that the
> 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco refused to
> reinstate the suit brought by a group of soft drink companies,
> saying there was no evidence such a conspiracy existed.
> Cargill's Mike Urbanic says the company was gratified, but not
> surprised by the ruling.  In a related story, federal antitrust
> enforcers declined to file criminal charges and last week closed
> an investigation into whether Cargill and others conspired to
> fix the price of high fructose corn syrup.  -upi- More money
> sought for cancer-food research
>     Researchers say current tests on the cancer-fighting
> properties of phytochemicals in common foods could lead to major
> changes in the treatment and prevention of cancer.  Dr. Vay Lang
> W. Go of UCLA spoke Thursday at the 9th Annual Conference of the
> American Institute for Cancer Research in Washington, D.C. The
> conference focused on research into phytochemicals, which are
> cancer-fighting compounds found in soy, tea, garlic, grapes,
> wine, spices as well as similar compounds in the trace mineral
> selenium.  Go also warned the public to resist the temptation to
> load up on phytochemicals until science determines how they
> work.  The institute estimates that at least 30 to 40 percent of
> all cancers are associated with diet. Researchers are asking for
> more federal funding to continue their studies.  -upi- FEMA
> chief tours Red River flood zone
>     The director of the Federal Emergency Management Agency on
> Thursday visited the area around Grand Forks, N.D. James Lee
> Witt was accompanied by members of Congress and local officials.
> He also toured a school that was rebuilt after the 1997 spring
> flood.  Witt says he's amazed the area is making such a speedy
> recovery. Witt says the 1997 Red River flood was among the
> costliest in the nation.  -upi- Fires still burn in SoCal
>     More than 2,200 firefighters on the lines of a 60,000-acre
> blaze burning in the San Bernardino National  Forest  northeast
> of Los Angeles grew more optimistic Thursday about their chances
> of dousing the huge blaze, but it was still out of control.  The
> nearly week-old fire is about one-third contained. One fire boss
> said it's ''cold'' in many places, and not currently threatening
> the nearby resorts of Big Bear and Lake Arrowhead. But the
> virtual army of firefighters still had about 60 miles of line to
> cut around the flames, which are burning in scenic timber
> country that has not seen a major fire in 100 years.  The other
> major fire burning in California has grown to 7,000 acres with
> more than 1,000 people on the fire lines.  -upi- Natl. plowing
> contest set for wkend
>     Farmers from 30 states will be in Minnesota this weekend
> competing for the national plowing title.  At one time, the
> national plowing contest was quite an event, attracting hundreds
> of thousands of people and presidential hopefuls including John
> F. Kennedy, Richard Nixon and Hubert Humphrey. Organizers say
> flagging attendance in recent years reflects a national lack of
> interest in agriculture.  Winners from this weekend's event will
> go to the world contest next year in England. The event is part
> of the Western Minnesota Steam Threshers reunion.  -upi- (end-
> farmshow)
=================

11)  09/03  WSJE: World Wire: A Special Report From Major Capitals
> Compiled  by  Margaret de Streel with Philip Shishkin and Edward Taylor 
THE EU
> NEEDS  a
>  plan to deal with genetic modifications, says Wallstrom.   The
> European
>  Union urgently needs a fresh plan to deal with genetically modified
>  organisms, Margot Wallstrom, nominated as environmental commissioner,
> tells
>  the European Parliament. The revision of current laws will provide
> for
>  better risk assessment, mandatory labeling and the use of
> precautionary
>  principles, she adds. The issue is likely to come up at the next
> round of
>  WTO talks in Seattle, Wallstrom says. The EU interprets such
> principles
>  differently from the
> WTO; the EU doesn't require definitive scientific proof of
> harmful effects of a substance in order to ban it -- an
> indication that it might have such effects is enough. As for
> regulating GMOs, "we are in a bit of a quandary," Wallstrom
> says. "We have to protect consumers' health, but at the same
> time we have to allow the industry to develop."
>   U.S. grain exporter Archer Daniels Midland said Wednesday that
> it intends to separate genetically modified crops from
> conventional crops -- in part to boost sales in Europe, where
> resistance to GMOs continues to run high.   
=================