info4action archive


GE - news mix 9/9/99

1) Newsweek magazine three-page article
2) have put on separate email
3) DEAUVILLE, France (AP) -- Movie stars arriving at the annual American Film
Festival in this Normandy resort town over the weekend heard more than the
usual squealing of fans.
4) 6/9/99 Two mindsets, two visions of sustainable agriculture By Donella H.
5) Monsanto Sees EU Open to Gene-Modified Food in 3 Yrs - Buenos Aires,
Sept. 3

6) "Separate place for transgenic products in shop"
From: wytze <> Dutch Agrarian Journal 8 september 1999
7) Tuesday September 7, 3:16 pm Eastern Time - UK food agency must win
confidence on GM - experts - GLASGOW, Sept 7 (Reuters) 
8) Monsanto denies plans to end UK tests-
9) NPR Transcript: DuPont's "non-GE" soy for European export
10) I would like to describe the impact of genetic engineering on our 3400

organic farm.
11) Time magazine on GE (September 13, 1999) There is a two-page article on
genetic engineering and international trade, food safety, and consumer
concerns, i.e., consumer-right-to-know in the latest issue of Time magazine
(September 13, 1999) 
September 8, 1999 The New York Times

1) Newsweek magazine three-page article
From: Jonathan <>

Newsweek magazine has a three-page article about genetically engineered
foods in this week's September 13, 1999 edition. The article is titled
"Frankenstein Foods?" It focuses on the consumer protests in Europe and
that movement has forced the United States to listen.

The article is posted below, but you may want to get a copy at the
to view the accompanying photos. Photos include a Greenpeace protester
in a
cornfield, French farmers dumping apples at a MacDonald's restaurant,
one of
the French farmers in handcuffs, and photos of some foods commonly
that contain genetically engineered ingredients, including MacDonald's
Mickey D's shakes.

Only one photo (the Greenpeace protester) is shown on the Newsweek web
However, the web site is worth visiting because you can play a great
clip about genetically engineered foods just recorded this week. Click
the "Newsweek ON LINE Related Audio link." There you will hear an
segment of
about seven minutes long that includes excellent comments from Jane
of the Union of Concerned Scientists.

One final point, if you do drop by the newsstand to pick up the current
Newsweek, make sure you also get a copy of the September Consumer
Our previous e-mails informed you that the September issue of Consumer
Reports magazine would cover genetically engineered foods. Now that we
had a chance to read the actual 6-page story, we can report the Consumer

Reports article is one of the best ever written on this subject.

Craig Winters
Executive Director
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

The Campaign
PO Box 55699
Seattle, WA 98155
Tel: 425-771-4049
Fax: 603-825-5841
E-mail: <>
Web Site: <>

Newsweek, September 13, 1999
Frankenstein Foods?

That's what Europeans are calling genetically modified crops that abound in
America. Exporters have been forced to listen.

By Kenneth Klee

Don't look for the southern French town of Montredon on your globe. It isn't
even on local road maps, perhaps because it has only 20 inhabitants. But one
of them, a Parisian intellectual turned activist-farmer named Jos» Bov», may
change that. He's the leader of the mobs of farmers who've trashed several
McDonald's in France lately. Last week, with 200 supporters chanting outside
the jail, Bov» declined a Montpellier court's offer of bail and remained
behind bars, the better to spotlight his cause. And that would be? "To fight
against globalization and advance the right of people to eat as they see
fit," he explained. Grievance No. 1: the U.S. desire to export genetically
modified crops and foods.

So far, so French, right? But spin that same globe to Peoria, Ill., home of
U.S. agribusiness giant Archer Daniels Midland. There, even as Bov»'s judges
readied their decision, the self-styled "supermarket to the world" was
demonstrating that the customer is, indeed, always right. In a fax to grain
elevators throughout the Midwest, ADM told its suppliers that they should
start segregating their genetically modified crops from conventional ones,
because that's what foreign buyers want. It didn't matter that GM crops are
widely grown by U.S. farmers, and that there's no evidence that the taco
chips and soda you're enjoying right now are anything worse than fattening.
ADM had noticed something new sprouting under the bright, warm sun of
economic interdependence: a strange hybrid of cultural and economic fears.
So it decided to act before the problem got any bigger.

Public opposition to GM foods in Europe has been mounting for more than two
years, especially in Britain and France. Both Prince Charles and Paul
McCartney have come out against the stuff. Now the protests and the tabloid
headlines about "Frankenstein Foods" have reached such a pitch that they're
reverberating across the Atlantic. Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman, a
longtime backer of biotechnology, admitted as much in a key speech in July.
So did Heinz and Gerber when they announced the same month that they'll go
to the considerable trouble of making their baby foods free of genetically
modified organisms. Groups such as Greenpeace, which have long fought
biotech on both continents, are crowing. U.S. trade officials, who face a
tough fight keeping markets open for American agricultural products, are
worrying. And U.S. consumers, who have never really thought much about
genetically modified foods, are just plain confused.

As well they might be, given the vastly different experiences the United
States and Europe have had. In the United States, the FDA issued a key
ruling in 1992 that brought foods containing GM ingredients to market
quickly, and without labels. Companies such as Monsanto introduced
herbicide-resistant soybeans and corn that makes its own insecticide. U.S.
farmers loved the products; by 1998, 40 percent of America's corn crop and
45 percent of its soybeans were genetically modified. In Europe, meanwhile,
there was no real central regulator to green-light the technology and allay
public concerns, and many more small farmers for whom biotech represented
not an opportunity but a threat. Leaders have tried to steer a course
between encouraging a new industry and giving the voters what they want,
including labeling rules.

So, to each his own, right? Not in 1999. If Europe is selling America Chanel
perfume and Land Rovers, America will want to sell Europe its soybeans and
corn ů and maybe even its fervent faith in progress. While European biotech
companies such as Novartis avoided the limelight, St. Louis-based Monsanto
decided to press its case. The timing was terrible. GM fears were already
running high last summer when Monsanto ran an informational campaign;
Britain's 1996 bout with mad-cow disease, though unrelated, had weakened
European confidence in regulators and industrial-strength agriculture.
Monsanto's PR effort only made the mood worse, as have a string of bad-news
food headlines since then: dioxin-contaminated chicken in Belgium last
spring; tainted Coke in Belgium and France this summer, and a punitive U.S.
tariff on imports of foie gras and other products, imposed in July because
Europe won't accept American hormone-fed beef.

That last, also nongenetic, dispute actually triggered the vandalism at
McDonald's last month. But to many of France's famously irascible small
farmers, it's all of a piece. Even among the broader public in France and
Britain, the GM-foods issue seems to be intersecting with second thoughts
about globalization. French farmers protest American imperialism. But just
last week their biggest customers, grocery giants Carrefour and Promodes,
announced a $16.5 billion merger that will position them well in a global
battle with America's Wal-Mart ů and put further cost pressures on farmers.
Britain is a hotbed for Internet start-ups. But Brits still tune in to the
BBC radio soap "The Archers" to see if young Tommy will go to jail for
helping a group of eco-warriors wreck a GM-crop trial site on his uncle's

Would an American jury let Tommy go? Probably not. Consumers Union, whose
Consumer Reports magazine features a big piece on GM foods this month, has
put together an array of poll data suggesting Americans would like to see GM
food labeled, but remain interested in its benefits. Of course, if Tommy's
trial were held in Berkeley, Calif., where the school board has announced a
ban on GM foods, he might walk.

U.S. activists, encouraged by the successes of their European brethren, hope
to build on such sentiments. Some of the rhetoric is extreme, and one
group ů or perhaps it's just one person ů has resorted to vandalism,
trashing a test-bed of GM corn at the University of Maine last month and
crediting the act to "Seeds of Resistance." But there's science going on,
too. A Cornell University study published in the journal Nature in May found
that half of a group of monarch-butterfly caterpillars that ate the pollen
of insecticide-producing Bt corn died after four days. What if the pollen
spreads to the milkweed the monarchs lay their eggs in? "The arguments
aren't enough to say we shouldn't have any biotechnology," says Rebecca
Goldburg of the Environmental Defense Fund. "But they are enough to say we
should be looking before we leap."

Of course we should, says Gordon Conway, president of the Rockefeller
Foundation and an agricultural ecologist. Invited to speak to the Monsanto
board in June, he used the forum to talk about the need to go a little
slower. But, he adds, don't worry about the monarch. Bioengineers can stop
the pesticide (which is supposed to kill caterpillars; they eat the corn)
from being expressed in pollen. "There are always problems in the first
generation of a new technology," he says. And, he adds, successes. The
foundation just unveiled a genetically modified rice grain it funded to
improve nutrition in the developing world. If a shouting match over GM foods
should derail such not-for-profit efforts, he says, "that would be a

Agriculture Secretary Glickman doesn't see Americans growing as fearful as
Europeans, mainly because he thinks Americans have more faith in their
regulators. He also thinks that labeling of GM foods is a big part of the
answer ů not mandatory labeling, which industry opposes and activists
demand, but voluntary labeling. "I'm not going to mandate this from national
government level," he told Newsweek, "but I believe that more and more
companies are going to find that some sort of labeling is in their own best
interest." Especially companies that want to export.

Because, as ADM showed with its heartland-stopping announcement on Thursday,
it isn't only up to Americans anymore. Brian Kemp, a Sibley, Iowa, farmer,
made an urgent call to his elevator on Thursday to see if it would still buy
his GM corn. It will ů this year. "Europe is so important to the industry
that it could mean we'll really have to pull back on growing GM crops in
this country," says Walt Fehr, head of Iowa State University's biotech
department. "Given the choice, who wants to grow GM?"

Glickman says the trade issue ů which is sure to generate plenty of heat at
the November World Trade Organization meeting in Seattle ů will be a tough
one to resolve. "But I think over the next five years or so we can get it
done." That's a mighty slow pace, considering how quickly the industry came
along in the previous half decade. But then, you generally do travel faster
when you travel alone.

With John Barry in Washington, Scott Johnsonin Montpellier, Jay Wagner in
Des Moines, William Underhill in London and Elizabeth Angell in New York

3) Wed, Sep 8, 1999†† By SUSANNAH PATTON Associated Press Writer
DEAUVILLE, France (AP) -- Movie stars arriving at the annual American Film
Festival in this Normandy resort town over the weekend heard more than the
usual squealing of fans.
>†† On the chic beach boardwalk, cow mooed and pigs grunted. The impetus
>behind the display: 200 French farmers, all of whom gathered here with
>their livestock to protest American trade muscle and what they see as the
>creeping threat of U.S.-driven globalization.
>†† The farmers, carrying signs saying "Vive le Camembert" and "Hormone Beef
>Go Home," singled out the film festival because of its American
>connections. The protest was only one of a wave of anti-American
>demonstrations that have hit McDonald's restaurants and other symbols of
>U.S. influence over the past month.
>†† The protests range from farmers trashing McDonald's franchises to 100
>percent "taxes" on Coca-Cola in certain towns.
>†† They reflect a simmering French hostility toward U.S. global influence..
>France has long sought to preserve its cultural and political identity,
>whether by remaining outside of NATO's military command or limiting the
>number of American shows on TV.
>†† "The Americans came to help us 50 years ago," said Hilaire Taillecours,
>62, who raises cows and grows wheat on his 125-acre Normandy farm. "But
>that doesn't mean they can tell us what to eat and how to film."
>†† The outcry against the spread of globalization -- the buzzword for the
>American model of a free-market driven, borderless world economy -- comes
>as France itself is bowing to economic pressures by selling off state
>assets and supporting corporate megamergers.
>†† While the French are increasingly accepting the rule of market forces,
>and eagerly flocking to American movies and chain stores, the current
>dispute hits them where they are the most sensitive: the stomach.
>†† "In France, food equals identity," said Guillaume Parmentier, who heads
>the French Center on the United States, a new, private Paris think tank.
>"There is a growing fear of being taken over by new types of technology and
>a general ambivalence toward globalization, of which McDonald's has become
>a symbol."
>†† Europeans fear that American marketing muscle will gradually lead to a
>worldwide standardization of food, stamping out old culinary traditions.
>And the protests come after several food crises -- from mad cow disease to
>dioxin-tainted chicken -- have shaken consumer confidence in industrialized
>†† The latest protests follow U.S. sanctions on a slew of products ranging
>from Roquefort cheese to foie gras. The tariffs were slapped on European
>goods in retaliation to the European Union's decision to ban imports of
>U.S. hormone-treated beef.
>†† In France, the protests have been spearheaded by the radical Farmers'
>Confederation, a left-wing union that represents a vocal minority of French
>farmers. Union leader Jose Bove, a sheep farmer from southwestern France,
>quickly became the movement's poster boy after he was arrested and jailed
>for vandalizing a McDonald's under construction in southern France.
>†† McDonald's France dropped its damages claim against Bove, who was
>released on bail this week. And the company has launched a nationwide ad
>campaign to repair its tattered image with the slogan "Born in USA, made in
>France," emphasizing that a Big Mac here is actually made from native beef
>and produce.
>†† The French government, meanwhile, is taking special care not to further
>rile the farmers.
>†† French President Jacques Chirac regularly espouses free-market
>principles. But he showed subtle support for the farmers' movement in
>recent days, saying France would continue to oppose genetically modified
>foods and hormone-treated beef at World Trade Organization talks set for
>Nov. 30 in Seattle.

4) 6/9/99 Two mindsets, two visions of sustainable agriculture By Donella H.

"I guess you must be in favor of pesticides," concluded a Monsanto public
relations guy, after I objected to his company's genetically engineered

"I guess it's OK with you if people starve," said a botanist I deeply
respect, with whom I have carried out a fervent argument about genetic

Accusations like these astonish me. I'm an organic farmer; I'm not in favor
of pesticides. I've spent decades working to end hunger; it is not OK with
me that anyone starves. I believe that my two accusers and I are working
toward exactly the same goal ó feeding everyone without wrecking the
environment. We would all label that goal "sustainable agriculture." But we
must be making radically different assumptions about what that goal looks
like and how to get there from here.

The idea that if I oppose genetic engineering, I must favor pesticides,
arises from an assumption that those are the only two choices. If they
were, I would probably agree that it's better to fool with genomes than to
spray poisons over the countryside. But I see other choices. Plant many
kinds of crops and rotate them, instead of one or two crops year after
year, which make a perfect breeding ground for pests. Build up ecosystems
above ground and in the soil so natural enemies rise and fall with the
pests, searching and destroying with a specificity and safety and elegance
that neither chemicals nor engineering can match.

These are pest control methods based not on chemistry or genetics, but on
ecology. They work. I know. I use them. I know dozens of organic farmers
who use them. Small scale and large. Northeast, South, Midwest, West.
Apples, lettuce, potatoes, strawberries, broccoli, rice, soybeans, wheat,

The claim that we need genetic engineering to feed the hungry must be based
on two assumptions: first that more food will actually go to hungry people,
second that genetic engineering is the only way to raise more food. I
assume, to the contrary, that more food will not help those who can't
afford to buy or grow it, especially if it comes from expensive, patented,
designer seed.

Furthermore, more food is not needed. We already grow enough to nourish
everyone. If just one-third of the grain fed to animals went to humans
instead, we would not have 24,000 deaths per day due to hunger. Or if 40
percent post-harvest loss rates in poor countries were reduced. Or if we
shared the embarrassing crop surpluses of North America and Europe. Or if
we created an economy where everyone had money to buy food or land to grow
it ó which would solve a lot of other problems too.

Where, when or if more food is needed, there are ways to produce it that
don't require biotech or chemicals. Folks with an industrial ag mindset

assume that organic agriculture would cut yields. Not only is there no
evidence for that assumption, there are numerous studies to the contrary.
One of the latest appeared in Nature last year; its summary opens like
this: "In comparison with conventional, high-intensity agricultural
methods, 'organic' alternatives can improve soil fertility and have fewer
detrimental effects on the environment. These alternatives can also produce
equivalent crop yields to conventional methods."

Imagine what yields could be if even one-tenth as much research effort were
put into organic farming as has been put into chemicals or genetics.

When I show this evidence to proponents of high-tech farming, when I offer
to take them to see organic farms, when I point out that hunger could be
ended by sharing food or technologies that raise output without poisoning
the earth or invading the genome, I don't think my argument even reaches
their auditory nerves, much less their brains. That kind of extreme failure
even to hear an argument, much less process it, alerts me that this is not
a rational discussion. It is a worldview difference, a paradigm gap, a
disagreement about morals and values and identities and fundamental
assumptions about the way the world works.

I assume the world works by the laws of ecology and economics and human
nature. Ecology says that monocultures breed pests; that chemicals upset
soil ecosystems and kill off natural predators; that crops with pesticide
in every cell will induce pest resistance; that animals and plants should
be grown in close proximity so manure can go back to the soil; and that we
haven't the slightest idea what the ecological or evolutionary consequences
of genetic engineering will be.

Economics says you can never have a sustainable market if you produce
something consumers fear and you hide critical information about how it was
produced and what it contains. Because industrial agriculture has violated
that law and lost the trust of consumers, the market for organic produce is
growing in American and Europe by 20-30 percent per year, even with a price
premium; it now totals over $9 billion.

Human nature says the more actual producers can own and shape and control
land and inputs and seeds and knowledge, the more inventive, adaptive, and
equitable agriculture will be.

Acceptance of those laws shapes my vision of sustainable agriculture. I
picture healthy ecosystems and healthy human beings working together in
thriving, close-knit communities. Farms are small, owner-operated, with
what Wes

Jackson calls a "high eyes-to-acres ratio," which means they are well
managed and high-yielding. Farmers make more use of knowledge and people
than of chemicals and seeds they can't breed for themselves. Animals are
raised on all farms; there are good reasons why ecosystems don't
concentrate all the plants in one place and all the animals in another.

Food is grown everywhere, in cities, in suburbs. The distance from producer
to consumer is short, there are fewer supermarkets, more farmers markets,
less packaging, more freshness. The principle of one of my favorite organic
farmers permeates the system: 'I'm not growing food, I'm growing health."

To those who do not believe such a vision is possible, I can only say, it
exists, it's alive and well and growing, it's even more profitable than the
industrial vision, the food tastes better, the work is more pleasurable. I
live in this vision. I have friends all over the world who live in it. Come

Donella H. Meadows is an adjunct professor of environmental studies at
Dartmouth College and director of the Sustainability Institute, a think/do
tank that promotes sustainable systems.
5) Monsanto Sees EU Open to Gene-Modified Food in 3 Yrs - Buenos Aires,
Sept. 3

Monsanto Co., the world's No. 2 agricultural biotechnology company, is betting
that education is the key to ease Europe's resistance to genetically

food, opening sales there within three years. 

Monsanto said a drive to teach Europeans that the modified food is safe will 
take up to three years for farmers there to accept the benefits. The effort, 
begun in the past few months, aims to crack resistance from the continent by 
canvassing the support of scientists, doctors and educators to promote the 

``The farmer is scared that if he uses the technology it will destroy his 
fields,'' said Bernard Auxenfans, president of Monsanto for Europe and Asia, 
at conference in Buenos Aires. ``We need to get the farming community'' to 
support the food. 

Garnering support could unlock Europe -- the U.S.'s biggest export market for 
food sales where about $8.3 billion worth of products were shipped last year 
- -- for Monsanto. While the U.S. and Latin America have been quick to accept 
genetically modified seeds, in which genes are altered to resist insects or 
herbicides, Europe has fought the idea based on quality and safety concerns. 

And St. Louis-based Monsanto hopes to target Europe, which could boost its 
world sales. The company has seen a ``slowdown'' in the fast-paced growth of 
genetically modified seeds and products, said Auxenfans. 


Still, Monsanto and the industry acknowledge that efforts to win over Europe 
have been mislaid and the company aims to use other sources, such as doctors 
and scientists, to educate. In the U.S., for example, consumers offered 
little resistance to the technology because they trusted regulatory agencies 
to determine if the products were safe. 

But because EU regulatory agencies lost credibility in the fallout of several 
food scares -- such as ``mad-cow'' disease -- that approach didn't work in 
Europe, said Auxenfans. 

``I agree we've made mistakes,'' Auxenfans said. ``We as an industry alone 
are not credible'' so we have to relay the message through others, especially 

Other industry officials said the key to gaining acceptance is to drive home 
that genetically altered seeds, which have helped farmers boost crop yields, 
are necessary to feed the globe's population without using tapping more land 
to raise crops. 

``The message should be it's safe, it saves the environment, it saves the 
wetlands,'' said Michael Fromm, president of California-based Mendel 
Biotechnology. ``We as an industry have not communicated its benefits.'' 

Monsanto's stock, down about 30 percent from a year ago, fell 5/16 to 39 3/4. 
Sep/03/1999†† 16:30 
6) "Separate place for transgenic products in shop"
From: wytze <> Dutch Agrarian Journal 8 september 1999
Rotterdam- Transgenic products should get a separate place in
supermarkets, next to products from the 'conventional' and from the
organic agriculture. Professor Colja Laane from the wageningen
Agricultural University pleaded for this yesterday at a seminar of the
Dutch Industrial and Agrarian Biotechnology Association (Niaba) in
According to Laane the consumer than can make a real choice to his
The new generation transgenic products must have a real consumer
benefit. The present crops are mainly interesting for the producers.
Companies should also provide clear and objective information on the
labels, through information lines and internet.
Risks should be overviewed by a reliable agency.
Risks that the scientist doubts, just as dr. Schellekens, chairman of
the Dutch Advisory Board Genetic Modification (COGEM), though he claimed
to speak "a titre personel'.
"GE does not bring along specific risks. The present confidancecrisis
not a matter of safety but a political discussion. We have had the
riskdebate"† He blames the crisis to changes in government,
anti-Americanism in France and health mania.
Ewald Wermuth of the Producer Board Margarines, Fats and Oils called on
the biotech industry to come with a vision, in which clarity is given on
the freedom of choice for consumers and environmental consequences."I
find it appauling that industry cannot provide this information".

Wermuth asked for this info at a recent meeting from soyproducers in
Chicago. Nobody was able to provide him with monitoring reports on
environmental effects.
7) Tuesday September 7, 3:16 pm Eastern Time - UK food agency must win
confidence on GM - experts - GLASGOW, Sept 7 (Reuters) 

Britain's planned Food Standards Agency
needs to win over a sceptical public if it is going to referee debate on
genetically modified foods, industry officials and consumer groups said on

This view emerged on Tuesday during a discussion sponsored by Glasgow
University and entitled ``There's a gene in
my soup, waiter.''

Groups normally on opposite sides in the GM foods debate agreed public
confidence in the new agency would be vital.
``The British public had their faith in food undermined by the mad cow
disease scare,'' Martyn Evans, director of the
government-funded Scottish Consumer Council, told Reuters.

``The mentality now is 'why should we trust people like the government, big
business and scientists when they
reassured us for years our food was safe,''' he said.

The Food Standards Agency -- a response to the scare over tainted British
beef which in some cases led to a rare but
fatal human brain disease -- is due to begin work early next year.

It will include regulators, scientists and consumer rights' groups.

Ann Foster, director of public and government affairs in Britain for U.S.
- -based biotechnology giant Monsanto
(NYSE:MTC - news), said she hoped the introduction of the agency would make
for more intelligent debate about GM

Monsanto says genetic modification can raise yields, cut the need for
pesticides and lead to industrial uses for new
crops. But the British press has dubbed them ``Frankenstein foods.''

``If people in Britain can begin to have faith in the regulatory decisions
about food, then so much the better,'' Foster told
Reuters. ``(Monsanto) has to face the fact that we are not the most popular
messenger about GM foods. But there
needs to be an impartial body -- with scientists -- that has credibility
with the public,'' said Foster, head of the Scottish
Consumer Council until early 1998.

GM foods have caused much greater debate in Britain than in the United
States, which leads the world in growing
genetically modified crops.

British supermarkets are stripping their shelves of GM foods and
environmental groups have been destroying crop test

Foster and Evans agreed that one reason U.S. consumers did not have as many
fears about GM foods as their British
counterparts was because of general consumer confidence in the U.S. Food
and Drug Administration.

``We can't underestimate the damage that the mad cow scare did to British
consumers. It was this incredible shock to
people who lived in cities for 30 years and had no idea this was happening
to their food,'' Evans said.
8) Monsanto denies plans to end UK tests-

In the words of Peter Riley, senior GM campaigner at Freinds of the Earth,
" The sooner they have packed their bags and gone the better".

Sunday September 5, 2:07 pm Eastern Time

FOCUS-Monsanto denies plans to end UK

LONDON, Sept 5 (Reuters) - U.S. biotechnology group Monsanto Co on
Sunday denied newspaper reports that they planned to pull out of
genetically modified crop trials in Britain due to public hostility.

The Independent on Sunday, citing senior company sources, reported that
top executives at Monsanto were pressing the company's board to stop trial
plantings in the UK after a campaign by
anti-GM food protesters.

But Monsanto Director of Public Affairs Tony Coombs said: ``We arrived in
this country in 1907 and will be around a
lot longer than the Independent on Sunday.''

Monsanto also released a media statement in the United States. It said: ``A
story in the ... Independent on Sunday
innacurately states that Monsanto is intending to abandon its business in
the United Kingdom. This report and the
gossip cited from an unnamed source are untrue.''

Anti-GM food campaigners attacked Monsanto sites in Ireland last month and
have also targeted government sites in

The Friends of the Earth environmental group said Monsanto had cut the
number of trial sites in England to 30 now
from 110 in 1998.

But Monsanto said the number of trials done in any given year varied as a
function of the country's regulatory process
and did not reflect any lack of commitment to products or a given market.

Monsanto's share price has dropped about 10 percent in the last six months
as environmental and health concerns about
genetically modified food have increased.
Date: 8 Sep 1999 From: (Judy Kew)
9) NPR Transcript: DuPont's "non-GE" soy for European export


. . . The mutation that DuPont's researchers found produced resistance to
the company's Synchrony herbicide.† These plants aren't considered genetically
modified because the change was induced within the plant and not imported from
outside. . .

. . .† Many European activists aren't aware of just how genetically modified
the food labeled `non-genetically modified' may be.† 
Tony Juniper from Friends of the Earth has heard of DuPont's soybeans and he
doesn't like them.† Any herbicide-tolerant crop, he says, is part of the
of industrial agriculture.

Mr.† JUNIPER: Where chemicals are used in vast quantities, where the
agricultural landscape is sterilized of all wildlife and, in fact, all life
except the crop plant.

CHARLES: But Juniper says mutation breeding hasn't caught the public's
imagination, new-style gene splicing has, so that's what he's going to keep
campaigning against. . .
- ----

SHOW:† Morning Edition† DATE:† September 7, 1999


Consumers in Britain and increasingly in the rest of Europe and Japan are
demanding food that has not been altered using the tools of genetic
engineering.† Last week, Archer Daniels Midland, the food processing giant,
told its suppliers to begin separating genetically altered corn and soybeans
from conventional varieties.† 

But some of the food that's certified as non-genetically modified also comes
from plants that have been genetically manipulated in the laboratory.† 
NPR's Dan Charles reports.

DAN CHARLES reporting:

Most genetically engineered food on supermarket shelves comes from soybeans. 
Farmers in the United States have planted almost half their soybean fields
so-called Roundup Ready varieties.† These plants have been genetically altered
so they're immune to the popular herbicide Roundup.† That way, when farmers
spray Roundup, the weeds die and the soybean plants don't.† It makes life
easier for farmers but tougher for companies who mix soybean meal into veggie
burgers or canned soup or baby food, because in the United Kingdom, activists
like Tony Juniper from Friends of the Earth have persuaded stores not to stock
anything with genetically modified, or GM, ingredients.

Mr.† TONY JUNIPER (Friends of the Earth): All of the UK supermarkets now and
many of those on the continent have decided to go GM-free, and they've done
that because their customers are telling them in no uncertain terms that they
don't want to eat it.

CHARLES: Enter DuPont with a program the company calls identity preservation. 
DuPont's David Young says his company expects to deliver about a million tons
of non-genetically modified soy products this year.

Mr.† DAVID YOUNG (DuPont): You know, we're firm believers in kind of the
rule of marketing is that the customer's always right.† So you can elect to go
out and fight this, or you can elect to go out and give consumers the ability
to choose the type of products that they want and be proactive with it.

CHARLES: But DuPont isn't offering higher prices for just any soybeans. 
Curiously enough, the only soybeans the company is certifying as
non-genetically modified also are immune to a herbicide, not Roundup, but one
of DuPont's herbicides called Synchrony.† But in this case, the herbicide
tolerance wasn't produced by taking a gene from bacteria and inserting it into
the plant the way Roundup Ready crops were.† James Orf(ph), a soybean breeder
at the University of Minnesota, says DuPont's scientists created new genes
scratch instead, using a process called mutation breeding.

Mr.† JAMES ORF (University of Minnesota): Mutation breeding works by exposing
seed to some kind of mutagen like X-rays or chemicals.

CHARLES: The mutagen knocks out random pieces of DNA or rearranges them.† Most
of the time, the results are damaging.† The seeds may produce plants that
grow properly.† But there's a small chance, maybe one in a million, that the
mutation will be valuable.

Mr.† ORF: It's critical to have a procedure that allows you to screen
or hundreds of thousands or even millions of plants to identify those few
plants that might have the appropriate mutation.

CHARLES: The mutation that DuPont's researchers found produced resistance to
the company's Synchrony herbicide.† These plants aren't considered genetically
modified because the change was induced within the plant and not imported from
outside.† The University of Minnesota's James Orf says plant breeders have
mutation breeding for decades along with sophisticated techniques for
cross-breeding plants that normally can't mate in nature.† It's
he says, that these forms of genetic modification are less controversial. 
They're more familiar.† Splicing genes from one creature into another, what's
called genetic transformation, is potentially far more powerful and much
so it may be more risky.† On the other hand, Orf says, the results are more

Mr.† ORF: With transformation, I think we know a lot more about the genetics
and what we're actually inserting into plants.† We actually know what we're
doing and where the gene is inserted, where with some of the other techniques,
we really didn't know a lot about it.

CHARLES: Many European activists aren't aware of just how genetically modified
the food labeled `non-genetically modified' may be.† Tony Juniper from Friends
of the Earth has heard of DuPont's soybeans and he doesn't like them.† Any
herbicide-tolerant crop, he says, is part of the system of industrial

Mr.† JUNIPER: Where chemicals are used in vast quantities, where the
agricultural landscape is sterilized of all wildlife and, in fact, all life
except the crop plant.

CHARLES: But Juniper says mutation breeding hasn't caught the public's
imagination, new-style gene splicing has, so that's what he's going to keep
campaigning against.

Mr.† JUNIPER: With our resources, we can only fight one battle at a time, and
the one we're winning right now is on GM food and we're planning to finish
before we start the next one.

CHARLES: Juniper and his allies have succeeded in pushing through the labeling
of foods containing genetically modified ingredients.† Any such food in
supermarkets has to carry a GM label already.† Starting on September the 19th,
the country's restaurants and even prisons will have to let people know if the
food they serve contains genetically modified soybean products, but only if
soybeans were transformed, not mutated.† Dan Charles, NPR News, Washington.

EDWARDS: This is NPR's MORNING EDITION.† I'm Bob Edwards.
- ---

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Date Posted: 09/07/1999
Posted by: 

10) I would like to describe the impact of genetic engineering on our 3400

organic farm.† It would be helpful if these sorts of observations could be 
confirmed (or not) by research.

There are three main changes that we have seen in North Dakota.

1) We can no longer plant crops that are insect or wind pollinated which are 
known to be genetically modified.† Accordingly, we did not plant canola this 
year.† Canola had been a good crop in our rotation.† This limits the diversity
of foodstuffs both on farm and in the market place.† How many farmers are 
changing their rotations because we can't "fence in" GMOs and keep them off 
our land?

2) Different pesticides are being used with GMOs which cause alarming damage 
across the landscape.† Because of weather changes, SE North Dakota is now part
of the corn and soybean belt.† Pesticides used with "Liberty" Corn cause root 
systems to grow up instead of down.† This, apparently, makes plants grow topsy
turvy - the crown ends up pointing down to the earth. Other pesticides, 
particularly herbicides, are rejuvenated in rain. Because we live in the 
windiest state in the Union, the damage is ubiquitous.† Of course, GMOs are 
not the only "cause" of new herbicides.† However, they are part of the 
industrialized approach to agriculture which promotes chemicals which are 
antithetical to life.

3) The timing of herbicide spraying has changed.† Farmers now spray for the 
entire season instead of just in the spring. While GMOs are just one of 
several factors instigating season-long spraying, they are a significant 
factor. This means that both plants and humans are exposed to pesticides from 
April through September.† 

I find it ironic that I am expected to feed the world but can't expect to feed
my own family because of herbicide damage to orchards, vineyards, gardens and 
farms.† An unscientific survey among organic farmers in the upper midwest 
indicates that herbicide damage has increased on our land over the past 3 

Some of you may know that research has shown that babies conceived in the 
spring in rural Minnesota (just next door to North Dakota) have a higher rate 
of birth defects.† Does this mean that we need to issue warnings that we 
should not conceive for the six months of April-Sept. because of the risk of 
birth defects?

Damage resulting from GMOs is not hypothetical.† One of the other longest 
standing organic farmers in North Dakota is now asking if he will be able to 
continue farming and gardening, not because of the economic crisis but because
the chemical damage on his farm and garden is so serious.† He raises all the 
food for the 3 generations of family on his farm.† He raises seed for garden 
supply companies.† And he raises small grains.

Unfortunately, if we want organic farming to continue, we will need to 
intervene ... and soon.† 

Carolyn Raffensperger
Kirschenmann Family Farms.

11) Time magazine on GE (September 13, 1999) There is a two-page article on
genetic engineering and international trade, food safety, and consumer
concerns, i.e., consumer-right-to-know in the latest issue of Time magazine
(September 13, 1999) 
- - pp. 43-44 under the Business section. Apologies for any cross postings.


Mark Ritchie, President
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2105 First Ave. South
Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404† USA
612-870-3400 (phone) 612-870-4846 (fax)†††† <>
The Sud-deutsche Zeitung (national daily) recently carried a long article
the changed
fortune of GM foods - promoted by the Deutsche Bank report which was qouted in
the opening paragraph.

September 8, 1999 The New York Times
According to this story, Americans have so far been slow to anger at the
prospect of genetically engineered crops, and one reason may be that most
of them don't have a clue that many foods are already being made with
genetically engineered ingredients: no labeling is required in this
country, nor is government approval.
The story says that the† September issue of Consumer Reports includes a
surprising shopping list of products tested by Consumers Union that were
found to contain genetically engineered soy, corn or other ingredients.
Among them were
three powdered baby formulas, Enfamil Prosobee soy formula, Similac Isomil
soy formula and Nestle Carnation Alsoy, as well as several soy burgers,
including Boca Burger, Chef Max's Favorite, Morningstar Farms Better 'n
Burgers and Green Giant Harvest Burgers. Ovaltine Malt powdered beverage
mix, Bac-Os Bacon Flavor bits, Bravos Tortilla Chips Nacho Nacho, Old El
Paso 12 taco shells and Jiffy Corn muffin mix also tested positive for
genetically altered ingredients.
Consumers Union said it tested breakfast cereals and cooking oils too, but
that the results were inconclusive. It also reported that 60 percent of
hard-cheese products are made with a biotech version of rennet, the enzyme
from calves' stomachs. And it analyzed McDonald's McVeggie Burgers, sold
in some of the chain's New York City restaurants, which also tested
Consumers Union was cited as saying it chose to test foods that were
likely to include genetically altered ingredients; the testing analyzed
the DNA makeup of those foods.† The story adds that corn, potatoes,
squash, papayas, soybeans and canola are among the bioengineered crops
already on the market, and that all a company has to do to grow
bioengineered products is certify to the Agriculture Department that it
will take safety precautions.
Because, the story says,† so few safety studies have been done, there is
no evidence that genetically engineered food now on the market is unsafe
to eat.
The environmental concern has led to protests like one in Maine, in
which a group calling itself Seeds of Resistance claimed responsibility
for cutting down 1,000 stalks of genetically engineered corn in an
experimental field hear Bangor.
But the big issue, as Consumer Reports emphasized, is whether consumers
should be informed when bioengineered ingredients are used, so they can
decide whether to avoid them.
A recent survey by the International Food Information Council found that
71 percent of consumers in this country rated themselves as poorly
about food biotechnology. (Only 2 to 3 percent thought soybeans are
genetically engineered, for instance.) But when they do know, the story
says, they often act. After bovine growth hormone was approved in 1993 to
increase milk
production, sales of organic milk skyrocketed, and last year they doubled.
That still represents only 0.3 percent of the $75 billion dairy market,
but analysts say the figure could reach 2 percent by 2005. Between 10 and
30 percent of the nation's dairy cows have been injected with the
gene-altered hormone rBGH.
Fears about genetically modified corn were raised last spring when it was
reported that pollen from the new crop killed monarch butterfly larvae in
a laboratory experiment. The story says that entomologists at Iowa State
University are following up on the experiment in the field. Consumer
Reports said that John Obrycki, one of the entomologists, reported that
mortality data indicated that there is indeed a threat to the monarch.
Consumer Reports, which has a circulation of 4.5 million, offered
recommendations, the story says, for dealing with the issue of genetically
altered foods, like requiring a federal review of the safety of such foods
for humans before they are put on the market.
These were some other recommendations:
-- That safety reviews be required before farmers are allowed to plant
bioengineered species, in an effort to prevent insects from developing
resistance to pesticides, the creation of superweeds and harm to
beneficial insects.
-- That a single national standard be established certifying that
"organic" food meets certain standards, and that genetically engineered
food not be considered organic. No federal standard exists now.
-- That the food industry be made liable for economic or biological
damage resulting from genetically engineered crops.
-- That genetically engineered foods, both domestic and imported, be
As the magazine put it, "Consumers have a fundamental right to know what
they eat."
In a Time magazine poll published last January, 81 percent of the
respondents said genetically engineered food should be labeled. In fact,
labeling can work more than one way: some dairies and tofu makers have
found that they can increase sales by noting on labels that their products
are free of genetically engineered ingredients.