info4action archive


GE - news mix 17th September

1) Guardian 16/9/99 - Agribusiness division's fate hangs in the balance. GM
food: special 
report - David Teather and Julia Finch Thursday September 16, 1999
2) Company Press Release SOURCE: Monsanto Company
Monsanto Goes All Electronic with Corporate - Environmental Report
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MTC - news) has 
issued its 1998 Corporate Eastern Time Shares down -1/4 (37+1/16th).
3) U.S. Transgenic Corn Enters Russia Illegally - VIENNA, Austria, September
16, 1999 (ENS) - 
4) The Wall Street Transcript Publishes Report on Ag-Biotech Stocks And 
Genetically Engineered Foods and Products PRNewswire NEW YORK, Sept. 16
/PRNewswire/ -- Sano Shimoda, 
5) Monsanto Uses Canadian Taxpayer Money to Violate Foreign Laws Canada
Case highlights need for strong Biosafety Protocol -OTTAWA/VIENNA,
September 17
/CNW/ - 
6) Sth Aust deputy meets with biotech companies in UK - AAP 16.09.99 06:17
7) Survey: Consumers Want Gene-Altered Food Labeled - Wisconsin State Journal
8) On Tuesday evening (21st Sep) at 8 o'clock there is a forty minute 
programme on Radio 4 (File on Four)
9) For Immediate Release - September 16th 1999 - GREENPEACE CALLS FOR
10) Agence France Presse - Genetic food fight heats up - BANGKOK, Sept 14
11) Subject: Dutch Foodindustry "reformulates" products 
Telegraaf 16-9-1999 Frontpage Headline. GE FOOD REMOVED FROM THE SHELVES
12) Seed firms remind farmers about EU GMO corn rules - USA: September 15,
13) Britain faces row over secret genetic crop trials UK: September 15, 1999
14) Genetic ID cards 'only 20 years away' - Unique records will warn people
disease risk by Maxine Frith
15) Tuesday, September 14, 1999- Tories demand GM inquiry - Environmental
campaigners destroying a GM test site 

1) Guardian 16/9/99 - Agribusiness division's fate hangs in the balance. GM
food: special 
report - David Teather and Julia Finch Thursday September 16, 1999

Drugs firm Novartis last night said it was considering spinning off its 
ailing agribusiness division which includes the company's controversial 
research into genetically modified foods.
Novartis, which is the world's number two pharmaceuticals company and 
the biggest maker of crop protection products, is considering "a number 
of options" for the troubled agribusiness division including separating 
it from the main company or seeking an alliance.
The Swiss company's decision to rethink its involvement in GM foods 
comes just one month after Britain's AstraZeneca warned that it too 
might sell its agrichemicals business.
AstraZeneca is a high profile GM company which has already put 
genetically engineered products on British supermarket shelves. It has 
also been the target of high profile demonstrations by environmental 
At the same time Monsanto, the large US company has seen its share price 
fall from $62 (38) to $40 in the past 12 months ($37 dollars today).
Analysts increasingly believe the GM foods research has the potential to 
inflict serious damage on the lucrative global pharmaceuticals business 
and are keen to see the controversial division put at arms length.
"The market would like to see the life sciences business separate from 
the agribusiness," one analyst said. "There is little synergy."
But they also believe that agribusinesses are unlikely to attract buyers 
in the current climate. The business has been hit by a slump in the 
price of commodities, decreasing subsidies for farmers and a drop in the 
number of acres under crop production worldwide. It is also suffering 
from the growing backlash against so-called "frankenfood".
Agribusiness chief Heinz Imhof also called called on European 
authorities to set up a body similar to the US food and drug 
administration to reassure consumers that genetically modified products 
are safe. He also suggested that clearer labelling laws would help quell 
the growing controversy around the products such as modified seeds, 
which some critics say may be unsafe or may damage the environment.
"We are convinced that GM crops in the future will bring tangible 
benefits to the consumer," Mr Imhof said. Earlier this year Novartis 
announced that 1,100 jobs were to be axed in its agricultural division 
after the drop in sales which make up 25% of the company's revenue. Half 
of the sales come from North and South America.
Yesterday Mr Imhof said that the job losses would now exceed the 
previous estimate. GM foods have become a battleground for British 
supermarket companies, with each struggling to establish their GM-free 
Iceland and Waitrose have recently reported Sainsbury to the Advertising 
Standards Authority over its claims to be the first major supermarket to 
have eradicated all GM products from its own-label products.
Marks & Spencer has become the latest to join the skirmish with its own 
advertising campaign. Food giants like Unilever and Nestle have now also 
pledged to remove GM ingredients from their products.
A spokeswoman for Novartis admitted that GM foods had failed to win 
widespread public acceptance but insisted the decision to review the 
future of the agribusiness division was not connected.
2) Company Press Release SOURCE: Monsanto Company
Monsanto Goes All Electronic with Corporate - Environmental Report
ST. LOUIS, Sept. 16 /PRNewswire/ -- Monsanto Company (NYSE: MTC - news) has 
issued its 1998 Corporate Eastern Time Shares down -1/4 (37+1/16th).

Environmental Report (CER) and is making the report available exclusively 
as an electronic document in an effort to 
optimize the benefits of the World Wide Web and avoid the printing of 
thousands of paper copies.
Titled the ``1998 Report on Sustainable Development including 
Environmental, Safety and Health Performance,'' the 
document is available on Monsanto's Internet homepage
With the rapidly expanding use of the World Wide Web, this format makes the 
report accessible by more people 
worldwide, and gives access to a level of detail not available in printed 
copies. It saves paper and resources and is 
cost-effective for Monsanto.
Like printed versions in the past, Monsanto's 1998 CER contains information 
related to Monsanto activities in areas of 
sustainable development as well as environment, safety and health. Included 
are descriptions of activities that are either 
completed or under way which increase resource efficiency and improve 
energy and raw material usage efficiency, key 
elements in optimizing the environmental influence of manufacturing 
operations. Activities related to social responsibility 
and support for economic development, along with information about the use 
of Monsanto products and the impact they 
have on people and the environment, are also part of the report.
The report has been specifically designed for web viewing with simple 
graphics for quick download time to make it 
SOURCE: Monsanto Company
from :

3) U.S. Transgenic Corn Enters Russia Illegally - VIENNA, Austria, September
16, 1999 (ENS) - 

The United States is exporting 
genetically engineered corn to Russia in violation of newly passed Russian 
legislation, Greenpeace charged today in Vienna. Laboratory tests conducted

Greenpeace found that a U.S. corn shipment to Russia in August contained 
unauthorized genetically engineered (GE) corn from Novartis.
Greenpeace activists dressed 
as a transgenic tomato and 
U.S. President Bill Clinton 
demonstrated today in front 
of the UN building where 
biosafety negotiations are 
underway. (Photo courtesy )
The Greenpeace allegations 
are timed to attract attention 
from government 
representatives from around 
the world meeting here this 
week for informal 
negotiations on an 
international Biosafety 
Protocol. The treaty would 
control the transportation, 
handling, uses and release of 
genetically modified organisms.
The cargo carrier Blue Zenith arrived at St. Petersburg harbour August 16 
carrying 42,000 tons of genetically engineered corn from the U.S., 
Greenpeace said today.Since the 1998 harvest, genetically engineered and 
conventional crops have not been separated, and all U.S. shipments are 
still likely to contain GE grain. Some of the GE corn grown in the U.S. has 
not been approved for import in Europe.
The Russian government issued legislation in July that requires permits based
ecological assessment before genetically engineered crops can be imported
the country.
In an interview with Greenpeace on Wednesday, the Russian Ministry of Health 
confirmed that Novartis did not apply for an import license for its GE corn.
authorities have not said what action they intend to take to stop more 
shipments. About 139,000 tons of corn have left the U.S. since mid-August 
and are expected to arrive in Russia soon.
"The U.S. blatantly ignored Russian import laws, and Novartis did not even 
bother to apply for an import permit for its GE corn even though it did so 
before importing it into the European Union," said Ivan Blokov, Greenpeace 
Russia campaign director. "This goes to show once again that only tough 
international rules on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can stop the 
rogue traders of biotech. Illegal traffic of GMOs must be treated as a 
criminal offense."
Field of Novartis transgenic corn (Photo courtesy 
The samples obtained by Greenpeace and 
analyzed by the Federal Environment Agency of 
Austria show that the cargo contained Novartis 
Event 176 GE-corn which has been engineered to 
produce Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) proteins that 
are toxic to insect pests.
The sample also contains a resistance gene to 
antibiotic ampicillin and has been banned for 
import in Austria, Luxembourg and Norway.
But Novartis says its Bt corn is no threat to medical 
treatment with the antibiotic ampicillin as its 
ampicillin resistance gene is not transferred into 
a protein that could be ingested by man or animal and result in a 
resistance to ampicillin treatment.
The negotiations on an international Biosafety Protocol taking place here 
this week are another attempt for participating countries to finalise the 
pact. International rules to control the transportation, handling and uses 
of genetically modified organisms were to have been adopted in February in 
Cartagena, Colombia. But negotiations collapsed when a small group of grain 
exporting countries, including the USA and Canada, refused to accept 
environmental controls on the export of transgenic crops.
Corn borer (Photo courtesy Novartis)

To create the transgenic corn, researchers modified the corn plant so that 
it produces the protein of Bacillus thuringiensis in its leaves, stalk and 
pollen. Transgenic corn containing Bt genes is resistant to larvae of the 
corn borer and corn earworm. The insects die when the Bt toxins in corn 
tissues bind to their digestive tract receptors.
Annual U.S. damage from the corn borer alone adds up to nearly a billion 
dollars, so the use of Bt is a major advance for the industry. By reducing 
reliance on expensive conventional pesticides, Bt varieties are sweeping 
the U.S. corn belt, accounting for 30 percent of 1999 corn acreage, 
according to industry estimates.
Novartis defends the safety of its genetically engineered corn. The 
company says, "The only difference between Bt corn and its conventional 
counterpart lies in the production of two supplementary proteins, Bt 
protein and the herbicide tolerant protein. Both proteins have always 
existed in bacteria and are ingested by humans and animals every time they 
eat raw vegetables or lettuce. These two proteins are not known to cause 
any allergies."
Corn pollen can only fertilize corn plants. So, a transfer of the 
genetically modified corn genes to other plant species is not possible, 
Novartis says. Bt corn went through extensive safety trials in the 
laboratory, in the greenhouse and in the field, Novartis says. "The results 
of these tests prove the safety of Bt corn for human or animal consumption 
or for use in cultivation. The same 
conclusion was reached by the American, Canadian, European and Japanese 
But Greenpeace is not satisfied with these explanations. "Grain exporting 
countries like Canada, Argentina, Australia and the U.S. have so far 
obstructed all progress in the Biosafety process," said Louise Gale, 
Greenpeace political advisor at the Vienna negotiations. "This is a classic 
example of how these countries want to dump their risky crops on 
unsuspecting countries and take no responsibility for the consequences."
Novartis does label the bags containing its genetically modified seed, but 
has no control over how crops grown from those seeds are or are not 
Environmental and pure foods groups including Greenpeace want any Biosafety 
Protocol to include the precautionary principle as the basis for all 
decision-making. Countries must be given international rights to ban or 
restrict the import and use of transgenic and products as precautionary 
The Biosafety Protocol must prevent all releases of living modified organisms
products into centres of genetic diversity and centres of origin. Liability

compensation for damages must be part of the agreement, Greenpeace says.
 Environment News Service (ENS) 1999. All Rights Reserved.

4) The Wall Street Transcript Publishes Report on Ag-Biotech Stocks And 
Genetically Engineered Foods and Products PRNewswire NEW YORK, Sept. 16
/PRNewswire/ -

Sano Shimoda, President of BioScience Securities examines Agricultural 
Biotech firms and the field of genetically modified organisms 
in this timely and deeply informative 7,100-word report from 
The Wall Street Transcript (212/952-7433).
In a vital review of this emerging sector for investors and industry 
professionals, this report 
features an in-depth analysis of Agricultural Biotechnology stocks by 
leading analyst Sano 
Shimoda. The Ag-Biotech sector is at a crucial juncture; with the sector 
either poised to explode 
beyond food into energy and materials or to fall prey to hysteria from 
Shimoda discusses different cultural and regulatory attitudes in Europe 
and the U.S., Roundup 
Ready soybeans, hormone-treated beef, elimination of GMO from baby foods, 
benefits and improved food safety, convergence of food and health and 
offers his current stock 
Although ag-biotech is in the early stages of development, Shimoda 
asserts, "The dimensions of 
growth and value creation tied to this developing technology base will be 
one of the largest 
business and Wall Street stories of the next 25 years. We are looking at a 
technology that will 
create nothing short of revolutionary change across a broad base of the 
The recent controversy over genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food 
has played on 
consumer ignorance of the facts, Shimoda explains, "Activists, led by 
Greenpeace, who are 
concerned about the environmental and food safety issues tied to GMOs, 
took the offensive in 
terms of creating uncertainty, not proof, but uncertainty over the safety 
of this new technology. 
This mindset, which has been spread by environmental activists has created 
a firestorm of 
But the truth is often overlooked, Shimoda recounts, "One of the key areas 
that never gets talked 
about is the indirect benefits of using this technology base, namely 
environmental benefits and 
improved food safety. The use of Roundup Ready crops is resulting in 
farmers substituting 
Roundup for the use of conventional herbicides for weed control. Roundup 
has proven over the 
years to be an extremely effective and safe chemical. What doesn't get 
emphasized is that you are 
replacing compounds that are more toxic from an environmental perspective 
with Roundup. As a 
result, there's a very significant environmental benefit in terms of the 
improved safety of our food 
The GMO issue is more controversial in Europe due to cultural differences, 
Shimoda says, 
"Novartis (OTC BB:NVTSY) is a Swiss company. Novartis, as well as a number 
of European 
companies, such as AgrEvo and AstraZeneca (NYSE:AZN), which are leaders in
development of agricultural biotechnology, have found themselves in a 
difficult position. 
AgrEvo, a joint venture of Hoechst and Schering, will become a part of 
Aventis upon the 
completion of the merger between Hoechst (NYSE:HOE) and [ Rhone Poulenc ] 
Novartis has had to respond to the concerns of their customers based on 
what consumers think. 
There is a fundamental information problem for the broad consumer base, 
including consumers 
in the United States. Although attitudes toward genetically enhanced crops 
are somewhat different 
in the U.S., activists on the offensive are playing into a void, namely 
consumers around the world 
who really don't understand what ag-biotech is or is not, as well as what 
has or has not been done 
to the GMOs that are entering the food system."
Because a number of ag-biotech companies are working on producing a plant- 
based raw material 
to produce chemicals and plastics, Shimoda says, "Agricultural commodities 
become a new raw 
material source for the chemicals and plastics businesses, what I call 
material businesses. These 
technical breakthroughs and product development are not something that's 
25 years down the 
road. Rather, Dow Chemical (NYSE:DOW) and Du Pont (NYSE:DD) are focused on 
product opportunities that could become real over the next five years or so."
Even though some observers are saying [ Monsanto ] overpaid for some of 
their ag-biotech 
assets, Shimoda declares, "Recognizing the need to control seed businesses 
to bring the 
technology to the marketplace, there was a rush to buy seed assets. 
Monsanto (NYSE:MTC) was 
leading the charge. Every other company wished that they could have acted 
as rapidly as 
That early entrance into the sector has paid off, Shimoda states, 
"Monsanto's Roundup Ready 
soybeans were first commercialized in 1996, and this year, 1999, Roundup 
Ready soybeans 
approached 50% of soybean plantings in the United States."
Shimoda handicaps his stock recommendations, "While Monsanto was in the 
lead, Du Pont is 
catching up. I think investors in Du Pont have an extraordinary investment 
opportunity over the 
next two to three years."
To obtain a copy of this insightful 7,100 word report call (212) 952-7433. 
This special section is 
also included in the Healthcare Sector of TWST Online at 
alth.html which also includes the e-Health 
Industry Issue at 
<> and
roundtables, analyst 
interviews and CEO 
The Wall Street Transcript is a premier weekly investment publication 
interviewing market 
professionals for serious investors for over 35 years. Available at 
<> TWST 
Online provides hundreds of free Interview excerpts. For recent 
recommendations by analysts 
and money managers visit
The Wall Street Transcript does not endorse the views of any interviewee 
nor does it make stock 
recommendations. SOURCE Wall Street Transcript
(Copyright 1999)
_____via IntellX_____

Publication Date: September 16, 1999

5) Monsanto Uses Canadian Taxpayer Money to Violate Foreign Laws Canada
Case highlights need for strong Biosafety Protocol -OTTAWA/VIENNA,
September 17
/CNW/ - 

Biotech giant [ Monsanto ] exported Canadian genetically engineered (GE)
potatoes to Ukraine, 
ignoring the domestic laws 
which require environmental impact assessment, according to a Greenpeace 
report published 
today. The case is a telling example of why the world needs strong 
international rules and 
regulations governing the trade of genetically engineered foods, said the 
environmental organization. News of the transgression comes as world 
governments meet in 
Vienna this week to negotiate a Biosafety Protocol which will hopefully 
establish strong 
regulatory regime governing genetically engineered organisms (GMO's).
"This case shows exactly why the world needs a strong Biosafety Protocol. 
Genetic engineering 
is a new technology with unknown risks," said the author of the report Iza 
Kruszewska. "It is 
unacceptable that a few multinational companies are exploiting the lack of 
regulation in some 
countries to export their risky and untested products."
Monsanto NewLeaf potatoes, developed in Prince Edward Island were exported 
to Ukraine in 
1997 and 1998 with the help of Solanum-PEI. Solanum-PEI is a joint venture 
marketing and 
research company created by Monsanto and the government of PEI. The 
potatoes were planted in 
seven sites in Ukraine under the guise of field tests. Following strong 
opposition and public 
rejection in Ukraine the project was abandoned and the harvested potatoes 
were buried.
"Monsanto is using Canadian taxpayer money to fund a project which 
subverted environmental 
assessment, even though it is required by Ukrainian law," said Michael 
Khoo, Greenpeace 
Genetic Engineering Campaigner. "I don't think that Canadians want to 
assist Monsanto in 
violating foreign laws or be complicit in the environmental disasters that 
may result."
Monsanto NewLeaf potatoes are engineered to produce a toxin that kills the 
Colorado Potato 
Beetle. Species higher up the food chain have shown harmful effects of the 
toxin, due to the 
toxins poor biodegradation and its risk of bio-accumulation. The potatoes 
also contain a gene 
conferring resistance to the antibiotic, Kanamycin. This raises serious 
concerns, following the 
possible transfer of the gene, for rendering antibiotics ineffective 
against disease-causing germs. 
Field tests for crops containing the same antibiotic gene were rejected by 
Swiss authorities this 
Government delegations gathered in Vienna to continue the third day of 
talks to agree on a set of 
international rules that would control exports of GMOs such as the 
Monsanto potatoes. "The 
Canadian government has no rules governing the export of genetically 
engineered foods and in 
Vienna our government representatives will be working hard to make sure 
that situation doesn't 
have to change," said Khoo. "Canadians should be very concerned that our 
government is putting 
the biotech industry agenda ahead of the environmental and health concerns.
(Copyright Canada Newswire)
_____via IntellX_____

Publication Date: September 17, 1999

6) Sth Aust deputy meets with biotech companies in UK - AAP 16.09.99 06:17

Copyright 1999 The Australian Associated Press. Redistribution unauthorised.
ADELAIDE, Sept 16 AAP - South Australian Deputy Premier Rob Kerin today met 
with two English biotechnology 
companies to try to persuade them to invest in SA. 
Mr Kerin met with companies Monsanto and Zeneca Agrochemicals and said 
genetic modification of food had come 
under threat from the spread of misinformation but could provide many

"The fact is that much of the biotechnology is an extension of the natural 
plant breeding processes which has occurred for 
thousands of years," Mr Kerin said. 
"New technology has enabled scientists to clearly identify the genetic 
makeup of a plant and determine the characteristics 
of different genes, to create new plant breeds at a much faster rate and 
with specific qualities." 
He said biotechnology could improve quality and safety of food and reduce 
the need for chemicals to repel insects or cope 
with climate conditions. 

7) Survey: Consumers Want Gene-Altered Food Labeled - Wisconsin State Journal

U.S. consumers want more labeling and stricter regulation of 
genetically modified food, according to a survey.
Almost 70 percent of survey respondents said the U.S. 
government should require companies to provide more 
extensive labeling of ingredients in gene-modified food, 
according to the survey conducted by StrategyOne, the 
research division of [ Edelman Public Relations Worldwide ] . In 
addition, 40 percent said the government should regulate agricultural 
biotechnology more closely.
The survey results show U.S. consumers are increasingly distrustful of 
gene-altered food, though 
more than half the country's soybean crop and more than a third of the 
U.S. corn crop will use the 
technology this year. In Europe, where food safety scares such as the 1996 
outbreak of mad-cow 
disease in the United Kingdom have eroded public trust of food regulatory 
gene-modified food has faced strong opposition from environmental and 
consumer groups.
Agricultural biotechnology alters the genetic traits of corn, soybeans and 
other crops so they can 
resist pests or withstand greater doses of weed killers. Leading makers of 
gene-based crop seeds 
and other substances include [ Monsanto Co. ] , DuPont Co. and [ Novartis 
AG ] .
The companies have promoted genetic crop modification as a way to increase 
farm productivity 
and reduce consumers' exposure to pesticides. They also say biotechnology 
could be used to 
produce healthier food in the future.
The survey also showed that most Americans knew little or nothing about 
gene-modified food. 
Of the 1,017 adults randomly polled in the United States, 62 percent were 
unaware that about half 
the nation's food contains gene-altered ingredients.
(Copyright (c) Madison Newspapers, Inc. 1999)
_____via IntellX_____

Publication Date: September 15, 1999

8) On Tuesday evening (21st Sep) at 8 o'clock there is a forty minute 
programme on Radio 4 (File on Four) focussing on GE, including farm-scale 
trials, interviews with grain suppliers in the US and campaigners in the UK.
9) For Immediate Release - September 16th 1999 - GREENPEACE CALLS FOR
Following the Government report released today by MAFF, Greenpeace 
called for action to reduce chemicals in food by providing further 
funding for research into sustainable organic farming methods.
"This level of chemicals in our food is the inevitable result of fifty 
years of industrial agriculture in the UK. The solution is not just more 
testing but changing agricultural policy. The public want to know they 
are eating healthy produce. This means going organic," said Greenpeace 
director, Dr Doug Parr.
This week at the British Association for the Advancement of Science 
Festival in Sheffield, Dr Liz Stockdale of the Arable Crops Research 
Institute said that, with more research, organic farms could be 
economically viable on a much larger scale and could reportedly produce 
enough food to "feed the world". 
Demand for organic food in the UK has led the organic market to grow 
even faster than information technology industry yet, due to lack of 
investment into the sector, the UK has to import about 80 per cent of 
its organic produce to fulfil demand.
"The organic sector remains grossly underfunded. We urgently need more 
organic research, yet the Government continues to pour money into 
researching unpredictable and unwanted GM technology," added Parr.
Greenpeace and the Soil Association have called on the Government to set 
a target for organic farming in the UK, to pull the country's organic 
farming industry into line with the rest of Europe where 30 per cent of 
land will be farmed organically by 2010 if current rates of growth 
Notes to Editors: 
In the current financial year, MAFF spent 125 million into research and 
development of industrial farming. In 1998, the Government spent 52 
million on the research and development of agricultural biotechnology. 
It only spent 2.2 million on the research and development of the 
organic sector.

For further information please contact the Greenpeace press office on 
0171 865 8255/6/7/8

10) Agence France Presse - Genetic food fight heats up - BANGKOK, Sept 14

Commercial food giant Monsanto hit out Tuesday at non- governmental and 
traditional farming organisations over their reluctance to embrace 
genetically modified crops and other biotechnology advances. Monsanto 
Asia-Pacific research director Paul Teng warned of "dangerous 
elements emerging in Asia," at a crop development conference here.
Non-governmental groups have warned not enough research has been carried 
out into the environmental and health impact of genetically modified 
crops. Large foreign agriculture firms are at the forefront of 
modified crop development and are reportedly pioneering seed that 
becomes sterile after its first growing season.
Critics have labelled it the "Terminator seed" and warned it will 
increase reliance on commercial agriculture firms and wipe out small 
farmers who use seed from one crop to plant another.
While there are testing provisions for food already in place in 
Australia, the availability of GM-tested products is minimal, Hussey 
said. Figures for the amount of genetically altered food sold in 
Australia were not immediately available.
Executive News Svc.
From: wytze <> 
11) Subject: Dutch Foodindustry "reformulates" products 
Telegraaf 16-9-1999 Frontpage Headline. GE FOOD REMOVED FROM THE SHELVES

The fast introduction of GE food in our country has come to a halt. 
Hollands biggest Retailer Albert Heijn has removed 100 foodproducts that 
contained gmo's from the shelves in the past year. 
Consumers seem to want to have little to do with the unknown, 
genetically manipulated food. That's why producers of AH 
homebrandproducts in which soy and /or corn are used, massively have 
moved to the use of traditional ingredients. When faced with the threat 
of labelling, suppliers quickly change to other ingredients. The same 
happened last year. In itself the retailer is neutral vis-a-vis genetic 
manipulation. "If the products are safe we are neutral about them".
This in short was the content of the article. 
It is the first time that a big newspaper puts this on the frontpage. 
Though this is good news of course it does not mean that all these 
products are now GE free. All products that do not need labelling 
(enzymes, byproducts etc.) can still be GE. 

12) Seed firms remind farmers about EU GMO corn rules - USA: September 15,

WASHINGTON - Three seed companies say they have taken the initiative to 
remind U.S. farmers to keep genetically-modified corn not approved in the 
European Union out of exports channels.

Pioneer Hi-Bred International Inc. , Novartis Seeds Inc. and AgrEvo USA 
Co., in separate responses to a letter sent last month by the National Grain 
and Feed Association (NGFA), outlined steps they have taken to deal with the 
sensitive trade issue. 
Three other companies - Dow AgroScience, Monsanto Co. and Optimum Quality 
Grains - have not yet responded, the NGFA said in its latest newsletter. 
However, Monsanto has indicated it will respond soon, the NGFA said.
U.S. corn exports to Spain, Portugal and countries in Northern Europe have 
been blocked in recent years because of a lag between the U.S. and the EU 
approval process for genetically-modified crops. The delay has cost U.S. 
producers about 2.0 million to 2.5 million tonnes in annual sales.
In its letter, the NGFA urged the seed companies to contact their 
dealerships and direct them to remind producers that corn varieties not 
approved for import in the EU should be kept out of export channels.
They also urged that growers be told to check in advance with potential 
grain buyers to assure they are willing and able to accept delivery of 
Lastly, the NGFA asked the seed companies to develop a means of "written 
verification to ensure that the seed company's sales force has made 
with each grower that has purchased and planted EU-unapproved 
genetically-enhanced corn" and the above recommendations had been 
Novartis responded that it did not face "the issues addressed in your 
6 letter" because the two genetically-modified corn varieties that it 
produces and sells have been approved for import into the EU.
However, Novartis said it has worked with other seed companies to develop 
database of grain purchasers who will accept grain with GMO traits not 
approved by the EU for import.
That database can be viewed on the American Seed Trade Association's 
at http://< said it had sent a letter to
growers in
early September reminding them that some of the company's corn
AgrEvo said it had sent a letter to growers in early September reminding 
them that some of the company's corn seed "was not approved in the EU and 
that the grain must be directed to feed and non-food industrial uses."
Pioneer said it began last year to communicate with producers on the issue 
and expressed optimism its efforts would pay off.
"Clearly, there number of challenges facing the agriculture sector during 
this year's harvest. Working together as an industry, there is no reason 
we cannot overcome any difficulties," the company said.
Seven corn varieties planted in the United States have not been approved 
import into the EU. About 80 percent of U.S. corn crop is consumed 

13) Britain faces row over secret genetic crop trials UK: September 15, 1999

Britain was considering whether to back a call for trials of 
genetically modified crops to be held in secret to stop them being wrecked 
by protesters.

The suggestion by Cabinet Office Minister Jack Cunningham brought 
condemnation from environmentalist group Friends of the Earth, which said 
the government faced a "crisis of confidence" over the GM crops issue. 
Cunningham said the government could not allow the wrecking of GM crop 
trials by environmental activists to continue.
"Test growing of the crops is essential, not to test their food safety, 
to gauge their impact on the environment," Cunningham said.
But he added: "We cannot allow a situation to continue where premeditated 
vandalism and physical destruction of other people's property prevents us 
building up the scientific knowledge to make properly informed decisions.
"If we cannot proceed with the test growing in an open way then we shall 
have to consider alternatives," he told BBC radio.
Cunningham said he hoped Britain had not yet reached that point, but he 
studying what was being done in other European countries, where greater 
secrecy surrounded GM crop trials.
If open trials were not possibe, Cunningham said, "then I would have to 
consider, with my colleagues, whether we did indeed change the policy".
Militant environmentalists have wrecked a number of trials of GM crops. 
activists say they represent a growing tide of opinion in Britain against 
what some commentators have dubbed "Frankenstein foods".
Friends of the Earth campaigner Pete Riley said that keeping neighbouring 
farmers in the dark about GM crop trials would prevent them from objecting 
to to something that could damage their crops and livelihoods.
"Allowing GM crops to be grown in secret is hardly likely to reassure the 
public on this issue," he said in a statement.
Sir Richard Sykes, the head of the British Association for the Advancement 
of Science and chief executive of the drugs giant Glaxo Wellcome Plc, said 
publishing the location of trials had not worked and should be halted.
"I now believe that it is in everyone's best interest that we go ahead and 
we do the studies to get the data so that we can now start to make some 
rational decisions about the safety or otherwise of genetically modified 
crops," he said.
"The government have been quite right to have the open approach and say 
these trials are being carried out, and in this place, but now that hasn't 
"It's caused a lot of disruption, a lot of vandalism, and I believe that 
approach now is unlikely to work."
He said that now the only rational way to gather data on GM crops was to 
carry out trials "outside the gaze of the people who are intent on 
destroying the evidence which is absolutely essential if we are to make 
rational decisions".
From: Bruce Goldfarb <>


14) Genetic ID cards 'only 20 years away' - Unique records will warn people
disease risk by Maxine Frith

Abrave new world in which a person's complete genetic profile can be 
obtained from birth is just 20 years away, scientists disclosed yesterday.
Unique genetic "ID cards" containing vital information about people's 
susceptibility to hundreds of conditions from heart disease to cancer could 
soon be issued.
full story:
15) Tuesday, September 14, 1999 Published at 12:01 GMT 13:01 UK 
Tories demand GM inquiry - Environmental campaigners destroying a GM test

Conservative opposition to genetically-modified foods stepped up a notch on
Tuesday when the party called for a royal commission into the testing of the
controversial technology. 
Shadow Agriculture Minister Tim Yeo said: "The government should set up a
commission which would examine the conduct and monitoring of these trials and
enforcement of all trial conditions. 
"We would expect the commission to complete its recommendations within a
"Labour has to act now. If it won't put in place a royal commission then it
should consider halting the current farm-scale tests immediately." 
Tim Yeo will oppose GM food until it is proved safe
Mr Yeo's remarks are a response to Monday's announcement by the government
trials could be carried out in secret in the future if environmental
continue damaging the test sites. 
The shadow minister said: "There are too many potential dangers for
GM crop trials to be continued on an ad hoc basis. 
"There is still no law to prevent trials from being set up near or even on
officially protected for conservation purposes or on Sites of Special
Scientific Interest." 
Mr Yeo also said there was a real danger the GM crops would genetically
contaminate organic and conventional farms by cross-pollination. 
The calls for action on crop testing were backed by environmental pressure
group Friends of the Earth. 
Government 'isolated' 
FoE director Charles Secrett, said: "The government is becoming increasingly
isolated as more and more people begin to realise that these GM crop trials
pose an unacceptable risk to both the environment and to the livelihoods of
neighbouring farmers. 
"The government should act immediately and stop the biotech companies playing
Russian roulette with our countryside." 
The Liberal Democrats have also made plain their unease over GM crops. 
Party leader Charles Kennedy has called for stricter guidelines for trial
in the UK. 
Five-year moratorium 
Mr Kennedy said: "The government must come clean over GM crops being grown for
commercial use. 
"They must immediately introduce a five-year moratorium to ensure sufficient
research and testing can take place." 
Mr Yeo also said the government could not be considered a disinterested party
on the issue as it had held over 100 meetings with GM corporations and funded
the programme to the tune of more than 3m. 
He added: "We are against the commercial release of any GM crops until or
unless there is scientific evidence to prove that they will not harm people or
the environment. This is clearly not the case at the moment."