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GE - GMO News 09/22

GMO News 09/22 
1)  09/22 LIB DEMS PRESS DEMAND FOR GM CROPS BAN By Jackie Storer, Political
Staff, PA News 
2) Biotech industry says gene maize research flawed BRUSSELS, Sept 22

Political Staff, PA News 
4) UK Liberals look to hurt Blair with GM attack By Mike Peacock HARROGATE,
England, Sept 22 (Reuters) -
> SWITCH CROPS By Melissa Kite, Political Correspondent, PA News Liberal 
6) Journal Pioneer (Summerside) Wednesday, September 22, 1999 
> Final News A1 / 
7) St. Louis-Based Corn Association Cautions Growers on Careful Crop
Preparation By Robert Steyer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sep. 22--
8) Deutsche Presse-Agentur September 22, 1999 - Soya from sacred plant to cash
crop BYLINE: By Heidemarie Puetz, dpa DATELINE: Hamburg 
9) HEADLINE: FED: Govt fuels public scepticism on genetics 
10) ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 22, 1999 
Biotech, IT to benefit in changes SOURCE: The Age BYLINE: Leon Gettler 
11)  ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 22, 1999 Offshore
venture capital flows eased SOURCE: The West Australian BYLINE: Leon Gettler 
13) BUSINESS LINE September 22, 1999 - SECTION: Business -  India- DuPont
changes strategy for Tamil Nadu plant 

1)  09/22 LIB DEMS PRESS DEMAND FOR GM CROPS BAN By Jackie Storer, Political
Staff, PA News 
Liberal Democrats stepped 
> up the pressure on the Government today to impose a 
> five-year ban on commercial growing of genetically modified 
> crops. Norman Baker, the party's chief campaigner on the 
> issue, said Britain needed a strong policy "to defend the 
> consumer and protect the environment". He told his party's 
> Harrogate conference the call for a moratorium on GM crops 
> was not "anti-science". In a speech which won repeated 
> cheers, Mr Baker insisted: "Liberal Democrats are committed 
> to taking decisions based on sound science. "That is why we 
> have consistently called for more research, not less, and 
> why we have called for more time to consider the results of 
> this research. "Let us be clear - a moratorium is not an 
> anti-science policy, it is a pro-science policy. "An 
> anti-science policy would be to rush ahead with the growing 
> of GM crops whilst the research was still being conducted." 
> The Liberal Democrats were "the only party in Parliament to 
> have a full policy on GM", he declared. It held the 
> Government to account, gave people the right to choose what 
> they and their children ate and put the protection of the 
> environment before the profits of multi-nationals. Mr Baker 
> said the Tories "cannot be trusted" to look after the 
> environment. In government they had allowed experimental 
> hormonally-treated milk into the human food chain, "gave us 
> BSE" and had argued in Europe against the labelling of GM 
> food, he said. "They did everything possible to keep the 
> public in the dark and everything possible to slip GM food 
> onto our shelves without us knowing," he protested. "Sorry, 
> Mr Hague. You can't modify history." 
> Mr Baker accused the Government of speaking with a "forked 
> tongue" on GM food. "Cabinet `enforcer' Jack Cunningham and 
> Tony Blair have constantly put forward the view that GM 
> food is the best thing since sliced bread - extra springy 
> sliced bread. "Jeff Rooker, ex-Food Safety Minister, told 
> me in a select committee session that he thought GM food 
> was `unnecessary'." 
> Mr Baker warned the same companies producing GM seed were 
> also producing the pesticides to which the seed was 
> resistant. "Market dominance is now a real issue and of 
> course many people, not least in the developing countries, 
> are very worried by the terminator gene, whereby a seed is 
> made sterile and farmers have to rebuy their seed from the 
> company every year. "That process of course suits the 
> multinationals to a tee." 
> Mr Baker added: "Tony Blair was very quick to endorse the 
> ban on beef on the bone, which the Government admits 
> presents at most a theoretical risk, but seems unconcerned 
> about the theoretical risk from GM food." 
> He said more than 80 organisations, including English 
> Nature, the National Farmers' Union working group and the 
> RSPB, had urged caution or a breathing space on commercial 
> growing of GM crops. Andrew George, MP for St Ives, 
> stressed the party could not afford to be associated with 
> "the white coat brigade", seen regularly ripping up GM 
> crops. Terry Etherton, chairman of the GM policy working 
> party, said members of the public were entitled to have 
> "full research" on the issue before "we are committed to 
> the commercial growing of GM crops". The conference 
> supported a motion reinforcing its call for a five-year 
> moratorium on the commercial growing of GM crops. It 
> claimed this would allow time for research on the long- 
> term environmental and health consequences and a full and 
> informed public debate. The motion supported labelling of GM 
> products or ingredients, outlawing the patenting of genes 
> and maintaining the ban on human reproductive cloning. It 
> called for a balance to be struck between animal welfare 
> and the gaining of medical and other benefits from genetic 
> techniques involving animals. An amendment urging exporters 
> to prove the safety of products which posed potential 
> dangers to health or the environment was carried. But a 
> move to ban GM crops if research during the moratorium 
> indicated they would render organic cultivation impossible 
> was defeated. Later, RSPB spokeswoman Sarah Fowler welcomed 
> the Liberal Democrats' stance, saying it showed party 
> leader Charles Kennedy was "taking the environment 
> seriously". Greenpeace campaigner Jim Thomas, commenting on 
> the Liberal Democrat conference decision on GM crops, said: 
> "It's encouraging to see that Kennedy is facing this issue 
> head-on and, unlike Blair, is listening to public opinion. 
> "The decision not to support a permanent ban is misguided 
> and regrettable but the party's willingness to review its 
> decision now, should organic farming be jeopardised by GM 
> crops, as it will, is to be applauded." A recent report by 
> the John Innes Research Institute said contamination of 
> conventional and organic crops by GM crops was 
> "inevitable", he stressed. A report by the National Pollen 
> Research Unit suggested that pollen could be carried by 
> bees and wind over hundreds of kilometres. Such dispersal 
> would lead to inevitable GM contamination of conventional 
> and organic crops, said Greenpeace. Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 
2) Biotech industry says gene maize research flawed BRUSSELS, Sept 22

> Europe's biotechnology industry said on 
> Wednesday a recent study suggesting pollen from genetically 
> modified (GM) maize killed caterpillars was flawed and had 
> distorted the debate about gene crops. Europabio, a trade 
> association which speaks for biotechnology companies in 
> Europe, said a new investigation by leading entomologists 
> cast doubt on the reliability of the study, which caused a 
> media storm earlier this year. The new study by Professors 
> A.M. Shelton and R.T. Roush, published in the magazine 
> Nature Biotechnology, said the conditions in the original 
> research bore no relation to the real situation in the 
> field. This had "distorted the debate about engineered 
> crops and this could have profound consequences for science 
> and public policy," Europabio said. In May, researchers at 
> Cornell University in the United States said they had found 
> that GM maize, known as Bt-corn, produced a pollen which 
> killed the caterpillars of the Monarch butterfly when fed 
> to them in laboratory tests. The evidence led the European 
> Commission to block approval of a Bt-corn developed by U.S. 
> company Pioneer Hi-Bred International. It came amid growing 
> public concern about the safety of foods derived from gene 
> crops. Shelton and Roush compared the research to a human 
> being dying after eating one hundred pounds of popcorn all 
> at once. "Europabio reiterates that approved GM products 
> are safe and beneficial to the environment and that no 
> hasty conclusions should be drawn from laboratory studies, 
> which at least need to be peer reviewed and confirmed by 
> field experiments," Europabio said. European resistence to 
> GM food has raised the spectre of a new trade battle with 
> the United States, which has been unable to export GM 
> commodities grown by U.S. farmers and developed by U.S. 
> companies to the EU's lucrative market. 
> ! Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 
Political Staff, PA News 
> Liberal Democrat Leader Charles Kennedy today made a surprise intervention 
> in a party conference debate on genetically modified crops, 
> calling for a five-year moratorium on commercial planting. 
> Ahead of his main speech to representatives in Harrogate 
> tomorrow, Mr Kennedy attacked the Government's "disastrous 
> mishandling" of the issue. In a brief contribution, his 
> first from the conference platform since being elected 
> leader, he called on the party to be "bolder" in its 
> commitment to the environment. Mr Kennedy insisted a 
> moratorium on commercial growing, in the face of 
> "legitimate public anxiety", would not prevent research 
> into GM technology. "Science should be the servant of 
> humanity," he said. "Science must never become the master of 
> humanity." 
> Research was necessary so that scientists could provide 
> politicians with the information needed to make crucial 
> decisions on GM crops. "Because of the disastrous 
> mishandling by the Government of this policy issue, people 
> don't even trust `trust me' Tony. "They don't trust him 
> because they don't think Cabinet ministers are telling them 
> the truth." 
> He said the Liberal Democrats had to instill in voters the 
> "fundamental belief that they can start trusting again their 
> elected representatives". Mr Kennedy said: "The environment 
> is going to be an absolutely fundamental issue for our 
> party. "It's always been a central issue. But we have to be 
> bolder in our commitment to the environment." 
> The Liberal Democrats must be "watertight" on the issue in 
> the face of inevitable attacks by other politicians, he 
> added. Mr Kennedy said he was proud of the policy paper on 
> GM food, which provided an excellent basis on which to move 
> forward. The Liberal Democrats must be a party that was not 
> scared of information or of sharing it with the public. 
> "That's not happening at the moment and that's why I think 
> this approach to GM makes sense." 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 
4) UK Liberals look to hurt Blair with GM attack By Mike Peacock HARROGATE,
England, Sept 22 (Reuters) -
> Liberal Democrats on Wednesday pressed the government to 
> ban trials of genetically modified crops, knowing they are 
> more in tune with the public over "Frankenstein Foods" than 
> Tony Blair. Environment spokesman Norman Baker called for a 
> five-year halt to crop trials until proper research had 
> been carried out into the effects on the environment. Prime 
> Minister Tony Blair and his cabinet strong man, Jack 
> Cunningham, havs been accused of being blindly in favour of 
> the technology while the British public, stung by the "mad 
> cow" scare, remains deeply distrustful. "Jack Cunningham and 
> Tony Blair have constantly put forward the view that GM 
> food is the best thing since sliced bread -- extra springy 
> sliced bread," Baker said. He noted that even Cunningham 
> had admitted no government could keep on top of such 
> rapidly moving technology. "One has to ask, if the 
> government isn't in the driving seat, who is?" Baker asked. 
> "They can be found running behind the GM juggernaut 
> hopelessly trying to catch up." 
> Listening intently in the chamber was new LibDem leader 
> Charles Kennedy, who has identified GM foods as a key issue 
> to beat the government over the head with. Taking a 
> surprise turn at the rostrum, Kennedy said the environment 
> was a fundamental issue for his party, adding that the 
> public did not trust Blair on GM technology. "Science 
> should be a servant of humanity. Science should not ever 
> become the master," he said. Kennedy's first conference as 
> chief has proved to be a turbulent one with health 
> spokesman Simon Hughes questioning his grasp of policy and 
> activists railing against cooperation with the Labour 
> government. Hughes, who came second to Kennedy in the 
> party's summer leadership contest and is rumoured to be out 
> of the running for the deputy leadership, on Wednesday 
> denied a rift with Kennedy but said he was not a man of 
> great ideas. "Charles has my full support," Hughes said, 
> but added: "What he hasn't come a school that has 
> specific policy projects that he wanted to drive through 
> the party." 
> In the GM debate, the LibDems also called for clear 
> labelling of foods and distancing of GM crops from normal 
> ones should trials take place. Scientists say bees, and 
> even the wind, could cause cross-pollination of crops. Last 
> week, the government bowed to a legal challenge from 
> environmentalists who said it had been wrong to allow 
> biotechnology company AgrEvo to bring forward one of its 
> tests of GM rapeseed from spring to autumn planting. "Only 
> this weekend, the government has been found breaking the 
> law over the planting of trial crops," Baker said. 
> ===================#=================== 
Kite, Political Correspondent, PA News Liberal Democrats were today
stepping up
pressure on 
> the Government to take action on genetically modified food 
> by calling for a five-year ban on the growing of GM crops. 
> Members will try to reinforce their image of standing up 
> for consumer rights by taking a tough stance on the issue 
> during a debate at their annual party conference in 
> Harrogate. They will urge a five-year moratorium on 
> commercial growing of GM crops to allow time for research 
> on the environmental and health consequences. The party is 
> expected to commit itself to an urgent review of policy, 
> and possibly to a permanent ban, if the research shows that 
> GM cultivation would harm organic farming. The current ban 
> on human cloning should be maintained and genetic 
> modification of animals allowed only when the suffering is 
> minimal and outweighed by the benefit to humans, they will 
> say. During a separate emergency debate on farming, Liberal 
> Democrat MP Paul Tyler will condemn the Government's 
> "inadequate response" to the plight of livestock farmers, 
> whose incomes have plummeted to record lows in that last 
> four years. A debate on the Neill committee recommendations 
> on party funding, meanwhile, will see some members 
> condemning the new rules as going to far. They will call 
> for changes to the proposals to allow anyone resident in 
> the UK, including foreigners, to be able donate to 
> political parties. Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 

6) Journal Pioneer (Summerside) Wednesday, September 22, 1999 
> Final News A1 / FRONT Organic farmers suggest 
> market-development options BY Matthew Perry Education for 
> farmers and the public, along with government support, is 
> the fertilizer that Kevin Jeffrey hopes will sprout new 
> interest in organic crops within the Maritimes. Recent 
> interest across the world has helped spur on sales and 
> demand for organic crop, according to Jeffrey, coordinator 
> for the P.E.I. division of the Organic Crop Improvement 
> Association (OCIA). ``There are many reasons for the 
> increase in popularity of the crops in the last few 
> years,'' he said. ``Consumers are more health conscious and 
> sophisticated now. In Britian, for example, people are 
> demanding produce that not only claims to be good for them 
> and the environment, but actually is because they are 
> really good at picking out what's real and what's `window 
> dressing'.'' Jeffrey recently presented the provincial 
> Department of Agriculture with a report prioritizing 
> several of the issues his organization feels to be 
> important to the development of the organic crop market. 
> These include recommendations that would see the Atlantic 
> provinces join together to help things move along in terms 
> of having a certification process for organically-grown 
> products in the region. ``There are about a dozen 
> recommendations in this report and we hope to eventually 
> meet with agriculture representatives to get the most 
> important elements and a development plan in place,'' he 
> said. ``Here in Atlantic Canada, we are at a cross-road in 
> the fact as there may not be much out there for consumers, 
> but there is a substnital demand from consumers for these 
> projects.'' The OCIA would like to see three main 
> objectives reached through the report. These include a 
> regional organic organization, development of resources for 
> farmers and a good marketing and distribution plans to help 
> create and maintain a market. In the meantime, Jeffrey has 
> been focusing on explaining to people what exactly organic 
> means. ``Organic is really soil improvement through natural 
> means and not synthetic fertilizers, pesticides, herbicides 
> or fungicides, no irradiation or genetically-altered seed 
> or stock and many other measures assuring a safe and 
> sustainable food system,'' he explains. ``These are all 
> standards needed to be met in order to be certified organic 
> in the report. It also includes the ethical treatment of 
> animals and no use of hormones in animals as well.'' Many 
> different battles also have to be won in order to insert 
> organic crops into a households daily routine, according to 
> Jeffrey. ``We need to make sure all farmers realize that 
> this is an opportunity to increase potential and ability 
> for growing crops and not a hindrance.'' Wayne MacKinnon, 
> communications officer with the Department of Agriculture, 
> says the province is excited to receive the report and that 
> things will move relatively quickly with its review. ``The 
> report has been given to the government, but has yet to be 
> released to the public,'' he said. ``There are several 
> things we need to study in terms of the report and I'm sure 
> the department will issue some form of a response as soon 
> as we can.''
> ===================#=================== 
7) St. Louis-Based Corn Association Cautions Growers on Careful Crop
Preparation By Robert Steyer, St. Louis Post-Dispatch Sep. 22--
> The nation's largest corn trade 
> group warned farmers Tuesday to prepare crops carefully for 
> market, in light of growing opposition to bioengineered 
> foods in Europe and Asia. The National Corn Growers 
> Association, based in St. Louis, said the most difficult 
> job for farmers will be separating genetically modified 
> corn from conventional corn. If they can't prove they have 
> grown biotech-free corn, especially for the export market, 
> farmers will face extra financial difficulties at a time 
> when general corn prices are low. "All of this adds up to a 
> high-stakes legal problem for everyone involved," said Neil 
> R. Harl, professor of agriculture and economics at Iowa 
> State University. The corn association has been conducting 
> a "know where to go" campaign this year, telling farmers 
> which varieties of biotech corn have been approved for 
> export and how grain elevators are dealing with biotech and 
> standard seed. But Tuesday's statement contains the most 
> detailed "how-to" language for farmers on how to separate 
> their crops and how to protect their investment. In a 
> related matter, the giant grain processor Archer Daniels 
> Midland Co. is offering some customers a premium for 
> conventional corn. ADM, based in Decatur, Ill., provided 
> few details. An initial report Friday by Bloomberg News 
> Service said ADM would pay 8 cents a bushel more for 
> biotech-free corn -- or a 5 percent premium. But Carla 
> Miller, an ADM spokeswoman, told the Post-Dispatch Tuesday 
> that the price will vary with market conditions. She said 
> premiums will be offered to farmers along the Mississippi 
> River growing corn for export customers. ADM also is 
> offering extra money for a certain type of conventional 
> soybean. Three weeks ago, ADM told suppliers they should 
> segregate their biotech grains from their conventional ones. 
> Three big grain companies -- Cargill, Conagra and A.E. 
> Staley -- haven't announced rewards for standard corn. 
> Consolidated Grain & Barge Co. advises growers "to take 
> advantage of potential emergent niche markets for 
> conventional corn," the National Corn Growers Association 
> said. All of the grain companies require farmers to 
> identify if their corn is genetically altered or 
> conventional. The announcements by the corn growers group 
> and ADM are the latest in a series of U.S. responses to 
> biotech food opposition overseas. European nations have 
> initiated food labeling laws and tightened restrictions on 
> imports of American crops that have been altered to 
> tolerate certain herbicides and fend off some pests. 
> Anti-biotech pressure is mounting in Japan. Some European 
> and Japanese food companies say they won't produce foods 
> with any genetically altered ingredients. This opposition 
> provides a marketing edge for growers of standard crops, 
> but it also creates confusion. "The grain companies are 
> changing the rules right in the middle of the game," said 
> Greg Guenther, a Belleville corn and soybean farmer who 
> also is a board member of the corn growers association. 
> Guenther and other farmers are troubled by the uncertainty 
> over what constitutes biotech-free crops. Because the 
> 15-member European Union hasn't set a "purity threshold," 
> shipments of biotech-free crops technically must be 
> 100-percent free of genetically modified organisms. That's 
> a standard that's nearly impossible to achieve and hard to 
> measure. Corn and soybean experts say European nations 
> probably will accept "biotech-free" shipments containing 
> less than 3 percent genetically-modified material, but they 
> can't be sure. Genetic testing will help farmers and 
> elevators detect the levels of genetically modified 
> material in their crops. But the testing hasn't become 
> sufficiently widespread to offer farmers much comfort this 
> year, the National Corn Growers Association said. ----- 
> Visit, the World Wide Web site of the St. Louis 
> Post-Dispatch, at <> (c) 1999,
> Post-Dispatch. Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune 
> Business News. 
> ===================#=================== 

8) Deutsche Presse-Agentur September 22, 1999 - Soya from sacred plant to cash
crop BYLINE: By Heidemarie Puetz, dpa DATELINE: Hamburg 
BODY: The nutritious soya 
> bean, which originated in East Asia, is an increasingly 
> important part of Western diets, not least as a genetically 
> manipulated additive in processed foods. But beware, other 
> kinds of "fakes" are around, too. "The beansprouts they 
> serve as soya in Chinese restaurants are usually mung-bean 
> shoots," says Norbert Deiters, whose Hamburg company is 
> Germany's market-leader in the beansprouts business. The 
> soya bean, which is thought to have originated in 
> Manchuria, is one of the oldest plants cultivated by man. 
> It was grown more than 13,000 years ago, mainly in Korea, 
> Japan and China. For the Chinese, "ta-tou" - the big bean - 
> was one of five sacred plants, along with rice, barley, 
> wheat and millet. The Chinese have been grinding, 
> sprouting, cooking, roasting and fermenting it both for 
> food and medicinal purposes for thousands of years. The 
> first descriptions of the soya bean in Japan date back to 
> 712 B.C. Along with shoyu - the Japanese name for soya sauce 
> - the fermented soya paste known as miso has been part of 
> Japanese cuisine for centuries. In 1712 the German botanist 
> Engelbert Kaempfer brought the bean back to Europe from a 
> journey to Japan. However, soya's real breakthrough in the 
> West was in North America, where it has been grown on a 
> large scale since the 1930s. Nowadays, as a valuable source 
> of oil and supplier of protein to both humans and animals, 
> the "holy" soya is one of the most important plants in the 
> world. In the West, it is used in around 30,000 different 
> foods, ranging from margarine and baking fat to baby foods, 
> sweets, breads and biscuits, frozen meals, high-energy 
> foods for athletes and diet supplements. Dieter Kundrun, 
> the Hamburg- based European representative of the American 
> Soybean Association, expects around 160 million tonnes of 
> soya beans to be harvested worldwide this year. The United 
> States is the leading producer, accounting for just under 
> 50 per cent of the total, followed by Brazil and Argentina. 
> In Asia, China heads the field with 13 million tons, but 
> both it and Japan import large quantities of soya. The 
> annual plant with the orchid-like flowers and the botanical 
> name Glycine max takes just 100 days to develop pods 
> containing the sought-after beans. Hybrid strains of the 
> sub- tropical plant flourish in the warmer regions of 
> Europe, above all in Italy, France and Austria. However, 
> official statistics for 1998/99 show that European 
> producers harvested just 1.5 
> tonnes between them, as against the 32 million tonnes that 
> were imported. Soya beans consist of around 40 per cent 
> protein, 25 per cent carbohydrates, 20 per cent fat and 
> five per cent minerals. Most sought after are soya oil with 
> its high proportion of polyunsaturated fatty acids and the 
> crushing residue, which serves as protein-rich animal feed. 
> The lecithin that is a by-product of oil extraction is 
> valued for its emulsifying properties, and widely used by 
> the food industry to prevent the water and oil in 
> mayonnaise, pastry and cream desserts from separating. 
> Apart from the benefits of soya to business, people who 
> are allergic to milk products and vegetarians have long 
> since appreciated products such as soya milk and textured 
> vegetable protein, which is often used as a substitute for 
> meat. Nor are Far Eastern foods such as soya sauce, tofu 
> and miso any strangers to western dinner tables nowadays. 
> Kikkoman, for example, the soya sauce manufacturer that 
> heads the market in Japan, Europe and the U.S., exports four 
> million of its annual 400 million litres of soya sauce to 
> Europe, said Karine Grivel of the Kikkoman office in 
> Duesseldorf. Since the first ship carrying genetically 
> modified (GM) soya beans from the U.S. arrived in Hamburg 
> in November 1996, there has been heated debate in Germany 
> about the benefits and risks of such plants, which are 
> resistant to pesticides. According to Kundrun, 55 per cent 
> of the U.S. soya-growing area has already been turned over 
> to GM varieties. His organisation makes no distinction 
> between conventional and GM goods. Consumer organisations 
> claim that 60 per cent of all soya- containing foods are 
> made with " genetic soya" ingredients. However, if modified 
> genes or protein can be scientifically identified in the 
> products, a European Union directive stipulates that they 
> must be clearly labelled as containing GM ingredients. 
> While testing can identify genetically manipulated soya 
> beans, flakes, sprouts, flour and lecithin, it does work 
> with soya oil, the genetic components and protein make-up 
> of which are destroyed by heat. A survey carried out by an 
> institute in Stuttgart, southern Germany, found that three 
> quarters of Germans are opposed to GM foods. Consumer 
> scepticism in Germany and elsewhere has led many companies, 
> including Kikkoman and beansprout expert Deiters, to 
> require their growers to guarantee that they do not use 
> genetically modified raw materials. However, many in the 
> business are hoping that a new GM soya bean with what 
> Kundrun calls "additional benefits" - deriving from a 
> genetically modified pattern of fat and amino acids - will 
> win over consumers. It is due to be launched on the market 
> in around two years' time. 
> ===================#=================== 
9) HEADLINE: FED: Govt fuels public scepticism on genetics 

> The major political parties were fuelling public scepticism 
> about genetic technology by refusing to hold a senate 
> inquiry, Australian Democrats deputy leader Natasha Stott 
> Despoja said today. Both parties had thwarted repeated 
> Democrats attempts to have issues of genetic technology and 
> agriculture debated in the Senate and subjected to an 
> inquiry. "By failing to involve the Senate in debates on 
> health and environmental aspects of gene cloning, 
> parliament has avoided hearing from representatives who do 
> not share the uncritical acceptance of gene technology 
> which is pro-development and short-term," Senator Stott 
> Despoja, the Democrats consumer affairs spokeswoman, told 
> the National Press Club. "I think this is unfortunate and 
> will only result in increased scepticism and doubt about 
> what has the potential to be a significant and beneficial 
> technology." 
> She said the Democrats did not oppose all aspects of gene 
> technology but were unconvinced of some of its overall 
> benefits. "Further research on the possible health risks of 
> GM ( genetically modified) food consumption ... is needed 
> before we accept more commercial agricultural 
> biotechnology, " she said. She hoped a House of 
> Representatives inquiry underway into primary producer 
> access to gene technology was not simply a rubber stamp 
> approval. The Democrats were sceptical about the speed with 
> which biotechnology was imposed upon the Australian 
> community, usually without its knowledge. An estimated 60 
> per cent of processed food on supermarket shelves could 
> contain genetically modified ingredients, she said. AAP 
> rmg/mfh/cfm 
> ===================#=================== 
10) ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 22, 1999 
Biotech, IT to benefit in changes SOURCE: The Age BYLINE: Leon Gettler 
ABSTRACT: There will be two key winners from 
> the Australian Government's corporate tax reforms on 21 
> September 1999. New capital gains tax exemptions are aimed 
> at attracting big overseas pension fund investors. The 
> Australian biotechnology industry and information 
> technology industry are expected to attract off shore 
> venture capital. In the US, pension funds underpin much of 
> the venture capital market. However, US pension funds do 
> not invest in Australia because the gains they would make 
> are subject to tax in Australia. The result is that many 
> Australian start-ups struggle to attract sufficient capital 

> ===================#=================== 
11)  ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 22, 1999 Offshore
venture capital flows eased SOURCE: The West Australian BYLINE: Leon Gettler
ABSTRACT: Biotechnology and 
> information technology companies are expected to be the 
> biggest winners from tax changes. The changes are designed 
> to attract offshore venture capital. The new capital gains 
> exemptions are aimed at the big overseas pension fund 
> investors, although widely held Australian super funds will 
> also get an exemption if they receive income from a pooled 
> development fund. PricewaterhouseCoopers partner David 
> Pallier says biotechnology companies would be the main 
> beneficiaries of the changes 
> ===================#=================== 
BODY: India is formulating its 
> stand on allowing imports of genetically -modified food and 
> seed in the face of a global row over use of such 
> commodities. "We have not taken any view so far on 
> genetically modified seed. It is at the formulation stage," 
> said agriculture secretary Bhaskar Barua. An Indian 
> Agriculture Ministry official said his ministry would 
> formulate the policy on genetically -modified seed and let 
> its view be known on import of genetically -modified food. 
> "We will be expressing our views since it has an effect on 
> agriculture in the country," the official said. The policy 
> on genetically -modified food would be formulated by the 
> Indian health ministry. As far as genetically -modified 
> seed was concerned, Government's policy would be 
> incorporated in the Plant Protection Variety Bill, to be 
> introduced in Parliament once the 13th Lower house of 
> Parliament was constituted, the official said. "We plan to 
> get the bill passed by Parliament before December 31 this 
> year," the official said. Genetically -modified seed would 
> also be covered under the 1962 Seeds Act. While the US and 
> European Union are locked in a tussle on trade in 
> genetically -modified food, Japan has asked U.S. to ensure 
> that its exporters label such food. Britain's Prince 
> Charles is the latest to join the row, saying he felt such 
> food was not safe. (PTI) 
> ===================#=================== 
13) BUSINESS LINE September 22, 1999 - SECTION: Business -  India- DuPont
changes strategy for Tamil Nadu plant 
BODY: S. Gopikrishna Warrier CHENNAI, 
> Sept. 21 Dupont's decision to look out for a "suitable 
> partner" to form a strategic alliance for its nylon 6,6 
> facility at Gummidipoondi, in Tamil Nadu, is part of its 
> global strategy to focus on its core competency. Speaking 
> to Business Line, Mr. K.S. Ramesh, Director (Nylon), E.I. 
> DuPont India Ltd, said that the multinational corporation 
> had, in the recent years, drawn up a global strategy for 
> its three major areas of focus - foundation products, 
> differentiated products and lifescience products. The 
> lifescience products, which use biotechnology and consist 
> of crop protection products, nutrition products, 
> pharmaceuticals and seeds, hold the future horizon for 
> growth of the company. To generate resources for the heavy 
> investments required for the lifesciences sector there 
> would be a streamlining of investments in the other 
> sectors, he said. (Earlier, it was reported from New York 
> that US chemical major DuPont Co would effect cutbacks in 
> its nylon business in the Asia-Pacific region. The company 
> said it would be part of a broader shift in its nylon 
> business toward higher profit growth areas.) 
> According to Mr. Ramesh, in the differentiated products 
> sector, the investments will only be where required and the 
> effort will be to build on the current competitive 
> advantage. The differentiated products include the distinct 
> products invented by DuPont such as auto refurbishes, 
> lycra, speciality chemicals and pigments. In the foundation 
> products, the strategy is to do value creation. This will 
> be by minimising capital investments and getting more 
> productivity out of existing investment, so that financial 
> resources for the thrust sector can be obtained. Making 
> nylon 6,6, which is part of the DuPont's foundation 
> products business, has come in for refocusing, according to 
> him. "We are undisputed leaders in the manufacturing of the 
> intermediates, which are adipic acid (AA) and hexa methylene 
> diamine (HMDA)." 
> The strategy, he said, was to be a low cost, high quality 
> and high volume producer of the intermediates. In the case 
> of downstream products such as nylon 6,6 yarn and fabric, 
> DuPont wants to be an influential participant through 
> strategic alliances with other companies that have core 
> competencies in spinning and weaving. Thus, while the 
> downstream partnership could take care of the spinning, 
> weaving and the other operations, it could also provide the 
> market and "pull through DuPont's intermediates", Mr. 
> Ramesh said. "The intention is to grow the nylon 6,6 
> business through strategic alliances and not hive it off," 
> he added. "With this point of view, DuPont is in the 
> process of searching for partners for the DuPont Fibers Ltd 
> (DFL) plant at Gummidipoondi," he said. This, according to 
> him, will be a win-win proposition. "We stick to our 
> competency and ally with other people's competency 
> downstream." DuPont is discussing this alliance proposal 
> with various partners, both foreign and Indian, according 
> to him. He reserved his comments on the reports of the 
> nylon fibre manufacturer SRF Ltd acquiring a stake in DFL. 
> The form which the strategic alliance would take, whether a 
> joint venture, raw material agreement or a technology fee 
> arrangement, was being discussed, he said. The partnership 
> is expected to be finalised by the end of the month. 
> According to Mr. Ramesh, DuPont has similar arrangements 
> with other companies in other parts of the world. In 
> Turkey, it has a partnership with Sabanci, in Indonesia, 
> with Branta Mulya, and in Japan, with Teijin to manufacture 
> nylon 6,6 yarn and other downstream products. In addition 
> to nylon, the other foundation products that DuPont deals 
> with include polyesters, engineering polymers and fluoro 
> products. These are products that are more or less like 
> commodities and face market fluctuations from time to time. 
> There was scope for growth in the lifescience products, 
> with the stocks of biotechnology companies fetching good 
> prices, he said. The DFL project at Gummidipoondi started 
> off as a collaboration between DuPont, the Thapar group and 
> Mitsui Corporation of Japan, and was then known as Thapar 
> DuPont Ltd (TDL). An MoU was signed between the Government 
> of Tamil Nadu and TDL in June 1995. The Thapar group 
> withdrew from the project in early 1997, and the name of 
> the company was changed to DuPont Fibers Ltd in May 1998. 
> According to Mr. Ramesh, the current equity holding 
> between E.I. DuPont India Ltd (the Indian subsidiary of 
> DuPont) and Mitsui Corporation stands at 98 per cent and 
> two per cent, respectively. Over the years, DuPont has 
> invested approximately Rs. 300 crores towards capital and 
> working capital for the DFL project. The plant employed 180 
> people, he said. Since the signing of the MoU with the 
> State Government, the DFL project had undergone two major 
> changes. First, it was decided to commission in the first 
> phase the fabric plant and not the facility for spinning 
> the nylon 6,6 yarn. According to Mr. Ramesh, the average 
> capacity for the production of fabric has been 6,000 tonnes 
> per annum (tpa). The second change has been in the process. 
> Instead of carrying out the polymerisation of AA and HMDA 
> at the Gummidipoondi facility, it was decided to import 
> nylon 6,6 yarn from DuPont's own and its partner's plants 
> in the US, China and Indonesia. This yarn is twisted and 
> woven into fabric at the DFL plant. As per the MoU, the 
> plant was supposed to have manufactured 18,500 tpa of nylon 
> 6,6 yarn and 13,000 tpa of fabric at an investment of Rs. 
> 620 crores, generating employment for 650 persons. For 
> this, the Government was to make available 300 acres, part 
> of it on long lease, about one million gallons of water per 
> day through a dedicated supply and power supply from the 
> State grid. According to Mr. Ramesh, though the technology 
> for weaving at DFL was supplied by the Japanese machine 
> suppliers, DuPont's contribution has been its proprietary 
> management systems like the fabric information system and 
> the high performance work system. Copyright 1999: Business 
> Line. All Rights Reserved. 
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