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GE - GMO News 09/19

GMO News 09/19 
[apologies as we have no time for contents list today this is 
just to ensure that you have everything for your archives]

> 09/17 DJ Monsanto Appeals Brazil Court Ruling Against Bio 
> Soy SAO PAULO (Dow Jones)--The Brazilian subsidiary of 
> U.S.-based agribusiness company Monsanto Co. (MTC) filed an 
> appeal against a Brazilian court ruling which banned the 
> planting and commercial distribution of genetically 
> modified soybeans in Brazil without a prior environmental 
> impact statement, a court official said Friday. Speaking on 
> condition of anonymity, the official said the appeal was 
> filed on Sept. 14 and will be published in the official 
> gazette Monday. Monsanto is appealing a court ruling dated 
> Aug. 10 that favored the Brazilian Institute of Consumers' 
> Defense, or IDEC, environmental group Greenpeace and 
> Brazil's Environment Institute known as Ibama. The ruling 
> also requested that food safety and labelling regulations 
> be set up before GMOs are marketed in the country. The 
> sentence disrupts Monsanto's plans for commercial 
> distribution of its genetically modified Roundup Ready 
> soybean seeds, due to start this month for harvesting next 
> year. Monsanto officials weren't immediately available for 
> comment. IDEC will have until the end of the month to 
> counter Monsanto's appeal before it is analyzed by a group 
> of federal judges. IDEC's lawyer, Andrea Salazar, told Dow 
> Jones Newswires that the proceedings are likely to take a 
> minimum of three months. Brazil is the world's second 
> largest exporter of soybeans, with 1999-2000 production 
> estimated at nearly 31 million metric tons. The crop year 
> starts in February. -By Mara Lemos; 5511-813-1988; 
> (END) DOW JONES NEWS 09-17-99 04:53 PM 
> Copyright 1999 Dow Jones & Co., Inc. All rights reserved. 
> ! 1 Scan by story titles 2 Scan by story leads 3 Read all 
> stories !1 Executive News Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> By Eileen Murphy, Consumer Affairs Correspondent, PA News 
> Britain's biggest fast-food chains, including McDonald's and 
> Burger King, have removed genetically modified ingredients 
> from their menus in time for the introduction of new 
> labelling laws today, a survey showed. Despite fears within 
> the catering industry that many smaller food establishments 
> might not be aware of the regulations which require the 
> labelling of any GM soya or maize in dishes, the major 
> chains said they had nothing to declare on their menus. 
> Friends of the Earth surveyed 11 leading chains and found 
> all said they did not use GM soya or maize and would not 
> have to label any of their food under the new regulations. 
> However, FoE highlighted a loophole in the legislation 
> which meant food outlets could supply meals which contained 
> GM derivatives such as GM lecithin and GM soya oil without 
> having to tell customers, as derivatives are not covered by 
> the new rules. Two of the companies surveyed -- Pret a 
> Manger and Domino's Pizza -- said they had removed GM 
> derivatives while a further six said they were removing 
> them. Whitbread said it was actively reducing derivatives 
> in its meals. Pete Riley, senior food campaigner at FoE, 
> said: "This survey shows that restaurants recognise that 
> customers do not want to eat food containing GM ingredients 
> or derivatives and that most are now removing them as fast 
> as they can. "However, restaurants might well ask why they 
> have to go to all the trouble and expense to ensure that 
> their meals don't contain ingredients that neither they nor 
> their customers want. "Surely the bill should be picked up 
> by the big biotech companies who stand to make vast sums of 
> money from this new technology." 
> He protested: "Once again the Government is failing the 
> public. "Despite the introduction of these new food 
> regulations, people will still unknowingly be buying and 
> eating food containing GM ingredients and derivatives." 
> He said that rather than introducing labelling schemes 
> which were unlikely to be enforced, the Government should 
> listen to consumers and back calls for a five-year freeze 
> on GM food and crops. McDonald's, Perfect Pizza, KFC, Pizza 
> Hut and City Centre Restaurants (which includes Caffe Uno 
> and Deep Pan Pizza) said they were removing GM derivatives. 
> Wimpy said it would be free of the derivatives by the end 
> of the year while Burger King and Granada said they were 
> monitoring and reviewing the situation. 
> ! MORE !118,122,123 Executive News Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> 09/19 British Government Will Not Contest GM Crop Challenge 
> LONDON (Reuters) - Environmentalists trying to halt the 
> spread of genetically modified crops won a legal victory 
> Friday when the British government said it would not 
> contest a legal challenge to its licensing of crop trials. 
> "Following legal advice, the government has decided not to 
> contest the judicial review of proceedings instigated by 
> Friends of the Earth (FoE) in respect of licensing of 
> certain GM trials," Environment Minister Michael Meacher 
> told a news conference. FoE had sought to stop the planting 
> of a trial of GM rapeseed by biotechnology company AgrEvo. 
> "We are accepting that on this point we acted illegally," 
> Meacher said. He described the issue as "a narrow technical 
> matter" with no health, safety or environmental 
> implications. FoE had sought a judicial review of a 
> government decision to allow AgrEvo, a joint venture 
> between Germany's Hoechst AG and Schering AG, to switch one 
> of its tests of GM rapeseed from spring to autumn planting. 
> Meacher said the government accepted it had made an error 
> because the law did not allow it to vary its consent and the 
> company should have made a fresh application. "If a consent 
> had been sought in the normal way I have no doubt it would 
> have been granted," Meacher said. He said the government 
> program of farm-scale crop trials would continue. Meacher 
> said the government would not require AgrEvo to end its 
> trials because it had acted in good faith but it was 
> possible a court could decide differently. Executive News 
> Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> Study finds rapid reduction in crop diversity By Randy Fabi 
> WASHINGTON, Sept 18 (Reuters) - The world is rapidly losing 
> genetic diversity in crops, some of which might hold the 
> key to plant-based medicines, the environmental group 
> WorldWatch Institute said on Saturday. While biotechnology 
> is adding pest resistance traits to selected types of corn, 
> soybeans and other crops, WorldWatch said other varieties 
> are dying away because of over harvesting, environmental 
> threats and scarce government funding for plant gene banks. 
> "Biotechnology is no solution to this loss of genetic 
> diversity," said John Tuxill, author of the WorldWatch 
> genetic diversity study. "We are increasingly skilful at 
> moving genes around, but only nature can create them. If a 
> plant bearing a unique genetic trait disappears, there is 
> no way to get it back." 
> With development of transgenic crops like Bt corn and "New 
> Leaf" potatoes that produce a natural insecticide, 
> traditional varieties may dwindle as farmers grow a less 
> diverse pool of crops to obtain the highest yield for 
> commercial production, the study said. China is thought to 
> have lost nearly 90 percent of its traditional wheat 
> varieties since the Second World War, according Tuxill's 
> report. That kind of decline alarms some scientists, who 
> say one in four drugs prescribed in the United States is 
> based on a chemical compound originally discovered in 
> plants. "This is about the future. We have no idea of what 
> insect, disease or other problem we might be facing," said 
> Loren Wiesner, research leader for the National Seed Storage 
> Laboratory in Fort Collins, Colorado. The U.S. Agriculture 
> Department laboratory is the world's largest seed bank. "If 
> we don't have the genetic materials to combat these future 
> concerns, we could be in some serious trouble," Wiesner 
> told Reuters. For example, wild ginseng, widely used for 
> herbal therapy, declined substantially in yield production 
> in the Appalachian area of North America as a result of 
> over harvesting . Many ecologists and agronomists say loss 
> in plant diversity has contributed to a rise in pest 
> infestations, disease outbreaks and other environmental 
> problems. "For us to be really effective, we need to double 
> our budget," Wiesner said. "If it continues to decline like 
> it has in the past few years, seed storage and plant 
> diversity could become a major problem." Congress allotted 
> $2.8 million for the Fort Collins seed laboratory in the 
> fiscal year ending Sept. 30. 
> Executive News Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> 09/17 1919 Britain To Label Gene-Modified Food LONDON (AP) 
> -- British food establishments, from restaurants and pubs 
> to caterers, will have to tell customers which of their 
> dishes contain genetically modified ingredients under a new 
> law that goes into effect Sunday. The use of genetically 
> modified, or GM, ingredients in foods is being hotly 
> debated in Britain. Polls indicate many people strongly 
> disapprove, while many want at least further research to be 
> conducted. GM foods are made from plants whose genes are 
> manipulated in order to produce characteristics such as 
> resistance to pests. Britain has yet to approve raising GM 
> crops, but some imported ingredients do contain GM plants. 
> Food Minister Baroness Hayman said on Friday that the new 
> labeling requirements, like those that have applied to food 
> sold at retail since September 1998, "will ensure that 
> consumers are entitled to the same information when eating 
> out as they expect when buying their own food in shops." 
> Failure to comply with the new law can be punished by fines 
> of up to $8,000. "The government is committed to ensuring 
> that consumers are able to make an informed choice about 
> the food they eat," she said. 
> ! MORE !266,295 Executive News Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> 09/17 1747 British restaurants will have to identify 
> genetical... 
> LONDON (AP) -- All the food establishments in Britain -- 
> from restaurants and pubs to caterers -- will have to tell 
> customers which of their dishes contain genetically 
> modified ingredients under a new law that goes into effect 
> Sunday. The use of genetically modified, or GM, ingredients 
> in foods is hotly debated in Britain. Polls indicate many 
> people strongly disapprove, while many want at least 
> further research conducted. GM foods are made from plants 
> whose genes are manipulated in order to produce 
> characteristics such as resistance to pests. Britain has 
> yet to approve the raising of any GM crop, but some 
> imported ingredients for foods do contain GM plants. Food 
> Minister Baroness Hayman said on Friday that the new 
> labeling requirements, like those that have applied to food 
> sold at retail since September 1998 "will ensure that 
> consumers are entitled to the same information when eating 
> out as they expect when buying their own food in shops." 
> "The government is committed to ensuring that consumers are 
> able to make an informed choice about the food they eat," 
> she said. Failure to comply with the new law can be 
> punished by fines of up to 5,000 pounds (dlrs 8,000). (acw) 
> Executive News Svc. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> Broadcast News Saturday, September 18, 1999 General And 
> National News Food-Labelling INDEX: Agriculture, 
> International, Politics, Social, Food OTTAWA -- Two 
> agencies have started a project to create labelling 
> standards for foods produced through biotechnology. Farmers 
> are supporting the plan by the Canadian Council of Grocery 
> Distributors and the Canadian General Standards Board. Bob 
> Friesen, president of the Canadian Federation of 
> Agriculture, says farmers have agreed in principle to the 
> voluntary labelling. Saying farmers are afraid of losing 
> their ability to sell some of their products, Friesen hopes 
> voluntary labelling will give consumers ``a higher sense of 
> comfort.'' Friesen says Canada has almost three-million 
> hectares of land generating biotechnology products. 
> Genetically modified seeds are meant to make crops hardier 
> and insect-resistant. Greenpeace says the government-led 
> initiative gives only the appearance of dealing with an 
> issue of concern to consumers. (CP) --- bjk [Entered 
> September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> The Guardian (Charlottetown) Saturday, September 18, 1999 
> Final The Province A3 * Greenpeace charges violations in 
> P.E.I. -- Ukraine potato affair BY Steve Sharratt MONTAGUE 
> -- A Greenpeace report alleges a P.E.I. biotech project 
> introducing genetically modified (GM) seed potatoes to the 
> Ukraine has violated domestic environmental laws and has 
> been abandoned following public opposition. The Ukraine 
> project, started two years ago by P.E.I.-based Solanum 
> using biotechnology developed by U.S. based Monsanto, 
> ignored Ukrainian environmental impact assessments, charged 
> the international organization Friday. ``Monsanto is using 
> Canadian taxpayer money to fund a project which subverted 
> environmental assessments required by Ukrainian law,'' said 
> Michael Khoo, a Toronto-based campaigner. Greenpeace claims 
> the Ukrainian government has canceled the continuation of 
> field trials of Monsanto's ``NatureMark'' NewLeaf potatoes 
> which resulted in the deliberate release of transgenic 
> seeds into the environment. The project, started in 1997, 
> has been abandoned and the harvested potatoes buried. 
> However, Solanum president John MacQuarrie disputed those 
> claims Friday and contends Greenpeace, after successfully 
> undermining public perceptions of GM food production in 
> Europe, is turning its sights on the North American embrace 
> of biotechnology. ``This report is a big pile of 
> bullshit,'' said MacQuarrie. ``It's completely untrue . . . 
> (Solanum) is not a joint venture with Monsanto . . . the 
> only agreement we have is that we don't tell each other's 
> secrets.'' MacQuarrie said there are no bankrolls exchanged 
> between Monsanto and Solanum and the introduction of GM 
> seedling test plots was a co-operative effort between 
> governments. He said there is a formal three-year process 
> to introduce any plant material into the Ukraine and this 
> is the final year of trials which will soon be evaluated. 
> But Liberal environment critic Richard Brown says the 
> provincial government should dissolve Solanum immediately 
> and a moratorium should be placed on GM-food technology 
> until proper testing and safety procedures are conducted. 
> ``This isn't a bunch of monks splicing grapes together 
> centuries ago . . . we're way out on a limb here,'' said 
> Brown. ``Eric (Hammill) is proud about the Monsanto 
> relationship, but using the Ukraine as some kind of 
> experimental lab could hurt our reputation throughout the 
> world. It's not like a recall notice can get this stuff off 
> the shelf.'' Greenpeace claims Solanum was denied 
> permission to grow the GM potato in 1999 and the situation 
> emphasizes the lack of international regulations governing 
> the trade of genetically-engineered foods. ``We've never 
> tried to sneak things in,'' said MacQuarrie. ``They don't 
> have a well developed set of regulations for these kinds of 
> issues. But this project has not been abandoned.'' However, 
> more than 300 tons of seed potatoes sent to the Ukraine 
> this year from P.E.I. were buried. MacQuarrie said the 
> potatoes didn't receive early approvals and could have been 
> processed for consumption or regrown, but were composted to 
> reduce risk. Greenpeace, however, claims the Ukraine 
> Ministry of Health refused to approve the potatoes for 
> human consumption and the burial creates the risk of the 
> genes being transferred to soil bacteria. Solanum is now 
> awaiting a decision, based on a three-year evaluation by 
> the Ukraine government, whether it will be allowed to 
> continue. GM (genetically modified) potatoes contain a Bt 
> gene which produces a toxin that kills the Colorado potato 
> beetle, but species higher up the food chain have shown 
> harmful effects from the toxin. While there is no evidence 
> that GM foods are a human health hazard, Greenpeace 
> contends there is no evidence they are not, and the 
> products -- already widespread in the food chain -- have 
> not been properly tested. It took four years, Khoo said, 
> before it was discovered that Bt corn killed butterflies. 
> There are 70 million acres across North America planted in 
> GM fruits and vegetables. "These products are legal and 
> this is a well-timed campaign against GM foods to condemn 
> anyone associated with biotech food,'' said MacQuarrie. 
> Khoo said companies like Monsanto are pushing GM seeds on 
> farmers as the best new thing in agriculture. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> Calgary Herald Saturday, September 18, 1999 Final News A7 
> Farmers back campaign for labelling BY The Canadian Press 
> The Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors and the 
> Canadian General Standards Board launched a project Friday 
> to create standards governing labelling, and they've got 
> farmers on side. Farmers have agreed in principle to the 
> voluntary labelling of foods produced through 
> biotechnology, Eric Friesen, president of the Canadian 
> Federation of Agriculture, said Friday. ``We're afraid that 
> we may suddenly lose our ability to sell our products,'' 
> said Friesen. ``If there's voluntary labelling, that will 
> perhaps give the consumers some sense of confidence and a 
> higher sense of comfort.'' Canada has almost three million 
> hectares of land generating biotechnology products, said 
> Friesen. Genetically modified seeds are meant to make crops 
> hardier and insect-resistant. They're particularly common 
> for plants like canola, soy bean and corn. ``This project 
> will guide the development of meaningful criteria for the 
> voluntary labelling,'' said Jeanne Cruishank, vice-president 
> of the grocery council's Atlantic region. However, the 
> environmental group Greenpeace said the government's 
> initiative gives only the appearance of dealing with an 
> issue of concern to consumers and lacks specifics. 
> Voluntary labelling by food companies is already an option. 
> ``There's nothing new from this except for maybe they're 
> striking a committee to come up with a new graphic 
> design,'' said Michael Khoo, genetic-engineer campaigner 
> for Greenpeace. Laurie Curry, who works on the policy side 
> for the Food and Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada, 
> says that it's important that strict criteria be determined 
> to define genetically modified foods. She says that in 
> Europe people are putting ``genetically modified free'' 
> monikers all over the place, even in instances where the 
> food could never conceivably be a product of biotechnology. 
> - The Issue: Genetically engineered foods. - What's New: 
> Farmers agree to labelling. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> National Post Saturday, September 18, 1999 National News 
> A12 Menus to list modified food LONDON - Regulations 
> requiring restaurants to identify dishes containing 
> genetically modified ingredients come into force tomorrow. 
> The regulations, which also apply to pubs, canteens and 
> other catering premises, require about 500,000 U.K. 
> premises to show which dishes on their menus contain GM 
> soya or maize. Alternatively, restaurants must indicate 
> that some meals contain genetically modified ingredients, 
> and staff must be able to inform customers which dishes are 
> affected when asked. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> SUNDAY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) September 19, 1999, Sunday 
> SECTION: Pg. 02 HEADLINE: City: Frozen foods supplier first 
> to go GM-free BYLINE: by LAUREN MILLS BODY: BRAKE Bros, 
> Britain's biggest distributor of frozen foods, has 
> eradicated genetically modified ingredients from all its 
> products, making it the first wholesale catering supplier 
> to be totally GM-free. From today, the group promises that 
> all 2,000 food items it supplies to retaurants, hotels, 
> schools and hospitals will be free of GM ingredients. The 
> blanket GM ban covers products carrying manufacturers' 
> brand names as well as Brake's own-label ranges across 
> Brake Bros Foodservice, Larderfresh and Country Choice. The 
> move coincides with the Government's ruling that all 
> establishments serving food to the public must also from 
> today display a sign declaring the existence of GM 
> ingredients in menus. Ian Player, Brake Bros' chief 
> executive, hopes the move will help boost the group's 
> sales. He said: "It is what our customers want and we are 
> here to satisfy them. People are concerned about the issue 
> wherever they eat. I think it will give us an advantage 
> over our rivals, especially on the health and education 
> side." 
> He added that Brake's food technologists have been working 
> with suppliers from all over the world since January last 
> year to find alternative sources for non-GM ingredients 
> that will not impair the quality or performance of the 
> group's food products. "Our product team correctly forecast 
> the potential consumer concern a year ahead of the scare 
> and has now achieved our aim of supplying a total non-GM 
> range," said Player. He stressed that the initiative has 
> not required high levels of capital expenditure, although 
> he confirmed that it had been "enormous" in terms of staff 
> time. Brake will ensure that its product lines remain GM- 
> free by carrying out regular random checks. On Wednesday, 
> it is expected to announce a rise in profits from pounds 
> 13.8m to pounds 16m for the first half. It is also expected 
> to give further details on its anti-GM stance this week. 
> The decision to ban GM ingredients will set Brake apart 
> from its rivals and help it increase its annual turnover 
> which already touches pounds 1bn. It may also help it 
> increase its active customer base. At present, it supplies 
> 100,000 food establishments across the UK and makes over 
> 80,000 deliveries every week. In May, Player said trading 
> was in line with expectations and confirmed that the 
> group's strategy was to achieve rapid growth in the chilled 
> food sector. "We continue to invest in our infrastructure 
> to improve productivity and accommodate the business 
> development we are looking for in the growth catering 
> market," he said. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: September 
> 19, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> The Toronto Star September 19, 1999, Sunday, Edition 1 
> SCIENCE STOP US BODY: I read with interest and unease the 
> letters of Sept. 2 re so-called Frankenstein foods. These 
> letters seem to reveal a fear of anything scientific and, 
> therefore, unnatural. I have to point out that genetic 
> change is a natural process. If genetic change did not 
> occur, we still would be unicellular organisms drifting 
> through the primordial ooze. Scientists who genetically 
> alter organisms are just inserting genes into DNA that may 
> have occurred naturally at some point. This could have been 
> through mutations, a natural process in which a gene is 
> changed, or through hybridization, a natural process where 
> the DNA of two species combines. The only unnatural thing 
> about genetically altering the DNA is that the scientists 
> are making the changes, not a chance occurrence. We also 
> have to keep in mind why scientists genetically alter these 
> foods. Populations of the world are increasing, and as they 
> do so, people build their homes on what was once farmland. 
> With more food needed to feed the world, and less land to 
> grow it on, genetically altering food may be a way to 
> increase productivity. For example, scientists may 
> genetically alter food to grow on poor soils. They may 
> genetically alter food to resist pests, which would reduce 
> the need for pesticides. Scientists might be able to 
> genetically alter food to keep better, reducing the need 
> for preservatives. The genetic engineering of foods holds 
> great possibilities. We cannot let a fear of science close 
> these doors of opportunity. Suzanne Currie LANGUAGE: English 
> LOAD-DATE: September 19, 1999 [Entered September 
> 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) September 18, 1999, Saturday 
> SECTION: Pg. 01 HEADLINE: We broke the rules on GM crop 
> trials, minister admits BYLINE: By Roger Highfield, Science 
> Editor BODY: THE Government is to press ahead with trials 
> of genetically modified crops despite being forced to admit 
> yesterday that it had wrongly given permission for a series 
> of tests. Michael Meacher, the environment minister, said 
> permission for the trials of GM oilseed rape on three 
> fields in Lincolnshire and Hertfordshire was "technically 
> unlawful". He said there were "no health, safety or 
> environmental issues involved". Friends of the Earth had 
> been granted leave for a judicial review after the 
> Government allowed AgrEvo UK Ltd to change the GM crop 
> being tested from spring-sown to autumn-sown GM oilseed 
> rape without submitting a new application. The move enabled 
> the crop to be grown for 12 months rather than six and 
> quadrupled the area of the trials from about 3,000 acres to 
> 12,000 acres. The "narrow, technical" matter that caught 
> out the Department of Environment concerned whether it had 
> the power to allow the GM trial by varying an existing 
> consent rather than seeking a new one. Even though the 
> crops are effectively the same, the Government found that 
> the "variation order" was insufficient and a fresh 
> application was required under the EU Deliberate Release 
> Directive. Mr Meacher said he would not contest the 
> judicial review over the trials of the herbicide-tolerant 
> GM oilseed rape. "We are accepting that on this point we 
> acted illegally," he said. But he stressed that it was a 
> mistake made in good faith and that it "would not be right" 
> to pull up the crop. "The Government's programme of 
> farm-scale crop trials will continue," he said. The impact 
> of GM crops on the environment needed to be assessed and, 
> until then, the GM crop industry "fully understands that it 
> is not possible to achieve full-scale commercialisation in 
> this country, given the current state of public opinion". 
> Tony Juniper, policy director for Friends of the Earth, 
> said they would seek legal advice on how to take further 
> action to ensure that the offending crop was dug up. "We 
> caught the Government fiddling the law," he said. "They 
> have admitted their responsibility and will not contest our 
> legal challenge. But they will let the farm-scale trials go 
> ahead anyway. It is nonsense to pretend that this is a 
> technical matter." 
> AgrEvo said the issue was a matter for the Government and 
> Friends of the Earth although it remained committed to 
> research and development. Mr Meacher said the practical 
> effect of the admission "will be very little, if anything. 
> It does mean that AgrEvo will not proceed with the 
> planting of a fourth field on Sunday as they had planned to 
> do. Otherwise there will be no practical effect and the 
> farm-scale trials will continue next year as planned." Mr 
> Meacher added: "It is absolutely vital that we have these 
> trials. They will tell us what effect, if any, growing GM 
> crops may, or may not have, on Britain's wildlife." 
> Tim Yeo, shadow agriculture spokesman, said: "There has 
> been a collapse in public confidence in the Government's 
> handing of GM crop trials and this will make things worse." 
> LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: September 18, 1999 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> THE DAILY TELEGRAPH(LONDON) September 18, 1999, Saturday 
> SECTION: Pg. 07 HEADLINE: Caterers put GM labels on the menu 
> BYLINE: By David Brown Agriculture Editor BODY: PUBS, 
> restaurants and other catering establishments face fines up 
> to pounds 5,000 from tomorrow if they fail to identify 
> genetically modified ingredients on their menus. Even the 
> owners of hot-dog stands will have to comply with new GM 
> labelling regulations, announced by the Government in 
> March, which come into force at midnight. The Food 
> Labelling (Amendment) Regulations 1999 will force an 
> estimated 500,000 catering premises in Britain to show which 
> dishes on their menus contain GM soya and maize. The 
> declarations, which can be either on menus or on notices 
> displayed where customers can see them, are designed partly 
> to ensure that staff can inform customers accurately which 
> dishes are affected. It will be the responsibility of 
> owners and managers to find out whether they are using GM 
> products. Baroness Hayman, the food minister, said 
> yesterday: "The Government is committed to ensuring that 
> consumers are able to make an informed choice about the 
> food they eat. We have led the way in Europe by extending 
> the labelling regulations." 
> The Government was now pressing for extra European 
> legislation to require the labelling of GM additives and 
> flavourings, she added. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: 
> September 18, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> BANGKOK POST September 18, 1999 SECTION: News LENGTH: 574 
> words HEADLINE: BIOTECHNOLOGY - Thailand is to join genetic 
> research to improve crop yield BODY: Uamdao Noikorn 
> Indigenous species protection planned Thailand is to join a 
> genetic research project to improve crop yield and protect 
> indigenous species from biopiracy. Officials say only 110 
> million baht is needed to join the Rice Genome Project with 
> other biotechnologically -advanced nations including Japan, 
> South Korea, the United States, Canada, China, Taiwan, 
> India and France. However, they say the country would reap 
> enormous benefits from the eight-billion-baht scheme 
> because it makes possible access to all discoveries made by 
> the other participants. Scientists expect the move would 
> turn around the country's genetic industry as it would 
> force Thailand to upgrade its biotechnological research to 
> keep up with the more advanced countries. Pairat 
> Thachayapong, director of the National Science and 
> Technology Development Agency, said: "Since the project 
> aims to improve the crop's genes for economic reasons, 
> patents will play an important part here. "If we, as the 
> resource owner, don't get serious, we will lag behind in 
> the long run." Mr Pairat said joining the project would 
> help push Thailand to the point where trade barriers 
> imposed by developed countries would no longer pose a big 
> problem. Other agencies taking part in the scheme include 
> the Agriculture Ministry, Kasetsart University and the 
> Horticulture Organisation. Since flood and blight are the 
> main enemies of Thai rice, the experts agreed to pick 
> chromosome 9 from the crop's DNA sequence because it 
> contains genes resistant to those factors. Apichart 
> Wannachitr, leading the project, said the use of the short 
> chromosome was suited to Thailand's tight budget. The 
> member countries have agreed to base their research on 
> nippon barley, the guinea pig of the plant world, which is 
> common, fast-growing and genetically stable. The term 
> "genome" refers to a set of chromosomes found in cells of 
> living organisms. Different species have different numbers 
> of chromosomes. While humans have 46, rice has only 24. 
> Scientists believe chromosome 6 is the most beneficial 
> because it has the most genes but the research costs are 
> enormous, and only Japan has been active in this field. Mr 
> Apichart said: "Since all information about the project 
> would be open, our membership will allow us to be among the 
> first to gain access. "I'm talking about an insight into 
> 200 million genetic bases and a chance to learn about 
> bioengineering which will help us develop a new genetic 
> decoding technique of our own. That would help us pinpoint 
> and eventually patent one of those genes," he said. The 
> goal, he said, was to locate 30,000 rice genes to develop 
> super rice that withstands drought, flood, disease, pests 
> and still yields high output with standard quality for 
> cooking. Thailand is home to seven species of wild rice, 
> 17,000 indigenous species and 50 species of crop rice. 
> Despite low yields, the local and wild species are famous 
> for adaptability and endurance. However, they are prone to 
> biopiracy as Thailand lacks technological know-how to make 
> use of discovered genes. The project is expected to be 
> completed in eight to 10 years. But Thai scientists expect 
> faster results for their research as they have been looking 
> into the chromosome for years already. Rice is the 
> country's top income earner with six million tons worth 
> five billion baht annually. Copyright 1999: Bangkok Post. 
> All Rights Reserved. LANGUAGE: English LOAD-DATE: 
> September 18, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> BANGKOK POST September 18, 1999 SECTION: News LENGTH: 336 
> words HEADLINE: Genetically -modified food on the menu at 
> open discussion BODY: Uamdao Noikorn Pressure to import GMO 
> products rises Supporters and opponents of genetically 
> -altered food products will finally have a chance to 
> officially air their views as the Department of Agriculture 
> will hold a pre-public hearing on the issue to narrow 
> differences between the two groups. Despite numerous 
> seminars on the subject before, there has never been a 
> separate discussion in this manner. The event, scheduled 
> for Sept 27 at the Miracle Grand Hotel, is also in response 
> to green groups' complaints over the department's lack of 
> transparency on the issue. The most recent conflict was 
> sparked when the department released the results of an 
> environmental study showing cotton containing Bt toxin 
> posed no health risks. The results enraged 
> environmentalists who argued that the two years of study 
> was only a rough one and more was needed to have sound 
> answers to all the questions. Department chief Anand 
> Dalodom yesterday said he personally did not want Thailand 
> to grow genetically -modified crops, not for the above 
> reason but for economic ones. While the world market's 
> trend towards chemcal-free, environmen-tally-friendly 
> products was getting stronger, Thailand would stand to gain 
> more from organic produce, he said. However, he supported 
> the GMO imports citing it was impossible to avoid pressure 
> from the economic powers. "How can we protect ourselves 
> when even the European Union finally couldn't resist the 
> pressure from America to lift its ban on GMO imports?"All 
> Thailand could do, he said, was to beef up its regulations 
> on bio-safety and introduce a labelling law to inform 
> consumers. "Tell me where can we find corn and soybean 
> seeds to feed our cattle without imports?"Nevertheless, Mr 
> Anand gave assurances that all the pros and cons of the 
> GMOs would be taken into consideration before the 
> government makes its stance clear whether it was for or 
> against the so-called frankenstein food. Copyright 1999: 
> Bangkok Post. All Rights Reserved. LANGUAGE: English 
> LOAD-DATE: September 18, 1999 [Entered September 19, 
> 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> The Guardian (London) September 18, 1999 SECTION: Guardian 
> Home Pages; Pg. 1 HEADLINE: GM trials doubt after planting 
> ruled illegal BYLINE: Audrey Gillan BODY: Audrey Gillan 
> Three fields of genetically modified crops in Lincolnshire 
> and Hertfordshire could be ploughed up and any further 
> trials postponed for at least a year after the government 
> admitted yesterday that their planting last month had been 
> illegal. Caving in to pressure from environmental 
> campaigners, the department of the environment conceded 
> that it had been wrong to allow changes to rules governing 
> the trials of GM crops. It said the concession was not on 
> grounds of the safety of the trials but simply over a 
> technical mistake. The climbdown by the environment 
> minister, Michael Meacher, was none the less hailed as a 
> victory by Friends of the Earth and led to opposition calls 
> for his resignation. The announcement could result in a 
> costly delay to the trials. Tomorrow's proposed planting of 
> a field of oilseed rape in Lincolnshire will now not go 
> ahead. Mr Meacher said he would not contest judicial review 
> proceedings recently brought by FoE, but he was adamant 
> that the trials - 75 fields are proposed for next year - 
> would continue. FoE will seek legal advice on whether it 
> should ask a court that the fields be dug up because they 
> were unlawfully planted. FoE had claimed that the 
> government was wrong to allow AgrEvo UK Ltd to make changes 
> to the crop being tested without seeking new permission 
> from the depart ment of the environment. AgrEvo changed its 
> application, quadrupled the area of land used, doubled the 
> length of the trial from six months to one year and 
> switched one of the tests from spring to autumn planting. Mr 
> Meacher said he was conceding defeat on only one point - 
> whether the government had the power to vary a consent to 
> allow for the planting of oilseed rape in the autumn - and 
> there were 'no health, safety or environmental issues 
> involved'. 'As soon as we were satisfied that we should not 
> contest this point, we acted swiftly and told the court,' 
> he said. 'We will not require AgrEvo to end the trials 
> concerned because at the time of sowing AgrEvo acted in 
> good faith on the strength of the consent which they had.' 
> Mr Meacher conceded that the trial programme could, 
> however, be hampered by further legal moves by FoE. FoE had 
> originally hoped to delay the planting of the new trials 
> beyond September 25 but the sowing went ahead after Mr 
> Meacher said he saw no legal reason why there should be any 
> delay. The group condemned the decision to allow the trials 
> to continue as 'scandalous'. FoE policy and campaigns 
> director Tony Juniper said: 'This humiliating climb-down 
> puts the whole GM trials programme into complete chaos. We 
> caught the government fiddling the law. They have admitted 
> their responsibility and will not contest our legal chal 
> lenge. But they will let the farm-scale trials go ahead 
> anyway. It is nonsense to pretend that this is a technical 
> matter. The trials should of course be stopped at once.' 
> Tim Yeo, the Conservative spokesman for agriculture, called 
> for Mr Meacher to resign. 'His reaction to this shocking 
> case - to call it a technicality - is an insult to the 
> public's intelligence. To say that a trial that involved a 
> different crop for twice the time and on four times the 
> area of land was legally flawed because of a technicality 
> shows that he is no longer a responsible guardian of 
> Britain's environment,' Mr Yeo said. Mr Meacher took back 
> threats made last week that the trials might have to be 
> conducted in secret because of the threat of sabotage. He 
> said he now believed openness was the best policy. 
> Regulations requiring all restaurants to identify dishes 
> containing GM ingredients come into force tomorrow. The 
> regulations, which also apply to pubs and canteens, require 
> some 500,000 catering premises to show which dishes on 
> their menus contain GM soya or maize. Alternatively, the 
> restaurants must indicate that some meals contain GM 
> ingredients and staff must be able to inform customers 
> which dishes are affected when asked. GM potato may aid 
> burns victims, page 13 Find more on the GM debate on the 
> Guardian network at
> ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: September 18, 1999 [Entered 
> September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> The Irish Times September 18, 1999 SECTION: CITY EDITION; 
> HOME NEWS; Pg. 5 LENGTH: 429 words HEADLINE: Walsh calls 
> for national debate on GM foods BYLINE: By SEAN MACCONNELL, 
> Agriculture Correspondent DATELINE: WATERFORD BODY: The 
> Minister for Agriculture, Mr Walsh, yesterday called for a 
> national debate on the whole area of genetically modified 
> foods in Ireland. Speaking at the Agricultural Science 
> Association conference in Waterford which heard arguments 
> for and against the process, the Minister said consumer 
> protection was at the heart of the issue. Dr Patrick 
> O'Reilly, business manager of Monsanto Ireland Ltd, had 
> told the delegates they should not allow the alarmists and 
> "naysayers" dictate the agenda in the debate. "Let us take 
> a leaf out of Germany's book. Germany started out as 
> extremely anti- genetic engineering about five years ago. 
> "We had the usual publicity stunts such as that of 
> destroying experimental field research trials," he added. 
> "But three years ago the German government, having realised 
> the safety record and opportunities of this technology, 
> made a policy decision and statement that they would be the 
> leading biotechnology country by the year 2001," he said. 
> The then environment minister pledged (pounds) 100 million 
> annually to promote research and start up companies in 
> Germany, he said. He asked why should Ireland not build on 
> its agriculture strength in grassland knowledge or potato 
> breeding and become a global leader in these fields through 
> the use of genetic engineering technology. Mr Walsh said 
> recent incidents involving the destruction of crop trial 
> had not added anything at all to the GM debate which was 
> taking place here. Once the consumer was protected, he 
> believed such developments should be allowed in a rational 
> way to go ahead. He said he did not think the opponents of 
> GM foods in the State were being alarmist. "In all areas of 
> activity you do need groups that are alert to these matters 
> to keep governments and departments and regulatory 
> authorities on their toes. "Sometimes they may have to go a 
> little bit over the top to make their point, and as a 
> member of the Government I do not mind that at all. It is 
> vitally important that we have these organisations and 
> associations." Ms Sadhbh O'Neill of Genetic Concern, told 
> the conference that demand for GM crops in the EU had 
> collapsed and there was a rising tide of consumer rejection 
> around the world. A Lansdowne Market Research poll in 
> January this year found 78 per cent of people said they 
> knew little or nothing about the technology. Those who said 
> they knew most - 62 per cent - were also most concerned 
> about food safety. Of those who knew a lot, 89 per cent 
> were very concerned as opposed to just 8 per cent who 
> supported the process. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: 
> September 18, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> The Xinhua News Agency HEADLINE: uk fast food chains ban gm 
> DATELINE: london, september 18; ITEM NO: 0918206 BODY: 
> britain's biggest fast-food chains, including mcdonald's and 
> burger king, have said they have removed genetically 
> -modified (gm) ingredients from their menus in time for the 
> introduction of new labeling laws. friends of the earth 
> surveyed 11 leading chains and found all said they did not 
> use gm soya or maize, according to bbc. the british 
> government has ordered all food containing gm ingredients 
> to be labeled from sunday following implementation of a 
> european union directive last september. caterers, shops, 
> food-makers and restaurants must all comply or face fines. 
> two of the companies surveyed, pret a manger and domino's 
> pizza, said they had removed gm derivatives while a further 
> six said they were removing them. pete riley, senior food 
> campaigner at foe, said: "this survey shows that 
> restaurants recognise that customers do not want to eat food 
> containing gm ingredients or derivatives and that most are 
> now removing them as fast as they can." "however, 
> restaurants might well ask why they have to go to all the 
> trouble and expense to ensure that their meals don't 
> contain ingredients that neither they nor their customers 
> want," riley said. "surely the bill should be picked up by 
> the big biotech companies who stand to make vast sums of 
> money from this new technology." several major supermarket 
> chains, including sainsury's and marks and spencer, are 
> removing all gm ingredients from own-brand ranges. their 
> decisions follow that of frozen food retailer iceland, which 
> announced that none of its own-label produce would contain 
> gm ingredients in april 1998. LANGUAGE: ENGLISH LOAD-DATE: 
> September 19, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> St. Louis Post-Dispatch September 19, 1999, Sunday, FIVE 
> WORLD BYLINE: Bill Lambrecht; Post-Dispatch Washington 
> Bureau DATELINE: WASHINGTON BODY: Analysts at Deutsche Bank 
> in Germany came up with some grim conclusions this summer 
> about the financial prospects for genetically modified 
> crops, saying companies such as Monsanto were losing battle 
> after battle. A few years ago, the German report never 
> would have traveled outside the rarefied air of global 
> investors. But that was before the World Wide Web. This 
> month, a consultant in Idaho arranged for the bank analysis 
> to be posted on the Web, and in three days, thousands of 
> people had downloaded the 25-page report and further 
> disseminated it around the globe. Critics, farmers and 
> people still making up their minds about the new technology 
> had a new piece of information. The Internet is enabling 
> mobilization like never before and, in the process, giving 
> biotechnology companies fits. In recent months, St. 
> Louis-based Monsanto Co. and its rivals in the new science 
> of genetically engineering food have watched in dismay as 
> pockets of protest have mushroomed. Europe and Japan are 
> demanding the labeling of modified oods. A trade war is 
> brewing between the United States and Europe. American 
> farmers are wondering whether to continue sowing tens of 
> millions of acres with gene-altered seeds. What is behind 
> the recent developments? More people, especially Europeans, 
> are raising questions about environmental safety, potential 
> health effects and the power of the companies to determine 
> the nature of food. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 
> 1999 But perhaps no single factor looms larger in 
> biotechnology's tumble than the role of the Internet. The 
> Web has given critics and skeptics the arena to post 
> studies, opinions and vitriol for the world to consume. 
> E-mail and listserves --electronic mailing lists -- enable 
> activists to work with one another and to exchange scraps of 
> information instantly. All the activity leaves the 
> impression, real or imagined, of a vibrant global movement. 
> The "life science" companies and biotechnology devotees use 
> the Internet, too, and in time they hope that it will play 
> a key role in convincing the world that biotechnology can 
> yield food that is not only safe, but better. But as it 
> stands, one powerful new technology may be functioning to 
> stem the growth of another powerful new technology. The 
> Idaho consultant who distributed the German report, Charles 
> Benbrook, contends that people who had misgivings in the 
> past about farm and food policies had no means to link up 
> and reinforce their beliefs. The Internet has changed all 
> that. "Activists can transfer fresh and important 
> information around the world with speed and ease," Benbrook 
> said. "And that's something we've never experienced before." 
> Changing policy Until last year, the most public responses 
> received by the Department of Agriculture on a new rule was 
> 7,000. Then Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman asked 
> Americans to tell him what they thought of a new organic 
> foods policy that would let food that was genetically 
> engineered, irradiated or fertilized with sludge carry the 
> government's new "organic" label. More than 250,000 people 
> responded, mostly by e-mail, and the vast majority said it 
> was a terrible idea. Under the nearly completed rules, 
> genetically engineered food in the United States won't be 
> labeled as organic. The Internet is becoming an important 
> factor in politics and public policy debates on a host of 
> issues. Until recently, interest groups usually consisted 
> ons with national memberships and slick magazines. Now, 
> with the Internet, people can mobilize and pressure 
> governments with the push of a button. "It changes the 
> presumptions of representative democracy," said Phil Noble, 
> a political consultant and founder of PoliticsOnline. "I 
> think the Internet is going to do for public policy what 
> the telephone did for lobbying." 
> St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 1999 People can be 
> mobilized, too, in ways that don't give a true picture of 
> public sentiment. "In literally a matter of hours, I can 
> create an interest group of tens of thousands on whatever 
> my issue is right now, and mobilize them to send mail, 
> e-mail or even rotten eggs," Noble said. Political 
> scientist Michael Cornfield of George Washington University 
> said "cyberlobbying" soon will dominate grass-roots 
> organizing because of its speed and low cost. "It won't 
> level the playing field between those who don't buy access 
> and those who do, but it will make it easier for people to 
> be involved in grass-roots lobbying," he said. Anti-genetic 
> engineering forces seem to be finding it easy right now. A 
> PR headache With a staff of five in the United States and 
> Canada, the Rural Advancement Foundation International has 
> about 30,000 fewer employees than Monsanto. Yet RAFI's 
> "Terminator" campaign has created a monumental public 
> relations headache for Monsanto and triggered 
> anti-biotechnology sentiments around the world. The 
> Terminator is the RAFI-coined name for a genetic technology 
> that renders seeds sterile so they can't be saved for the 
> next crop. That way, farmers must buy more modified seeds 
> and pay the additional "technology fee." The rile-seed 
> invention was patented last year by the U.S. government and 
> a Mississippi seed company that Monsanto is acquiring. 
> Using the Internet, RAFI has persuaded some of the world's 
> leading agriculture researchers and even the biotechnology- 
> friendly Rockefeller Foundation to condemn the Terminator 
> on the grounds that it is unfair to low-income farmers and 
> might even be harmful if farmers planted them unknowingly. 
> RAFI's Hope Shand said that the Internet has dramatically 
> increased her organization's power to reach people. In a 
> recent 16-month period, she said, RAFI had 1.3 million 
> "hits" on its Web site, from which visitors downloaded 
> 455,000 pages. St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 1999 
> "The Terminator campaign would never have been possible 
> without the spread of information on the Internet," she 
> said. Another Internet campaign torpedoed an effort by 
> Monsanto in Bangladesh. Last year, Monsanto agreed to give 
> $ 150,000 to the Grameen Bank, which is known 
> internationally for giving loans to poor farmers. But after 
> the bank received a barrage of e-mail critical of Monsanto, 
> the arrangement was scrapped. Distorting reality? Dozens of 
> groups - from the Union of Concerned Scientists to 
> direct-action proponents such as Greenpeace - use the 
> Internet to work against biotechnology. Friends of the 
> Earth and some of the biggest environmental advocacy groups 
> wage online global campaigns. An Internet drive to force 
> mandatory labeling of modified food is being waged out of 
> Washington state. Crop saboteurs, such as genetiX snowball 
> in Britain, hook up with the Direct Action Media Network 
> and organizations that take a militant app roach to 
> advocacy. Then there's Mutanto, a Web site that parodies 
> Monsanto's. Instead of fers "Fraud, Stealth andod, Health 
> and Hope," Mutanto of Hype." 
> The critics of genetic food are simply exploiting their 
> Internet advantage, said Michael Hanson of Consumers Union, 
> which publishes Consumer Reports. "The other side has just 
> as much access, but they're just not as good at it." The 
> "other side" thinks that the anti-biotechnology campaigners 
> succeed on the Internet through distortion: distorting the 
> facts about safety and creating the false impression that 
> consumers, not just activists, worry about modified food. A 
> relatively few activists have been able to create a sense 
> of movement that didn't exist before the Internet, 
> biotechnology companies say. As a result, news outlets and 
> others believe there's more out there than there really is, 
> even though some of the anti-biotechnology sites get very 
> few visitors. "It's a dual-edged sword," Monsanto's Jay 
> Byrne said. "On one hand, the Internet allows people with 
> opinions or even spurious facts to share that information 
> broadly. But at the same time, it allows the public access 
> to scientific and academic information that so far has been 
> generally supportive St. Louis Post-Dispatch, September 19, 
> 1999 of the technology. The challenge lies in discerning 
> between the two." Monsanto uses the Web aggressively and 
> has won awards for it, including one this month from an 
> agribusiness magazine for its French Web page. The company 
> tailors individual sites around the world to combat 
> anti-genetic food sentiments. In the United Kingdom, 
> Monsanto's Web site went so far as to offer a link to 
> Greenpeace and post critical press accounts of itself to 
> stimulate debate. Monsanto uses its British site to sponsor 
> a public dialogue on the outbreak of European incidents of 
> crop destruction by protesters. By the same token, 
> detractors accuse Monsanto of exaggerating in cyberspace 
> biotechnology's potential to feed hungry people. Despite 
> the Internet's power and potential, both sides in the 
> biotechnology debate concede that it will come down 
> eventually to people sorting through issues themselves just 
> like they've always done. Benbrook, the Idaho consultant, 
> said, "If the public doesn't believe what is said, the 
> fanciest Web sites and the biggest public relations 
> campaigns in the world won't amount to much." 
> LANGUAGE: English LOAD-DATE: September 19, 1999 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> St. Louis Post-Dispatch September 19, 1999, Sunday, FIVE 
> SITES IN THE BIOTECH WARS BODY: Some Web sites in the 
> biotech wars Critics Union of Concerned Scientists. 
> <> Campaign to Label Genetically
> Foods. <> Consumers Union. 
> <> Friends of the Earth.
> Rural Advancement Foundation Internationa.
> Jeremy Rifkin; Foundation on Economic Trends. 
> <> Greenpeace. www.
greenpeace. org 
> Organic Trade Association. <> Edmonds

> <> Ecologist
> <> genetiX snowball. 
> <> "Mutanto." 
/nonsanto.htm Corporate Archer 
> Daniels Midland. <> Monsanto Co. 
> <> Monsanto Co. United Kingdom. 
> <> Novartis.
<> Dupont. 
> <> Agrevo.
<> Biotechnology 
> Industrial Organization. <> Food
> Communications Network. <> The
> Manufacturers Association. <>
National Food 
> Processors Association. <> Food
> Institute. <> Academic, government Danforth
> Science Center.
> Missouri Botanical Gardens. <> U.S.
> Food Safety Site. <>
Department of

> Agriculture Biotechnology Information Resource. 
> <> UN Biosafety Information
Network and 
> Advisory Service.
> Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. 
ABCONTS.HTM Miscellaneous 
> National Corn Growers Association. <>
> Magazine. <> Science Magazine. 
> 19, 1999 [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> Updated SUNDAY September 19, 1999 Biotech angst hasn't 
> hit Kansas Farmers say they have markets for this year's 
> genetically modified corn and soybean crops and time to 
> decide what to plant next year. 
> By Phyllis Jacobs Griekspoor The Wichita Eagle Kansas 
> farmers and elevator operators are adopting a wait-and-see 
> attitude in the midst of a growing flap over genetically 
> modified crops and their acceptance in the marketplace. 
> With plenty of Kansas elevators willing to take this 
> fall's crop -- genetically modified or not -- and at least 
> 60 to 90 days before farmers must lock into decisions about 
> what to plant next year, most growers feel like they have 
> some time to just watch developments. 
> "From my perspective, this is not much different than any 
> other curve that has been thrown at producers," said Gregg 
> Patrick with the Andale Farmers Co-op in Colwich. "They 
> will adapt and go on." 
> Other experts say it will take more than just adapting -- 
> or protests from the marketplace for that matter -- to put 
> the biotechnology genie back in the bottle on genetically 
> modified organisms, or GMOs. 
> "Honestly, I think the people who are protesting this are 
> too late," said Arlan Suderman, who works with Co-Mark, a 
> marketing consulting firm in Cheney. "I think it may come 
> down to buying genetically engineered commodities or no 
> commodities at all. That's definitely the case with 
> soybeans and we may be well down that road on corn." 
> Genes from bacteria The controversy has centered on 
> crops, especially corn and soybeans, that are genetically 
> enhanced by the introduction of genes from bacteria that 
> provide a plant with resistance to insect pests or 
> protection from herbicides. 
> More than 40 such crops have been approved by U.S. 
> regulators after extensive testing by the U.S. Department 
> of Agriculture, the Environmental Protection Agency and the 
> Food and Drug Administration. Despite the approval, some 
> environmental groups, particularly in Europe, question 
> whether genetically modified crops are safe for human 
> consumption. 
> The crops have produced both higher yields and less need 
> for topical application of herbicides and pesticides and 
> have been popular with U.S. farmers and with farmers in 
> South America. 
> Most markets, including all U.S. processors and the 
> European Union, have approved the oldest of the technology, 
> Roundup Ready crops, which have been altered with an extra 
> copy of a protein from a soil bacterium that makes them 
> able to withstand application of the herbicide Roundup. 
> Newer in the marketplace is corn modified by the 
> introduction of a gene from the common soil bacterium, 
> Bacillus thuringiensis, usually called Bt. 
> Flap over Bt corn It is this crop, widely planted for the 
> first time this year, that has borne the brunt of the 
> market flap on GMOs. It constitutes about one-third of the 
> U.S. crop. 
> Among the problems marketers face this year: Some 
> varieties of Bt corn have been approved by the European 
> Union for import in its member nations, but other varieties 
> have not. So grain handlers who chose to separate the crop 
> for European export have three categories of corn, rather 
> than just Bt or non-Bt, to deal with. 
> Japan's two largest breweries say they will not use 
> gene-altered corn. 
> A major Mexican corn tortilla maker has also rejected GMO 
> corn. 
> Iams, the Ohio-based pet food manufacturer, has said it 
> will accept only the varieties approved by the European 
> Union in its dog and cat foods. 
> The National Corn Growers Association said all of these 
> restrictions are areas of concern but it was the action of 
> Gerber Baby Foods, owned by Novartis, a Swiss-based 
> pharmaceutical and biotechnology firm, that created the most 
> anger. 
> Gerber goes organic After being notified that the company 
> had been targeted by the environmental activist group, 
> Greenpeace, Gerber announced that it would make baby food 
> only from organically grown products. 
> "Novartis is a pioneer in biotechnology. They engineered 
> not only the seed for Bt corn but also the chemicals that 
> many conventional farmers use," said Roger Pine, a Lawrence 
> corn grower and president of the national association. "Now 
> they turn around and disown the crops that are grown from 
> their own products." 
> Pine said the association has sent a letter of protest to 
> Novartis on behalf of American farmers, who feel they have 
> been betrayed by the company. 
> Bob Bowden, a researcher with Kansas State University, 
> said he can understand the action of the baby food 
> manufacturer and its level of concern over a campaign to 
> create consumer alarm and undermine confidence in its 
> product. But it's not based on scientific fact. 
> "One of the most frustrating things about this is that 
> it's being dictated by non-science," Bowden said. "There is 
> no sound science behind the claims of danger from 
> genetically modified crops." 
> Marketing, however, is often all about public perception, 
> trust and confidence and not about scientific fact. And 
> grain marketers are well aware of the potential for the 
> genetic questions to balloon into a giant problem. 
> "I think it boils down to trusting the government when 
> they say a product is safe," Bowden said. "There is a 
> pretty high level of trust in the United States. There 
> isn't that much trust among European consumers for their 
> governments." 
> To segregate or not One major marketer, Archer Daniels 
> Midland, has recommended that farmers segregate their 
> gene-altered crops from non-altered crops. But it has not 
> offered a premium price for non- GMO crops, and analysts 
> say that may be what it takes to convince farmers to go to 
> the extra expense and effort it will take to guarantee 
> their products are not GMOs. 
> Kansas elevator operators say they will be accepting this 
> year's corn crop and will not be attempting to segregate 
> GMO crops from non-GMO crops. 
> "Everything we take in is fed to livestock and there's no 
> concern over that, so I'd say that it doesn't affect us or 
> our customers," said a spokesman for Collingwood Grain Inc. 
> in Kingman. Collingwood is owned by Archer Daniels Midland. 
> The American Seed Trade Association maintains a list of 
> elevators willing to buy genetically modified grains and 
> makes it accessible on the Internet to farmers and others. 
> That list shows 48 elevators within 100 miles of Wichita, 
> 73 elevators within 100 miles of Great Bend and 65 within 
> 100 miles of Laird in Ness County. 
> Andale Farmers Co-op is on that list, but Gregg Patrick at 
> the Colwich branch said there really hasn't been a decision 
> about what the co-op will do if separating GMO from non-GMO 
> crops becomes a requirement, or how it would handle testing 
> to determine whether a load of grain was a GMO crop. 
> "There is some kind of test that you can do to find 
> genetic markers, but we don't have the equipment to do that 
> at this point," Patrick said. 
> Farmers who grow corn for the export market -- which for 
> the most part does not include Kansas farmers -- can 
> certainly return to conventional growing methods and to 
> aerial pesticide spraying, said Kent Ott, a Mount Hope 
> farmer who said he's watching the situation unfold before 
> making a decision on what to plant next year. 
> This year, he said, he had both Bt corn and conventional 
> hybrids in his fields and is not concerned about marketing 
> because all of his crop will be fed locally to livestock. 
> Advantages of GMO crops His decision to plant Bt corn, he 
> said, is based on the fact that it provides better insect 
> protection than spraying and therefore provides better 
> yields. Cost of production, he said, is virtually the same 
> -- the Bt seed costs more, but producers are spared the 
> cost of insecticides. Conventional seed plus the 
> insecticide costs about the same, or even a little more, 
> than Bt corn alone. The lower yield makes the conventional 
> crop more expensive to grow. 
> That cost may finally be a determining factor in the 
> acceptance of GMOs. 
> Will consumers be willing to pay more for non-GMO products 
> to compensate farmers for the additional cost of producing 
> them? Most experts agree that the question doesn't really 
> apply to Roundup Ready crops, although it was GMO soybeans 
> in Gerber baby food that were the Greenpeace target. 
> There are no world markets currently rejecting Roundup 
> Ready products, a fact that Suderman said stems largely 
> from a predominance of those beans in the markets. 
> Almost half of the soybeans in the United States are 
> Roundup Ready, as is a large percentage of the crop in 
> South America. 
> Although Brazil has talked about non-GMO products, 
> Suderman said, an analysis of orders for seed and 
> herbicides indicate plans to plant Roundup Ready soybeans 
> are prevalent. 
> Bt corn is not to that point right now, he said. But with 
> Bt corn comprising one-third of this year's U.S. crop, it 
> will be very difficult by next year to determine which 
> storehouses might have some Bt corn mixed with non-Bt corn. 
> And it would be even more difficult to separate out the 
> approved Bt corn varieties from the unapproved Bt varieties. 
> It might be downright impossible to determine what 
> processed foods, such as corn oil, multi-grain cereals or 
> meals might have been made from grain that was, in part, Bt 
> corn. 
> "The more highly processed a product is, the more likely 
> it would be that genetic markers would be processed out," 
> Bowden said. "I'm not sure there would be any way to test, 
> say corn oil, or a product made with corn oil." 
> USDA suggests labeling That would take the market back 
> to a suggestion made earlier this year by U.S. Secretary of 
> Agriculture Dan Glickman -- labeling products that might 
> contain GMOs as such and those that can be certified not to 
> contain GMOs as well, pricing them accordingly and letting 
> the consumer decide. 
> Bowden thinks that might ultimately be the marketplace 
> answer to what is largely, after all, a consumer confidence 
> driven question: Is the public worried enough, despite 
> government assurances of safety, to pay a stiff premium to 
> avoid genetic technology in its food supply? It may well 
> be that the grocer's shelf is the only place to find the 
> answer, he said. 
>  The Wichita Eagle [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> <<GP>> 
> The Western Producer Online (Canada) September 16, 1999 
> Opponents of biotech food to lobby public By Barry Wilson 
> Ottawa bureau When health and environmental activists 
> began planning an autumn public relations assault against 
> food containing genetically modified material, farm 
> lobbyist Sally Rutherford was hardly surprised. 
> She was apprehensive and a bit frustrated, but not 
> surprised. 
> "This was inevitable and predictable," said the executive 
> secretary of the Canadian Federation of Agriculture. "Given 
> what has happened in Europe, you could see this coming. But 
> I'm not sure the other side is really ready for it." 
> Doug Powell agrees. He is a specialist in food industry 
> risk and crisis communication at the University of Guelph. 
> "They have been way too slow responding, both industry and 
> government, and there is no excuse for it," he said in a 
> Sept. 13 interview. "The CFIA (Canadian Food Inspection 
> Agency) still haven't been able to come up with a strategy 
> on voluntary labeling and the debate is moving beyond that. 
> They are playing catch-up." 
> In late summer, activists met to discuss an autumn public 
> relations campaign, possibly targeting grocery shoppers 
> around Thanksgiving. 
> Greenpeace Canada, which helped organize an effective 
> anti-GM campaign in Europe, is one of the key groups. 
> "We will be trying to alert consumers to the dangers and 
> implications of genetic modification which has been 
> introduced here without adequate debate," said Steve 
> Shallhorn, who will co-ordinate the Greenpeace campaign 
> from its Toronto office. "Our basic issue is environmental 
> pollution from these products." 
> Shallhorn said Canadian consumers will respond: "We are 
> on the cusp of the debate which should have happened here 
> years ago. I think it will be one of the hot political 
> items this fall." 
> Added Jennifer Story of the Council of Canadians in 
> Ottawa: "Our main message is that these foods with GM 
> material have not been subjected to the long-term health 
> and environmental safety tests they should have been. We 
> want these products taken off store shelves until the 
> testing is done." 
> Talk like that makes Jim Fischer uneasy. 
> As chair of the Ontario agriculture and environment group 
> AGCare, the southern Ontario farmer advocates retention of 
> biotech products in the market as long as they pass muster 
> with Health Canada and the CFIA. 
> "We want the option of being able to see if these products 
> work for us," he said. "What causes me unease is these 
> multinational private interest groups using emotion rather 
> than science to discredit products." 
> Rutherford said defenders of genetic engineering will be 
> on the defensive, farmers who grow the GM crops could get a 
> black eye and consumers could become skeptical about a food 
> regulatory system they should trust. 
> Yet some industry leaders insist there is no need for a 
> special effort to counter the campaign. Already, there are 
> brochures in supermarkets and a telephone information line 
> operated by the Biotechnology Communications Network. 
> "In the food industry, we're in the business of providing 
> information to consumers and we'll continue to do that," 
> said Laurie Curry, vice-president for public policy and 
> scientific affairs at the Toronto-based Food and Consumer 
> Products Manufacturers of Canada. 
> But she also conceded consumers sometimes are skeptical of 
> industry. "That's why we'd like a third party like 
> government to get more actively involved." 
> At the food inspection agency, Bart Bilmer said the CFIA 
> biotechnology office is always ready to respond to consumer 
> questions: "We'll continue to do what we have been doing. 
> [Entered September 19, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
> 09/19 DJ Mitsubishi Corp, Takara To Certify Non-GM Food - 
> Nikkei TOKYO (Nikkei)--Mitsubishi Corp. (MSBHY or 8058) and 
> Takara Shuzo Co. (J.TSH or 2531) will establish a joint 
> venture Tuesday to certify and label foods as 
> non-genetically modified, the Nihon Keizai Shimbun reported 
> in its Monday morning edition. It will be the first 
> private-sector firm to inspect and certify imported 
> agricultural products as non-GM. Labeling of GM products 
> will become compulsory in 2001 under Ministry of 
> Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries rules. Experts claim 
> that about 400,000 tons, or 40% of the soybeans Japan 
> imports each year, are probably genetically modified. The 
> new company aims to handle at least half of that volume. 
> Wheat and potatoes will join the list of foods to be 
> checked. The firm will be capitalized at Y50 million, with 
> Takara providing 60% of the funds and Mitsubishi 40%. (END) 
> DOW JONES NEWS 09-19-99 07:02 PM Copyright 1999 Dow Jones & 
> Co., Inc. All rights reserved.