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GE - GMO News 09/26



GMO News 09/26 
1) 09/26 1704 GM GIANT MONSANTO HOLDS TALKS WITH THE SOIL ASSOCIATION By Tim
Moynihan and Padraic Flanagan, PA News 
2)09/26 1426 UK Protesters Dressed As Cows Tell Blair: No GM 
3) 09/26 DJ Bayer Chmn: More Emphasis On Life-Science Ops - Magazine FRANKFURT
(Dow Jones)--
4)09/26 1701 PANTOMIME COWS STOP TRAFFIC IN CONFERENCE DEMO By Michael Clarke,
Deputy Political Editor, PA News 
5) 09/26 1456 GM RESEARCH GIANT OFFERS HELP TO ENVIRONMENTALISTS By Padraic
Flanagan, PA News 
6) Monsanto rethinking UK GM strategy-paper LONDON, Sept 26  (Reuters) - 
7)09/26 0605 COWS AND CHICKENS' PROTEST AGAINST GM FEED By Tim Clarke, PA
News 
8) 09/26 0033 U.S. Denies Any Plan For Biotech Food Labels By  Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 
9) The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 26, 1999  A food for the millennium:
Ontario wheat breeder reproduces  ancient grain that turned Stone Age nomads
into farmers BY  Kathryn May 
10)The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 26, 1999 `Gene wars' loom on
horizon BY
Ian MacLeod 
11) Calgary Herald Saturday, September 25, 1999 Agro-Terror: A biological
attack on the food supply could be * as ruinous as nuclear war BY Steve
Goldstein, Knight Ridder Newspapers
12) September 23, 1999 - Nebraska Farmland FeatureCrop biotechnology improves,
leaves questions BYLINE: By ANDY RAUN DATELINE: GRAND ISLAND, Neb. 
13) The Grocer September 25, 1999 Calmer patterns allow planning 
14) The Grocer September 25, 1999  LETTERS;  A lesson in Alexander Fleming 
15)The Grocer September 25, 1999 -Friends of the Earth gets investing in some
Reality 
16) The London Free Press September 25, 1999, : FARMING ADVANCES ON  VIEW AT
MATCH BYLINE: JOHN MINER, FREE PRESS REPORTER  DATELINE: DASHWOOD 
17)The Toronto Star September 25, 1999 CROP GENE DRAIN SOWS DANGER,  REPORT
SAYS BODY: Stuart Laidlaw 
18) The Washington Times September 26, 1999, JAVA WITH NO JOLT; Scientists
alter plants to grow coffee beans without caffeine BYLINE: Ben DiPietro;
ASSOCIATED PRESS HONOLULU 
19)The New York Times September 25, PERDUE WEIGHS BAN OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED
FEED Bloomberg News 
20)  NATIONAL NEWS: Restaurants 'flout law on GM food labelling' BIOTECHNOLOGY
CONSUMERS' ASSOCIATION SURVEY FINDS MANY EATING ESTABLISHMENTS DO NOT KNOW IF
THEY ARE USING ALTERED FOOD: Financial Times ; 25-Sep-1999 
21) NATIONAL NEWS: Academics fear exodus in 'anti-science' backlash MEDICAL
RESEARCH PROFESSOR'S MOVE TO CANADA FOLLOWING OVARY TRANSPLANT WORK SPARKS
CONCERN ABOUT PUBLIC HOSTILITY:  Financial Times ; 24-Sep-1999 

1) 09/26 1704 GM GIANT MONSANTO HOLDS TALKS WITH THE SOIL ASSOCIATION By Tim
Moynihan and Padraic Flanagan, PA News 

> US biotech giant Monsanto is in talks over the controversial 
> issue of genetic modification, the company confirmed today. 
> It was in discussions with organisations such as the Soil 
> Association and hopes further dialogue will take place, it 
> said. The company issued a statement as it was reported 
> that it was looking at ways to meet the concerns of 
> environmentalists over genetically modified food. The firm, 
> which has led research on the subject, is said to have 
> offered to use its vast databases to help plant breeders 
> create new varieties of crops using traditional 
> cross-breeding methods. The reported aim is to exploit 
> scientists' newly-obtained knowledge of plant DNA while 
> avoiding the controversial use of genetic engineering, 
> which has led to widescale protests over the planting of 
> test crops. The company is said to hope that by combining 
> traditional plant-breeding techniques with modern 
> biological knowledge it can reverse the opposition to 
> biotechnology sweeping Britain and Europe. The idea was 
> discussed this month at a series of meetings between senior 
> company executives and environmental groups, reports said. 
> 
> Monsanto president Hendrik Verfaillie is said to have 
> presented the plan to Patrick Holden of the Soil 
> Association at one session, asking if it would meet 
> environmental and consumer concerns. Mr Holden described 
> the meeting as "hugely significant" and told BBC Radio 5 
> Live it represented a change in policy for the company 
> based in St Louis, Missouri. He said: "They suggested they 
> could investigate the possibility of using their very 
> detailed knowledge of the genome for applications in the 
> development of new seeds for use in sustainable and organic 
> farming systems. "It was a very civilised meeting. I felt 
> that they had been shocked and completely taken by surprise 
> at the strength of public reaction against genetic 
> engineering in Europe. "I did emerge from the meeting with 
> a very clear impression that they are prepared to rethink 
> their position fundamentally, out of an awareness that 
> Europe has said no to genetic engineering and perhaps a 
> fear that the North American public might follow suit." 
> 
> The company said it had entered into "a stakeholder 
> dialogue with interested parties". "Working together with 
> them, Monsanto hopes to resolve existing problems and 
> prevent new ones, using the relevant experience, diverse 
> knowledge and expertise of such parties," it said. The 
> company had approached the Environment Council as 
> independent facilitators to explore the viability of such a 
> dialogue on the issues surrounding genetically modified 
> organisms, it added. UK director of corporate affairs Tony 
> Combes said it would be totally inappropriate to comment on 
> any other discussions that may or may not have taken place. 
> "We were pleased to talk with the Soil Association and after 
> a free and frank exchange of views, we now have a much 
> better understanding of the issues. It is hoped that 
> further dialogue may take place." 
> 
> Mr Combes also said that Monsanto chairman Bob Shapiro had 
> been invited to appear at an annual Greenpeace business 
> conference early next month to discuss genetically modified 
> organisms and other issues. Greenpeace was unavailable for 
> comment. Executive News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 
2)09/26 1426 UK Protesters Dressed As Cows Tell Blair: No GM 

 BOURNEMOUTH, England (Reuters) - Hundreds of protesters 
> opposed to genetically modified foods marched to the annual 
> conference of Britain's ruling Labor party Sunday dressed 
> as cows and chickens, with one message for the government 
> -- "say no to GM." 
> 
> Five hundred people, including small children, gathered 
> outside Labour's centennial conference in a carnival-like 
> atmosphere to ram home fears about the safety of GM 
> technology. They called on Prime Minister Tony Blair to end 
> the sale of GM food and crop trials and referred to a list 
> of 100 world scientists calling for a five-year moratorium 
> on all GM testing. The procession of farmyard animals 
> against so-called "Frankenstein foods" broke into song and 
> dance, before presenting a petition of between 10,000 and 
> 15,000 signatures to the government. The demonstrators' 
> repertoire included "Old Monsanto had a farm," an 
> adaptation of a children's rhyme in reference to one of the 
> leading players in the GM food industry -- Monsanto Co of 
> the United States. Inside the conference, Blair told a 
> question and answer session that the government's only 
> priority was to do the right thing, "even if it's not the 
> most popular thing to do." 
> 
> The government has found itself under severe fire from the 
> anti-GM lobby in recent months after agreeing to limited 
> test trials of GM crops to determine whether the technology 
> is safe. Blair has had to balance the safety concerns of 
> consumers with a desire for Britain to remain at the 
> cutting edge of GM technology -- potentially a hugely 
> lucrative market. The issue has even penetrated the 
> canteens of the House of Commons, which have put up signs 
> saying that food served to Britain's lawmakers is GM-free. 
> 
> Blair faces further farmyard flak Monday when thousands of 
> farmers are expected to march to the conference to protest 
> against government red tape and the strong pound which are 
> crippling British farming. 
> 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 
3) 09/26 DJ Bayer Chmn: More Emphasis On Life-Science Ops - Magazine FRANKFURT
(Dow Jones)--

German hybrid chemicals and pharmaceuticals group Bayer AG (G.BAY) will put
more 
> emphasis on its life-science activities in the coming 
> years, Bayer Chairman Manfred Schneider said in an 
> interview with German weekly magazine Euro am Sonntag. 
> 
> "While we will remain a chemical-pharmaceutical company, we 
> want to enhance our life-sciences activities to clearly 
> above 50% from the current 36%," of the total company 
> activities, Schneider was quoted as saying. Bayer 
> spokespeople weren't immediately available to confirm the 
> accuracy of the statements. Life science includes 
> agriculture and health products. Schneider noted that the 
> surge in prices for petrochemicals will translate into 
> additional cost of around EUR50 million for Bayer's 
> chemical section this year. "But that will be compensated 
> by cuts in prices for other raw materials," Schneider said. 
> Asked what he plans to do to improve Bayer's pharmaceutical 
> business from the current No. 16 among makers of 
> pharmaceuticals worldwide, Schneider said "We're not in an 
> emergency situation." 
> 
> "But if we get a chance to expand our pharmaceutical 
> activities via an acquisition or a cooperation, we'll do 
> that when the opportunity arises," Schneider was quoted as 
> saying. He noted that Bayer would be able to pay an amount 
> in the double-digit-billion euro area for an acquisition in 
> the pharmaceuticals sector. Schneider also said Bayer's 
> pharmaceutical products have potential sales of up to EUR7 
> billion until the year 2005. Asked when the company plans 
> to sell its remaining 30% stake in Belgian photo-imaging 
> group Agfa-Gevaert AG (B.AGF), Schneider noted that the 
> timing will depend on how Agfa develops after its 
> restructuring this year and next. "The stake is bound to 
> stay with us until mid-2000. We aren't under any time 
> pressure to sell," Schneider said. He noted that he doesn't 
> see the danger of Bayer being a takeover target by another 
> company. -By Ulrike 
> Dauer;49-69-29725-500;ulrike.dauer@dowjones.com (END) DOW 
> JONES NEWS 09-26-99 12:26 PM Copyright 1999 Dow Jones & 
> Co., Inc. All rights reserved. Executive News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

4)09/26 1701 PANTOMIME COWS STOP TRAFFIC IN CONFERENCE DEMO By Michael Clarke,
Deputy Political Editor, PA News 

A herd of pantomime cows led several hundred protesters today in a 
> demonstration against genetically modified foods that 
> brought traffic to a halt outside the Labour Party 
> conference. The demonstrators, about 100 of them dressed as 
> cows, were calling for the removal of GM crops from animal 
> feed. The march through Bournemouth town centre came to a 
> halt outside the Bournemouth International Centre shortly 
> after Labour's centenary party conference got under way. 
> 
> The protesters were due to hand in a petition with a 
> claimed 15,000 signatures against so-called Frankenstein 
> food. The demonstration, which was accompanied by a heavy 
> police presence including mounted officers, was good 
> natured, with music and singing. It came as supermarkets, 
> led by Marks & Spencer and Iceland, start removing 
> GM-reared products from selected stores. Ray Foulk of the 
> GMO campaign in Oxford said earlier: "Human immunity to 
> antibiotics is already occurring due to a build-up through 
> their use in livestock as a growth agent. "Fears are that 
> GM animal feed will compound this existing problem, 
> bringing forward the day when antibiotic medicines no 
> longer work as treatments for human diseases." 
> 
> Protesters say little is known about the behaviour of GM 
> material in the human or animal gut and no one can vouch 
> for the safety of the animal or the human consumer. The 
> event was the first in a series of protests taking place in 
> Bournemouth to coincide with the conference. Tomorrow will 
> see 10,000 members of the National Farmers Union congregate 
> at the seaside town to highlight the critical state of 
> Britain's agricultural industry. On Tuesday, some 16,000 
> protesters will be gathered by the Countryside Alliance to 
> demonstrate against the proposed government ban on fox 
> hunting. In today's demonstration, as the protesters paused 
> outside the conference centre, the pantomime cows held up 
> placards spelling out the message: "Tony, Tony, give us 
> your answer do, we're half crazy from eating this GMOOOO." 
> Protesters chanted the same slogan. Veteran Labour 
> leftwinger Tony Benn, MP for Chesterfield, addressed the 
> crowd of some 500 and criticised the American GM food giant 
> Monsanto. "It's really about whether we are going to let 
> Monsanto run the world or whether we expect to be defended 
> by the Government that we elect," Mr Benn said, to applause. 
> "I don't believe that there is a third way between GM and 
> non-GM foods. "The Cabinet has to take a choice - whose side 
> is it on?" The demonstrators were due to move off to a 
> nearby square to hear more speeches. Behind them another 
> demonstration, said by police to be some 5,000 strong, was 
> waiting to march on the conference. That gathering was 
> organised by Lobby '99, an umbrella group for some leftwing 
> organisations, calling for the Government to pursue Green 
> Party spokesman Mike Woodin told the anti-GM rally: "I look 
> forward to the day when the supporters of Monsanto have to 
> lobby the Labour Party conference because we don't let them 
> import their products into this country. "The tide is 
> turning. We are winning this debate." 
> 
> Campaign organiser Sebastian Kelly accused Mr Blair of 
> being a "stupid idiot for trying to get into the 
> multi-nationals' knickers and Bill Clinton's bed". Mr Kelly 
> then read a poem addressed to the Prime Minister: "For a GM 
> free world do I hanker; "Come on Tony, you know it's a 
> banker "If you won't heed the cry and keep feeding us lies 
> "I'll have to conclude you're a ... waste of space." 
> 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 

5) 09/26 1456 GM RESEARCH GIANT OFFERS HELP TO ENVIRONMENTALISTS By Padraic
Flanagan, PA News 

The US 
> biotech giant Monsanto was today reported to be looking at 
> ways to meet the concerns of environmentalists over 
> genetically-modified food. The firm, which has led research 
> into the controversial science, has offered to use its vast 
> databases to help plant breeders create new varieties of 
> crops using traditional cross-breeding methods. The aim is 
> to exploit scientists' newly obtained knowledge of plant 
> DNA while avoiding the controversial use of genetic 
> engineering, which has led to widescale protests over the 
> planting of test crops. The company hopes that by combining 
> traditional plant- breeding techniques with modern 
> biological knowledge it can reverse the opposition to 
> biotechnology sweeping Britain and Europe. The idea was 
> discussed this month at a series of meetings between senior 
> company executives and environmental groups. At one 
> session, Monsanto's president Hendrik Verfaillie presented 
> the plan to Patrick Holden of the Soil Association, asking 
> if it would meet environmental and consumer concerns. Mr 
> Holden described the meeting as "hugely significant" and 
> told BBC Radio 5 Live it represented a change in policy for 
> the company based in St Louis, Missouri. He said: "They 
> suggested they could investigate the possibility of using 
> their very detailed knowledge of the genome for 
> applications in the development of new seeds for use in 
> sustainable and organic farming systems. "It was a very 
> civilised meeting. I felt that they had been shocked and 
> completely taken by surprise at the strength of public 
> reaction against genetic engineering in Europe. "I did 
> emerge from the meeting with a very clear impression that 
> they are prepared to rethink their position fundamentally, 
> out of an awareness that Europe has said no to genetic 
> engineering and perhaps a fear that the North American 
> public might follow suit." 
> 
> Monsanto later confirmed that it had entered into "a 
> stakeholder dialogue with interested parties". "Working 
> together with them, Monsanto hopes to resolve existing 
> problems and prevent new ones, using the relevant 
> experience, diverse knowledge and expertise of such 
> parties," it said. The company had approached the 
> Environment Council as independent facilitators to explore 
> the viability of such a dialogue on the issues surrounding 
> genetically modified organisms, it added. UK director of 
> corporate affairs, Tony Combes, said it would be totally 
> inappropriate to comment on any other discussions that may 
> or may not have taken place. "We were pleased to talk with 
> the Soil Association and after a free and frank exchange of 
> views, we now have a much better understanding of the 
> issues. It is hoped that further dialogue may take place." 
> 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 

6) Monsanto rethinking UK GM strategy-paper LONDON, Sept 26  (Reuters) - 
U.S. biotechnology group Monsanto Co is 
> considering a major rethink of its strategy on genetically- 
> modified food in Britain, the Observer newspaper said on 
> Sunday. The paper said the company, a major player in the 
> GM food industry, had offered to use its databases to help 
> plant breeders create new varieties of crops using 
> traditional cross- breeding rather than controversial 
> genetic modification. "The company believes that by 
> combining old plant-breeding techniques with modern 
> biological knowledge it can defuse the surge of "bio-angst" 
> now sweeping Europe," the paper said. The British 
> government has come under heavy fire from the anti-GM lobby 
> in recent months after agreeing to limited test trials of 
> GM crops to determine whether the technology is safe. The 
> Observer said on Sunday that Monsanto's aim was to exploit 
> biologists' newly obtained knowledge of plant DNA while 
> avoiding the use of genetic modification. The idea was 
> proposed this month by senior Monsanto executives at a 
> series of secret meetings with environmental groups, 
> including the Soil Association, an organic farming campaign 
> group. "What was said has huge significance. It shows that 
> Monsanto is thinking about reversing their whole strategy. 
> 
> We believe Monsanto is open to a full rethink of what it 
> is doing," Patrick Holden of the Soil Association told the 
> Observer. The new technique would centre on exploiting 
> genomics - the ability to map out the genetic make up of 
> organisms. The genetic profiles of different varieties 
> within a species of plant would be fed into a computer. 
> 
> Farmers could then go to companies like Monsanto and 
> scientists could use the database to cross-breed varieties 
> to answer specific problems. 
> 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 

7)09/26 0605 COWS AND CHICKENS' PROTEST AGAINST GM FEED By Tim Clarke, PA
News 

A herd of 200 pantomime cows were today 
> grazing their way through Bournemouth town centre as part 
> of a national campaign against genetically modified farm 
> animal feed. Coaches have been arranged from 25 towns and 
> cities across southern England to get Daisy, Buttercup and 
> friends to the event at the Bournemouth International 
> Centre ahead of the start of the Labour Party conference. 
> 
> Thousands of consumers, many in farmyard costume, will 
> demonstrate their concern about the widespread use of GM 
> material, in both home-grown and imported dairy and meat 
> products. The Bournemouth protest will take the form of a 
> farmyard carnival procession with a herd of 200 pantomime 
> cows, 100 costume chickens and representations of GM-fed 
> Scottish salmon. The event coincides with current moves by 
> supermarkets, led by Marks & Spencer and Iceland, to start 
> removing GM-reared products from selected stores. Ray Foulk 
> of the GMO campaign in Oxford said: "Human immunity to 
> antibiotics is already occurring due to a build-up through 
> their use in livestock as a growth agent. "Fears are that 
> GM animal feed will compound this existing problem, 
> bringing forward the day when antibiotic medicines no 
> longer work as treatments for human diseases." 
> 
> Protesters say little is known about the behaviour of GM 
> material in the human or animal gut and no one can vouch 
> for the safety of the animal or the human consumer. The 
> event is the first in a series of protests taking place in 
> Bournemouth to coincide with the Labour Party Conference. 
> 
> Tomorrow will see 10,000 members of the National Farmers 
> Union congregate at the seaside town to highlight the 
> critical state of Britain's agricultural industry. On 
> Tuesday 16,000 protesters will be gathered by the 
> Countryside Alliance to demonstrate against the proposed 
> government ban on fox hunting. ends Executive News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

8) 09/26 0033 U.S. Denies Any Plan For Biotech Food Labels By  Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON (Reuters) - 

Clinton administration 
> officials Friday quickly shot down a suggestion the United 
> States will offer a proposal in upcoming world trade talks 
> for labeling food products made from genetically modified 
> crops. "That is absolutely not the case," Peter Scher, 
> special U.S. ambassador for agricultural trade, told 
> Reuters in response to earlier comments made by an 
> agriculture industry consultant. "We have no plans to bring 
> a labeling proposal." 
> 
> Genetically modified crops, such as new corn and soybean 
> varieties planted in the United States since 1996, contain 
> genes borrowed from other organisms to increase their 
> resistance to herbicides and pests. European consumers, in 
> particular, have been wary of the new technology and want 
> labels on foods containing genetically modified organisms 
> (GMOs). Rules the crops and other GMOs are expected to be a 
> hot topic at World Trade Organization (WTO) talks that 
> begin in Seattle in late November. Charles Benbrook, a 
> biotechnology consultant, ignited the rush of Clinton 
> administration denials after he told reporters that 
> officials from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration, the 
> Environmental Protection Agency and the Agriculture 
> Department had agreed earlier this week to develop a 
> labeling proposal. "Things will move slowly, as they always 
> do. But there definitely was a major breakthrough," said 
> Benbrook, who once headed an agriculture research panel for 
> the National Academy of Sciences. He spoke at a news 
> conference with representatives from the American Corn 
> Growers Association and the National Family Farm Coalition, 
> two groups critical of current farm policy that expressed 
> their concerns about genetically modified crops. Several 
> other farm groups such as the National Corn Growers 
> Association, the American Soybean Association and the 
> American Farm Bureau Federation have embraced the new 
> technology . Benbrook said the United States was rushing to 
> try to develop a labeling proposal to take to Seattle. The 
> United State risks walking into a "bee's nest" at that 
> meeting because it is nearly alone in its opposition to 
> labeling, he said. But Ruth Welch, a spokeswoman for FDA, 
> the federal agency in charge of food labeling, said 
> Benbrook was simply wrong. "There is no agreement on 
> labeling," she said. Current FDA policy requires a label on 
> food products containing GMOs only if the nutritional 
> content of the food was changed, an allergen introduced, or 
> cooking or storage procedures need to be altered. In the 
> vast majority of cases, a label is not required because FDA 
> sees no significant difference between food made from 
> genetically modified crops and traditional varieties. Andy 
> Solomon, a spokesman for the Agriculture Department, also 
> denied a labeling agreement had been reached. However, 
> there have been interagency meetings on issues surrounding 
> genetically modified crops for months, he said. In the WTO 
> talks, the U.S. focus will be to ensure "the regulatory 
> system for the approval of these technologies are based on 
> science and are transparent in order to assure consumers 
> about the safety of these products," Scher said. U.S. corn 
> farmers have lost about $200 million in annual sales to the 
> European Union in recent years because the European 
> Commission has been much slower to approve new varieties 
> than have U.S. regulatory officials. Meanwhile, Benbrook 
> stands by his remarks, said Tom Lalley, an aide with 
> Environmental Media Services, which arranged the morning 
> press conference. Benbrook learned his information from a 
> "key USDA official, who told him about a White House 
> meeting earlier this week" to discuss labeling, Lalley 
> said. He expects the Clinton administration to publish a 
> labeling proposal before the Seattle WTO meeting, which 
> begins on Nov. 30, Lalley said. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

9) The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 26, 1999 A food for the millennium:
Ontario wheat breeder reproduces  ancient grain that turned Stone Age nomads
into farmers BY  Kathryn May 
Dexter Sampson is trying to turn back the clock 
> 10,000 years to find the best thing before sliced bread. A 
> decade ago, the retired wheat breeder began his search for 
> a way to make Einkorn, the primitive wild wheat that turned 
> Stone Age nomads into farmers, a food for the millennium. 
> 
> He has developed a variety that will put Einkorn into 
> Canadian fields for the first time in history. It could fit 
> perfectly into a growing specialty market for fibre-rich 
> ancient grains and the rising consumer backlash against 
> genetically engineered foods. But the intrigue surrounding 
> Mr. Sampson's new variety is whether this resurrected crop 
> will be safer and more digestible for the growing number of 
> Canadians who are allergic or sensitive to wheat. Ralph 
> Knowles, a semi-retired grain processor, is betting the farm 
> Mr. Sampson is right. He's kicking in funding to help 
> Agriculture Canada test the quality and properties of Mr. 
> 
> Sampson's new variety -- which has been named after Mr. 
> Knowles -- and plans to grow a first commercial crop in 
> Ontario this year. So what made a scientist, who devoted a 
> career to manipulating strains of wheat for bigger and 
> better crops, search for a crop made by Mother Nature? Mr. 
> 
> Sampson marks history through the evolution of wheat. He 
> knows how many times wheat and its crop failures have 
> dominated Canada's political stage. He knows that the 
> earliest strains of wheat gave birth to modern agriculture, 
> allowing nomadic man to settle down, form communities and 
> build economies. He also can describe how the unruly 
> peasant riots that sparked the French Revolution or the 
> notorious witch trials in Salem may have been linked to crop 
> failures caused by the fungus ergot -- the hallucinatory 
> agent in LSD. But Mr. Sampson long wondered whether Einkorn 
> could be revived as an alternative crop or as a way to 
> enhance today's bread and pasta wheats. Einkorn is 
> considered the ``great, great grandfather'' of modern 
> wheats. It accounts for one-third of the genetic makeup of 
> today's wheat. ``I suppose I'm doing it because it's there. 
> Why do people climb Everest? I guess there must be a 
> certain amount of madness when you try to revive a failed 
> technology,'' said Mr. Sampson. ``The big question is why 
> did it go out of cultivation. It was grown in Europe until 
> the last century and there's still some grown in a few 
> isolated places, but it is not a feature of modern 
> agriculture and I want to know what they left behind and if 
> it had anything that can be used today.'' Einkorn fell out 
> of favour because better wheats came along. Its drawback 
> was a puny soft grain that was covered in a tough 
> armour-like hull that made it difficult and costly to 
> harvest, clean and mill. Although highly resistant to 
> mildew and rust, it's susceptible to ergot. It also only 
> produces a fraction of today's high-yielding grains, making 
> it difficult to recover costs. That's what Mr. Sampson was 
> up against when he retired from Agriculture Canada in 1990 
> with the promise of an office and patch of land to pursue 
> his Einkorn revival -- on his own time. ``He's a bit like a 
> voice in the wilderness'' said fellow plant breeder Vern 
> Burrows. ``It's a herculean task to resurrect something 
> that was deliberately left behind. There are so many 
> questions.'' But scientists argue this type of work is 
> critical to preserving biodiversity. With a handful of 
> species feeding most of the world, the global food supply 
> is becoming dangerously narrowed to a small pool of genetic 
> stock. Einkorn grew wild in the ``Fertile Crescent,'' the 
> swath of land considered the cradle of modern agriculture 
> that extends from southeast Turkey across northern Syria 
> and Iraq, and ends in western Iran. The leap from wild to 
> cultivated einkorn was likely a fluke when early farmers 
> unknowingly picked the varieties that produced the heavier 
> seeds that didn't fall on the ground when ripe. This 
> allowed them to harvest the grain and also collect the 
> seeds for further plantings. Einkorn then spread into the 
> Balkans, Germany and France. But because of its tough hull, 
> it was used primarily as a livestock feed and for porridge 
> and soup until the turn of the century when the primitive 
> variety disappeared in the post-war boom for fast-cooking 
> foods. Einkorn has all but slipped into the history books 
> until a Russian expedition discovered a new type growing 
> wild in Turkey in 1926 that had a soft papery hull that 
> freely peeled off half the seeds during threshing. This 
> discovery was a key to Einkorn's possible commercial 
> revival, but remained a secret until Russian scientists 
> published its findings in 1975. In 1988, Mr. Sampson got 
> some of the seed found by the Russians from a fellow 
> scientist at the University of California, which he began 
> crossing with the standard tough-hulled einkorn varieties. 
> 
> Eleven years later, Mr. Sampson has developed a 
> higher-yielding variety with a bigger, plumper grain in 
> which nearly 75 per cent of the hulls are removed during 
> threshing. The hulls of the remaining 25 per cent can be 
> shed by milling machines. Those improvements are enough for 
> Mr. Knowles to give Einkorn a go. Since hearing about Mr. 
> 
> Sampson's work three years ago, Mr. Knowles has contracted 
> farmers to grow Mr. Sampson's wheat and has footed the bill 
> to harvest, clean, mill and process the grain at his plant, 
> Gilbertson and Page in Fergus, Ont. He reduced the cooking 
> time to 15 minutes. He ground it, roasted it, flaked it, 
> baked it and even brewed it in beer. He tested the 
> yellow-brown flour in old Mennonite bread recipes, and the 
> coconut-like flakes in cookies, biscuits, granola and 
> crisps. ``Here's something very ancient that fell by the 
> wayside because of an inability to exploit it commercially 
> but with current technology we can get at it and open up 
> new possibilities,'' said Mr. Knowles. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

10)The Ottawa Citizen Sunday, September 26, 1999 `Gene wars' loom on
horizon BY
Ian MacLeod 
> Warfare could break out in the coming century if 
> corporations continue to stake patent claims on the world's 
> gene pool, a leading biotechnology activist predicts. ``If 
> this generation allows the gene pool to be reduced to 
> political or fiduciary intellectual property, our kids are 
> going to see gene wars in the 21st century,'' said Jeremy 
> Rifkin, president of the Foundation on Economic Trends in 
> Washington, D.C. and a noted author on issues dealing with 
> science, technology and culture. ``Just as we fought wars 
> during the mercantile era over silver and gold, wars over 
> oil and minerals in the industrial era, if the gene pool is 
> reduced from a commons to political or intellectual 
> property, there's going to be great global conflict and 
> millions of people are going to suffer and die.'' The 
> prediction was one of several made by the outspoken and 
> controversial Mr. Rifkin during an interview with the 
> Citizen about the dangers he sees lurking in the rich new 
> biotech frontier of genetic commerce. Already, Canada, the 
> United States and other industrialized nations are allowing 
> human, animal and plant genes to be patented by 
> corporations and research institutes. ``This is not about 
> the cloning of a sheep,'' said Mr. Rifkin. ``It's not about 
> a medical therapy. This is a great shift to a new economic 
> epic in history,'' in which genes and computers will become 
> the currency and language that shape a new age. But before 
> arriving there, he said, new laws and international 
> treaties are needed to prevent the so-called ``biotech 
> century'' from turning the world into an alien place where 
> life is drastically reorganized at the genetic level and 
> then claimed as intellectual property. He's already pushing 
> for such limits. In 1998, he and Dr. Stuart Newman, a New 
> York City cellular biologist, applied to patent a 
> scientific technique to create a half-human, half-animal 
> creature from a single animal-human embryo. The proposed 
> entity -- part human, part chimpanzee, part pig -- was 
> dubbed a chimera after the fire-breathing monster in Greek 
> mythology that had the head of a lion, the body of a goat 
> and the tail of a serpent. Mr. Rifkin and Dr. Newman had no 
> intention of ever conceiving such a beast. Rather, they 
> wanted to stop the growing commercial interest in creating 
> and patenting transgenic animals, which typically contain a 
> foreign gene from another animal or a human, and are used 
> in medical research. Unlike Canada, the U.S. allows patents 
> on transgenic animals. But in June, the U.S. Patent and 
> Trademark Office rejected their patent claim. Among other 
> reasons, it ruled the chimera was too human to be 
> patentable. But it didn't define what ``human'' means. Mr. 
> 
> Rifkin and Dr. Newman celebrated. Now they're entitled to a 
> series of legal challenges, which the Washington Post 
> predicts could take the case to the U.S. Supreme Court. And 
> Mr. Rifkin hopes the case will, at the very least, define 
> just how much human genetic material a transgenic animal 
> can contain before it's too human to be patented. It's all 
> part of a broader strategy to do away with patents on 
> living entities and to establish a global genetic 
> conservancy. ``We need a global treaty, as we did with 
> Antarctica,'' to protect the world's communal gene pool, 
> Mr. Rifkin said. ``No country owns (Antarctica), no company 
> can own it, but it can be scientifically explored as a 
> shared trust on behalf of the whole human race.'' He also 
> believes a genetic-rights movement will soon take hold. ``I 
> think genetic rights is going to loom as significantly on 
> the political agenda for this generation and the next 10 
> generations, as civil rights and gender rights and human 
> rights and anti-colonial liberation struggles were over the 
> last 200 years.'' And ``if the Canadian government wants to 
> have great debate, make it a parliamentary debate, and ask 
> the Canadian people: `Do you want the genes, the 
> chromosomes, the cells, the organs, the organisms, the 
> species, to be patented?' ``If you bring it (public 
> opinion) to a legislative decision, no country in the world 
> is ever going to allows patents. ``And that's what the 
> industry is afraid of.'' [Entered September 26, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
11) Calgary Herald Saturday, September 25, 1999 Agro-Terror: A biological
attack on the food supply could be * as ruinous as nuclear war BY Steve
Goldstein, Knight Ridder Newspapers 

At the end of a lane on this sprawling 
> U.S. Army installation, American scientists once stockpiled 
> a fungus designed to destroy the Soviet wheat crop. Here 
> they developed the so-called ``feather bomb,'' a weapon 
> loaded with turkey feathers carrying killer spores of stem 
> rust of wheat. ``I'm sure,'' said Charles Kingsolver, 85, 
> one of the few surviving researchers on the program, ``we 
> could have caused considerable damage.'' Now, 30 years 
> after the United States ended its biological weapons 
> program, scientists are preparing to counter the potential 
> threat to the world's food supply from the deliberate 
> introduction of deadly organisms. The horror of bio-warfare 
> has traditionally meant the use against humans of fatal 
> agents like anthrax, smallpox or plague. But agro-terror is 
> simpler, less expensive, and devastating. If bio-weapons 
> are the poor man's nuclear weapon, then anti-crop agents 
> are time bombs designed to implode a nation's economy. 
> 
> ``Plant pathogens could be much easier to use than other 
> weapons of mass destruction, and they would cause more 
> damage to the food supply and the economy,'' said Norman 
> Schaad, a research plant pathologist at the U.S. 
> 
> Agriculture Department's lab at Ft. Detrick. A United 
> Nations working paper, subject to intense debate, has named 
> 10 international crop diseases that have weapons potential. 
> More significantly, most -- if not all -- countries with 
> bio-warfare programs have created weapons specifically for 
> attacking crops and animals, said Thomas Frazier, an 
> agro-terror expert who consults for the USDA. Recent 
> revelations about the Soviet anti-crop program, designed to 
> destroy wheat, corn, rye and rice, have raised new concerns. 
> Ken Alibek, former deputy chief of the Soviet biological 
> weapons program who defected in 1992, has publicly stated 
> his doubts that Russian stockpiles have been eliminated. 
> 
> Iraq had an anti-crop program that featured wheat smut 
> which it planned to use it in the 1980s against Iran. 
> 
> Called ``Agent D,'' it reduces crop yields and produces a 
> flammable gas that may blow up harvesting equipment. The 
> Iraqis also produced T-2-mycotoxin from a fungus that grows 
> in plants and is harmful to humans. The fungus that 
> produces T-2 mycotoxin can infect wheat, peanuts and other 
> grains. Grain contaminated with T-2 is believed to have 
> killed one of every 10 people in the Russian town of 
> Orenburg in the 1940s, according to a recently published 
> book by the National Academy of Sciences. Experts believe 
> that since UNSCOM weapons inspections ended last December, 
> Iraq has continued work on its bio-warfare program. ``If 
> they haven't been, they're crazier than I think they are,'' 
> said Dick Spertzel, a former UNSCOM bioweapons inspector now 
> consulting with the agency. ``They are doing something, 
> even if it's just research.'' The threat is not limited to 
> rogue nations, state-supported terrorists or Osama bin 
> Laden's al-Qaeda organization. Economic motives apply as 
> well. ``The threat hasn't changed in 50 years, but it could 
> be used in certain circumstances,'' said Raymond Zilinskas, 
> a microbiologist at the University of Maryland. 
> 
> ``Anti-smoking fanatics could release tobacco-blue-mold 
> disease in the Carolinas. An agricultural conglomerate 
> could wipe out a competitor.'' A crop attack might look 
> like a natural epidemic, which would divert attention from 
> the perpetrators. The consequences would be disastrous for 
> a poor nation if, for example, rice blast -- a fungus -- 
> were used to wipe out its staple crop. Such a country, 
> wrote British plant pathologist Paul Rogers, ``could well 
> experience famine that would be at least as costly, in 
> human terms, as an anthrax attack on a city.'' ``We think 
> that some group that wants to introduce plant pathogens 
> could do so rather easily without being detected,'' said 
> Larry Madden, an Ohio State University plant pathologist. 
> 
> Madden, who spoke at a recent symposium on agro-terror in 
> Montreal, described a scenario in which infected wheat seed 
> is brought into the United States. Only a small amount 
> would be needed and the chances of it being caught by a 
> dwindling number of inspectors is quite small. Adding to 
> concerns about new plant pathogens is the fact that an 
> increasingly large percentage of seeds used in the United 
> States are grown overseas. The USDA's Schaad said America 
> ``is very lax'' in its seed control. ``The Animal and Plant 
> Health Inspection Service has a mandate to assay seeds for 
> these pathogens, but they do not,'' said Schaad. ``They 
> visually inspect for insects.'' Infected seed was 
> responsible for an epidemic of watermelon fruit blotch in 
> the 1980s that destroyed nearly one-third of the crop in 
> Georgia, South Carolina and Florida. The germ plasm for the 
> seed originally came from Iran in the 1960s, Schaad said, 
> but there was no deliberate sabotage attempt. The list of 
> deliberate crop attacks is growing, however. In 1977, 
> rebels in Uganda threatened to poison that nation's coffee 
> and tea crops. From 1977 to 1979, Palestinian terrorists or 
> their sympathizers contaminated Israeli oranges with liquid 
> mercury, which caused Israel to cut back its exports to 
> Europe by 40 per cent. This summer, a scandal involving 
> dioxin contamination of chicken feed in Belgium triggered 
> the resignation of key political leaders and the governing 
> party's loss at the polls shortly thereafter. Despite these 
> incidents, a presidential directive titled ``Critical 
> Infrastructure Protection'' issued by the White House two 
> years ago did not list agriculture as requiring enhanced 
> security. ``I'm not convinced that the government has fully 
> embraced it (the threat) yet,'' said the FBI's Randall 
> Murch, the bureau's deputy lab director, who is responsible 
> for detecting an agro-terror attack. ``The public 
> understands a terrorist attack on the Olympics, but not on 
> someone's farm.'' Murch, who studied plant pathology, said 
> crop and food supply attacks pose a problem because the 
> U.S. has relatively open borders and would-be terrorists do 
> not need much technical expertise. The consequences, he 
> noted, could include havoc in the import-export market as 
> crops are quarantined and a loss of public confidence in 
> the food supply. Kingsolver was recruited by then-Camp 
> Detrick in 1951, eight years after the United States began 
> developing ways to attack enemies with biological weapons. 
> 
> He joined 20 other scientists in the crops division in 
> Building 321, and worked on diseases that attack wheat and 
> rye. ``We understood completely that our job was to develop 
> a biological weapon to destroy crops,'' said Kingsolver, an 
> avuncular, professorial man who still lives near Ft. 
> 
> Detrick. They also understood their mission was highly 
> secret. Kingsolver said he still doesn't know how close 
> they came to deploying stem rust on the Soviet wheat crop, 
> a decision that rested with President Dwight Eisenhower. 
> 
> One delivery system used unmanned hydrogen-filled balloons 
> that carried dispensers to release anti-crop agents. The 
> most novel innovation was the feather bomb, which featured a 
> 500-pound aerial bomb ordinarily used to dispense propaganda 
> leaflets. The bomb was packed with turkey feathers infused 
> with the dust of fungal spores. The feathers were released 
> at high altitudes, drifting over a wide area and coating 
> leaves with spores. ``When I came to Detrick, the feather 
> bomb was already considered THE weapon,'' Kingsolver said, 
> although it was later abandoned as not reliable. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

12) September 23, 1999 - Nebraska Farmland FeatureCrop biotechnology improves,
leaves questions BYLINE: By ANDY RAUN DATELINE: GRAND ISLAND, Neb. 
BODY: For American farmers, advances in crop 
> biotechnology are among the hallmarks of the 1990s. Farmers 
> have been introduced to advances such as Bt technology, 
> which renders corn resistant to European corn borer, and 
> Roundup Ready soybeans and corn, which can live through 
> field treatments with the Roundup herbicide when 
> conventional hybrid crops would die. Farmers have paid a 
> premium for the advanced technology, but many have accepted 
> the added cost as an investment in efficiency that 
> ultimately should help their bottom line. However, 
> resistance to the importation of genetically modified 
> organisms is mounting in Europe and elsewhere around the 
> globe. Officials in those countries cite concerns for human 
> health and the environment. The organisms are supposed to 
> be the wave of the future for agriculture. But world 
> resistance threatens U.S. export markets, and it leaves 
> players in the production chain, from seed growers to grain 
> elevator managers, wondering how they can satisfy everyone. 
> "It has surfaced as one of the primary issues we're dealing 
> with right now," said Don Hutchens, Nebraska Corn Board 
> executive director. "It has surfaced very quickly as 
> something that takes on a new life every day." Seed company 
> representatives in the state admit they hear plenty of 
> discussion about the dilemma. Several agreed the 
> controversy is less critical to producers in Nebraska and 
> the western Corn Belt than in areas farther east because a 
> relatively large percentage of its grain is fed to cattle 
> in feedlots rather than exported. "Right now, about all the 
> seed companies are in the same situation," said Dave Hill, 
> Garst Seed Co. field business manager in Grand Island. 
> 
> "They will not have enough seed to supply people." 
> In the current market environment, with prices for corn, 
> soybeans and other commodities running below the cost of 
> production, more attention is focused on adding value to 
> Nebraska ag products, through processing or through identity 
> preservation. Examples of identity-preserved grains are 
> high-oil, high-lysine or food-grade corn that is kept 
> separate from standard grains and then sold for a premium 
> to end users. Hutchens and Merlyn Carlson, state 
> agriculture director, agreed resistance to genetically 
> modified organisms is driven primarily by foreign 
> governments anxious to keep U.S. ag products out of their 
> countries. After three consecutive years of huge world crop 
> production, they said, grain-importing nations can pick and 
> choose grain. "If the supply of grain in the world got 
> tight, the issue would basically go away," said John 
> McNamara of Omaha, and agronomist for Monsanto Corp., which 
> manufactures Roundup herbicide. McNamara and other seed 
> representatives agreed that because so much of the seed 
> being grown this summer for the 2000 crop is genetically 
> modified, farmers may have a hard time shifting all their 
> acres back to conventional seed. Doug Gloystein of 
> Hastings, regional agronomist for NC+, said that while 
> current demand for genetically modified products may sag, 
> seed companies cannot abandon their research and 
> development. "The material we're working on right now is 
> five to 10 years in the future," Gloystein said. "To stop 
> now would be a real mistake." 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

13) The Grocer September 25, 1999 Calmer patterns allow planning 

BODY: As the 
> worldwide effects of El Nino diminish, reports of fishing 
> patterns returning to normal are giving canners the 
> opportunity to plan their production schedules more 
> accurately. Morocco, traditionally a major supplier of 
> sardines to the UK, has been badly hit in the last two 
> years by a shortage of fish. Shoals have moved northwards, 
> making catching more difficult for the Moroccan based 
> fleets. Portugal has benefited, say UK importers who have 
> purchased the majority of their requirements from Portugal 
> recently. The return to normal fishing also means the 
> Moroccans should be more competitive in the months ahead, 
> but premium label suppliers seem to maintain a preference 
> for the Portuguese products on the grounds of fresh versus 
> frozen. Tuna raw material prices remain depressed and with 
> most of the skipjack being caught weighing below average, 
> the cost of production has increased considerably. Sources 
> in Thailand quote production costs up 30% on last year, due 
> to the price of fish. Another added cost is the switch from 
> soya to sunflower oil, because of concerns about genetic 
> modification. One importer said: "Although canners can 
> supply GM free oil, traceability could be a serious problem. 
> "Oil producing plants manufacture many types on the same 
> equipment, with the possible risk of cross contamination." 

> ===================#=================== 

14) The Grocer September 25, 1999  LETTERS;  A lesson in Alexander Fleming 
> BODY: Sir; As a farmer willing to take part in GM crop 
> trials, I take issue with the depressingly anti science 
> view point put by Ross Southwell (The Grocer, Letters, 
> September 18/9/99) How can anyone state categorically that 
> farmers, the food industry and consumers do not want 
> continued access to the benefits of new technology? Milk 
> pasteurisation was initially resisted as unnatural, and 
> Alexander Fleming was castigated for experimenting with 
> moulds to develop penicillin. Both are clear examples of 
> science using biological processes to deliver major 
> advances for mankind. What arrogance to suggest we can 
> afford to turn our backs on future progress. As a farmer 
> and consumer, I want to see the development of crops grown 
> with fewer pesticides, improved quality and higher yields. 
> 
> I also want the UK to remain a world leading centre of 
> research in this area. David Carmichael Lincs 
> ===================#=================== 

15)The Grocer September 25, 1999 -Friends of the Earth gets investing in some
Reality 

BODY: Friends of the Earth is targeting 
> consumers and the the food industry with its new Real Food 
> campaign in a bid to keep the momentum going in the organic 
> sector. The pressure group, which spends L 5m on campaigns 
> each year, will not reveal how much it has invested in Real 
> Food, but stresses it is "here to stay". A spokesman said 
> it was important the public realised that FoE was "not all 
> about saying no, no, no". It wants the campaign to dispel 
> the image of FoE as a negative campaigner. "We want 
> consumers to know we have the same concerns as they do 
> about the food they eat," he said. Although the multiples 
> have clear anti-GM policies, the spokesman said Friends of 
> the Earth had yet to discuss a possible link up. "If they 
> want to stock our Real Food leaflets, we would be happy," 
> he added. "We want to support the work the multiples have 
> done to expand the organic market, but we will continue to 
> put pressure on the industry." FoE also hopes to increase 
> the number of celebrities involved in its campaigns. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

16) The London Free Press September 25, 1999, : FARMING ADVANCES ON  VIEW AT
MATCH BYLINE: JOHN MINER, FREE PRESS REPORTER  DATELINE: DASHWOOD 

BODY: Farmers have technology in the bag 
> at this year's International Plowing Match. The seed bag, 
> that is. Past matches have featured bigger and faster 
> machinery that has allowed farmers to do more work with 
> less labour. But this year one of the big technological 
> breakthroughs is genetically engineered seed. "It is 
> revolutionary," said Dale Petrie, president of Direct Seeds 
> of Chatham-Kent. Petrie's company is selling seed for 
> soybeans that has been genetically engineered by scientists 
> so farmers can apply the popular weed-killer Roundup to the 
> crop. Without genetic manipulation, the spray would wipe 
> out the soybean crop. It is also selling BT corn, which has 
> been engineered to contain its own insecticide to kill 
> pests. "I've been in the seed business for 20 years and 
> this has been the big change by far," said Petrie. The use 
> of genetically engineered seed has been controversial in 
> European countries and last year farmers had a lot of 
> questions, Petrie said. This year there have been few 
> questions from farmers who have made up their minds whether 
> they want to use the seed, but there have been questions at 
> the plowing match from non-farmers, said Petrie. Their 
> concerns are about food safety. Frank Vanneste of Lucan is 
> one farmer who has decided not to use the genetically 
> engineered seed. "I believe they have gone too fast," 
> Vanneste said, pointing to opposition in Europe. "We are an 
> exporting country. We really should have checked with our 
> overseas buyers first. "There will not be any on our farm," 
> Vanneste said. Outside of the genetic revolution, the 
> plowing match is featuring machinery that is both cutting 
> edge and antique. Two machines sitting a few hundred metres 
> apart show how farming has advanced light years in a few 
> decades. One, a threshing machine powered by a 
> smoke-belching steam engine, required 15 to 20 men to 
> harvest a grain crop. It could process 150 bushels of grain 
> an hour. The owner, George Bell of Bayfield, said the 
> machine would have cost $ 2, 000 when it was manufactured 
> in the 1920s. The other machine, a Case IH combine, 
> price-tag $ 225,000, requires one person to run and can 
> harvest 800 bushels or more of grain an hour. It can also 
> be equipped with a satellite positioning system that will 
> map exactly how much is harvested from each area of the 
> field. Bob Becker, the Case IH dealer, said that 
> information can be used by farmers to decide how much 
> fertilizer and herbicides to apply and where to put it. "It 
> is almost mind boggling," he said.
> ===================#=================== 

17)The Toronto Star September 25, 1999 CROP GENE DRAIN SOWS DANGER, 
> REPORT SAYS BODY: Stuart Laidlaw 
THE WORLD'S ability to 
> feed its fast-growing population may rest with the practice 
> that marked our evolution from hunters and gatherers to 
> producers of our own food. Saving seeds. A new report by 
> the World Watch Institute, ''Nature's Cornucopia: Our Stake 
> in Plant Diversity,'' says that while plant breeding has 
> boosted farm output enough to keep the world fed, a rapidly 
> shrinking gene pool will make it tougher to keep doing so. 
> 
> ''That challenge begins with saving the plant diversity 
> that remains,'' the institute says. The diversity of plant 
> life around the world is diminishing at an alarming rate. 
> 
> To fix the problem, the report recommends more seed banks 
> be set up around the world to conserve the genetic traits 
> of plants at a cost of about $670 million a year worldwide. 
> Farmers must be encouraged to grow a greater variety of 
> plants and governments must be committed to preserving 
> natural habitats where plant species evolve. ''The seeds of 
> a tomato can be sealed in a glass jar and frozen for 
> safe-keeping, but left out of the cold are the plant's 
> pollinators, its dispersers and all the other organisms and 
> relationships that have shaped the plant's unique 
> evolution,'' the report says. ''Over time, they can even 
> lose their native adaptations and evolve to fit, instead, 
> the conditions of their captivity.'' The development of 
> large, mod- ern farms has drastically cut the number of 
> different varieties of crops grown, while human 
> encroachment has diminished wild ecosystems. ''The world's 
> farmers now grow more sorghum (a tropical cereal), string 
> beans, sweet potatoes and other crops than ever before, but 
> grow fewer varieties of each crop,'' the report says. More 
> than 90 per cent of the varieties of peas and cabbages and 
> 81 per cent of the varieties of tomatoes grown in the U.S. 
> 
> in 1904, for example, are no longer grown and the seeds 
> are not being stored for future use. In China, 10,000 wheat 
> varieties grown in 1949 had shrunk to 1,000 by the 1970s. In 
> Mexico only 20 per cent of the corn varieties grown 60 
> years ago are still in cultivation, ''an alarming decline 
> for the cradle of corn domestication,'' the report says. 
> 
> That's a problem, the report says, because old varieties of 
> crops, which have long since been replaced by 
> higher-yielding varieties, often contain genes that can 
> help modern crops overcome diseases or pests. For instance, 
> when pests became a problem in Asian rice fields in the 
> 1970s, a strain of wild rice in India was found to have a 
> genetic resistance to the pest. It was then cross-bred with 
> commercially grown rice and yields began to increase again, 
> says John Tuxill, a researcher for the environmental group 
> who wrote the report. Losing biodiversity anywhere poses a 
> threat, Tuxill says: '' Genetic engineers cannot create 
> genes; they can only move them around.'
> ===================#=================== 

18) The Washington Times September 26, 1999, JAVA WITH NO JOLT; Scientists
alter plants to grow coffee beans without caffeine BYLINE: Ben DiPietro;
ASSOCIATED PRESS HONOLULU 

BODY: HONOLULU - The 
> future of caffeine-free coffee is taking shape in petri 
> dishes at the University of Hawaii, where scientists are 
> growing plants that will produce beans without the buzz. 
> 
> Don't expect to drink a genetically engineered double-mocha 
> decaf anytime soon, however. The first plants won't be 
> available to commercial growers before 2003, and the first 
> caffeine-free cups of java from them are projected to be 
> sold in 2006, according to John Stiles, assistant professor 
> of plant physiology. "The decaffeinated coffee you have now 
> is treated chemically to remove the caffeine, and that 
> changes the structure of the bean," Mr. Stiles says. "In 
> our process, the bean just wouldn't have it to begin with. 
> 
> The quality will be higher." 
> The university is field-testing caffeine-free plants in 
> conjunction with Integrated Coffee Technologies. The first 
> commercial crop will produce about 250,000 pounds, enough 
> coffee for several million cups, says Mr. Stiles, who also 
> is director of scientific research for Integrated. Coffee 
> is one of Hawaii's top five crops. Introduced to King 
> Kamehameha I in 1813, coffee was grown on 7,000 acres and 
> generated $28.2 million in 1997, according to the state 
> agriculture department. The state's best-known coffee is 
> grown on the Kona side of the island of Hawaii. 
> 
> Decaffeinated coffee accounts for up to 25 percent of U.S. 
> coffee sales, which reached $4 billion in 1997, according 
> to the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Hawaii-based 
> Integrated so far has invested $750,000 in the project and 
> expects to spend an additional $500,000 to grow the first 
> plants, Mr. Stiles says. Seed money came from the state of 
> Hawaii, with additional funding from venture capitalists. 
> 
> The state university owns the patent for the bean and the 
> process that created it and is leasing that to Integrated. 
> 
> Monsanto Corp., in turn, is leasing to Integrated some of 
> the procedures used in extracting the caffeine gene. 
> 
> Monsanto will share revenues from the sales of plants and 
> beans and the future licensing of the technology. Each 
> plant will sell for up to $1.50, about three times the 
> current price of plants. Integrated will market the plants 
> to specialty growers more willing to absorb the higher cost 
> and eager to offer better- tasting coffee to customers. 
> 
> Growers eventually will save money after the cost of 
> decaffeination - which can reach 25 percent of the cost of 
> the coffee - is factored in, Mr. Stiles says. "Farmers will 
> make back that additional cost in one or two years of 
> harvest," he says. The project also has received interest 
> from coffee growers worldwide. "We're talking with some of 
> the major U.S. coffee roasters, but we have nothing 
> definite yet," Mr. Stiles says. The National Coffee Growers 
> Association and Hawaii Coffee Growers Association say they 
> know nothing about the caffeine- free bean. Maxwell House 
> Coffee spokeswoman Mary Jane Kinkade says the company is 
> monitoring the project. A spokeswoman for the Starbucks 
> coffee chain says the company won't decide on the beans 
> until they are grown and tasted. "Whether this is something 
> we would offer would depend on when we could test those 
> beans," Helen Chung says. "It would depend on the quality 
> of the beans." The idea for a caffeine- free bean began 
> brewing in 1991, when Mr. Stiles was having a beer with 
> colleagues and was asked if there was a way to use 
> biotechnology to remove caffeine from coffee. "I didn't 
> work with coffee at the time, so I thought about it and 
> said, 'Yeah, this is the sort of thing you should be able to 
> do,' " he says. Five years later, he and his team succeeded 
> in isolating the protein that creates the caffeine gene. 
> 
> Scientists then isolated the gene and removed it through a 
> process called anti-sense, which removes the regular coffee 
> gene, turns it backward and reinserts it, Mr. Stiles says. 
> 
> "If you stop the gene's activities so the protein can't be 
> made, the caffeine can't be made," Mr. Stiles says. "Some 
> proteins are easy to isolate, some are hard. This one was 
> hard - which in a way is probably good for us, or else 
> someone would have done this before." 
> 
> Mr. Stiles' team is the first to succeed at breeding a 
> plant without the caffeine gene. Several groups around the 
> world have tried but failed. Michael Grace of Qusac Decaf 
> Inc., a Canada-based decaffeinator, says the company isn't 
> worried about the threat posed by a caffeine-free bean; he 
> says such a bean likely will find a niche as a specialty 
> product. "It may be caffeine-free, but it may also not have 
> other characteristics of coffee," he says. "In the end, 
> it's got to taste reasonable." 
> 
> GRAPHIC: Photo, John Stiles, a plant physiology professor 
> at the University of Hawaii, examines coffee plants that 
> have been engineered genetically to produce caffeine-free 
> beans., By AP 
> ===================#=================== 

19)The New York Times September 25, PERDUE WEIGHS BAN OF GENETICALLY MODIFIED
FEED Bloomberg News 

BODY: Perdue Farms Inc., the poultry 
> company, said yesterday that it was considering feeding its 
> chickens and turkeys only corn that was not genetically 
> modified as consumer concerns over biotechnology rise. Such 
> a move could be a blow to agricultural biotechnology 
> companies, which have been battered by public fears around 
> the world over health and environmental effects of the 
> technology. The industry maintains that foods produced from 
> genetically altered crops are harmless. A spokeswoman said a 
> decision would be made soon, and before farmers have to buy 
> their corn seeds for the next planting season. Closely held 
> Perdue, which is based in Salisbury, Md., sells its products 
> nationwide and exports to more than 50 countries. 
> ===================#=================== 

20)  NATIONAL NEWS: Restaurants 'flout law on GM food labelling' BIOTECHNOLOGY
CONSUMERS' ASSOCIATION SURVEY FINDS MANY EATING ESTABLISHMENTS DO NOT KNOW IF
THEY ARE USING ALTERED FOOD: Financial Times ; 25-Sep-1999 
Nearly a week after rules on the labelling of 
> genetically modified ingredients came into force, many 
> restaurants and caterers are flouting the law, according to 
> a report published yesterday. 
> 
> At 29 of 59 pubs, restaurants, take-aways, bakers and 
> delicatessens visited by the Consumers' Association, 
> researchers found staff did not know whether their food 
> contained GM ingredients, a failing that technically leads 
> to a oe5,000 fine. 
> 
> The rules on labelling of GM soya and maize products, 
> which came into force last Sunday, were announced in March. 
> The Ministry of Agriculture said yesterday it was too early 
> to assess compliance, with the regulations, which will be 
> enforced by local authorities. 
> 
> "We are not worried about it. It's too early to expect 100 
> per cent take-up. With the publicity there's been since 
> Monday and the possibility of a oe5,000 fine, we'd expect 
> take-up to sharply increase in the next couple of weeks." 
> 
> The rules triggered protests from caterers who said 
> enterprises would struggle to establish the origin and 
> nature of their ingredients. Many said the bill for 
> introducing labelling should go to the big biotech 
> companies that launched GM crops on the market. 
> 
> Industry analysts said the government had not helped its 
> cause by delaying an advisory leaflet until five weeks 
> before the rules went into force, and applying them 
> irrespective of the size of establishment. 
> 
> "It took the government five months to get the guidance 
> notes out to businesses, and they make no distinction 
> between Sainsbury's and the family bed and breakfast," said 
> the Institute of Trading Standards Administration. 
> 
> Thirty of the eating establishments surveyed claimed their 
> food had no GM ingredients, but only one could give details 
> to back its claim. 
> 
> Only six premises had notices detailing the use of GM 
> ingredients, but two of these notices - which should be 
> displayed where customers can easily see them - were hidden 
> behind a bar. 
> 
> The survey's findings were seized on by environmental 
> groups to back their call for a five-year moratorium on GM 
> crop cultivation. 
> 
> * William Hague, the Conservative leader, has called for 
> Danish bacon to be banned from Britain's supermarket 
> shelves to protect UK farmers from "unfair" competition. 
> 
> Mr Hague warned yesterday that Britain's pig farming 
> industry faced collapse because of the challenge from 
> Danish producers, whose costs were lower because they were 
> not bound by the UK's animal welfare regulations. 
> 
> Copyright (c) The Financial Times Limited [Entered 
> September 26, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 

21) NATIONAL NEWS: Academics fear exodus in 'anti-science' backlash MEDICAL
RESEARCH PROFESSOR'S MOVE TO CANADA FOLLOWING OVARY TRANSPLANT WORK SPARKS
CONCERN ABOUT PUBLIC HOSTILITY:  Financial Times ; 24-Sep-1999 
The defection of a prominent scientist to 
> Canada could mark the start of an exodus provoked by public 
> hostility towards genetically modified food and 
> biotechnology, academics warned yesterday. 
> 
> Richard Gosden, a Leeds professor whose research led to 
> the first ovary transplant, is taking up a post at McGill 
> University, which has prompted concern that the backlash 
> has begun. 
> 
> "There is an anti-science sentiment here at the moment 
> with GM crops and so on," said Prof Gosden who leaves for 
> Quebec today. "It is unfortunate that in Britain there is a 
> much more cautious attitude to science and technology." 
> 
> He also said there was poor morale among young 
> scientists. "We expect them to work very hard but they are 
> not well rewarded. At the end of several short-term 
> contracts they may be unemployed," he said. "I don't think 
> that is a very good way of running science." 
> 
> Prof Gosden's work - which he will detail at the annual 
> meeting of the American Society for Reproductive Medicine 
> in Toronto next week - led to the successful replanting 
> last February of a woman's frozen ovary which had been 
> surgically removed in a previous operation. The 30-year-old 
> woman recently produced eggs from the graft, with the first 
> indications of a menstrual cycle. 
> 
> The procedure could lead to the reversal of sterility 
> caused by premature menopause and the protection of ovaries 
> during chemo-therapy. 
> 
> Of Prof Gosden's decision to leave the UK, Peter Collins, 
> director of science policy at the Royal Society, said: 
> "It's a straw in the wind, though how strong or persistent 
> the wind will be I don't know . . . It is something the 
> Royal Society is very concerned about." 
> 
> "If you push hard enough, people will go," he added. But 
> Dr Collins, who has produced two reports on the "brain 
> drain", said there was no "linear relation" between the 
> health of the science base and the number of scientists 
> leaving. 
> 
> Paradoxically, scientists were more likely to go abroad 
> when UK science was strong because they were more confident 
> of finding a job when they returned. In the 1980s, when 
> science funding was being cut, the brain drain slowed 
> markedly as scientists clung on to their jobs. 
> 
> Paul Edwards of Ruston Poole International, a headhunting 
> company specialising in healthcare, said there was evidence 
> that scientists had been returning to the UK recently. 
> 
> "The UK is seen as a lot more entrepreneurial than it was 
> five years ago," he said. Although US researchers, 
> particularly in the private sector, still earned 
> substantially more, it was becoming more respectable in the 
> UK for scientists to make money. 
> 
> Dr Collins said all was far from lost. "Science in this 
> country is not about to close shop." 
> 
> Copyright (c) The Financial Times Limited [Entered 
> September 26, 1999]