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GE - GMO News 09/28



GMO News 09/28 

1) Headline: Orbis Feed: Cloning Technology Comes of Age in ...  Wire Service:
PR (PR Newswire)  Date: Tue, Sep 28, 1999 
2)  The Halifax Daily News Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Daily News 9 Protest
targets gene-altered food TORONTO (Southam) 
3) The Guardian (Charlottetown) Tuesday, September 28, 1999  Final News A1 /
FRONT Toronto: Activists, farmers argue over modified food TORONTO
4) The Standard (St. Catharines) Tuesday, September 28, 1999  * Loblaws target
of genetic food  protest: Greenpeace and Council of Canadians pick largest 
retailer to publicize `risks' of genetic engineering BY  Mark Stevenson
TORONTO
- 
5)  OTC 09/27 2017 Brazil: Univalem launches Greenpeace sugar  
6) UPn 09/27 1724 Study: US not ready for bio-war attack By PAMELA HESS
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) --
7) 09/28 DJ Japan Seeks Discussion On Modified Food Rules - Nikkei TOKYO
(Nikkei)-
8)DJ 09/27 1902 DJ S&P/Pinnacle West -2: To Replace Pioneer  Hi- Bred... 
9) DJ 09/27 1800 DJ EU Ag Mins/WTO -3: Strategy Includes Non- Trade I... 
10) Developed world agricultural heavyweights to meet By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. 
11) EU urges wider monitoring of dioxin in animal feed  BRUSSELS, Sept 27
(Reuters) - 
12)  BBC Online Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Scientists unveil plastic plants 
13) BRITAIN: Monsanto opens up to critics of gene-altered foods 98% match;
Financial Times ; 28-Sep-1999 
14) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Public averse to risk while big  business benefits
95% match; Financial Times ; 28-Sep-1999  02:02:34 am ; 351 words From Dr
Douglas Parr. 
15) Agence France Presse HEADLINE: Thailand gets 59.32 million  Sept 28 BODY:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday 
16)ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 28,  Altered grapes
SOURCE: The Age BYLINE: Jeni Port
17) The Christian Science Monitor September 28, 1999,  HEADLINE: Ending a
Genetic Food Fight HIGHLIGHT: 
> Issues over new biotech products can be resolved 
18) COMLINE Daily News Electronics September 28, 1999 Hitachi to Set Up Life
Sciences Promotion Division, Highlight Bio Biz 
19) THE HINDU September 28, 1999 India- NGOs protest against basmati patent 
20)  BUSINESS LINE September 28, 1999 -India- US soya industry steps up
pressure on bean imports 


1) Headline: Orbis Feed: Cloning Technology Comes of Age in ...  Wire Service:
PR (PR Newswire)  Date: Tue, Sep 28, 1999 
> Human Therapeutics and Xenotransplantation Aided by Cloning Animals 
> 
> For more information on this report or to preview the video go to: 
>
<http://www.prnewswire.com/orbis/2870/jump--public.html>www.prnewswire.com/o
rbis/2870/jump--public.html 
> 
> NEW YORK, Sept. 28 /PRNewswire/ -- As the world debates cloning, the 
> world leader in animal reproduction technology, Infigen, finds promising 
> uses for the genetically altered animals, including uses that could save 
> thousands of human lives every year. 
> (Video: http://www.prnewswire.com/orbis/2870/jump--public.html ) 
> Soon after Dolly the sheep was introduced to the world, Infigen 
> announced Gene, a holstein bull calf clone. Today, just two years later, 
> more than 37 cloned cattle graze in peaceful Wisconsin pastures. Many of 
> them have been genetically altered to produce human therapeutic proteins 
> in 
> their milk for treatment of various genetic diseases. 
> With a similar process it uses to create cloned cattle, Infigen is 
> extending the technology for use in other species to broaden the 
> application of nuclear transfer in the human healthcare field. 
> 
> INTERVIEW: 
> -- Dale Schwartz, CEO, Infigen, Inc. 
> -- Mike Bishop, Vice President of Research, Infigen, Inc. 
> 
> B-ROLL INCLUDES: 
> -- Gene, the first cloned cow 
> -- Cloned and genetically altered calves in pasture 
> -- Infigen's labs 
> 
> Video Provided By Infigen, Incorporated. 
> 
> SOURCE Infigen, Incorporated 
> -0- 09/28/1999 
> /NOTE TO EDITORS: Press Only 
>
http://<http://www.prnewswire.com/>www.prnewswire.com/orbis/2870/jump--priva
te.html/ 
> /CONTACT: Sharon Sullivan for Infigen, 312-942-1199, ext. 191/ 
> /Video:
http://<http://www.prnewswire.com/>www.prnewswire.com/orbis/2870/jump--publi
c.html/ 
> 
> CO: Infigen, Incorporated ST: New York IN: MTC SU: PDT 
> Copyright 1999 PR Newswire. All rights reserved
=========================

2)  The Halifax Daily News Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Daily News 9 Protest
targets gene-altered food TORONTO (Southam) 
> -- Canada's largest grocery chain was the target of a 
> national campaign yesterday to make consumers aware of what 
> public interest groups say is the potential risk of 
> genetically modified food. Greenpeace and the Council of 
> Canadians are calling on consumers to pressure Loblaws and 
> affiliated companies such as Superstore and IGA to label 
> all genetically modified products and eventually remove 
> them from shelves because of unknown threats to humans and 
> the environment. ``We're here today to call on Loblaws, 
> SuperStores and the rest ... 
> 
> to offer shoppers the basic right to buy food free of 
> genetic engineering,'' Jennifer Story of the Council of 
> Canadians said at a news conference outside a Toronto 
> Loblaws yesterday. ``We can't wait for our government to 
> catch up and to repair the broken regulatory system.'' 
> Loblaws says it has confidence in the current regulatory 
> system and will respond to any growing consumer concern 
> over modified food. The federal agency that approves the 
> products for consumption in Canada says this country has a 
> long history of food safety and consumers face no 
> significant threat from the corn, canola, soya, potatoes 
> and other genetically engineered foods that end up on their 
> dinner table. ``Our first priority is for the safety of the 
> environment and health of consumers,'' said Bart Bilmer of 
> the Canadian Food Health Inspection Agency, adding that new 
> standards for a voluntary labeling system are being 
> developed. Since 1994, 42 genetically altered products have 
> been approved in Canada, said Bilmer. However, Greenpeace 
> and the council say there are no long-term, independent 
> studies being done on the impact of eating food and genetic 
> material that have never before been consumed or introduced 
> into the environment, said Michael Khoo of Greenpeace. And 
> regulatory bodies can't be trusted because they base 
> decisions on industry-sponsored research and are under 
> massive pressure to approve them, said Story. ``There are 
> no benefits to consumers from these foods,'' said Khoo. 
> 
> ``They're not cheaper, they're not nutritious and they 
> don't taste better.'' But industry groups say Canadians 
> would suffer if genetically engineered products were 
> removed from the market. Laurie Curry of the Food and 
> Consumer Products Manufacturers of Canada, which represents 
> 170 producers, said its members would support voluntary 
> labeling, depending on the standards, but said eliminating 
> the foods would be a mistake. Curry said engineered crops 
> reduce polluting pesticides, improve crop yields and 
> directly improve the health of Canadians. Greenpeace and 
> the council say 10 international food companies -- Nestle, 
> Kellogg's, Mars, Heinz, Cadbury, Kraft, Unilever, General 
> Mills, Campbells and Frito-Lay -- have eliminated 
> genetically altered foods from their products list in 
> Europe but refuse to do the same in Canada. Anna Relyea, a 
> spokeswoman for Heinz, said the company is eliminating 
> genetically modified foods from its baby products worldwide 
> because of consumer pressure. She said Heinz now complies 
> with regulations in other countries where the products are 
> banned and would do so in North America if they were banned 
> here. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

3) The Guardian (Charlottetown) Tuesday, September 28, 1999  Final News A1 /
FRONT Toronto: Activists, farmers argue over modified food TORONTO -- The
battle over genetically 
> modified food moved to a new front Monday as activists and 
> farmers came face-to-face in shouting matches outside a 
> grocery store. The scene was a Loblaws store in mid-Toronto 
> where Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians launched a 
> public-awareness campaign urging customers to ask the 
> foodstore chain to remove all genetically modified foods 
> from its products. The groups say such foods pose risks to 
> the environment and unknown consequences for consumers. 
> 
> Monday's protest turned confrontational when a couple of 
> farmers showed up to heckle the environmentalists while 
> they spoke to reporters. About 60 per cent of the food on 
> Canadian grocery shelves contains food altered in the 
> laboratory to fight pests or resist herbicides, according 
> to industry estimates. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

4) The Standard (St. Catharines) Tuesday, September 28, 1999  * Loblaws target
of genetic food  protest: Greenpeace and Council of Canadians pick largest 
retailer to publicize `risks' of genetic engineering BY  Mark Stevenson
TORONTO
- 

Canada's largest grocery chain was 
> the target of a national campaign Monday to make consumers 
> aware of what public interest groups say is the potential 
> risk of genetically modified food. Greenpeace and the 
> Council of Canadians are calling on consumers to pressure 
> Loblaws and affiliated companies to label all genetically 
> modified products and eventually remove them from shelves 
> because of unknown threats to humans and the environment. 
> 
> The two groups say Canadians are being denied the same 
> rights as consumers in Europe, where 10 international food 
> companies have removed such modified ingredients from 
> products ``but refuse to do the same in Canada.'' ``We're 
> here today to call on Loblaws, SuperStores and the rest ... 
> 
> to offer shoppers the basic right to buy food free of 
> genetic engineering,'' Jennifer Story of the Council of 
> Canadians said at a press conference outside a Toronto 
> Loblaws on Monday. ``We can't wait for our government to 
> catch up and to repair the broken regulatory system.'' 
> Monday's protest turned confrontational when a couple of 
> farmers showed up to heckle the environmentalists while 
> they spoke to reporters. ``The food is safe,'' shouted Jeff 
> Wilson, who farms about 100 hectares near Hillsburgh, Ont. 
> 
> Loblaws says it has confidence in the current regulatory 
> system and will respond to any growing consumer concern 
> over modified food. ``The profile (of genetically altered 
> food as a public issue) is growing and we're following it 
> very closely,'' said company spokesman Geoff Wilson, adding 
> that Loblaws is being targeted because it is the largest. 
> 
> ``If you're going to target anybody, you might as well 
> start at the top,'' he said. The federal agency which 
> approves the products for consumption in Canada says this 
> country has a long history of food safety and consumers 
> face no significant threat from the corn, canola, soya, 
> potatoes and other genetically engineered foods that end up 
> on their dinner table. Since 1994, 42 genetically altered 
> products have been approved in Canada, said Bart Bilmer of 
> the Canadian Food Health Inspection Agency. However, 
> Greenpeace and the council say there are no long-term, 
> independent studies being done on the impact of eating food 
> and genetic material that have never before been consumed 
> or introduced into the environment. Regulatory bodies can't 
> be trusted because they base decisions on 
> industry-sponsored research and are under massive pressure 
> to approve them, said Story. ``There are no benefit to 
> consumers for these foods,'' said Michael Khoo of 
> Greenpeace. ``They're not cheaper, they're not nutritious 
> and they don't taste better.'' [Entered September 28, 
> 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
5)  OTC 09/27 2017 Brazil: Univalem launches Greenpeace sugar  
Univalem Acucar Alcool, based in Valparaiso, State of Sao Paulo, has recently
launched an organic sugar brand - Zucc - 
> into the Brazilian market. The new product will be labelled 
> Greenpeace so as to compete with transgenic products. 
> 
> Univalem has already exported 4,000 tons of organic sugar 
> to England, Belgium, Germany, Switzerland, Holland at 
> US$480 (FOB) per ton. The company predicts to export 8,000 
> tons of the product in 1 year, reaching 20,000 tons in the 
> medium term. In Brazil, Zucc's price is 325% higher than 
> ordinary sugar. -0- Source: Gazeta Mercantil Page: B-22 
> Date: September 24, 1999 Country: Brazil Product: Sugars 
> Company: Univalem Event: Product Launches SABI (South 
> American Business Information)Copyright 1999Executive News 
> Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

6) UPn 09/27 1724 Study: US not ready for bio-war attack By PAMELA HESS
WASHINGTON, Sept. 27 (UPI) --

A new Pentagon 
> and CIA- sponsored study on biological terrorism says that 
> U.S. public health should now be considered an indicator of 
> national security, as adversaries are believed to be 
> increasingly seeking to use viruses and diseases as weapons. 
> The study, not yet publicly released, says the public health 
> system is ill-prepared to respond to an attack. There is no 
> organized reporting structure for tracking outbreaks, the 
> stockpiles of vaccines and antibiotics are inadequate, and 
> there is no "surge" capability in the event of widespread 
> infection. The report's suggestions for addressing the 
> situation range from the steadfastly bureaucratic -- 
> improving communication between all parties -- to Big 
> Brother-esque: random testing of urine in public facilities 
> to detect outbreaks of new diseases before they reach 
> epidemic proportions. One potentially explosive 
> recommendation is for the government to stockpile a secret, 
> super-strong antibiotic that could kill off genetically 
> engineered microbes if they were ever used as a weapon 
> against the American public. But it would only be used in 
> an emergency state; otherwise, the bacteria could develop a 
> resistance to it, rendering it ineffective. That means, of 
> course, that many victims would have to succumb before a 
> cure would be employed. The study suggests the government 
> could develop the antibiotic and then withhold its use -- 
> for example, via a patent -- until a bio event, reserving 
> it as a "drug of last resort." 
> 
> The financial cost would be high as well, estimated at $500 
> million per superdrug. The study was carried out this 
> summer and presented this month to the Pentagon by the 
> JASON group, an invitation-only scientists' panel 
> associated with the MITRE Corp., a non-profit national 
> security consulting firm. It does about 15 studies a year, 
> mostly in the summer during the academic hiatus, according 
> to Robert Henderson, director of JASON. "Public health is 
> now part of national security, which it never has been 
> before. The ramifications are that because it's part of 
> national security, we need to coordinate better with other 
> parts of national security. We are not used to working 
> together," Henderson told United Press International, which 
> obtained an advance copy of the study. The government's 
> first priority should be to strengthen public health 
> information systems to immediately note outbreaks, find 
> their cause, and isolate and treat victims before any 
> contagion can spread, according to the study. The study was 
> primarily chartered buy the Pentagon's Defense Advanced 
> Research Projects Agency, a high-tech "hobby shop" for the 
> national security community that seeks out innovative 
> technologies for war fighting. The CIA also chartered the 
> study, as it is looking for ways to detect biological 
> weapons production facilities. The Defense Department 
> refused to comment on the study because it has not yet been 
> released. The Pentagon takes the threat of bio-weapons, or 
> "BW" agents, very seriously and is now in the process of 
> vaccinating all active duty personnel, as well as the 
> National Guard and reserves, against anthrax, which is 
> judged one of the top battlefield threats to soldiers. 
> 
> However, the national security community believes that the 
> U.S. public at large is also extremely vulnerable to bio- 
> weapons. A properly engineered disease that is deliberately 
> released among the public could take weeks to be detected, 
> by which time it could have spread across the nation, or 
> even the world. The FBI reports there have been about 100 
> anthrax threats already this year, according to the study. 
> 
> JASON studied four possible scenarios for a "bio-event" to 
> focus its work: the simultaneous release of anthrax at 10 
> subway stations in New York City by state-sponsored 
> terrorists; a smallpox release on an international flight 
> carrying 265 people between Rome and Washington, D. C.; the 
> detonation of a bomb laced with ricin -- a toxic 
> castor-bean extract -- by a militia group at a federal 
> office building in Minneapolis; and a rust attack on the 
> U.S. wheat crop by agents of Yugoslav President Slobodan 
> Milosevic, a form of ecological bio-terrorism to which the 
> United States is particularly susceptible, according to the 
> study. It is neither the Pentagon's nor the CIA's duty to 
> respond to domestic terrorist attacks, but both play an 
> important role in furthering civilian bio-defense. Defense 
> strategists are developing monitoring technologies for 
> battlefields that can warn of otherwise undetectable 
> attacks as they happen; the CIA must find the producers of 
> biological agents before they can be used. The earlier such 
> agents are found, the less likely they can be used, 
> according to the study. The study says anthrax is already a 
> threat to the U.S. public. Even if it hasn't been used, the 
> threat of its use warrants the deployment of sensors in 
> populated areas. Several technologies already exist to do 
> that, but they are not employed in cities. "The important 
> point is to pick one approach and promptly get it into the 
> hands of law-enforcement and emergency responders," states 
> the study. Under the current approach, "we wait for human 
> canaries to show symptoms," the study says. Fixed sensors 
> would be very expensive -- at least $100,000 a year to 
> operate - - and each would provide coverage for only about 
> half a square kilometer. Instead, the study suggests using 
> municipal vehicles like buses, subways, police cars and 
> postal trucks as platforms for mobile sensors that could be 
> checked at every station or maintenance stop. More to the 
> point, the study suggests "instrumenting the biome" -- 
> giving humans DARPA-developed sensors the size of 
> wristwatches that monitor pulse, pressure, respiration, 
> temperature, blood sugar and other indices -- to 
> continuously monitor the environment for pathogens. 
> 
> "Deployment of such devices among even a fraction of the 
> population, combined with geolocation and telemetry, would 
> be a very interesting resource for a number of different 
> applications," the study states. At the same time, public 
> health officials could sample urine, saliva, breath and 
> sweat in public restrooms, pay telephones, drinking 
> fountains, subways and other enclosed public spaces for 
> evidence of disease. They could also monitor written health 
> information such as insurance records, hospital admissions 
> and lab results. "Privacy issues would, of course, have to 
> be addressed," the study states, noting that other issues 
> would also have to be examined before the government could 
> move ahead with the recommendations. JASON's Henderson 
> downplayed the potentially intrusive levels of monitoring 
> suggested by the study, telling UPI some of the "real-time 
> monitoring" public health monitoring suggestions were 
> offered as "tongue-in-cheek" recommendations. However, he 
> said, there is potential for municipal workers to volunteer 
> for a valuable monitoring program. The study says smallpox 
> also demands a plan of action. The disease was largely 
> wiped out in the United States because of mass 
> immunization, but now, there is a significant non-immunized 
> population, making smallpox a real threat. "Upon winning the 
> Cold War, a nuclear stockpile stewardship program began. But 
> upon winning the 'smallpox war,' there is no analogous 
> effort," the study states. The study recommends stockpiling 
> sufficient medicines and diagnostic systems, creating 
> mechanisms for distribution, and developing, testing and 
> stockpiling passive protection devices. --- Copyright 1999 
> by United Press International. All rights reserved. --- 
> Executive News Svc. 
> ===================#=================== 
7) 09/28 DJ Japan Seeks Discussion On Modified Food Rules - Nikkei TOKYO
(Nikkei)--Japan's Ministry of Agriculture, 
> Forestry and Fisheries plans to suggest that a 
> comprehensive discussion on the creation of international 
> rules on genetically modified (GM) foods be held at the 
> next round of WTO negotiations in 2000, The Nihon Keizai 
> Shimbun reported in its Wednesday morning edition. The 
> proposal is to be made at a meeting of agriculture 
> ministers from five countries to be held in Montreal 
> beginning Thursday, the newspaper reported. The 
> Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development, the 
> Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations, 
> and several other organizations have been independently 
> promoting the creation of rules on GM foods. The envisioned 
> regulations include terms of information disclosure and 
> intellectual property rights. Japan's Agriculture Ministry 
> plans to suggest these international organizations combine 
> their efforts during the WTO negotiations. The decision 
> follows the ministry's appeal for a comprehensive 
> discussion of rules on GM foods in June. The European 
> Union, meanwhile, has urged that consumers' views and 
> safety considerations be taken into account when setting up 
> such rules. (END) DOW JONES NEWS 09-28-99 01:15 PMCopyright 
> 1999 Dow Jones & Co., Inc. All rights reserved.Executive 
> News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

8)DJ 09/27 1902 DJ S&P/Pinnacle West -2: To Replace Pioneer  Hi- Bred... 
> 
> DJ S&P/Pinnacle West -2: To Replace Pioneer Hi-Bred >PNW 
> NEW YORK (Dow Jones)--Standard & Poor's will add Pinnacle 
> West Capital Corp. (PNW) to its S&P 500 Index Friday, 
> replacing Pioneer Hi-Bred International (PHB). As reported, 
> DuPont plans to acquire the 80% interest in Pioneer Hi-Bred 
> it doesn't already own for about $7.7 billion, or $40 a 
> share. In a press release Monday, Standard & Poor's, a 
> McGraw-Hill Cos. unit (MHP), said Park Place Entertainment 
> Corp. (PPE) will replace Pinnacle West in the S&P MidCap 400 
> Index. GenCorp Inc. (GY) and Omnova Solutions Inc. (OMN) 
> will be added to the S&P SmallCap 600 Index Thursday, 
> replacing Novellus Systems Inc. (NVLS) and Molecular 
> Biosystems Inc. (MB). GenCorp is spinning off Omnova 
> Solutions, its performance chemicals and decorative 
> building products unit. Novellus Systems will replace 
> GenCorp in the S&P MidCap 400 Index, and Molecular 
> Biosystems will be removed for lack of representation. 
> 
> Atwood Oceanics Inc. (ATW) will be added to the S&P 
> SmallCap 600 Index Thursday, replacing Global Industrial 
> Technology Inc. (GIX). RHI AG (R.RHI) plans to acquire 
> Global Industrial in a transaction expected to close 
> Thursday. The transaction is still subject to regulatory 
> approval. Maximus Inc. (MMS) will be added to the S&P 
> SmallCap 600 Index Friday, replacing Lone Star Industries 
> Inc. (LCE). As reported Sept. 16, Dyckerhoff AG (G.DYK) 
> received approval from the Federal Trade Commission to 
> acquire Lone Star Industries in a transaction valued at 
> $1.19 billion, plus the assumption of $50 million in debt. 
> 
> -Consella A. Lee; Dow Jones Newswires; 201-938-5400 (END) 
> DOW JONES NEWS 09-27-99 07:01 PMCopyright 1999 Dow Jones & 
> Co., Inc. All rights reserved.Executive News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 

9) DJ 09/27 1800 DJ EU Ag Mins/WTO -3: Strategy Includes Non- Trade I... 
> 
> DJ EU Ag Mins/WTO -3: Strategy Includes Non-Trade Issues 
> The E.U. position calls for protection of farmers to supply 
> "non- economic goods." 
> 
> The E.U. will try to convince WTO members of the 
> "multifunctional" role of agriculture. The E.U. Commission, 
> which is to represent the E.U. during the WTO round, 
> defines the "multifunctionality" of agriculture as its 
> capacity to produce intangible, non-commercial goods such as 
> scenic pasture land alongside marketable produce. For E.U. 
> 
> member states, "direct aid measures with no or minimal 
> trade impact must have an import role to play" in trade 
> issues, according to the mandate. As a result, the E.U. will 
> argue that subsidies intended to promote multifunctionality 
> should be treated more leniently by WTO members. The mandate 
> also leaves room for the E.U. to bring up recent food-safety 
> concerns during the round. The E.U. wants assurance that 
> the WTO won't be used to "force onto the market products 
> about whose safety there are legitimate concerns and which 
> allow the E.U. to establish the appropriate levels of 
> protection." 
> 
> The mandate doesn't specifically mention any products, but 
> it's clear that the E.U. is referring to its ban on imports 
> of hormone-treated beef and its reluctance to approve foods 
> containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). The E.U. 
> 
> hasn't invoked the so-called "precautionary principle" in 
> the dispute with the U.S. and Canada on its ban on 
> hormone-treated beef imports. The principle allows WTO 
> members to bar imports as long as there's sufficient 
> scientific evidence that the products pose a health risk. 
> 
> But the mandate seeks to clarify when WTO members can bar 
> products because of perceived health risks. "Without 
> prejudice to the provisions of the disputes settlement 
> procedure, it would be useful to obtain clearer general 
> recognition of the precautionary principle," the mandate 
> states. In a veiled reference to calming consumer concerns 
> about GMOs, the E.U. said more information could be 
> provided through product labeling. - Matthew 
> Newman;322-285-0133; matthew.newman@dowjones.com (END) DOW 
> JONES NEWS 09-27-99 05:59 PMCopyright 1999 Dow Jones & Co., 
> Inc. All rights reserved.Executive News Svc. 
> 
> [Entered September 28, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 

10) Developed world agricultural heavyweights to meet By Doug Palmer
WASHINGTON, Sept 27 (Reuters) - U.S. Agriculture 
> Secretary Dan Glickman will meet on Friday with farm 
> ministers from the European Union, Japan, Canada and 
> Australia in a session that will help prepare for the world 
> trade talks beginning in two months. With farm issues 
> expected to dominate the coming negotiations, the so-called 
> Quint meeting provides a chance for the five to exchange 
> views in an informal setting without the expectation of any 
> final agreements, Agriculture Department officials said. 
> 
> While travel details have not yet been completed, Glickman 
> will arrive in time for a full day of meetings on Friday, a 
> department spokesman said on Monday. Ministers are expected 
> to hold bilateral meetings on farm trade issues in addition 
> to the five-way talks. The Quint has its origin in the 
> Uruguay Round of trade negotiations, which began in 1986 
> and continued until an agreement was reached in December 
> 1993. The group, which represents the developed world's 
> biggest agricultural importers and exporters, met 
> periodically during those negotiations to speed progress on 
> farm trade issues. The Quint fell into disuse after the 
> Uruguay Round until EU Farm Commissioner Franz Fischler 
> suggested reviving it. MET ON FRINGES OF OECD The group met 
> in March 1998 on the fringes of a ministerial meeting in 
> Paris of the Organisation for Economic Cooperation and 
> Development and proved useful, a Canadian trade official 
> said. Canada volunteered to hold the next meeting. It was 
> originally scheduled for this summer in Vancouver but had 
> to be postponed because of scheduling conflicts. Likely 
> topics for this week's meeting include all the farm issues 
> to be negotiated in the world trade talks that begin on 
> Nov. 30 in Seattle with a meeting of the 134-nation World 
> Trade Organisation. Those negotiations are expected to pit 
> the United States against the European Union on a number of 
> farm trade issues, such as the elimination of export 
> subsidies and rules governing the approval of new 
> genetically modified crop varieties. Canada, Australia and 
> Japan, in various forums, have also called for the 
> elimination of agricultural export subsidies. But depending 
> on the issue, the three countries can fall into either the 
> EU or the U.S. camp. The EU and Japan, for example, support 
> a "multifunctional" view of government farm programmes to 
> justify policies the United States, Australia and Canada 
> see as trade-distorting. Japan has also taken steps to 
> required labels on foods containing genetically modified 
> ingredients, a view more in line with the EU than the 
> United States. Meanwhile, the EU, Canada and Australia have 
> criticised the Agriculture Department's export credit 
> programmes. At the same time, the United States has pushed 
> for reform of monopoly wheat boards in Australia and 
> Canada.Executive News Svc. 
>=================#=================== 

11) EU urges wider monitoring of dioxin in animal feed  BRUSSELS, Sept 27
(Reuters) - European Food Safety 
> Commissioner David Byrne said on Monday Belgium's dioxin 
> crisis had highlighted the need to monitor levels of the 
> cancer-causing chemicals in animal feed across the European 
> Union. Byrne told a meeting of EU farm ministers a white 
> paper, or draft proposal, identifying all current loopholes 
> in animal feed law and proposing specific remedies would be 
> ready by December. "I am convinced that the public needs 
> the reassurance that we are monitoring dioxin levels in our 
> foodstuffs. And I think they are right," Byrne said. The 
> comprehensive white paper would also cover legislation on 
> labelling animal feed manufactured using 
> genetically-modified ingredients, he added. The Belgian 
> food scare, believed to have been sparked by engine oil 
> contaminating animal feed, had shown that not enough was 
> known about the harmful effects of dioxin, Byrne said. 
> 
> "There is a gap in our knowledge of the background levels 
> of dioxin in animal products. We urgently need to close that 
> gap," he warned. Scientists believe that once ingested into 
> the human body dioxins can remain there for years and 
> sharply increase the risk of contracting cancer. But Byrne 
> said EU countries were not taking the problem seriously 
> enough. They had been slow to monitor dioxin levels in farm 
> products and slow to respond to the European Commission's 
> requests for information. However, he said a proposal for 
> an EU-wide control programme would not be made before 
> October 2000 and promised to integrate the feed sector into 
> the EU's rapid alert system, meaning member states would 
> have to inform the Commission of potential problems as 
> early as possible. He also pledged to license animal feed 
> makers, create an approval process for "at risk" products 
> such as certain fats and improve the traceability of food 
> ingredients. A list of banned ingredients would have to be 
> lengthened and dioxin ceilings fixed for certain products, 
> he added. But a move to fix maximum dioxin levels in feed 
> raised member state fears that the fish industry would be 
> adversely affected, EU officials said. Relatively high 
> background levels of dioxins occurred naturally in fish, so 
> fish oils and fishmeal producers could be hit by even 
> modest dioxin thresholds. Executive News Svc. 
> 
> ===================#=================== 
12)  BBC Online Tuesday, September 28, 1999 Scientists unveil plastic plants 
> Conventional plastic is not biodegradable Biotechnology 
> giant Monsanto says it has created genetically-modified 
> (GM) plants that can grow plastic. 
> 
> The plastic produced in the plant factories is not only 
> biodegradable, it is also suitable for widespread 
> commercial use. It is being produced experimentally in 
> special varieties of GM oilseed rape and cress. 
> 
> Conventional plastics are made from oil and do not degrade 
> easily. 
> 
> But the University of Lausanne's Yves Poirer, commenting 
> on the research published in Nature Biotechnology, said: 
> "There is a growing awareness that petroleum is a finite 
> resource and that the indestructibility of plastics can be 
> more of a nuisance than a benefit. 
> 
> "Synthesis of the materials in crops represents not only 
> an attractive approach to the renewable production of 
> bioplastics, but also an excellent method of increasing the 
> value of crops by adding novel characteristics to plants." 
> 
> Scientists have long been looking for ways of making 
> plastics that are better for the environment. They have 
> already tried using special strains of bacteria that 
> produce plastic naturally under certain conditions. 
> 
> But this is a costly process. One kilogram of this plastic 
> would at best cost $3-5, compared with $1 per kilogram for 
> petroleum-derived plastic. Furthermore, the end product is 
> too brittle for most applications. 
> 
> However, the scientists at Monsanto in the US have managed 
> to produce biodegradable plastic from plants using genetic 
> engineering. 
> 
> They have done this by inserting four genes from the 
> plastic-producing bacteria into varieties of oilseed rape 
> and cress. This turns the plants into biological factories 
> making plastic that can then be extracted from the plant. 
> 
> Unlike bacterial plastics, the plant plastic is suitable 
> for commercial use. 
> 
> Also plastic-producing bacteria have to be fed carbon, in 
> the form of glucose, which has been extracted from a crop. 
> 
> In contrast, plants take carbon directly from the air and 
> so the plastic from the GM crops is likely to be relatively 
> cheap. 
> 
> However, the yield of plastic in the crops is currently 
> only 3%. This is six times lower than has been managed in 
> other experiments. 
> 
> Monsanto scientists say the next step is to refine the GM 
> process to make it suitable for high-yield production. 
> 
> This may be possible but cannot be taken for granted. 
> Research programmes by both Monsanto and Zeneca, 
> investigating other approaches to bioplastics, have ended 
> in failure. 
> 
> Environmental group Friends of the Earth criticised 
> Monsanto's work as little more than a public relations 
> exercise designed to restore the company's image after 
> unfavourable publicity over ita association with GM food 
> crops. 
> 
> "First Monsanto said it is going to feed the world, now it 
> appears they are going to help solve our waste problems," a 
> spokesman said. 
> 
> "The long term impact on the environment is unknown and 
> they should not be grown until their absolute saftey is 
> assured." 
> > ===================#=================== 

13) BRITAIN: Monsanto opens up to critics of gene-altered foods 98% match;
Financial Times ; 28-Sep-1999 02:02:56 am 
> ; 247 words Monsanto, the US biotech company, is so 
> worried about the British public's negative response to 
> genetically modified crops that it has held confidential 
> meetings with the environmental groups most opposed to 
> gene-altered foods. 
> 
> In a sign of the company's new openness, Robert Shapiro, 
> Monsanto's chairman and chief executive, is due to address 
> a Greenpeace business conference in London on October 6. 
> 
> In the last month, senior Monsanto executives have flown 
> from the US to hold separate talks with Friends of the 
> Earth, Greenpeace and the Soil Association. The company 
> initiated the approach and the Independent Environment 
> Council was an intermediary. 
> 
> The meetings are a measure of how concerned the biotech 
> companies have become about the growing opposition outside 
> the US to genetically modified products. It is also a sign 
> of the success of the anti-modification campaign waged by 
> environmentalists. 
> 
> A company official said after a meeting with the Soil 
> Association that Monsanto hoped "to resolve existing 
> problems and prevent new ones, using the relevant 
> experience, diverse knowledge and expertise of such 
> parties". Friends of the Earth said Monsanto had not made 
> any proposals to change its policy on genealtered crops. 
> 
> Biotech executives privately admit they seriously 
> underestimated the level of public suspicion in Britain 
> towards the scientific establishment in the wake of the 
> scandal over BSE or "mad cow disease" and made the mistake 
> of appearing arrogant and high-handed in their dismissal of 
> the environmental and health issues raised. 
> 
> Copyright (c) The Financial Times Limited 
> ===================#=================== 

14) LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Public averse to risk while big  business benefits
95% match; Financial Times ; 28-Sep-1999  02:02:34 am ; 351 words From Dr
Douglas Parr. 
> 
> Sir, One has to hope that Mr Carl B. Feldbaum's natural 
> science is better than his social science ("Effects of Axis 
> Genetics' demise reach far beyond Britain's shores", 
> Letters, 16 September) or we will all be in trouble. 
> 
> Attacking the "misguided" public over their reaction to 
> genetically modified crops and food, he blames them for the 
> demise of drug company Axis Genetics. Passing lightly over 
> the fact that it was the investors, not the public, who 
> pulled the plug on Axis, following a report by Deutsche 
> Bank which said that genetically modified organisms have 
> become a "liability", take a closer look at the "misguided" 
> public's impact on this drugs company. 
> 
> First, anyone with even a casual acquaintance with opinion 
> and attitude research will know that the public sees drug 
> and food applications of genetic engineering quite 
> differently, and are generally supportive of the former 
> while being negative about the latter. The Biotechnology 
> Industry Organisation's idea that this concern will spill 
> over into drug applications is nonsense, unless people are 
> deliberately encouraged to think in this way. 
> 
> People are quite reasonably averse to having to take the 
> risks of GM foods while big business gets the benefit. 
> 
> There is nothing remotely "misguided" about that. Nobody 
> with any understanding of European attitudes and the market 
> they are playing in would think differently. 
> 
> Second, the public's reaction to GM foods is put down to 
> the influence of "anti-technology gurus". Greenpeace 
> supports and encourages many new technologies like 
> renewable energy and "Greenfreeze" refrigeration. So Mr 
> Feldbaum could not possibly be thinking about us. Nor are 
> we aware of any environmental or consumer groups whose 
> position is "anti-technology", merely of those who take a 
> more discriminating attitude to new technologies than naive 
> technophilia. 
> 
> Third, the (rather equivocal) reductions in chemical use 
> he is so proud of ignore another agricultural reality that 
> trumps the claim: the rapid growth in the organic food 
> market, where no synthetic chemicals are used at all. 
> 
> Douglas Parr, campaign centre director, Greenpeace, 
> Canonbury Villas, London N1 2PN Copyright (c) The 
> Financial Times Limited [Entered September 28, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 

15) Agence France Presse HEADLINE: Thailand gets 59.32 million  Sept 28 BODY:
The Asian Development Bank (ADB) said Tuesday 
> it had approved a 59.32 million dollar loan for Thailand to 
> partly finance a project to meet a projected shortage of 
> scientists and engineers. The project aims to strengthen 
> the post-graduate academic programs of universities in 
> agricultural biotechnology, chemistry, energy, 
> environmental and hazardous waste management, petroleum 
> technology and post-harvest technology, the Manila-based 
> bank said in a statement. Thailand's economic growth before 
> the 1997 Asian financial crisis was "not accompanied by 
> significant improvements in productivity, expanded 
> investment in research and development or an adequate 
> increase in scientists and technicians," ADB said. "These 
> shortcomings contributed to the economic crisis and 
> Thailand's declining competitiveness in international 
> markets," it added. ADB projected a shortage of about 
> 20,000 engineers, scientists and researchers with 
> post-graduate credentials in Thailand by 2001. Total cost 
> of the project, expected to be completed in September 2004, 
> is 169.9 million dollars. The balance is to be borne by the 
> Thai government, universities, private firms and other 
> sources, ADB said. The ADB loan is payable in 25 years, 
> including a five-year grace period, with the interest rate 
> to be determined according to the bank's pool-based 
> variable lending rate system for US dollar loans. It will 
> also carry an annual commitment charge of 0.75 percent, the 
> institution said. mba/akp LOAD-DATE: September 28, 1999 
> [Entered September 28, 1999] 
> ===================#=================== 
16)ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence September 28,  Altered grapes
SOURCE: The Age BYLINE: Jeni Port ABSTRACT: 
> British supermarkets asked Southcorp to track down 
> genetically modified elements in its products. Only American 
> corn suppliers were unable to guarantee that their product 
> was unmodified. Southcorp no longer uses suppliers who 
> cannot guarantee the origin of their materials. Professor 
> Peter Hoj of the Australian Wine Research Institute says 
> that there is no genetically modified material is used in 
> any Australian wine. Modification is designed to make grapes 
> resistant to insects, and thus reduce pesticides. 
> 
> Genetically modified grapes are used in Europe and the 
> United States, and such a development is inevitable in 
> Australia, according to Bob Phelps of the Australian 
> GeneEthics Network. Some producers think Australia should 
> avoid this to aid marketing GRAPHIC: photograph 
> ===================#=================== 

17) The Christian Science Monitor September 28, 1999,  HEADLINE: Ending a
Genetic Food Fight HIGHLIGHT: 
> Issues over new biotech products can be resolved BODY: It's 
> time to get real about genetically modified (GM) foods. 
> 
> Consumer resistance to GM products is growing. Biotech 
> promoters seem mystified by rejection of what they see as an 
> advanced form of beneficial plant breeding. Both sides 
> should wise up. It's true that some consumer concern is 
> based on irrational fear - GM killer tomatoes aren't 
> lurking in the markets. It's also true that farm biotech 
> promises a quantum leap in food production for a hungry 
> world. Nevertheless, there are substantial risks, and 
> unless these are faced honestly and resolved 
> satisfactorily, negative public reaction could sidetrack 
> potential benefits. GM technology is not an extension of 
> traditional plant breeding. Moving genes into plants from 
> the animal or bacterial biological kingdoms is not the same 
> as shuffling genes between plants. More care should be 
> taken to prevent alien genes from migrating to weeds and 
> the crops' wild relatives. Special precautions should be 
> developed to ensure that crops with insecticide genes from a 
> bacterium don't harm innocent insects while pests develop 
> resistance. Using antibiotic-resistance genes as genetic 
> markers in food crops is a needless risk to human health. 
> 
> There are other ways to tag the alien genes engineered 
> into crop plants. Also, the suspected potential of GM crops 
> to cause food allergy problems for some people should be 
> investigated. Biotech companies and other GM food promoters 
> have acknowledged the possibility of such risks. But they 
> have not acknowledged that their efforts to deal with them 
> are widely perceived as inadequate - and probably are 
> inadequate. They even resist labeling GM products to inform 
> consumer choices. This reinforces public suspicion. Also, 
> the policy of some GM seed producers to give their plants 
> terminator genes undercuts their claim to benefiting the 
> hungry. These genes prevent subsistence farmers from saving 
> seed from year to year. If they want to benefit from GM 
> plants, these farmers have to keep on buying seed. GM food 
> promoters try to counter suspicion, but with inadequate 
> public information. The suspicious public turns a deaf ear. 
> Unfortunately, in ignoring the hype, skeptics also ignore GM 
> crops' substantial benefits. Better pest resistance means 
> less use of chemical pesticides. Increased ability to 
> thrive on brackish water means marginal farmlands become 
> less marginal. Improvement in the amino acid, protein, and 
> vitamin content of foods means better nutrition. Such 
> benefits will be lost if consumer resistance to GM foods 
> stifles their development. This issue is part of the larger 
> question of what humanity is to do with its growing ability 
> to manipulate Earth's biology at its fundamental level. GM 
> farming raises issues that can't be resolved by propaganda, 
> confrontation, or bans on new products. Full and honest 
> public discussion - both nationally and globally - can 
> clarify those issues and begin to build consensus on how to 
> deal with them. GM food producers and protesting 
> organizations should take the lead in stimulating the 
> discussions. This demands unaccustomed humility. But they 
> should recognize that the alternative is to mire biotech 
> farming in perpetual acrimony. (c) Copyright 1999. The 
> Christian Science Publishing Society 
> ===================#=================== 
18) COMLINE Daily News Electronics September 28, 1999 Hitachi to Set Up Life
Sciences Promotion Division, Highlight Bio Biz BODY: Anticipating 
> growth in such fields as food and medicine, agriculture, 
> chemicals and the environment, Hitachi [6501] will set up a 
> division spotlighting life sciences on October 1. Of 
> special note, Hitachi aims to generate revenues of 15 
> billion yen by 2002 through, for example, outsourced 
> research requests from drugmakers and food producers. The 
> company, which has undertaken DNA analysis and studies on 
> genetic functions for a decade already, will invest about 6 
> billion yen over a three- year period to grow bio-related 
> activities into a new business segment. The in-house 
> information group, with supercomputers capable of massive 
> data processing, will help to expedite operations. Ref: 
> COMLINE Business News, 09/28/99
> ===================#=================== 

19) THE HINDU September 28, 1999 India- NGOs protest against basmati patent 
 NEW DELHI, SEPT. 27. Four non-governmental 
> organisations (NGOs) have joined hands to fight the patent 
> held by the Rice- Tec company on basmati. These include the 
> Gene Campaign from India, the Rural Advancement Foundation 
> Internation (RAFI) from Canada, the Berne Declaration from 
> Switzerland and the Liechtenstein Society for Environmental 
> Protection. These NGOs have made a representation to the 
> Earl of Lichtenstein, according to Dr. Suman Sahai of the 
> Gene Campaign, as he is the president of Rice- Tec which 
> holds the U.S. patent on basmati. In a representation made 
> on September 24, the four NGOs have urged that Rice-Tec 
> should voluntarily recall the patent on basmati rice and 
> stop using the name 'basmati' for any of its products. They 
> have pointed out the patent amounts to misappropriation of 
> the intellectual property of several generations of farmers 
> from India and Pakistan. They have also stated that the 
> patent is a violation in terms of both the genetic material 
> and the name 'basmati'. The use of the name 'Basmati' 
> violates the geographically indicated rights of India and 
> Pakistan as provided for in the WTO agreement. This 
> protection is for goods specially associated with a 
> specific region as champagne is for France and Scotch 
> whisky for the U.K. In a press release issued here today, 
> Dr. Sahai says there is now concrete evidence that the 
> germplasm which Rice-Tec has used to breed its basmati is 
> of Indian origin. The source of the material is alleged to 
> be the gene bank at Fort Collins in the U.S. which has 
> acquired duplicate samples of the rice varieties banked at 
> the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in the 
> Philippines. Dr. Sahai has also urged the Government to 
> file a complaint with the Consultative Group on 
> International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) to take action 
> against Rice-Tec for violating the rules on patenting of 
> the CGIAR held material. The rules binding the use of 
> genetic material from international banks under the CGIAR 
> expressly forbid the patenting of any material obtained 
> from these farmer collections, it is stated. Copyright 
> 1999: The Hindu. All Rights Reserved. 
> ===================#=================== 

20)  BUSINESS LINE September 28, 1999 -India- US soya industry steps up
pressure on bean imports 
BODY: Harish Damodaran NEW DELHI, 
> Sept. 27 The one-million-tonne decline in the country's 
> soyabean output expected this year is bound to aggravate 
> the problems of the solvent extraction industry, whose 
> crushing capacity is much in excess of raw material 
> availability. But it is also likely to provide an alibi to 
> intensify demands for further liberalisation of oilseed 
> imports. And the pressures this time are coming not just 
> from the beleaguered domestic solvent extractors, but also 
> from the powerful US soya industry. The Americans are 
> obviously sore at the 44 per cent duty clamped on oilseed 
> imports (inclusive of surcharge), which is higher than the 
> corresponding 16.5 per cent level on edible oils. But what 
> is bothering them more right now is a Commerce Ministry 
> circular dated October 15, 1998, allowing imports of 
> soyabean only if it is in 'split or cracked form'. This was 
> in response to the Agriculture Ministry's position that 
> soyabeans imported in seed form - even if it was meant for 
> crushing purposes - could potentially be diverted to the 
> farmers' fields. The existing phyto-sanitary standards 
> mandated for all seed imports were, hence, applicable to 
> soyabean imports too. The Ministry even identified 14 plant 
> pathogens for testing on the soyabeans imported from the 
> US. The American Soyabean Association (ASA), however, 
> sought to underplay these concerns by citing the report of 
> a Maryland-based consultant, Market Solutions LLC, that it 
> had engaged to conduct an in-depth review of the scientific 
> literature regarding the specified pathogens. The report 
> stated that five out of the 14 pathogens did not occur at 
> all in the US, while five were already identified in India. 
> Of the remaining four, none were "economically important on 
> soyabeans in the US" and there was "no sound scientific 
> basis for requiring certification for these". These claims 
> were, however, refuted by the Indian Council of 
> Agricultural Research (ICAR). A critical evaluation of the 
> ASA-sponsored report conducted by the National Research 
> Centre for Soyabean (NRCS), Indore, said there were 
> compelling grounds for requiring phyto- sanitary 
> certification on at least seven pathogens and post- entry 
> quarantine formalities for three others. The Commerce 
> Ministry's decision to free import of oilseeds, subject to 
> their being in a non-germinative form, was ostensibly 
> intended to accommodate the divergent viewpoints of the 
> ICAR and the ASA. But predictably, the move has made little 
> difference, as not a single tonne of oilseed has so far 
> been imported. According to Mr. Virgil Miedema, ASA's 
> Regional Director, Asia Subcontinent, importing split or 
> cracked soyabean is "not economically viable". Once the 
> bean is split, it has to be processed within four to five 
> days, after which its protein quality deteriorates and oil 
> content goes down. "This means splitting can take place 
> only at the port of entry and not at the port of origin. 
> 
> This is impractical because none of the Indian ports have 
> facilities for cracking and neither can the solvent 
> extractors afford to establish these", Dr. Miedema said. 
> 
> While the ensuing deadlock has brought matters back to 
> square one, there have been developments of late, 
> nevertheless, which portend a breakthrough of sorts. 
> 
> According to reliable sources, the ICAR and the US 
> Department of Agriculture will soon be constituting a 
> six-member task force - comprising three scientists each 
> from both sides - to study the whole phyto- sanitary 
> certification issue "in a more scientific manner". The 
> decision was taken at the World Soyabean Conference held in 
> Chicago early last month, which was attended, among others, 
> by the ICAR Director-General, Dr. R.S. Paroda. It has 
> apparently been agreed to 'de-politicise' and 'de- 
> bureaucratise' the entire issue and conduct talks purely at 
> a 'scientist-to- scientist level'. Confirming this, a 
> senior ICAR official said the matter would be resolved soon 
> and "we have already taken significant steps to narrow down 
> our differences". How fast things will move from here is 
> still unclear. But what is clear is that pressures in this 
> direction will mount in the coming days. The soya 
> processing industry currently has a capacity to crush 16.2 
> m.t. of soyabeans annually, whereas domestic production in 
> 1998-99 amounted to only 6.94 m.t. (see graph). Soyabean 
> output, this year, is expected to fall to 5.9 m.t., 
> 
> further aggravating the excess capacity situation. And 
> unlike in the past, there is also the problem of lower 
> price realisation from edible oil and exports of soyameal. 
> 
> The US, in contrast, is projected to harvest a record 78 
> m.t. of soyabean this year, of which nearly 25 m.t. is 
> destined for exports. The US annually exports (USDollar) 
> 7-billion worth of soyabeans, with exports of meal fetching 
> around (USDollar) 2 billions and soyaoil another (USDollar) 
> 1 billion. "India is a market they are waiting to prise 
> open, for which they are willing to go step-by-step. Once 
> the phyto-sanitary conditions are relaxed, import duty 
> reduction will follow within no time", an industry observer 
> said. Sharp differences on plant pathogens Of the 14 plant 
> pathogens originally identified by the Indian Government, 
> for which the importers of US soyabeans need to furnish 
> phyto-sanitary certificates, five have been found not to 
> occur at all in the US. In the case of these five pathogens 
> - bean mild mosaic virus, cowpea mosaic virus, quail pea 
> mosaic virus, soyabean crinkle leaf virus and soyabean 
> dwarf virus - there is consensus between both the ASA and 
> the ICAR on not requiring any phyto-sanitary certification. 
> Besides, there are five others - erysiphe polygoni (powdery 
> mildew), septoria glycines (brown spot), 
> daiporthe/phomopsis complex (stem blight), peronospora 
> manshurica (downy mildew) and tobacco ringspot virus - 
> whose presence, the ASA claims, has been recorded in India, 
> thereby obviating any phyto-sanitary requirement on the 
> imported shipment. The ICAR has, however, disputed the 
> incidence of the latter three pathogens/diseases in the 
> country. Even with regard to the first two (powdery mildew 
> and brown spot), the ICAR has held that phyto-sanitary 
> certification may not be necessary, but precautionary 
> post-entry quarantine (PEQ) formalities are still required. 
> The main problem areas relate to the remaining four 
> pathogens - bean pod mottle virus, corynebacterium 
> flaccumfaciens, tobacco streak virus and stem canker. The 
> ASA's contention here is that the diseases caused by these 
> pathogens have led to minimal economic loss in the US. The 
> ICAR's position, however, is that even if these diseases 
> are not economically important in the US, conditions is 
> India may be conducive for their spread, since the said 
> pathogens are seed-borne. Apart from hurdles on the 
> phyto-sanitary certification front, the possibility of the 
> imported consignments containing ' transgenic' soyabeans 
> could well emerge as an additional point of dispute. An 
> estimated 55 per cent of soyabean acreage in the US, this 
> year, is said to comprise genetically modified (GM) 
> 'herbicide tolerant' varieties (Being a broad-leafed crop, 
> soyabean is normally not amenable to herbicide application, 
> since the herbicide cannot distinguish between the weeds 
> and standing crop and ends up destroying both. The new GM 
> varieties are 'tolerant' to herbicides such as Monsanto's 
> Roundup-Ready). According to the ASA's Asia Subcontinent 
> Regional Director, Mr. Virgil Miedema, the GM issue is 
> unlikely to pose problems because "we can always supply 
> only non-GM soyabeans". He claims that there are methods 
> for segregating the GM soyabeans from the non-GM varieties. 
> But by the ASA's own admission, this process of segregation 
> is economical only if the soyabean is being supplied for 
> premium, non-bulk uses, such as tofu-making. Such small 
> harvests can be kept separate, though at a price: the beans 
> supplied to Japan are three times more expensive than the 
> ordinary ones (see The Economist, June 19-25, 1999). As 
> against this, India's requirements are bulk, since the 
> imported soyabeans are basically meant to be crushed to 
> extract the de-oiled cake for exports. If the solvent 
> extraction industry is to import non-GM soyabeans at a 
> premium, it would obviously erode its cost competitiveness. 
> During 1998-99, India exported Rs. 1,804-crore worth of 
> soya de-oiled cake, down from Rs. 2,429 crores the previous 
> year. Copyright 1999: Business Line. All Rights Reserved. 
> 
> ===================#===================