Genetically
 Manipulated 


 

 
 
 Food


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13 March 2000

Table of Contents

Canadian Senate Hearings
Lawyer's challenge to US over GM safety claims
EDINBURGH -- Concerns About Genetically Modified Food
Cover-up over GM food safety exposed
Consumer advocates throw down gauntlet on transgenic foods
Challenge to US as Edinburgh talks open
Hidden risks of grafting genes into foodstuffs
Dow Jones Agriculture Groups Call For Curbs On Genetic Eng...
Row Over Food Labels Boils Over At Summit
Resolution Passed By The Boston City Council
Genetically Modified Food For Thought
Bakery to Make GM-free Cookies
Farmers Warned of Uncertainties With Crops Genetics
Fewer US farmers to plant modified corn- NCGA poll
Genetic engineering does not yield pesticide reduction
Challenge to OECD Conference to Call for Withdrawal Of Genetically Engineered Foods
EU keeps moratorium on new GM crops
GM Salmon
Australian Response To The Proposed Gene Technology Bill
EU Halts Franken Crops
Victory for Organic Consumers & Farmers: The USDA Surrenders
Virus Problems From Pig to Human Transplants
Corn Growers Question Need To Sacrifice Export Markets Due To Genetically Modified Crops

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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Canadian Senate Hearings

Senate Hearings / Health Canada - transcript(s)

For those who have been following these hearings on Health Canada (discussed in previous email or at our GE News website) or would like to, the first of the transcripts, of Dec.7/99, is so far on the web, at: http://www.parl.gc.ca/36/2/parlbus/commbus/senate/com-e/RULE-E/04....

There have been 3 sessions since then: Feb.22, 23 and 29. The next meeting has been tentatively scheduled for Mar 13. We will let you know when the meeting is set


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Lawyer's challenge to US over GM safety claims

Paul Brown Environment Correspondent, The Guardian GM food: special report, Tuesday February 29, 2000

The United States administration was challenged yesterday to explain the assumptions which had led it to claim that genetically modified foods were safe when documents produced by its own scientific advisers said its methods were fundamentally flawed.

Lawyer Steve Druker said the US food and drug administration (FDA) was guilty of a "deliberate ploy to deceive the world" by claiming that genetically engineered plants were substantially equivalent to normal plants.

Mr Druker issued his challenge at the GM food safety conference in Edinburgh, hosted by the British government, where some sceptics have been invited to take part but most speakers are in favour of the technology.

Documents which detailed scientific doubts about GM foods were obtained by Mr Druker as part of a court case against the FDA. He is hoping to force the FDA to have mandatory safety testing and labelling of genetically engineered foods.

He said yesterday that the 44,000 pages of documents showed that the FDA declared GM foods to be safe in the face of disagreement from its own experts. Eleven of the 17 experts on the GM task force to assess risks expressed disquiet but were overruled, he claimed.

The fears about GM food tests have begun to dominate the organisation for economic cooperation and development conference, GM Food Safety: Facts, Uncertainties and Assessment, attended by 400 invited delegates from 29 countries. The objectors to the technology say that without testing to see whether GM foods are toxic or cause allergies they should not be allowed on the market. The pro lobby say there is no need to test GM food because it is made from plants equivalent to those bred naturally.

Among the documents revealed by the court case was a memo dated January 8 1992 by Dr Linda Kahl, FDA compliance officer, summarising the objections of her colleagues. She wrote to James Maryanski, the FDA's biotechnology coordinator: "The processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding are different, and according to the technical experts in the agency, they lead to different risks. There is no data that addresses the relative magnitude of the risks ..."


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

EDINBURGH – Concerns About Genetically Modified Food

Reuters:UK: February 29, 2000

EDINBURGH – Scientist Arpad Pusztai, who triggered concerns about genetically modified food last year, said yesterday he was convinced more needed to be done to ensure the technology was not harmful to animals and humans.

He called in an interview with Reuters for international collaboration to examine GM products.

"That conviction has been growing," said Pusztai, attending an international conference in Edinburgh on GM foods.

"In the United States there are 42 genetically modified foodstuffs, so there is plenty to look at. We ought to do it as soon as possible."

Pusztai said industry must also be involved in the effort but in an indirect way because consumers would have no confidence otherwise in the research.


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Cover-up over GM food safety exposed

By Simone Rosamond And John Ingham, UK Daily Express 29 Feb, 2000

A SAFETY cover-up over genetically modified foods was exposed yesterday at a conference designed to calm fears about the technology.

An American lawyer revealed written evidence that the American Food and Drug Administration had overruled its own scientists to claim that GM foods are safe.


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Consumer advocates throw down gauntlet on transgenic foods

EDINBURGH, AFP) – Tuesday, February 29 9:25 PM SGT

Genetically-modified foods face a consumer revolt if biotech corporations, scientists and policy-makers fail to overhaul the way they vet the safety of these novel products, consumer watchdogs said Tuesday.

Speaking at a forum on the future of transgenic foods, they said that in industrialised countries, especially in Europe, growing numbers of the public felt the safety assessment process was determined by a narrow elite and driven by corporate greed.

For many people, they said, food products risked being authorised that could be dangerous for the health and the environment.

John Durant, professor of communications at London's Imperial College, said bio-engineered food had been plunged into a "crisis of credibility" among consumers, who saw no benefits and – in the wake of the mad-cow scare – only risks.

"It's been lack of awareness of what citizens care about that has caused most of the problems," Durant said. "The risks of policy-making behind closed doors are greater than doing it in public."

Public hostility to the new foods had been fuelled by "a narrow scientific interpretation" of the risks, said Julian Edwards, head of Consumers International, a global association of consumer groups.


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Challenge to US as Edinburgh talks open

Source: The Herald, Publication date: Feb 29, 2000
http://cnniw.newsreal.com/cgi-bin/NewsService?osform_template=pag....

Cover-up claim on the safety of GM foods

THE US government was yesterday accused of a massive cover up on the safety of genetically modified foods and ignoring its own scientific advice with potentially devastating effects for the world.

An American lawyer alleged the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), which licenses GM foods in the US, had not only ignored its scientific advisers, but set "shoddy" safety standards.

The claim came on the opening day of a conference on GM food safety in Edinburgh which is bringing together 400 experts on the subject.

There was immediate controversy, with delegates facing demands to disclose any financial relationships with the biotechnology industry.

The challenge was one of a series made by several UK environmental organisations to the event attended by Government Ministers. Among them was Cabinet Minister Dr Mo Mowlam, who denied that weekend comments by Mr Tony Blair indicated a Government U-turn on the issue.

These demands were also aimed at the conference organisers, the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development. It was accused of putting together a programme balanced towards the pro-GM agenda.

The move by organisations such as Greenpeace, the Soil Association and the Natural Law Party, was backed by US public interest attorney Steven Druker. At a briefing near the conference venue, he accused his own government of a "cover-up" on the safety of GM foods. He challenged President Bill Clinton to act on the issue.

He said the FDA had introduced a standard of proof known as "substantive equivalence" which assumed GM foods carried the same risks as traditional ones. Mr Druker said FDA scientists had told their chiefs they had doubts about this policy. However, he claimed the FDA had by-passed its own safety standards and allowed GM food to be licensed wholesale in the US illegally, food that therefore had been allowed into British markets without proper safety checks.

The lawyer challenged the Edinburgh conference to identify any products shown to be safe to eat which had been produced through genetic engineering.

However, the American FDA's senior delegate at the conference maintained that GM foods were as safe as other foods in supermarkets, and were subject to rigorous testing. Dr James Maryanski said new foods on the market were tested to make sure they were as safe as traditional foods.

Mr Druker, from Iowa, has contested this in the past and successfully sued the FDA two years ago to force the release of its internal scientific papers which proved its scientists had serious concerns about the safety of GM foods.

The attorney is the executive director of the environmental lobbyists' group, the Alliance of Bio Integrity.

At a public hearing in Washington last year, he said the FDA memo pointed to a "cover-up" of concern among its own staff over the damages of manipulating the genetic code of food staples such as maize and soya.


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Date: Wed, 1 Mar 2000 21:33:03 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Hidden risks of grafting genes into foodstuffs

By Paul Brown, GM food: special report The Guardian, Wednesday March 1, 2000
http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,3604,141868,00.htm....

Food allergies which can kill pose a risk when genes from other plants and animals are grafted into foodstuffs without the consumer knowing, Carston Bindslev-Jensen told the conference. He said if a fish or nut gene was grafted into a tomato it would not affect the look of the salad but it might kill a person with a serious allergy to fish or nuts.

The professor, of the university of Southern Denmark, cited as an example a brazil nut gene grafted into soya beans by Monsanto to make a superfeed for chickens. "It was very good for chickens but some of the nut genes passed into the chickens and could have have caused a serious problem if they had been eaten by people with an allergy to brazil nuts. They would never have known what caused their illness." Fortunately, he said, Monsanto abandoned the project.


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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:29:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Dow Jones Agriculture Groups Call For Curbs On Genetic Eng...

March 1, 2000

CHICAGO (Dow Jones)--U.S. agriculture and rural groups called Wednesday for mandatory labeling of foods containing ingredients from genetically-enhanced crops. The groups, which work together under the banner Midwest Sustainable Agriculture Working Group, also want companies to be liable for damages resulting from genetically-enhanced organisms they patent, as well as other steps to protect consumer and farmer choice in the marketplace.

"We must preserve choices for consumers and farmers who would prefer not to eat or plant genetically-modified crops because of environmental, food safety, social and religious objections," said Martha Noble, senior policy analyst for the Sustainable Agriculture Coalition. "We must also be certain that the companies that own the patents on these crops - and stand to reap rewards from them - also bear the responsibility for what results from their products in the real world."


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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:29:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Row Over Food Labels Boils Over At Summit

By Mitch Potter, Toronto Star European Bureau, March 1, 2000
http://www.thestar.com/thestar/editorial/news/20000301NEW03b_NA-F....

North America, Europe Can't Agree On Issue

EDINBURGH – The United States and Canada, according to this story, came under fire at a Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development global summit on genetically engineered foods yesterday over the thorny issue of whether consumers should be told they're consuming genetically modified products.

Lisa Katic, policy director for the Grocery Manufacturers of America, was The answer is not in mandatory labelling. A voluntary labelling system must prevail. Mandatory labelling could lead consumers to

Katic was further cited as saying mandatory labels might force U.S. retailers to purge GM foods from stores, where as much as 60 per cent of inventories contain genetically modified ingredients, mostly soybeans, corn and canola oil. Canadian stores contain about the same ratio of GM foods, according to food industry estimates.

She said the growing niche market in organic foods would always leave consumers with a range of choice.

Katic's comments raised the hackles of a number of delegates, including many from Europe, where public trust of government and industry has and dioxin scares.

Ase Fulke, head of the Norwegian Food Control Authority, was quoted as If your customers don't know about it, you've effectively taken

Quebec consumer advocate Nathalie St. Pierre of Action Reseau Consommateur was cited as challenging Katic's statement that organically labelled food It's more expensive, so

Dr. Suman Sahai, a scientist representing India's independent research It's presumptuous and arrogant Canada also found itself in the centre of the storm yesterday for its role as host country to the ongoing international Committee on Food Labelling. The irony of a country which officially objects to GM labelling also leading an international committee to establish GM labelling wasn't lost on Indian delegate Sahai, who raised the issue on the conference floor. I would like to know what Canada stands for. On one hand, you're supposed to lead an effort to establish labelling, on the other hand, you're working with


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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:29:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

The following resolution was passed unanimously by the Boston City Council on March 2, 2000.

Resolution Passed By The Boston City Council

CITY OF BOSTON
IN CITY COUNCIL

March 1, 2000

RESOLUTION OF COUNCILLOR MAURA HENNIGAN

WHEREAS: Genetically engineered foods have never been proven safe, nor are genetically engineered foods tested by any federal agency as the Food and Drug Administration requires only that the companies engineering these foods taste, on the "honor system" that the foods are safe with no further testing required; and

WHEREAS: Cornell University researcher, John Losey, and other researchers indicated in repeated tests that the larvae from Monarch Butterflies were dying at an alarming rate from toxic pollen generated from the genetically engineered corn near their feeding sites; and

WHEREAS: A class action lawsuit has been brought against the Food and Drug Administration by some of the nation's most prominent anti-trust lawyers for rushing these novel, unpredictable and untested food technology products to the market; and

WHEREAS: Numerous bioengineers and related distinguished scientists have gone on record stating this technology clearly is different from traditional breeding methods and is highly probable to exhibit a host of undesirable health and environmental risk factors as well as great potential for negative cascade effects in the genetic cross-pollination of beneficial plants, insects and other fragile ecosystems directly linked to the breeding of this novel experimental food production technology;

Now, Therefore Be It

RESOLVED: That the Boston City Council, in meeting assembled, urges the Federal Government to require labeling of genetically manipulated foods and further urges a moratorium on the production of any more of these foods until acceptable testing systems are in place; and Be It Further

RESOLVED: That March 26, 2000 be declared YOU ARE WHAT YOU EAT DAY in the City of Boston.


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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:29:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Genetically Modified Food For Thought

Mar. 4, 2000 Globe and Mail

What Has Happened Isn't Likely To Be What Will Happen

Sometimes, according to this editorial, what is most unnerving about the obvious is that it is so obdurately obvious.

A major scientific conference on genetically modified (GM) food recently concluded in Edinburgh with a host of extremely obvious pronouncements. First, there has been no harm to human health from GM food demonstrated anywhere in the world. Obviously, the editorial says, given all the scrutiny in this area, if even something minuscule had popped up, you would have heard about it in headlines as big as a giant pumpkin. The scientists at the meeting then added that, despite good news to date, long-term monitoring should continue as nothing in life is certain. Again obvious.

Contrarily, there is not much evidence that the first generation of genetically modified food has been of much benefit to consumers in the developed world. The reason for this is also obvious. Most applications have centred on selling First World farmers seeds that allow them to produce food somewhat more abundantly and cheaply; but eaters in industrialized countries already live in food's own Eden.

In 1996, Statistics Canada calculated that the average Canadian family living in a metropolitan area spent a bit more than $43 a week per person on food. That is to say, it cost a family roughly as much to eat as it did to go out to the movies once a week, once you threw in popcorn, soft drinks and transportation. If genetically modified food made food 10 per cent less expensive for a farmer to produce, the price cut would still be peanuts to the consumer.

Furthermore, what is obvious from a public-relations perspective „and this view is now much discussed in the industry „is how much easier it would have been for genetic modification to sell itself if it had arrived with one thing that greatly appealed to consumers, rather than the current plethora of small and not overwhelmingly necessary improvements it has given to farmers.

This, thought attendees at the Edinburgh conference, is just the sort of thing that looms on the horizon. The next generation of modified food is likely to offer tangible health benefits, many of them to that blighted crust of the world that doesn't live in a food Eden.

The term "golden rice" is much in the air. While half of the world's population has rice as part of a staple diet, rice is a poor source of many vitamins and micronutrients. The result is that 70 per cent of children under 5 in Southeast Asia suffer from a deficiency of vitamin A, a condition that can impair vision and lead to generally poor health. Last year scientists reported that they were able to bioengineer a rice with vitamin A in it. It is the first example of what are being called "nutriceuticals": intrinsically healthier food. The editorial says it will be very hard for the die-hard opponents of genetically modified food to oppose making the 800 million people who suffer from micronutrient-poor diets healthier, no matter what technology is used to accomplish this. Similarly, work is under way to bioengineer food that contains vaccines against such problems as diarrhea, a major source of infant mortality in poor countries.

And, while ever more abundant foodstuffs are the norm in the developed world (North American potato yields have doubled in the past 50 years), many of the staples of the Third World remain poor producers. GM work with cassava, the third most common source of calories in the world after rice and corn, has led some scientists to suggest that genetic engineering against cassava pathogens could increase productivity tenfold. If even half of this comes to pass, many of the fears about genetic-manipulation technology will end up in the revised version of the classic book Fears and the Madness of Crowds.

Given this exudation of the obvious, it also seems self-evident that we, the food-consuming public, should move ahead with cautious optimism. There are environmental problems to continue to monitor. Some of the more melodramatic ones (such as the spread of altered genes to wild cousins of crop plants, known as the "superweed" problem) are probably not a major worry in this country, since we have relatively few such near-relatives. However, the effects on virtuous insect species such as bees of plants that have had natural pesticides engineered into them should continually be monitored.

Perhaps most self-evident of all, people should do everything they can to circumvent an oft-confusing and increasingly polemical public debate. Previously, we suggested that a good place to begin is the Canadian Food Inspection Agency's Web site: http://www.cfia-acia.agr.ca/english/plant/pbo/home_e.html.

There you can see what your government is doing to evaluate genetically modified food. The editorial says that contrary to what many people think, there is testing and data evaluation going on in all contentious areas. You can't judge what more should be done until you do the final obvious thing and educate yourself.

Mark Ritchie, President
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2105 First Ave. South Minneapolis, Minnesota 55404 USA
612-870-3400 (phone) 612-870-4846 (fax), cell phone 612-385-7921
mritchie@iatp.org    http://www.iatp.org


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Date: Mon, 6 Mar 2000 10:29:25 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Bakery to Make GM-free Cookies

by Stuart Laidlaw, The Toronto Star, March 3, 2000
http://www.thestar.com/thestar/editorial/money/20000303BUS01b_FI-....

Big Grocery Chains Are Nibbling But Not Buying Yet, Company Says

Philip Fusco, vice-president of Commercial Bakeries Corp., was cited as saying grocers could start selling products free of genetically modified It takes a bit of work, said

The story says that Fusco made a test batch of GM-free cookies in January, and could put them into regular production any time, adding small companies such as his have the flexibility to launch new products quickly to meet

The story says that Fusco began looking into sources of GM-free ingredients last September after he noticed several articles in food industry publications about the furor in Europe over genetically modified plants.

By December, two of his American customers, organic grocery chains Whole Foods Markets and Wild Oats Markets, were asking him if he could come up with a GM-free cookie. Both chains have bought organic cookies from Commercial for about six years.

The company also makes house brand cookies for Loblaws, Sobeys, A&P and several other chains in Canada, the Unites States and Asia. Between 15 per cent and 20 per cent of the 68,000 kilograms of cookies Commercial makes a day are organic and Fusco expects those will also be GM-free by the end of the year. Some of the non-organic cookies may also be GM-free.

Company expects to begin shipping cookies this summer Within weeks of taste testing his chocolate sandwich cookies in January, both U.S. organic chains announced that all their products will be GM-free by the end of the year.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes.


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Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 21:58:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Farmers Warned of Uncertainties With Crops Genetics

by Bill Hord, World-Herald Bureau, Omaha World-Herald
March 4, 2000, SECTION: BUSINESS; Pg. 52, Kearney, Neb.

Farmers whose fields will soon be planted with genetically altered seeds were left Friday with the image of an atomic bomb exploding in the north.

Toxicologist, biologist and pharmacologist Suzanne Wuerthele painted that mental picture here Friday for about 400 Nebraska farm leaders in a talk about genetic engineering at the annual Governor's Agriculture Conference.

"This is probably one of the most technologically powerful developments the world has ever seen," Wuerthele said. "It's the biological equivalent of splitting the atom."

Wuerthele, who analyzes potential harm to humans from chemicals for the Environmental Protection Agency in Denver was the first speaker after Gov. Mike Johanns promised attendees a "provocative" agenda for the annual conference.

Questions about how genetically altered crops and livestock will affect Earth's ecosystem have been raised as the technology spreads throughout the world, potentially jeopardizing the benefits farmers have received from seed varieties that fight pests and weeds.

Although Wuerthele's words seemed extreme, she said her intention was to let farmers know that scientific questions about genetic engineering need to be answered. "This is a huge controversy," she said.

"Regardless of who is raising the issues, the scientific issues are valid. When we work with biological things, they can be very powerful."


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Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 21:58:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Fewer US farmers to plant modified corn – NCGA poll

Reuters Story - March 07, 2000 13:24

ORLANDO, Fla., March 7 (Reuters) - Fewer U.S. farmers plan to grow genetically modified corn this year compared with 1999, with those abandoning the crops citing uncertainty about their marketability as a factor in the decision, according to a survey released Tuesday by the National Corn Growers Association.

About 20 percent of the farmers who said they grew genetically modified crops last year said they would not do so this year.


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Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 21:58:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

For further information: Julia Langer, Director of Wildlife Toxicology, WWF Canada, at (416) 489-4567 ext. 258 or Gregory Hamara, Media Relations Manager, WWF Canada, at (416) 489-4567 ext. 276

Genetic engineering does not yield pesticide reduction

TORONTO, March 7 /CNW/ via NewsEdge Corporation

Genetically-engineered (GE) crops cannot be depended on to reduce pesticide use, according to a report released today by World Wildlife Fund Canada titled Do Genetically Engineered Crops Reduce Pesticide Use? The Evidence Says Not Likely. Working to reduce reliance on pesticides in Canada, WWF is concerned that false hopes about biotechnology's ability to reduce pesticide use will impede progress towards sustainable agriculture.

"Genetic engineering is not a magical short cut to pesticide reduction," said Julia Langer, Director of WWF's Wildlife Toxicology Program. "The path to pesticide reduction will be paved with reforms to the dysfunctional and outdated Pest Control Products Act and through strong support for farmers to implement ecological practices."

Biotechnology companies have focused on the genetic engineering of major crops such as corn, soybeans, potatoes, cotton and canola, all of which are heavily sprayed. Most of the GE crops on the market have genes from bacteria inserted into them (transgenic engineering) which give crops one of two kinds of new characteristics: either resistance to herbicides so that the crop can be sprayed with an herbicide without being killed, or the ability to produce toxins of a bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) which will kill some insect pests. Since pesticides can harm birds, fish, other wildlife, and natural enemies of pests, and are also associated with harm to people's health, it would be beneficial if GE crops resulted in reduced pesticide use.

However, recent US data show that GE crops are not producing such reductions. Farmers planting GE crops have often actually increased their use of herbicides and insecticides.

The WWF report outlines six key reasons underlying why genetic engineering does not decrease pesticide reliance:

In one analysis, the greater expense of GE seeds and the increased herbicide costs resulted in a 50 per cent increase in farmers' weed management costs.

Since GE is not performing according to claims and significant risks continue to emerge, including concerns regarding the impact of Bt corn on monarch butterflies, WWF concludes that sure-fire ways of achieving pesticide reduction, including IPM and organic techniques, should be preferentially adopted.

WWF's report, Do Genetically Engineered Crops Reduce Pesticide Use? The Evidence Says Not Likely, is available in the pressroom of WWF Canada's web site at http://www.wwf.ca or by calling WWF at 1-800-26-PANDA.


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Date: Thu, 9 Mar 2000 21:58:02 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Natural Law Party Report from Europe on the OECD Conference on GM Food Safety

(OECD is the Organization for Economic Cooperationa and Development)

Challenge to OECD Conference to Call for Withdrawal Of Genetically Engineered Foods

7 March 2000

Sections:
Natural Law Party Report
"Precautionary principle" must be respected with regard to GM food
"The Other GM Summit" at Edinburgh University

Natural Law Party Report

During last week's OECD Conference on GM Food Safety, held in Edinburgh, Scotland, US public interest attorney Steven Druker created a dramatic impact when he revealed how US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) scientists repeatedly warned the agency about the health hazards of genetically engineered foods and how their warnings were systematically covered up. For the international press corps covering the event this was one of the most exciting and newsworthy developments during the three-day conference, the rest of the debate being fairly predictable.

Towards the end of the first session of the OECD conference on Monday 28 February, Patrick Holden, Director of the Soil Association (the organisation that maintains organic standards in the UK), gave a powerful speech from the floor of the conference to the 400 delegates. He said that he had been refused an opportunity to speak from the platform and that there was a clear bias in the agenda in favour of genetically engineered food. He announced a lunch time press conference at which Steven Druker and others would speak.

The event took place at the Scottish Parliament and had to be moved to the largest Committee Room available in order to accommodate the 50 media who turned up along with well over 50 "observers" from the main conference - OECD officials, representatives of the biotech companies, etc. In the packed room it was a lively and powerful event that felt like history in the making.

Facing a bank of television cameras and speaking into a dozen microphones, Steven Druker was supported at the event by Dr Geoffrey Clements, leader of the Natural Law Party of the UK, and the leaders of the Soil Association, Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, and GeneWatch. The event, which had been organised at the suggestion of the Natural Law Party, was hosted by Robin Harper of the Green Party, who was recently elected as an MSP - a Member of the new Scottish Parliament.

"Precautionary principle" must be respected with regard to GM food

Collectively the speakers challenged the OECD conference to take note of the information that has come to light in the lawsuit Mr Druker is co-ordinating against the US FDA - 44,000 pages of internal FDA documents indicating a massive cover up of scientist's warnings (refer to press release we sent you on 17 February 2000 - available on our web site at www.natural-law-party.org). Mr Druker said that with this new information the OECD conference should recommend that international law on the "precautionary principle" must be respected and that all GM foods must be withdrawn immediately.

Dr Clements brought out the parallels in the UK with many eminent scientists, including scientists at the John Innes Centre (a leading adviser to the UK government on GM risk assessment), having identified important risks for health or the environment from genetically engineered food and crops. Dr Clements urged Tony Blair, the British Prime Minister, to stand by his recent statement that he would ensure "the most rigorous safety assessments in the world" and therefore suspend all approvals for GM foods in the UK.

Journalists from all over the world were in attendance along with most of the national media from Scotland and the UK. This included the Times, Telegraph, Guardian, Independent, Financial Times, BBC, Sky TV, New Scientist, Nature, the Scotsman, Reuters, Agence France-Presse, Kyodo News (Japan), Canadian Broadcasting, Irish national radio news, Toronto Star, Dow Jones, six US newspapers, Nationen (Norway), and many others.

The event ran for three times as long as scheduled and then continued into several other impromptu press briefings in the corridors as representatives of the US FDA and the OECD were pressed by journalists to answer the questions that had been raised. It was also referred to by almost every speaker at the conference for the rest of the day, including the conference chairman, Sir John Krebs, who encouraged delegates to address the issues that had been raised.

"US accused of suppressing GM food fears" declared the headline of the Daily Telegraph's report on the OECD conference the next day. "Lawyer's challenge to US over GM safety claims" proclaimed The Guardian. Similar reports appeared in most of the British media. The Scottish Herald devoted its font page to the issue, under the banner headline: "Cover-up claim on the safety of GM foods - Challenge to US as Edinburgh talks open".

"The Other GM Summit" at Edinburgh University

The next day Steven Druker and the Natural law Party were invited to participate in a special evening debate with other OECD conference delegates in front of an audience of well over 100 at the Centre for Human Ecology, which is associated with Edinburgh University. The debate called "The Other GM Summit" was lively and dramatic. As soon as the audience heard that Steven Druker was there they burst into spontaneous applause. There were strong exchanges between Mr Druker and pro-GM scientists.

During the debate, Patrick Holden of the Soil Association said that genetic engineering is just the latest in a series of "scientific" interventions in agriculture over the last fifty years that are only making things worse because they deal with symptoms rather than working with Nature.

Peter Warburton, Deputy Leader of the UK Natural Law Party, said that the degree of risk and uncertainty involved in GM foods is so great that they should not be grown at all. He was applauded when he called for a widening of the debate beyond considering the merits of GM food to investigate truly natural sustainable systems of agriculture, such as Vedic agriculture, which comes from the most ancient, holistic system of knowledge of Natural Law.

Other positions in the debate became clear when the spokesman for biotech company Novartis said that the main objective of his company was to be as profitable as possible for their share holders, and the president of Gene Campaign, India, called for help in the developing world to stand up to commercial exploitation by the multinational biotech companies.

The document summarising the deliberations of the OECD conference will be passed on to the next G8 summit of the leaders of the most wealthy industrialised nations for them to decide the way forward for the world. It is very clear from the conference that world leaders can no longer ignore public opinion on this issue and that the Natural Law Parties have made considerable progress in their world-wide campaign to educate the public about the dangers of genetically engineered foods and to achieve a total ban.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes.


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Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 11:11:32 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

EU keeps moratorium on new GM crops

By Andrew Osborn, Reuters Story - March 09, 2000 15:41

BRUSSELS, March 9 (Reuters) - The European Union will keep its de facto moratorium on the approval of genetically modified crops in place at least for a further six months.

The EU's "Article 21 Committee" had been due to decide on Thursday whether to approve marketing and sale of three new genetically modified crops in the 15-nation bloc but instead postponed a decision until the summer.

"There was insufficient information so we decided to postpone the decision," an EU official told a news briefing, referring to the possible approval of two GM varieties of rapeseed and one variety of fodder beet.

EU environment ministers agreed a de facto moratorium on new GM product approvals last June pending a new EU directive which will tighten up approval criteria.


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Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 11:11:32 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

The following press release was posted by Don McAllister mcall@superaje.com via David Ellis

GM Salmon

On Feb. 24, 2000, the Board of Directors of the British Columbia Salmon Farmers Association (BCSFA) voted unanimously to strengthen its policy against use of transgenic or genetically modified (GM) fish in BC.

On Feb. 25, 2000, officials of New Zealand King Salmon Co., Ltd. announced that the company had killed all its genetically modified fish and suspended research after succeeding in introducing an additional growth hormone gene into Chinook salmon and passing this trait through 3 generations of fish. [The New Zealand transgenic fish were grossly deformed, which is why the experiment was stopped] Frozen sperm of GM salmon was retained to continue the program in the future. The company claimed its GM salmon could grow to 550 pounds. [Assoc Press, BCSFA press release]


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Date: Sat, 11 Mar 2000 11:11:32 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

Thanks to George P. Kailis kailish@ozemail.com.au for posting this submission to the Australian government, re their proposed Gene Technology
Bill

Australian Response To The Proposed Gene Technology Bill

George P. Kailis kailish@ozemail.com.au, 11 March 2000

SUBMISSION TO: Interim Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, Commonwealth Dept of Health and Aged Care

Dear Sir/Madame

Please find below my response to the proposed Gene Technology Bill.

  1. In view of the potential risks which genetical manipulation of our food sources pose, it is imperative that before there is any consideration of a new Office of the Gene Technology Regulator, the Australian government call a moratorium on gene technology in food production until such time that its safety has been determined for human health and the environment. In regard to health risks please note:

    1. Such a moratorium has been called for by both the British Medical Association and the Public Health Association of Australia and recently endorsed by the Blair governement of the UK "(This) is an entirely new method of producing food. We can't possibly predict the outcome on human health", states Dr John Coveney, lecturer in public health, Flinders University (SMH 12/6/99).According to Professor Stewart Truswell, emeritus professor of human nutrition at Sydney University, "The safety of GE foods could not be known for some time" (SMH 12/6/99).

    2. "Absence of evidence" does not necessarily mean "evidence of absence" of harm. According to Britain's biggest ever social science research programme - the 10-year, 15million pounds Global Environmental Change Programme (GECP), funded by the Economic and Social Science Research Council, which has drawn in some 355 researchers in 150 projects since 1991, science is "ill-equipped to tackle the diffuse effects of existing technologies" and "that definitive answers do not and cannot exist in the face of uncertainty and 'ignorance' about new technologies".

    3. It took 5 years to show that milk produced from cows treated with the genetically engineered growth hormone, bovine somatotropin (rBST, also called BGH) has substantially higher levels of Insulin-like Growth Factor 1 (IGF-1) than which occurs naturally in milk and that there is a possible "Association between circulating IGF-1 levels and an increased relative risk of breast and prostate cancer".(Scientific Committee on Veterinary Measures relating to Public Health (SCVM) Report on Public Health Aspects of rBST is available on the European Commission website at http://europa.eu.int/comm/dg24/health/sc/scv/out19_en.html

    4. There is now also evidence of a link between exposure to the weedkiller, glyphosate, (for which the Roundup Ready soya, corn and other crops have been genetically engineered to tolerate more of) and non-Hodgkins lymphoma (cancer or the lymph glands) according to a recent population-based study conducted in Sweden (Hardell, H. & Eriksson, M. (1999). A Case-Control Study of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Exposure to Pesticides. Cancer 5, No 6).

    5. According to Professor Terje Traavik, scientific advisor to the Norwegian government and one of the world's leading experts in viruses and horizontal gene transfer, the recombinant DNA technologies used to develop all of the GMOs on the market today are so imprecise and unpredictable that they do not even deserve to be called a technology. He said that recent research indicates that artificial genetic material released into the environment through agricultural, medical and industrial applications can be incorporated into the genetic material of the cells of all species, including our own. This process, called horizontal gene transfer, is already known to create new viruses and bacteria that cause diseases and to lead to harmful mutations, cancers, and acute toxic shock and autoimmune responses. ( "Field of Genes", Kleiner K, New Scientist, 16th August '98)

    6. In view of these and other potentially more serious unforeseen consequences, the Australian government would be well advised to acknolwledge the "precautionary principle" adopted in the Montreal UN Bio-Safety Protocol. This means that a GMO must first be proven safe not simply assume it is safe until proven harmful. According to Dr Byron Rigby, Psychiatrist and Federal Spokesman on Health and Science for the Natural Law Party, "It is as if we are introducing potent and untested pharmaceuticals into our children's diet, without even a trace of the testing that goes into the manufacture of drugs. We are doing this with our food even when we know that the most rigorous testing still often results in issue of drugs with serious and sometimes fatal toxic side-effects"

  2. A report from the CSIRO last year revealed that our agricultural practices up to date have resulted in so much environmental destruction including soil loss, salinity, water pollution and desertification, that cost the nation far more than its farm exports earnt. Because of the potential harm which genetically engineered crops, chemical use and current agricultural practies pose to the future viability of our soil, water and ecology, it is imperative that the Australian government be committed to fully supporting research and development of sustainable agricultural practices, including Vedic Agriculture, as well as supporting farmers wishing to switch over to these methods of food production. An article in the prestigious journal Nature (1998, Drinkwater et al, Vol 396, pages 226-64) showed that yields with organic agriculture are comparable to those with conventional farming.

    On the other hand university based field trials in the US have shown no increase in yields from GE crops. In the case of Roundup Ready soyabeans in fact the yields were down by 6.5% compared to conventional soya and weed killer use was increased 2 - 5 times. (This report by Dr Charles Benbrook, former Executive Director of the Board on Agriculture for the US National Academy of Sciences, is accessible on the AgBioTech InfoNet website at http://www.biotech-info.net/RR_yield_drag_98.pdf

  3. The Australian government should employ proven Natural Law-based technologies to raise the national consciousness so that concerns for short-term profit be balanced with our responsibilty to nurture and not harm human health, our soil and our ecology both now and for all future generations http://www.natural-law-party.com/html/a_group_for_a_government.ht....

  4. While the above processes are in motion, an Office for the Gene Technology should be set up to simplify the administration and regulation of all matters relating to genetically manipulation of organisms. In view of the fact that "scientists are often under real pressures to reach conclusions that can inform commercial and political decisions when no such conclusions can be reached" (see above report form the Global Environmental Change Programme (GECP) ), it is imperative that independence of the administration and its scientific advisory bodies be clear and transparent, ensuring no conflict of interest.

    A fully independent expert international advisory committee should be set up to ensure that decisions made re the use of this food technology are primarily serving the interest of public health, the future viabiltiy of our agriculture and the preservation of our ecology. Such a committee should consist of scientists listed below who have openly expressed there concerns about this technology.

Yours faithfully

Dr Tim Carr MBBS
Convenor of the Emergency Committee against GE Foods Health Spokesperson for the NSW Natural Law Party
22 Willow Close, Epping, NSW, 2121
Tel AW:9880 8002    AH:98731193    FAX: 98731998    E-mail: carrt@idx.com.au


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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:08:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

EU Halts Franken Crops

Wired News

Don't look for the latest strain of rapeseed or fodder beets anytime soon. The European Union is continuing its ban on new varieties of genetically modified crops at least until this summer.

http://www.wired.com/news/technology/0,1282,34877,00.html


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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:08:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

The following is an excerpt from BioDemocracy News #25 Organic Standards Revisited 5 March 2000

Victory for Organic Consumers & Farmers: The USDA Surrenders

by: Ronnie Cummins

It's nice to win a victory once in a while. After being battered in Seattle, bruised by the mass consumer rejection of proposed organic rules in 1998, and unnerved by the growing controversy over genetically engineered foods, the Clinton and Gore administration find themselves on the defensive. Feeling the heat from consumers, the USDA has apparently decided to call off its food fight – at least temporarily – with the nation's 10 million organic consumers, 6,000 retailers, and 10,000 organic farmers.

On Wednesday, March 8, the USDA formally surrendered to the organic community by releasing a completely revised proposal for national organic food standards and labels. The new 663-page http://www.ams.usda.gov/nop proposal incorporates nearly all of the recommendations made by the National Organic Standards Board and organic activists, including a prohibition on genetic engineering, sewage sludge, irradiation, and a variety of other industrial-style agriculture practices.

A massive, unprecedented consumer backlash in 1998 over the USDA's first proposed regulations shook up the USDA and forced them to back off on plans to degrade organic standards and allow biotech and corporate agribusiness to take over the rapidly growing organic food market.


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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:08:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

March 9, 2000

Virus Problems From Pig to Human Transplants

by Joe Cummins, PhD, Professor emeritus of Genetics, University of Western Ontario e-mail: jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

For several years efforts have been made to genetically modify pigs so that their organs can be used as a source of replacement transplants for humans. The first problem to overcome was the immediate rejection of organs transplanted across widely separate animals. That rejection occurred within minutes of transplantation and was not controlled by anti-rejection drugs. That problem was overcome by genetically humanizing pigs so that their organs would not be rejected by the human immediate rejection system.

Even though humanized pigs could now be employed for human transplantation parallel investigations had found that pig cells mixed with human cells in culture caused the pig cells to release viruses that were a part of their chromosomes and those viruses readily infected the human cells (reviewed by Bach 1998 , Auchincloss and Sachs 1998).The viruses released from pig chromosomes will be discussed below.

The viruses released from pig chromosomes should be discussed in relation to a growing knowledge of the fundamental organization of genes and chromosomes in both plants and animals. As the genomes of plants and animals were decoded it became clear that endogenous retroviruses ( viruses that replicate by converting RNA virus copies into DNA) and retrotransposons ( retrovirus that move and replicate within a genome but cannot make virus particles because they lack the virus envelope gene).

Retrotransposons can make up forty to eighty percent of the genes in a genome while endogenous (sleeping) virus make up as much as one or two percent of the genes in the genome. Related species may contain widely different levels of DNA in the genome but contain about the same number and arrangement of active genes , the difference lying in the number of retrotransposons and sleeping viruses between the active genes.

In humans and pigs sleeping viruses make up about one percent of the genome. Human sleeping viruses (called human endogenous retroviruses or HERVs) are mostly incapable of making virus particles but some can and are active in germ cell cancer(Lower et al 1996 and Sverdlov 2000). HERVs may be active in tissues and create autoimmune responses leading to multiple sclerosis (Alliel et al 1998) or rheumatic disease (Nelson et al 1999). HERV have been implicated in a number of human disease conditions.

Pig endogenous retrovirus (PERV) are organized similarly to HERV but the virus are different in origin and sequence from HERV. If PERV infect human it is probable that the infection would be very devastating to humans because the virus is new to them. Viruses that suddenly extend their host range usually create devastating infections.

PERVs co-cultivation of pig and human cell lines resulted in infectious PERV particles infecting the human cells (Patience etal 1997, Martin et al 1998,Wilson et al 1998). Three classes of PERV (A,B and C) were identified, all three classes infected some human cell lines but PERV- A and PERV- B had widest host range being capable of infecting mink, rat , mouse and dog along with human (Takeuchi et al 1998). Pig tissues yielded different level of PERV, highest virus levels were detected in kidney, followed by liver, lung and heart, lowest levels were observed in pancreas ( Clemenceau et al 1999).

Passage of PERV through human cell lines increased the infectivity of the virus (Wilson et al 2000). Numerous studies showed that PERV were released from pig cells cultured with human cells and some of these PERV had a wide host range allowing widespread dissemination of the PERV by mammalian hosts.

Efforts have been made to detect PERV in humans receiving fetal pancreas islet cells 4 to 7 years earlier, PERV were not detected in the humans (Heneine et al 1998). 160 humans who had been treated with pig tissues up to 12 years earlier showed no evidence of PERV infection even though presence of pig cells were observed in 23 humans( a condition called michrochimerism) up to 8.5 years after the pig cell treatment (Paradis et al. 1999).

Two patients that had been attached to genetically humanized pig livers for 6.5 hours and 10 hours prior to receiving human liver transplants showed no PERV infection (Levy 2000). For the most part the humans receiving pig cells received pancreas cells that have been shown to have little PERV and liver perfusion is far from the direct contact of transplantation. Humanized pig organs have been transplanted to baboons but that model is of questionable value for evaluating the impact of PERV on human transplantation because porcine aortic endothelial cells transmitted PERV to baboons neither in animal cell transplant nor in mixed baboon Ůpig cell culture (Martin et al 1999).

The Canadian Government has actively supported pig to human transplantation and their proposed regulation is found on the following web site:

http://www.hc-sc.gc.ca/hpb-dgps/therapeut/zfiles/english/btox/sta....

In Canada the Government established an žexpertÓ panel to deal with pig-human transplant programs that have been far advanced. The panel seems to have ignored the PERV problem almost entirely. Instead they focused on germ free animals that are fully capable of releasing PERV from their chromosomes. The žexpertÓ panel seems to prefer to ignore the focus of concern internationally. Following the governments lead the Canadian news media have also studiously ignored the PERV issue, believing, perhaps that the issue will go away once the Canadian pig-human transplants are acknowledged.

References

  1. Alliel,P,Perin,J,Pierig,R,Nussbaum,J,Menard,A and Rieger,F Endogenous retroviruses and multiple sclerosis CR Acad Sci III 1998,321,857-63

  2. Auchincloss,H. and Sach,D. Xenogenic Transplantation 1998 Ann Review Immunol 16,433-70

  3. Bach,F Xenotransplantation: Problems and Prospects 1998 Ann Rev Med 49,301-10

  4. Clemenceau,B,Lalain,S,Martignat,L, and Sai,P Porcine endogenous retroviral mRNAs in pancreas and a panel of tissues from specific pathogen-free pigs 1999 Diabetes Metab 25,518-25

  5. Heneine,W,Tibell,A,Switzer,W,Sandstrom,P, Rosales,G, Mathews,A,Korsgen,O,and Chapman,L No evidence of infection with porcine endogenous retrovirus in recipients of porcine islet-call xenographs 1998 Lancet 352,695-9.

  6. Levy,M Liver allotransplantation after extracorporeal hepatic support with transgenic porcine livers: clinical results and lack of pig to human transmission of the porcine endogenous retrovirus 2000 Transplantation 69,272-80

  7. Lower,R,Lower,J and Kurth,R The viruses in all of us: characteristics and biological significance of human endogenous retrovirus sequences 1996 Proc. Natnl Acad Sci USA 93,5177-84

  8. Martin,U, Kiessig,V, Blusch,J, Haverich,A, vonder Helm,K, Herder,T and Steinhoff,G Expression of pig endogenous retrovirus by primary porecine endothelial cell and infected human cells 1998 Lancet 352,692-4

  9. Martin,U,Steinhoff,G,Kiessig,V,Chickobava,M,Anssar,M, Morschheuser,T, Lapin,B,and Haverich,A, Porcine endogenous retrovirus is transmitted neither in vivo nor in vitro from porcine endothelial cells to baboons 1999 Transplant Proc 1-2, 913-4

  10. Nelson,P, Lever,M, Smith,S, Pitman,R, Murray,P, Perera,S, Westewood,O, Hay,F, Ejtehadi,H, and Booth,J Molecular Investigations implicate human endogenous retroviruses as mediators of anti-retroviral antibodies in autoimmune rheumatic disease 1999 Immunol Invest 28, 277-89

  11. Paradis,K, Langford,G, Long,Z, Heneinre,W, Sandstrom,P, Switzer,W,Chapman,L,Lockey,C,Onions,D,and Otto,E Search for cross species transmission of porcine endogenous retrovirus in patients treated with living pig tissue 1999 Science 285,1236-41

  12. Patience,C,Takeuchi,Y and Weiss,R Infection of human cells by an endogenous retrovirus of pigs 1997 Nat Med. 3,282-6 13.Sverdlov,E Retrovirus and primate evolution 2000 Bioessays 22,161-71

  13. Takeuchi,Y,Patience,C,Magre,S,Weiss,R,Banerjee,P,LeTissier,P and Stoye,J Host range and interference studies of three classes of pig endogenous retrovirus 1998 J Virol 72,9986-91

  14. Wilson,C,Wong,S,Muller,J,Davidson,C,Rose,T and Burd,P Type C retrovirus released from porcine primary peripheral blood mononuclear cells in infect human cells 1998 J Virol 72,3082-7

  15. Wilson,C,Wong,S,VanBroklin,M, and Federspeil,M Extended analysis of the in vitro tropism of porcine endogenous retrovirus 2000 J Virol 74,49-56

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Date: Mon, 13 Mar 2000 14:08:35 -0500 (EST)
From: Richard Wolfson

PRESS RELEASE
FROM THE AMERICAN CORN GROWERS ASSOCIATION

Corn Growers Question Need To Sacrifice Export Markets Due To Genetically Modified Crops

Contact: Gary Goldberg, 918-488-1829    David Senter, 202-331-4348    acga@acga.org

Corn and Soybean Exports Drop Considerably From Year-Ago Levels Losses Stand At Over One Billion Dollars

WASHINGTON,DC÷.March 12, 2000 – Because of overseas resistance to genetically modified (GMO) crops, U.S. farmers are losing overseas markets. Brazil and China have both benefited from certified non-GMO shipments, while American farmers lose over one billion dollars in sales.

"American farmers are facing historically low prices because of overproduction. Yet U.S. grain exporters continue to insist that GMOs be sold despite the desire by overseas customers for non-GMO products," said Gary Goldberg, Chief Executive Officer of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA). "Instead of giving the customer what they want, the attitude and arrogance of US exporters and some domestic farm organizations is forcing overseas buyers to turn their backs on U.S. corn and soybeans.

In marketing year 1997-1998, corn exports to Europe stood at 2 million tons. In marketing year 1998-1999, those same exports dropped to 137,000 tons. Soybeans dropped from 11 million tons in 1998 to 6 million tones last year.

"As a result of exporter arrogance to ship GMOs, American farmers have lost over one billion dollars in lost sales. The only winners are U.S. grain export competitors who are picking up our former customers," added Goldberg.

In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes.


Richard Wolfson, PhD
Consumer Right to Know Campaign, for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
500 Wilbrod Street Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596 email: rwolfson@concentric.net

Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html contains more information on genetic engineering as well as previous genetic engineering news items. Subscription fee to genetic engineering news is $35 (USD for those outside Canada) for 12 months, payable to "BanGEF" and mailed to the above address. Or see website for details.