Genetically
 Manipulated 


 

 
 
 Food


 News

4 May 2000

Table of Contents

Quicktest Developed For Detecting GMOs
Bt found to reduce toxin in corn
does GE really reduce toxin in corn? does it matter?
Messenger A ace protein
not exactly GE: "Green Mussel Rush Blues"
100 richest Genetic Engineering's Multimillionaires Year 2000
Reply to the "agricultural expert"
Crop's a Flop Party on Telly
Mega-Artichokes to Power Homes?
Re: B-GE:Mega-Artichokes to Power Homes?
the "new" GM: using chimeric RNA/DNA
GM Food Awards - UPDATE
The GM Food Awards 2000, (UK)
Robert Cohen: New Biotech Rules -- Dick Meets Jane
Brazil will not change patents law over US complaint
U.S. to Announce Steps to Toughen Policy on Gene-Altered Food
food, consciousness, and genetic engineering
Haitian pigs meet globalization

Top NextFront Page

Date: 1 May 2000 06:31:27 +0100
From: RBBAX@aol.com
from: Biotech Activists biotech_activists@iatp.org
By mritchie@iatp.org

Quicktest Developed For Detecting GMOs

IFT Daily News, April 28, 2000

Claimed as a world-first, Quickstick, developed in Dundee, Scotland, reveals within 10 minutes whether flour or maize used in a product has been genetically modified. Quickstick, developed at Alchemy Laboratories, is said to detect toxins in the original plant tissue and not in cook foods. The device can be used on crops grown in the field or on seed stored in warehouses. "There are limits to what Quickstick can achieve at the present," said Richard Lamotte, inventor of the Quickstick. "It is always going to prove extremely difficult to develop a test to detect ingredients in cooked foods such as pizzas and burgers. " Quickstick is now being manufactured by EnviroLogix Inc., with which Alchemy has formed a strategic alliance.


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Date: 1 May 2000 16:26:22 +0100
From: Robert Mann robt_m@talk.co.nz

Bt found to reduce toxin in corn

Full Story:
http://www.enn.com/news/enn-stories/2000/05/05012000/btcorn_12475....

Corn genetically modified to resist the European corn borer pest is also less likely to harbor a potential cancer-causing agent, a government scientist announced Wednesday. "When an insect bites through the husk, it makes it a lot easier for fungus to get in there and make mycotoxins," said Patrick Dowd, a scientist with the Agricultural Research Service in Peoria, Illinois.

This has been previously claimed, at least as an expectation. It is plausible.

It may well be true. If so, let us admit that almost all evil technologies do have some 'upsides' (as I gather the trendy term goes). The cult of the motorcar is, overall, one of the great curses of all time; yet it would be idle, indeed fanatical, to go to the unnecessary extreme of claiming there is NO good in cars.

R

---------------------
Robt Mann, consultant ecologist, P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949


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Date: 1 May 2000 17:49:35 +0100
From: Wuerthele.Suzanne@epamail.epa.gov

does GE really reduce toxin in corn? does it matter?

With reference to the story on ENN at http://www.enn.com/news/enn-stories/2000/05/05012000/btcorn_12475....

Sure, it's plausible that Bt corn decreases toxins in corn, but I'm not convinced, and even if it's true, I'm not convinced there's practical benefit. I'd like to know how Dr. Dowd measured the fumonisin, and in what kind of corn.

  1. I've never seen any bugs in "conventional" (i.e., produced with pesticides) sweet corn. When I buy organic sweet corn, I do occasionally find a corn borer in the tip of the ear, so I break the tip off. The rest of the corn seems fine, it looks nothing like the gnarly bug-infested ears in that picture shown on the Environmental News Network web site. The article said Dr. Dowd found the mycotoxin in the infested kernels. Did he also find fumonisin in the rest of the ear? If he found those high levels in the healthy-looking part of the ear which I eat, then he can claim Bt corn could prevent me from being exposed to fumonisin.

    Or, did he grind up the whole gnarly looking bug- infested thing we saw in that picture and measured the toxin in the whole thing? If so, I don't agree that there's an advantage to me, because I don't eat corn thats all gnarly and bug-infested. In fact, I've never seen an ear that looked even remotely like that, conventional or organic.

  2. What are those gnarly- bug-infested ears used for? Do corn processors use gnarly bug- infested corn to make the corn meal that goes into our corn chips and tacos? If so, then Dr. Dowd is performing a service by showing that our food is contaminated. FDA has set tolerances for mycotoxins in corn. If they're routinely violated, a fix is necessary, but is the more rational solution to substitute Bt corn, or to get FDA to inspect and embargo the contaminated corn?

    Are gnarly bug-infested ears ground up and fed to animals? If so, then do we have to worry about mycotoxins getting into meat and milk? If so, Dr. Dowd may have a point.

  3. The results need confirmation. Dr. Dowd only had a "general feeling" that "we are gonna be better off with mycotoxins having Bt corn than if we didn't have Bt corn," and small plot studies by Iowa State University plant pathologist Gary Munkvold only "appear to confirm Dowd's findings", according to the Agricultural Research Service.

    When preliminary data on the toxicity of Bt to Monarchs was published in the well-reviewed journal Nature, the pro-biotech community threw a fit. They demanded confirmation. Where are they now that this unpublished information is being disseminated through a news web site?


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Date: 1 May 2000 18:37:04 +0100
From: Robert Mann robt_m@talk.co.nz

Messenger A ace protein

The following was obtained from a US govt source. It is certainly an authentic copy.

The sentence

" E. coli K-12 has been widely studied and is known to be unable to grow in the environment."

deserves a place in the ranks of classic attempts at reassurance. It is wrong. The PR statement itself does include the phrase "nutritionally deficient", which is presumably the basis of the claim that this particular substrain of K12 will not grow in many guts.

However, the early attempts to create 'biological containnment' in this way, associated mainly with the grand Yank name Roy W Curtiss III (if I recall correctly), soon fell by the wayside owing to various gene-shufflings that these humble microbes had not been thought capable of.

As for the rest of the claims, they are perhaps the most grandiose yet seen. This harpin makes modified Bt-toxins look like peanuts.

R

Harpin Protein Fact Sheet

  1. Description of Active Ingredient

    Harpin protein is a broad spectrum alternative to conventional fungicides produced in nature by a bacterial pathogen that causes the disease fire blight in apples and pears. It is manufactured commercially by genetically modifying a non-pathogenic, nutritionally deficient strain of E. coli (K-12) to produce harpin protein. E. coli K-12 has been widely studied and is known to be unable to grow in the environment.

  2. Mode of Action

    While most pesticides act directly on the target pest, Harpin, by contrast, activates a natural defense mechanism in the host plant that makes it resistant to a wide range of fungal, bacterial, and viral diseases. The net result is a more vigorous plant that is better able to fend off disease, exhibit enhanced yield and quality, and repel certain insects.

  3. Use Sites and Application Methods

    Use sites for the end-use product MessengerTM include all food commodities, trees, turf and ornamentals. MessengerTM may be applied as a pre-plant or foliar spray with conventional ground or aerial spray equipment, or by conventional irrigation/chemigation systems. In addition, it may be used as a seed treatment, or in greenhouses as a soil drench. Use rates are very low, generally 2 to 11.5 grams of active ingredient per acre.

  4. Human Health and Environmental Risks

    Harpin protein is assessed as Toxicity Category IV for all routes of exposure, including oral, dermal, and inhalation toxicity, and eye and skin irritation potential. Thus, risks to applicators and other workers are expected to be minimal to non-existent. Because it is applied at extremely low rates and degrades rapidly in the environment, no residues are expected on treated crops, and it poses little or no concern as a ground or surface water contaminant. In addition, harpin has no demonstrable adverse effects on birds, fish, aquatic invertebrates, non-target plants, algae, and is minimally toxic to honey bees.

  5. Risk Reduction and Resistance Management Tool

    Harpin protein has been shown to be effective against soil-borne pathogens, for which few effective controls exist, except for methyl bromide. It is also effective against certain viral diseases for which there is no other method of control or resistant plant variety. It has been used effectively in tomato IPM programs, decreasing usage of conventional fungicides and insecticides by an average of 70%, while controlling diseases as well or better than conventional fungicides. Because Harpin cannot exert the selection pressure necessary to promote the development of resistance in pest populations, it is expected to be an important tool in resistance management programs.

---------------------------------
Robt Mann, consultant ecologist, P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949


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Date: 2 May 2000 03:04:04 +0100
From: Robert Mann robt_m@talk.co.nz

not exactly GE: "Green Mussel Rush Blues"

GREEN MUSSEL RUSH BLUES

Robert Mann
National Business Review 13-8-99 (original text)

Within the past few days New Zealand has enacted a small prototypical glimpse of where uncontrolled biotechnology can take us.

What a coup for orchestrated public relations! The exclusive news story on one nationwide TV network last Friday, emphasizing the 'natural' image of "Lyprinol"(r) purified by German industry from our green-lipped mussel, was carefully timed to sell 50,000 capsules at $1 each this Monday –which duly happened.

The Cancer Society, and most notably its leading scientist Dr Bruce Baguley, warn that this material has not been tested as medicines are required to be tested – on animals and then on suitable volunteer people. The Ministry of Health, which had not heard until Friday of any potential marketing of lyprinol in our country, discovered within days of the media splurge that claims for lyprinol in treatment of cancer, asthma, and arthritis were being made on an internet website to which inquirers are directed by the commercial packaging of lyprinol. Such unsupported claims are illegal.

Many scientists will be dismayed at this further use of our country for trials by foreign drug or 'food supplement' companies. Already we have allowed a large commercial experiment using TV advertisements manipulating obese people to press their medicos for a prescription drug claimed to decrease fatness.

This new method of commercial unmonitored experimenting on us with over-the-counter lyprinol is even more objectionable. The evidence that this material affects cancer is (as our knowledge now stands) negligible. Therefore to promote it as a cancer treatment is unethical. Whether such promotion has been illegally conducted will be assessed by the Ministry of Health in full awareness that our recent Cabinets have respected international trade more than New Zealanders' safety.

At issue is not only political principle. Dozens were killed and thousands maimed in North America by a batch of an over-the-counter natural amino-acid, L-tryptophan, purified better than 98.5%, from a genetically-engineered proprietary microbe owned by the Showa Denko company who have paid over U$2billion to keep the resulting damages suits out of court. Whether you believe the impurities were due to incompetent purification & monitoring, or to deviant metabolism in the GE-bugs, or both, you had better believe the fabled 'substantially equivalent' slogan flopped in that epidemic of crippling & lethal illness. The most menacing forms of biotechnology are genetically engineered foods and other uncontained GE organisms, but some other forms of biotechnology include serious threats to public health which are under even less control than poisons – and that's saying something.

This year, export earnings from mussels have risen by $100/tonne, but this is attributed to "the weak New Zealand dollar". If those reports are accurate, they imply that taking lyprinol through to commercial sale has been achieved without demand forcing the price up at all. We may tentatively infer that any extra money that could come into NZ from sale of extra mussels would be from extra tonnage, rather than from a higher price. Any farmers recognise this general pattern?

If there is to be any special profit made by purifying this mixture lyprinol from one of our top foods, what is to be done with the rest of that good food? Any extraction and purification should be done here, partly for closer monitoring of how pure the result actually is. All this may prove to be worth doing – after many years of testing by medical science. Meanwhile, prudence would confine us to eating the green-shell mussel but not this untested concentrate from it.

On the other hand, the notion of treating this mussel Perna canaliculus as if it were some intellectual property which we can restrain from being grown in foreign waters is impractical as well as ethically dubious. This is good food which other nations can and should produce (unless they see serious threats that naturalising it would cause too much disruption of ecosystems).

One of the most obnoxious aspects of this caper is the Australian (ex-English) professor emphasizing on TV that lyprinol is 'natural'. The fact that many unnatural things are harmful does not imply that everything natural is harmless. No scientist doubts there are many natural things that cause avoidable harm.

For instance, peanuts and other nuts can, in storage if humidity is not carefully limited, grow moulds (Aspergillus spp.) containing perfectly natural compounds called aflatoxins which turn out to be among the most potent agents known in causing cancers at tiny dosages. Numerous natural substances are poisons at dosages that people can all too readily receive. Lyprinol may, for all we know, do some harm –whether or not it turns out to do any good – when taken at higher dosages than can be achieved by feeding up large on whole mussels. It is not available over the counter in the country where its main promoters live and work. Why are we the guinea-pigs?

I like this mussel, eat it less often than I would like, have eaten capsules of its freeze-dried meat to control arthritis (with varying effect), and believe some small fraction of the commercially convenient bays are rightly given over to the rafts under which the mussels are grown on ropes. However, the New Zealand planning system should not be stampeded by any notion that our law must be overwhelmed for fast-tracking or distorting such marine resource allocations.

Many of our steep hill forests, as well as some wetlands, were destroyed in ill-planned attempts to produce export commodities. The predictable erosion, filling-in of estuaries, floods in towns such as Wairoa, and degradation of catchments are now major national problems. Must our foreshores now undergo a mussel rush for the production of a prematurely-advertised alleged drug? The foreigners driving this lyprinol caper should understand that not all Kiwis are chanting inanely "more market", "free trade" or other slogans which undermine our rule of law.

Transnational corporations keep a sharp eye out for suckers. Our little nation has already become the Liberia of genetic engineering. This illegal lyprinol promotion – with no effort to monitor the medical effects – should serve as a warning to other small nations which might look like easy market trial arenas for recklessly innovative biotechnology.

------------------------
Robt Mann, consultant ecologist, P O Box 28878 Remuera, Auckland 1005, New Zealand (9) 524 2949


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Date: 2 May 2000 10:04:14 +0100
From: "j.e. cummins" jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

100 richest Genetic Engineering's Multimillionaires Year 2000

Prof. Joe Cummins, May 2, 2000
e-mail: jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

Genetic Engineering News (April 2000) lists the 100 richest biotechnology investors. 96 out of the 100 hold PhD, MD or PhD MD degrees. A notable exception is no 7 of the richest , a university drop out, William H. Gates III, who holds $281 million in ICOS stock.

In the face of US government intervention in other areas it seems likely that the rumor that Bill and his kids would have to squeegee for change on Roosevelt Avenue is unfounded. Robert Shapiro was number 14 on the list with $141 million in Monsanto stock. The list was dominated by pharmaceutical production with major players in genome projects, for example William Haseltine PhD with $284 million in Human Genome Science.


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Date: 2 May 2000 13:36:52 +0100
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

Reply to the "agricultural expert"

http://cnniw.yellowbrix.com/pages/cnniw/Story.nsp?story_id=102807....

Genetically Modified Foods

Source: The Irish Times, 2000-05-02

Sir,

Kevin O'Sullivan reports that the "agricultural expert" Prof Tom Raftery of UCC "said he had yet to see any evidence to show organic produce was nutritionally better than conventional food" (The Irish Times, April 20th). He says that within the global context it was a dangerous illusion to think we could feed today's population using yesterday's methods, let alone the extra 5 billion the globe will have by the middle of the next century. He predicts this population explosion as if it were a universal truth. In any event, he seems to be still reading from the biotech industry's script.

Last May 12th, in a letter to the Examiner, Prof Raftery quoted at length from "the world's most renowned plant breeder", Prof Norman Borlaug, to persuade us of the merits of GM foods. His case seemed to boil down to choosing between the advocates of GM foods and "the scaremongers", which term apparently applied to the rest of us. He trotted out the familiar biotech industry line about GM food being the answer to the world's food shortage, when the global population doubled, but did not predict when that might occur.

Prof Raftery did not say then, and does not acknowledge now, the fact that world hunger is not due to a lack of global food levels but rather due to the lack of access to that food, as the ongoing famines vividly demonstrate. It has to do with a lack of will, a political failure to deal with the issue. What is clear is that GM food is not the answer to feeding the world's hungry.

Genetic engineering is a Wall Street science, a corporate-driven tool which, in the case of food production, does not work too well and undermines bio diversity, according to the noted Indian environmentalist Dr Vandana Shiva. Genetic engineering has moved on from being a public science-driven research tool in the 1970s to one where multinational corporations, such as Monsanto and Novartis, are focusing on less than a handful of crops. This conversion to monoculture is, of course, to the detriment of biodiversity. It would lead to the end of multiple crop outputs from farms, and put undue emphasis on marketplace yield.

According to Stephen Jackson, director of UCC's International Famine Centre, allowing multinational companies to apply their profit- centred biotechnology to "Third World" countries would unleash landlessness, hunger and social upheaval. - Yours, etc.,

Myles Crowe, Old Brewery Lane, Clonakilty, Co Cork.
Publication date: 2000-05-02 © 2000, YellowBrix, Inc.


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Date: 2 May 2000 18:04:06 +0100
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk
From: "RF" debate.2000@virgin.net

Full transcript and photos can be found on the Millennium Debate website:

http://www.millennium-debate.org

or from the GMO Campaign at

gmo.campaign@virgin.net

Please circulate:

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Crop's a Flop Party on Telly

BBC1 Sunday Morning Countryfile broadcast a very useful piece about the Hemel Hempstead GM farmscale trial. Protesters at the 9 April "Crop's a Flop Picnic Party" were seen walking around the site in cow and bee costumes, enjoying music and food at the picnic. The BBC picked up some excellent sound bites from public and GM Action Group supporters.

Countryfile announced that the programme would be following events in Hemel in the coming months. This programme is a favourite among the farming community and many others in the countryside.

Although the farmer (Bob Fiddeman) was able to air some typical pro-industry propaganda he scarcely answered the clear and reasonable points being made by protesters. The latter appeared reasonable, and from ordinary citizens. They were much more convincing than any number of professional campaigners.

The programme demonstrates the merit in building local campaigns and that from the smallest roots mighty oaks will grow. Watch this space at Hemel and at many other farmscale trial communities.


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Date: 2 May 2000 20:58:39 +0100
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net

Someone forwarded me this:

Mega-Artichokes to Power Homes?

Oddly Enough Headlines, Thursday April 27 11:55 AM ET
http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20000427/od/artichokes_1.html

LONDON (Reuters) - Spanish farmers are growing three-meter high artichokes for burning in special power stations to produce electricity, the Independent newspaper reported on Thursday.

The genetically-modified monster vegetables, which boast seven meter roots, will be generating power for 60,000 people when operations in the northern towns of Villabilla de Burgos and Alcala de Gurrea begin in two years.

The newspaper said twin power stations will burn 105,000 tonnes of the dried and pulped Cynara Cardunculs each year.

Farmers were persuaded to sow the prickly plant by EU subsidies and price guarantees from the electricity generator.

Burning plants for energy is not a new idea, but the biomass sector has seen a revival in recent years as environmental concerns rise.

While there are already a number of biomass schemes in Europe they often struggle to compete commercially with other green energy schemes.

An Irish scheme to burn cannabis as a fuel foundered last year because of it was considered too expensive compared with wind power projects.


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Date: 2 May 2000 22:24:16 +0100
From: Robert Mann robt_m@talk.co.nz

Re: B-GE:Mega-Artichokes to Power Homes?

This is a rotten idea.

Land that can efficiently grow food or other very valuable biomass should not be misused for this purpose. Electricity can be generated by other technologies; food cannot be economically produced except by agriculture (yes, I mean it, you quasi-scifi hi-tek hi-capital hydroponic fans).

When first this 'energy farming' idea became respectable, in the late 1970s, I wrote several papers pointing out that all the versions envisaged were going to absorb more high-quality energy than they consumed. The net energy of energy farming is typically a minus number. It is a way of turning diesel fuel (and other types of energy) into a lesser amount of some other form of energy which we could more sensibly get in other ways.

R


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Date: 2 May 2000 19:31:29 +0100
From: "j.e. cummins" jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

the "new" GM: using chimeric RNA/DNA

The article below is about the "new" genetic engineering. It is a very powerful technique also called chimeraplasty. The discussion failed to deal with the problem of changes in related genes with related sequences of bases. Relatedness is the key to evolution of enzymes and regulatory sequences. The last author was a PhD student in our department.

Articles

May 2000 Volume 18 Number 5 pp 555 - 558

Engineering herbicide-resistant maize using chimeric RNA/DNA oligonucleotides

Tong Zhu1, 2, Kathryn Mettenburg1, David J. Peterson1, Laura Tagliani1 & Chris L. Baszczynski1

1. Trait & Technology Development, Pioneer Hi-Bred International, Inc., 7250 NW 62nd Ave., Johnston, IA 50131-0552.
2. Present address: Novartis Agricultural Discovery Institute, Inc., 3115 Merryfield Row, no. 100, San Diego, CA 92121.

Correspondence should be addressed to C L Baszczynski. e-mail: baszczynski@phibred.com

Maize plants resistant to imidazolinone herbicides were engineered through targeted modification of endogenous genes using chimeric RNA/DNA oligonucleotides. A precise single-point mutation was introduced into genes encoding acetohydroxyacid synthase (AHAS), at a position known to confer imidazolinone resistance.

Phenotypically normal plants from the converted events (C0) were regenerated from resistant calli and grown to maturity. Herbicide leaf painting confirmed the resistance phenotype in C0 plants and demonstrated the anticipated segregation pattern in C1 progeny. DNA cloning and sequencing of the targeted region in resistant calli and derived C0 and C1 plants confirmed the expected mutation.

These results demonstrate that oligonucleotide-mediated gene manipulation can be applied to crop improvement. This approach does not involve genomic integration of transgenes. Since the new trait is obtained through modifying a gene within its normal chromosomal context, position effects, transgene silencing, or other concerns that arise as part of developing transgenic events are avoided.

Keywords: herbicide resistance, chimeraplasty, gene modification, genetic inheritance, acetohydroxyacid synthase


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Date: 3 May 2000 09:26:07 +0100
From: RBBAX@aol.com

GM Food Awards - UPDATE

PLEASE CIRCULATE TO ANTI-GM GROUPS OUTSIDE THE UK

"The GM Food Awards": An update for anti-GM campaigners outside the UK

(Campaigners in the UK might like to contact the companies listed below to demand food free from GM ingredients, derivatives AND GM enzymes.)

Dear campaigners,

As you may know, last year the US Biotech Industry was awarded a Booby Prize by the World Development Movement for using their influence and economic muscle to stall international regulation on GMOs. Now food companies in the UK who sell GM-affected products will soon to be presented with their own "Booby Prize" awards - nominated by campaign groups and concerned consumers.

Start your own GM Awards project - It really works!

Several anti-GM groups in the UK are currently involved in the GM Food Awards project and have found it an invaluable tool to persuade a number of major food companies to move towards a total GM-free policy. It has therefore been suggested that campaigners in other countries should organise their own GM awards event, and that websites should be set up for this purpose (perhaps featuring a Virtual Awards ceremony, to which the press and media etc. in each country could be invited to view the event live online).

No self-respecting supermarket chain or food company would want to be presented with a 'GM Food Award' (or Frankenstein Food Award?), because the resultant negative publicity could obviously damage their reputation and profits. For example, how would Safeway or Tesco feel if they were voted "GM Supermarket of the Year" - every year? Or how would Kellogg's or Nestle react if they were presented with a 'Frankenstein Food Company Of The Year' award?).

Any anti-GM groups considering adopting this project is advised to announce their intention to the main groups in their specific country, and perhaps post news updates via the main Listservers, such as: biotech_activists@iatp.org.

Below are details of the forthcoming GM Food Awards in the UK. (source: http://wkweb4.cableinet.co.uk/pbrown/index.htm .)

Best wishes

Ron Baxter
GM-Food Concern, Lancashire, UK


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Date: 3 May 2000 09:26:07 +0100
From: RBBAX@aol.com

The GM Food Awards 2000, (UK)

Sections:
Company rating
Sample Letter
Company Addresses

Company rating

As you may know, last year the US Biotech Industry was awarded a Booby Prize by the World Development Movement for using their influence and economic muscle to stall international regulation on GMOs. Food companies in the UK who sell GM-affected products are soon to be presented with their own "Booby Prize" awards – nominated by campaign groups and concerned consumers.

Read on and find out how you can participate in this unique and fun event, and help get rid of GM foods at the same time!

The awards are in two categories:

Category 1
The "GM-Food Company Of The Year" awards will be presented to companies who, against the wishes of the majority of the UK public, continue to sell food, beverage or skincare products which contain GM ingredients, derivatives, or GM enzymes. Prospective candidates include: Unilever, Nestle, Boot's the Chemist, Heinz, Kellogg's, MD Foods (Lurpak Butter), Baxter's, Campbell's, United Biscuits, Pizza Hut, Burger King, and McDonalds.
Category 2
The "GM Supermarket Of The Year" awards will be presented to supermarkets who continue to sell own-brand products affected by either GM ingredients, derivatives, enzymes or GM animal feed. Prospective candidates include: Tesco, Asda, Safeway, Morrisons, Somerfield, Co-op, and Marks & Spencer. (Listed in order of merit: ie. Tesco are apparently in line for 1st prize!)

Companies will be judged on the following points:

  1. By the number of own-brand products affected by GM ingredients, derivatives and GM enzymes.

  2. On whether GM cattle feed is used in the production of any product

  3. On past and present responses to consumer enquiries, and on the level of honesty and transparency in disclosing information to consumers and campaign groups

  4. On the level of commitment to go GM-free, and the speed by which this being implemented, or not

Award certificates will be presented to the "winning" companies in Summer 2000, and the UK press will be informed. 1st, 2nd and 3rd place prizes will be awared. And the awards will take place annually.

How to Join in the Fun and Help The GM Campaign at the same Time!

It's easy, simply write, phone or e-mail the companies listed below and let them know that they have been short-listed as prospective candidates for this unique GM award.

Sample Letter

* * * The "GM-Food Company Of The Year" Award * * *

* * * The "GM Supermarket of the Year" Awards * * *

To the Chairman,
Nestle, UK

Dear Sir,

I have just seen on the Internet, that your company has been short-listed by consumers and anti-GM campaigners to receive a "GM-Food Company of the Year" award. This award will be presented in Summer 2000 to selected companies who continue to sell food, beverage or skincare products contaminated by GM ingredients, derivatives, enzymes, or GM animal feed.

You will no doubt be aware that numerous opinion polls show that around 85% of the British public do not wish to take risk with GM-affected products. Well, I am one of those consumers and I will be voting for your company to receive a GM award, and will avoid purchasing any of your products until I receive an assurance in writing that you plan to immediately remove all forms of GM from your products – this includes GM ingredients, derivatives and GM-derived enzymes, as well as any GM cattle feed currently used in the production of your products.

The following website lists details of your companies nomination for a GM award.- How to Avoid GM-foods, at -- http://wkweb4.cableinet.co.uk/pbrown/index.htm

I look forward to your reply

Yours sincerely

Mr A. Jacks

Company Addresses

Please contact the following companies using the sample letter above as a guide.Some e-mail addresses and Freephone numbers are listed for your convenience.

SUPERMARKETS

Urgent

Food Manufacturers

Urgent

-----------------------------------------------

Kindly e-mail any responses you receive from these companies, to: GM Food Concern txt108@aol.com

If you would like to nominate any of the above companies – or any other food, beverage, hotel or airline company for a GM food award, simply send your nomination via e-mail to: Consumers Against GM Foods ca_gmfoods@yahoo.com

PLEASE POST THIS PAGE ON ANTI-GM WEBSITES. A suggested heading to use is -The "GM Food Company of the Year" awards. Join in this unique event now!

==============================

GM Dangers

"The process of genetic engineering always involves the risk of altering the genetics and cellular functioning of a food organism in unanticipated ways. These unanticipated alterations can result in GE foods being allergenic, toxic, or reduced in nutritional".

John Fagan: award-winning geneticist,
and author of the book: "Genetic Engineering: The Dangers."


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Date: 3 May 2000 10:25:09 +0100
From: i4crob@idt.net

Robert Cohen: New Biotech Rules – Dick Meets Jane

Wednesday, May 3

Sections:
New York Times article
Is This Good News For America?
Monsanto / FDA Commissioner Jane Henney Dialog
The New York Times Article's Last Paragraph

Today is the 179th day of my hunger strike and the 9th day of my just drinking water.

New York Times article

The New York Times buried a very important biotechnology story on the bottom of page 20 of today's edition (May 3, 2000). Atop that story was a revelation that elite colleges had tougher admission standards. To the right of the biotech story was the cataclysmic news that fissures off the coast of Virginia might cause tidal waves. Grab your life preservers and rubber ducky inner tubes. Here's what the New York Times buried.

Critics of biotechnology have lampooned America's regulatory agencies for lax standards and favoritism towards biotechnology companies. The revolving doors between FDA and USDA have led to numerous betrayals.

This morning, FDA Commissioner Jane Henney and Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman are expected to announce new changes in the regulation of genetically engineered food products.

Is This Good News For America?

The largest pro-biotech trade group in America has already praised the new measures. Gene Grabowski, vice-president of the Grocery Manufacturers of America, said:

"We believe the steps as they have been outlined to us are appropriate and responsive to the discussions that we have been having with FDA officials and other government officials over the last few months." BIG WHOOPEE

American consumers have increased fears about the safeties of foods. Under the new plan, biotechnology companies will now be required to talk to regulators at the Food & Drug Administration about the safety of the foods before they are sold. Under the old policy, such conversations and submission of research data were voluntary.

In the past, pollen from genetically engineered corn has killed Monarch butterfly caterpillars while pollen from non-genetically engineered corn has had no effect on these delicate creatures.

FDA and USDA do not require testing of new foods, having already determined that they are safe despite the fact that enormous evidence indicates otherwise.

Monsanto / FDA Commissioner Jane Henney Dialog

One can only imagine a future conversation between a Monsanto/Pharmacia scientist and FDA Commissioner Jane Henney:
Dr. Richard J. Mengele:"Hello, Jane."
FDA Commissioner Jane Henney:"Hi, Dick."
Dick:"We have a new product for you."
Jane:"What's it this time?"
Dick:"You're going to love this one."
Jane:"No freak amino acids, I hope."
Dick (laughing):"I wouldn't tell you if it did!"
Jane (laughing):"Okay, you've got to tell me. There are laws."
Dick:"Well, okay. We've managed to combine the genetic material from a rooster with a cannabis plant."
Jane:"You're kidding me. Are you creating an animal or a vegetable?"
Dick:"What is this '20 Questions'?"
Jane:"Well, the new law does require that you have a conversation with me."
Dick:"Okay, Jane, consider this the conversation. All I can tell you is that the final version is called 'Chicken Pot Pie'."
Jane:"Yeah, but will it banned in Boston?"
Dick:"Not we if don't put a warning label on it telling them that it is genetically engineered."
(Both laugh)

The New York Times Article's Last Paragraph

The last paragraph of the New York Times article is the worse piece of brainwashing that I have ever seen. The authors of that article may have majored in journalism, but it seems as if their minor was in propaganda. The page 20 story written by Melody Petersen and Marc Lacey concludes this way:

"Genetically engineered crops, first sold in 1995, have quickly become a success. Farmers have bought up the altered seeds, which can save them time and boost productivity."

Robert Cohen
http://www.hungerstrike.com
notmilkman@notmilk.com


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Date: 3 May 2000 12:59:12 +0100
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

Maybe the bullish Brazilian market for non-gm soya is giving our latin cousins a more de rigour attitude towards North America? Still if you had just given away 25% of the world's soya market (as the US have done), you would be sore apart it wouldn't you?
Regards
Jim Mc Nulty

[B] WTO: Brazil will not change patents law over US complaint

Brazil will not change patents law over US complaint

By David Warwick, BridgeNews, May 3, 2000

Sao Paulo – May 2 – Brazil will not modify its patents law in order to avoid the opening of a World Trade Organization (WTO) panel at the request of the United States, Jose Alfredo Graca Lima, Brazil's chief trade negotiator, told the Globo agency Tuesday. Valdemar Carneiro Leao, the trade department chief economist, told BridgeNews the patents law was in line with WTO legislation.

* * *

"What we have here is a difference of interpretation...But we're confident that (the patents law) upholds the letter of Trips," Carneiro Leao told BridgeNews. Trips is the WTO's agreement on intellectual property.

On Monday the US announced it would turn to the WTO to resolve disputes with various countries, including Brazil. The US will seek initial consultation with Brazil regarding a "longstanding difference of views" on interpretation of intellectual property rights.

The announcement was part of the annual U.S. Section 301 trade review, whereby the U.S. Trade Representative presents to Congress a report on the country's trade priorities and a list of allegedly unfair trade practices facing the U.S.

The difference in interpretation centers on the part of Brazil's patents law stating that a patent holder has three years in which to produce a product in Brazil or to authorize the import by other companies. If, after three years, the product is not available in Brazil, the government has the right to award the license to another company.

While not restricted to any one area in particular, the issue is particularly relevant to the pharmaceutical industry, since the failure to make certain drugs available in the country can have serious implications for the health sector.

"It's a complex issue, since it deals with the question of patents, which in effect are absolute monopolies," said a government source, who spoke on condition of anonymity. The US believes the right to maintain exclusivity over a patent is unrestricted for a 20-year period, he said.

However, the government is confident the issue will be resolved in Brazil's favor. "These are not new issues, and we've been expecting such consultations for some time," Carneiro Leao said.

According to WTO legislation, the U.S. now has 60 days in which to conduct consultations with Brazil. If no solution is found within that time, the U.S. can request the opening of a panel within the WTO to reach an independent conclusion. End


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Date: 3 May 2000 13:06:28 +0100
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

U.S. to Announce Steps to Toughen Policy on Gene-Altered Food

By MELODY PETERSEN and MARC LACEY, May 3, 2000

The Clinton administration plans to announce today that it is strengthening its policy on regulating the safety of genetically engineered foods, an administration official said last night.

Under the plan, biotechnology companies would be required to talk to regulators at the Food and Drug Administration about the safety of the foods before they are sold, the official said. Under the current policy, that discussion is voluntary, leading critics to say that regulators may not even know about all of the genetically engineered foods being sold.

The nation's largest food companies had asked the administration for the change to help calm the growing consumer fears about the safety of such foods, which are now included as ingredients in most processed foods sold in American supermarkets.

"The goal is to increase consumer confidence in the food supply," said the official, who would speak only on the condition of not being named.

But some consumer groups criticized the plan last night, saying that it did not go far enough. The groups have demanded that such foods be labeled and tested for safety before they are approved for sale.

"Talking is not testing," said Andrew Kimbrell, director of the Center for Food Safety, a nonprofit group in Washington. The center has filed a lawsuit against the F.D.A. claiming that its current policy on genetically engineered foods is illegal.

The nation's largest trade group of food companies quickly praised the administration's plans. "We believe the steps as they have been outlined to us are appropriate and responsive to the discussions that we've been having with F.D.A. officials and other government officials over the last few months," said Gene Grabowski, vice president for communications at the trade group, the Grocery Manufacturers of America.

Dr. Jane E. Henney, the F.D.A. administrator, is expected to announce the changes at a news conference that may also include Dan Glickman, the secretary of agriculture.

The administration is also expected to ask for comments on new guidelines for food companies that want to label their products as being free of genetically engineered ingredients. Without those guidelines, regulators can easily challenge companies that try to label their foods.

European countries no longer buy corn grown by America's export-dependent farmers because of the concerns. And consumer fears are now spreading to Asian countries like Japan, and more slowly to the United States.

Date: 3 May 2000 13:17:32 +0100
From: i4crob@idt.net
Subject: JIM LEFT OUT THE LAST PARAGRAPH

jim wrote:

U.S. to Announce Steps to Toughen Policy on Gene-Altered Food The New York Times on the Web: Science/Health By MELODY PETERSEN and MARC LACEY

Dear Jim,

You omitted The BEST PART!!!

The last paragraph of the New York Times article is the worse piece of brainwashing that I have ever seen. The authors of that article may have majored in journalism, but it seems as if their minor was in propaganda. The page 20 story written by Melody Petersen and Marc Lacey concludes this way:

"Genetically engineered crops, first sold in 1995, have quickly become a success. Farmers have bought up the altered seeds, which can save them time and boost productivity."

Robert Cohen
http://www.hungerstrike.com


Top PreviousNextFront Page

Date: 3 May 2000 13:36:03 +0100
From: "Gerard Owmby" rickved@bellsouth.net

food, consciousness, and genetic engineering

From: "Renu Namjoshi" renu@ispchannel.com
To: "Ban-Gef" Ban-GEF@lists.greenbuilder.com
Subject: B-GE:"food , consciousness and genetic engineering
Date: Wed, May 3, 2000, 2:04 PM

Hello everyone,

I have been invited to give a talk to the Austin Chapter of Noetic Sciences on Food, Consciousness and Genetic Engineering. They have asked me to talk about the energy of food and how it will effect not just the physical body but the expansion of our consciousness. If anyone knows of any sources, websites, articles etc. to help me prepare my talk please send them to me as soon as possible (the talk is on May 9).

Thanks.

Renu Namjoshi
Texas Consumers For Safe Food
Tel: (512) 266-6641    Fax: (801) 640-5977

Renu:

Tony Nader, MD, PhD, has written a large, two-volume book called Human Physiology which describes the one-to-one relationship between the ancient Vedic hymns and human physiology. These faint impulses of consciousness (the ancient Vedic language) correspond verse-by-verse with each nerve, each organ, and even each component of DNA. Veda is thus a complete blueprint for the human physiology. The correspondences demonstrate how the Vedic texts are perfect and that the human body is perfect.

Dr. Nader has written this book under the guidance of Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, who explains that DNA is the very link between the gross material body and the abstraction of human consciousness. The book explains in great detail how the infinite cosmic creative intelligence that guides the whole universe is present within the microcosm of DNA. Everything around us is thus interconnected – which is the view of quantum physics – and our consciousness is dependent upon everything in the surroundings including the distant stars, the planets, and the food that we eat.

It is the greatest book in the world. The book is now being expanded from one volume to a two-volume set, so if it is not available, you might look through a copy at a local Maharishi Vedic University. Dr Nader's email is timezone6@maharishi.net.

Gerard Owmby


Top PreviousFront Page

Date: 3 May 2000 19:48:20 +0100
From: MichaelP papadop@peak.org

Thanks Sanjoy

Haitian pigs meet globalization

Common Courage Political Literacy Course
http://www.commoncouragepress.com

"The history of the eradication of the Haitian Creole pig population in the 1980's is a classic parable of globalization. Haiti's small, black, Creole pigs were at the heart of the peasant economy. An extremely hearty breed, well adapted to Haiti's climate and conditions, they ate readily available waste products, and could survive for three days without food. Eighty to 85% of rural households raised pigs; they played a key role in maintaining the fertility of the soil and constituted the primary savings bank of the peasant population. Traditionally a pig was sold to pay for emergencies and special occasions (funerals, marriages, baptisms, illnesses and, critically, to pay school fees and buy books for the children when school opened each year in October.)

"In 1982 international agencies assured Haiti's peasants their pigs were sick and had to be killed (so that the illness would not spread to countries to the North). Promises were made that better pigs would replace the sick pigs. With an efficiency not since seen among development projects, all of the Creole pigs were killed over a period of thirteen months.

"Two years later the new, better pigs came from Iowa. They were so much better that they required clean drinking water (unavailable to 80% of the Haitian population), imported feed (costing $90 a year when the per capita income was about $130), and special roofed pigpens. haitian peasants quickly dubbed them "prince a quatre pieds," (four-footed princes). adding insult to injury, the meat did not taste as good.

Needless to say, the repopulation program was a complete failure. one observer of the process estimated that in monetary terms Haitian peasants lost $600 million dollars. There was a 30% drop in enrollment in rural schools, there was a dramatic decline in the protein consumption in rural Haiti, a devastating decapitalization of the peasant economy and an incalculable negative impact on Haiti's soil and agricultural productivity. The Haitian peasantry has not recovered to this day.

"Most of rural Haiti is still isolated from global markets, so for many peasants the extermination of the Creole pigs was their first experience of globalization. The experience looms large in the collective memory. Today, when the peasants are told that "economic reform" and privatization will benefit them they are understandably wary. The state-owned enterprises are sick, we are told, and they must be privatized. the peasants shake their heads and remember the Creole pigs."

From "Eyes of the Heart: Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization," by Jean-Bertrand Aristide, http://www.eyesoftheheart.org .

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