Genetically
 Manipulated 


 

 
 
 Food


 News

7 July 2000

Table of Contents

Former Monsanto Lobbyist Carol Foreman Appointed to Serve as U.S. "Consumer Advocate" on U.S. Biotech Consultative Forum Delegation
Study Concludes Biotech Food Losing Ground with Consumers
Japanese Snack Company Switches Sweeteners
Brazil Turns Away GM Argentine Corn
Egyptian Minister Complains about GM Food Exports
Swiss Ease Import Barrier for Gene-Modified Seeds
Buffer Zone for GM Crops 'Does Not Work'
GM seed purity rule rejected as unsafe
'Secret' Genetically Modified Crops Rife Throughout State
Review on Non-Target Organisms and Transgenic Bt Plants
Growth Stimulation of Beetle Larvae Reared on a Transgenic Oilseed Rape
Scientists Publish Study on the Safety and Nutritional Value of Monsanto's Biotech Corn
New Corporate Watch anti-gmo website
Defiant Tasmania bans GM crop trials
Wheat Growers Call for Segregation
Useful Links on the Web
Dolly firm put woman's gene into sheep
Re: "Something New: Therazoan Vectors for Genetic Engineering"
Company to Compensate Farmers for GM Muddle
GMO Cotton to be Destroyed
Australians Protest Genetically Modified Food
Transgenic Corn is Extra Tough Stuff
India Cheers While Monsanto Burns
HUMAN GENOME (good short sumary)
Global threats to Dairy Agriculture by Globalisation.
Milk: Greying of India’s White Revolution

Top NextFront Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Here is Biweekly GE News 00/06/18 of Mothers for Natural Law of the Natural Law Party (USA)

GE news summary of Mothers for Natural Law (USA) http://www.safe-food.org http://www.natural-law.org
====================================================
Help the US campaign for mandatory labeling of GE foods Sign the petition: http://www.safe-food.org/-campaign/petition.html
====================================================

Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28
From: The AGRIBUSINESS EXAMINER, Issue # 77, June 6, 2000 Monitoring Corporate Agribusiness From a Public Interest Perspective

Former Monsanto Lobbyist Carol Foreman Appointed to Serve as U.S. "Consumer Advocate" on U.S. Biotech Consultative Forum Delegation

By A.V. Krebs, Editor\Publisher

Ignoring the unanimous recommendation of many consumer and agriculture groups concerned about biotechnology, the White House, with input from the U.S. State Department, recently appointed its own "consumer advocate" to the global Biotech Consultative Forum on May 31.

"I'd say that the massive PR counter assault against biotech activists has just scored its most important victory with this appointment of one of them as our consumer activist," charged John Stauber, PR Watch Managing Editor in reacting to the appointment of Carol Tucker Foreman of the now very dubious "Consumer Federation of America" (CFA) to serve on the panel.

Although a number of groups had forwarded the name of Dr. Michael Hansen of Consumer Union's Consumer Policy Institute, Dr. Hansen, who has testified before Congress and many other bodies exposing false claims made by the Monsanto Corporation pertaining to the company's manufacture of recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone and other products, was passed over in favor of Foreman, a recent former lobbyist for Monsanto.


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Study Concludes Biotech Food Losing Ground with Consumers

Farm News from Cropchoice http://www.cropchoice.com , 6/13/00

(13 June - Cropchoice News) – New numbers on consumer acceptance of biotech are out. In a survey released late last week, market research firm Angus Reid Group says biotech foods are losing ground in the US and abroad. A majority of American consumers now see biotech food negatively, according to the study. Reid says "Americans are growing more disenchanted with the concept [of GMO food]. Forty-five percent of Americans held a negative view when polled by the Angus Reid Group in 1998, compared to 51 per cent earlier this year." The majority of American and Canadian consumers surveyed said they'd like to learn more about biotech.

The study also polled consumers in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, Japan, and the United Kingdom. Like the US, in 7 of the 8 foreign countries surveyed, the majority were worried about biotech. In Canada, the number concerned has jumped from 45% two years ago to 59% this year. Ironically it was in Brazil, which is benefitting from increased demand for its non-GMO soybeans, where biotech was viewed most positively. Only 45% of Brazilian consumers were worried about biotech, compared to 71%, 73%, and 82% in France, Germany, and Japan, respectively...

Reid surveyed 5000 consumers in the study. More information on the study can be found at the company's website, www.angusreid.com.

SOURCE: Angus Reid


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Japanese Snack Company Switches Sweeteners

Farm News from Cropchoice http://www.cropchoice.com 6/12/00

(12 June - Cropchoice News) – Citing concerns about consumer rejection of biotech products, one of Japan's leading snack makers has announced it will stop using corn sweeteners. Bourbon Corporation, with $850 million in 1999 sales, said on Friday that it will move to cane sugar and potato-based sweeteners for its biscuits and confection products.

SOURCE: Reuters, Wright Investors Service, ACGA


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Brazil Turns Away GM Argentine Corn

BUENOS AIRES, June 9 (Reuters) - Brazilian port authorities have turned away two shipments of genetically altered Argentine corn, officials said on Friday, underscoring the two neighbours' starkly different approaches to the crop technology. Brazil officially bans genetically modified crops while Argentina is the world's second largest producer of them. Two ships carrying 26,000 metric tons each of Argentine corn were held in the southern Brazilian port of Sao Francisco on Monday and left without unloading Friday, port authorities in Brazil said. A third ship transferred its 18,000 metric tons of Argentine corn to three river barges in the Brazilian port of Rio Grande and the cargo was held in silos pending lab tests to determine whether it was genetically modified.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Egyptian Minister Complains about GM Food Exports

June 15, 2000 6:49pm

REGINA, Alberta (Reuters) - A top Egyptian minister Thursday said poorer food importing countries stood in danger of becoming unwilling recipients of genetically-modified (GM) products, which they could not afford to turn away. "The question is how to avoid using LDCs (less-developed countries) as guinea pigs for genetically-modified products," Hassan Khedr, Egypt's minister of supply and internal trade, told delegates to an International Grains Council conference. Egypt is the world's second-largest grain importing country, Khedr said. He said consumers in wealthier countries could afford to choose whether to buy GM products, made from plants altered genetically to grow better or resist herbicides, for example.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Swiss Ease Import Barrier for Gene-Modified Seeds

BERNE, June 5 (Reuters) - Switzerland said on Monday it was easing import barriers for genetically modified seeds and environmentalists said the decision would open the floodgates to altered foodstuffs. The government said it had decided to allow a tolerance level of 0.5 percent for genetically modified seeds such as maize, soja, rape and sugarbeet due to the "inevitable contamination" of such seeds with gene-modified varieties.

Copyright 1999 Reuters Limited.


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Buffer Zone for GM Crops 'Does Not Work'

By Melissa Kite and Valerie Elliott, June 14, 2000, Wednesday
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)

THE row over genetically modified crops deepened last night when ministers said that there was no safe planting distance to prevent contamination of normal crops. Michael Meacher, the Environment Minister, admitted that the best that could be hoped for was to minimise the level of contamination. It would then be up to consumers to decide what level of contamination was acceptable...

At present the Government has laid down 200m (650ft) as the minimum distance between sweetcorn and GM maize, 50m (164ft) for oil-seed rape and forage maize, and 6m (20ft) for sugar and fodder beet. Anti-GM campaigners have persistently argued that GM pollen can travel over wide distances. Organic farmers believe that there should be a buffer zone of at least six miles between their crops and a GM crop. This distance is based on the distance that a bee is likely to travel, usually no more than four to five miles. Pete Riley, a Friends of the Earth Real Food campaigner, said yesterday: "At last a government minister agrees with us. What we need now is action to prevent the current farmscale trails and test sites contaminating crops."


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

GM seed purity rule rejected as unsafe

By Nick Nuttall, June 16, 2000, Friday
Copyright 2000 Times Newspapers Limited The Times (London)

A GOVERNMENT plan to allow seeds labelled as conventional to contain up to 1 per cent of GM seed has been rejected by its wildlife advisers as "totally unacceptable on food safety and environmental grounds", it emerged last night. The Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Foods has issued proposals setting blanket thresholds for GM levels in conventionally sown crops. The move, which is backed by the European Seed Association, would allow imports to be classed as GM-free if there were no more than 1 per cent genetically modified seeds present in a batch.

It follows the uproar, triggered in April, when some 600 farms in Britain and others across Europe unwittingly planted oil seed rape from Canada which contained some GM seed. The plan, seen as an admission that guaranteeing 100 per cent purity is impossible because of cross-pollination and the mixing of GM and non-GM seeds in shipments, is being challenged by English Nature. Brian Johnson, a wildlife biotechnology expert, said a blanket threshold scheme made "total nonsense" of the GM regulatory system in Britain and Europe.

"You have potentially different impacts depending on the gene involved. Seeds tainted with a gene that codes, for say, an industrial glue may be completely different from one that codes for herbicide tolerance," he said. Dr Johnson said the process for approving GM crops was organised on a case by case basis, so that the possible impact on health and the environment could be assessed. He said that the same system should be deployed for GM-mixed seed rather than a blanket threshold for GM levels in a mixture. English Nature would be writing to the ministry to object to the proposals before the early July deadline, he said.


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Copyright 2000 Business Intelligence International Pty Ltd. ABIX: Australasian Business Intelligence

'Secret' Genetically Modified Crops Rife Throughout State

SOURCE: The Courier-Mail, June 10, 2000 Saturday

ABSTRACT: Trials of genetically modified crops have taken place throughout Queensland without reference to residents. Organic Federation of Australia chairman, Scott Kinnear, said there had been an explosive growth in GM plantings without proof of their safety. According to Kinnear, "we're part of an extraordinary experiment that's going on". The field trials are among more than 130 nationwide reviewed by the Australian Government regulator, the Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee. Kinnear claims existing buffer zones around GM crops are "hopelessly inadequate".


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Review on Non-Target Organisms and Transgenic Bt Plants

Greenpeace Canada, June 2000

Greenpeace commissioned EcoStrat GmbH, a Swiss scientific consultancy specializing in ecological assessments of biotechnology, to review studies conducted by biotech companies Novartis and Mycogen for regulatory approval purposes.

EcoStrat's report, "Review on Non-Target Organisms and Transgenic Bt Plants" was published in April 2000. It shows the studies, intended to determine if genetically modified (GM) corn would cause harmful impacts to non-target organisms, were inappropriate and scientifically questionable.

The regulatory studies were so poorly designed that there was virtually no chance that adverse effects would be observed. None were published or offered for peer review, a standard scientific practice that provides a mechanism of quality control and accountability...

The full report is available online at: http://www.greenpeacecanada.org/e/publications/ge/hillbeckreport.....


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Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Growth Stimulation of Beetle Larvae Reared on a Transgenic Oilseed Rape

Ref: Journal of Insect Physiology 44 (1998) 263 - 270

A recent study finds a genetically engineered crop has the opposite of its intended effect. A line of oilseed rape was genetically engineered to produce a protein considered to be toxic to a larval pest. However, it not only failed to kill the pest but caused increased growth in the larvae.

Because this increased growth suggests that the larvae were driven to eat more plant material as a result of the generation of the new protein in the rape on which they were feeding, the study concludes that the genetic modification would increase, not reduce, crop losses from the pest.

This situation would appear to clearly demonstrate what a 'try-it-and-see' business the genetic modification of plants is when trying to anticipate the 'downstream' biological effects of any new proteins generated by them.

Editor

Ref: Journal of Insect Physiology 44 (1998) 263 - 270

"Growth stimulation of beetle larvae reared on a transgenic oilseed rape expressing a cysteine proteinase inhibitor"

Cecile Girard, Martine Le Metayer, Bruno Zaccomer, Elspeth Bartlet, Ingrid Williams, Michel Bonade-Bottino, Minh-Ha Pham-Delegue, Lise Jouanin.


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Wed, 28 Jun 2000 05:04:50 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN6-28

Scientists Publish Study on the Safety and Nutritional Value of Monsanto's Biotech Corn

Monsanto Company Press Release, Tuesday June 6, 5:03 pm Eastern Time

ST. LOUIS, June 6 /PRNewswire/ – Scientists from Monsanto Company, Early Development Services at Covance and Colorado Quality Research will publish research in the June 15th online edition of the Journal of Agricultural and Food Chemistry (volume 48, issue 6, pages 2305-2312) which demonstrates the safety of Monsanto's Roundup Ready corn. Throughout a series of comprehensive safety and nutrition studies, the scientists established that Roundup Ready corn is "as safe and nutritious as conventional corn for food and feed use." The results are just now being published following the standard process for peer-reviewed, scientific publications...

The composition study featured in the Journal was conducted at Covance's laboratory in Madison, Wis., and focuses on the safety of Roundup Ready corn by comparing its compositional equivalence – including fat, protein, amino acids, minerals and fiber – to that of conventional corn varieties. The results of the study were confirmed, from a nutritional perspective, with a feeding study with broiler chickens, conducted by Colorado Quality Research, in Wellington, Colo. Broiler chickens grow very rapidly and therefore provide a very sensitive indicator for nutritional equivalence. Both the compositional assessments and the nutritional feeding study showed that Roundup Ready corn is substantially equivalent to conventional corn varieties. The results of composition and animal feeding studies represent an important component of the complete set of information on which international regulatory agencies have concluded that Roundup Ready corn is as "safe and nutritious as conventional corn for food and feed use."

SOURCE: Monsanto Company

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: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:34:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-2

Originated from: rts@gn.apc.org

Fri, 30 Jun 2000

New Corporate Watch anti-gmo website

On the 25 of June Corporate Watch launched a new website, http://www.gm-info.org.uk

The main feature of the site is an interactive map of the UK which shows all of the key sites of companies and other organisations involved in GM crops in the country. It includes all of the major biotech companies, seed companies, test sites, research institutes, importers, processors, animal feed companies, universities doing GM crop research, regulators, PR companies, finance companies and more!


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Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:34:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-2

Defiant Tasmania bans GM crop trials

By ANDREW DARBY, The Age
HOBART, Friday 30 June 2000

Tasmania has become the first state to impose a moratorium on trials of genetically modified crops, sparking a new fight with the Commonwealth.

The decision defies a warning from Prime Minister John Howard about going it alone on the issue, and the Federal Government is examining its legal options.

But in Tasmania, concerns from primary industry figures at the decision were balanced by signs of support from the public and marketers of the island's products.


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Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:34:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-2

An alternative news service for American farmers http://www.cropchoice.com

Wheat Growers Call for Segregation

Farm News from Cropchoice, 6/30/00

(30 June - Cropchoice News) – Seeing the potential for GMOs to interfere with markets, wheat growers have called for the development of identity preserved systems before any biotech wheat hits the market. At a meeting this week, US Wheat adopted a new biotechnology policy saying "the U.S. wheat industry commits itself absolutely to the principle that our customers needs and preferences are the most important consideration."

Several seed companies are working on biotech wheat which could arrive in 2003. But according to US Wheat, customer concern is high enough that buyers are already advertizing their preferences to American wheat producers. Says US Wheat, "even at this early point, there are some overseas customers who have already informed the wheat industry that they only want to purchase traditional wheat."

Idaho wheat grower Heidi Linehan put it more bluntly: "85% of Idaho's wheat goes to overseas markets, and it is absolutely essential to listen to our overseas customers and heed what they say."


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:34:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-2

Useful Links on the Web

The following is the Table of Contents for the current GMO newsletter. You can access the articles by clicking on the hyperlinks.

You can access the entire newsletter at ------ http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/listnews.htm

Table of contents:

EU Discusses Standards for Seed Purity http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#EU

100% Purity May Not Be Possible http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#100%....

EU Farmers To Receive Aid and Compensation http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#EU_F....

15 % of EU Maize May Be GM http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#15_%....

U.N. Biosafety Protocol Signed http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#U.N.....

G8 Leaders to Discuss GMOs http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#G8_L....

---Labeling News---

Australia/New Zealand http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#AUST.... EAL AND

Southeast Asia http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#SOUT....

United States http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#UNIT....

---World News---

Australia's Tasmania Wants Right to Decide on GMOs ----- http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Aust....'s

Brazil Turns Away Argentine Corn http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Braz....

Britain Adds More GMO Advisors http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Brit....

Britain Says No Safe Planting Distance for GMOs http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Brit....

British Village Says "Yes" to GMOs http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Brit....

Canadian PM to Ask France to Lift Ban http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Cana....

Egypt Concerned Over Choice http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Egyp....

New Zealand Finalizes Voluntary Moratorium ----- http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#New_....

Singapore to Launch GMO Web site http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Sing....

South Koreans Concerned Over Unsegregated Imports http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Sout....

Switzerland Eases Import Restrictions http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Swit....

Thai Muslims Avoid GM Tomatoes http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Thai....

U.S. and EU Set Up Panel on Trade Dispute http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#U.S.....

U.S. Activism on the Rise http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#U.S.....

---Food News---

British supermarket chain plans to buy 40 percent of world's organic vegetables http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Icel....

Update on shareholder resolutions to remove GM ingredients ----- http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#upda....

---Business Notes---

analysts have been considering the future of, the biotech giant, Monsanto http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#anal....

---Research Notes---

Black swallowtail butterflies are unharmed by Bt corn http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Blac....

GM soybean seed may have a somewhat lower yield than conventional crops http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#GM

GM tomatoes with increased amounts of beta-carotene http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#GM_t....

controversy over scientific review of industry studies on Bt corn http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#cont....

Novartis Seeds AG announces a new type of "genetic marker" http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Nova....

---Voices in the Debate--- http://www.genetic-id.com/newsletter/news45/newsletter45.htm#Voic....


Top PreviousNextFront Page
Date: Sun, 2 Jul 2000 16:34:06 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-2

Dolly firm put woman's gene into sheep

by Antony Barnett, public affairs editor, The Observer, Sunday July 2, 2000
http://www.observer.co.uk/uk_news/story/0,6903,338912,00.html

The ethics of genetics: special report

The British firm that cloned Dolly the sheep has inserted the DNA of a Danish woman into thousands of New Zealand sheep without her knowledge.

PPL Therapeutics is refusing to disclose her name, but it has admitted the DNA probably came from a blood sample she gave in a clinic in the Eighties when she was 22. She has never been told what her DNA has been used for.

The company hopes to make profits by extracting a protein from the genetically modified sheep's milk which it claims might help cure diseases such as cystic fibrosis.

But the disclosure that a firm could use the woman's DNA without her knowledge, in the week that the human genome was unravelled, has led to calls for tighter controls on the biotech industry.

Dr Sue Mayer, director of GeneWatch, said: 'People give blood and organs thinking they will be shared freely with other people. They are given as a gift. Certainly most donors do not think their DNA will be patented, inserted into animals or bacteria and used to boost the profits of some company. Many people would find this morally objectionable.'

The Department of Health has admitted that DNA taken from blood or tissue banks in Britain can also be used by universities and biotech companies for genetic experiments as long as the donor is unidentified.

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, 8 Jul 2000 10:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-7

Genetic Engineering News Volume 20 June 1, 2000. Page 21 includes the article "Symbiontics Transgenic 'Therazoan' Therapy".

Re: "Something New: Therazoan Vectors for Genetic Engineering"

Message from Joe Cummins, Ph.D., Professor Emeritus of Genetics, University of Western Ontario, e-mail: jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

Symbionics is a new company located in St. Louis (near Monsanto) it specializes in the new field making gene vectors from protozoan parasites. The parasitic animal they developed for human gene delivery is Leishmania, an animal that is a major cause of diseases, for example sleeping sickness, in tropical regions of the globe. Protozoan parasites are efficient disease causing animals in both the tropics where they cause malaria and a range of frightening diseases and in temperate climates where water born pathogens such as cryptosporidium are becoming major causes of death among people with immature or compromised immune systems.

Protozoan parasites are super gene delivery vehicles because they have large nuclei and cytoplasm rich in virus like autonomous genetic units. The protozoan gene vector can deliver a huge package of genes to internal organs or to skin. Such gene vectors can continue to deliver relatively huge quantities of therapeutic proteins to the blood stream. Their safety is a giant question mark because their normal genetic machinery contains an array of symbiotic virus and bacteria.

It is claimed that the commercial gene vectors are disarmed but the term disarmed tends to be a relative one (based, perhaps, on the eyes of the investor). Interestingly, it was noted that Symbiotics was working with the Institute for Human Gene Therapy at the University of Pennsylvania which was recently required to stop human trials following death of human subjects.

Protozoan parasites for gene therapy of humans or food animals may be the first application of therazoan vectors. Crop genetic engineering may follow with vectors to control disease pests.


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Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-7

Company to Compensate Farmers for GM Muddle

by James Meikle, The Guardian 6 July 2000

Farmers who unwittingly planted GM-contaminated crops are to get a total of about £1.5m in compensation, the seed company involved said yesterday.

They will get at least £337 a hectare, meaning those who planted an average-sized crop of 50 hectares of the oilseed rape, and then destroyed it, will be paid nearly £17,000 by Advanta Seeds UK.

Farmers north of a line between Newcastle and Carlisle will get at least £370 a hectare because of higher yields, and there may be extra compensation where farms were converting to organic status or were on tenancies forbidding GM crops.

About 400 farmers in Britain will benefit from the payouts. The money, designed to cover both losses and inconvenience suffered by farmers, is on top of about £1.5m in EU subsidies for which rules were changed to take account of the mistake.

Farmers' unions welcomed the outcome of month-long negotiations. The company has not accepted liability.


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Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-7

GMO Cotton to be Destroyed

http://www.cropchoice.com

(5 July - Cropchoice News) – The row over GMO-contaminated seed in Europe has spread to cotton. Greek officials have announced partial results from GMO tests conducted on this year's Greek cotton crop following accusations of biotech contamination from activists. With results available on most of the more than 3100 samples tested, 69 are positive for GMOs so far.

This means farmers planted, unknowingly, about 2.75% of cotton fields in Greece with GMO contaminated seed. Activists are demanding Greek officials uphold European law and turn under the affected fields. According to Greenpeace Greece's director, "Now that we have official proof, we demand immediate destruction and compensation for farmers."


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Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-7

Australians Protest Genetically Modified Food

July 7, 2000

CANBERRA (July 6) XINHUA via NewsEdge Corporation - More than 300 protesters demonstrated outside Brisbane's Australian Biotechnology Association conference Thursday against the development of genetically modified (GM) food.

According to the Australian Associated Press AAP, the protesters waved signs declaring "No fish genes in my strawberries, " "No genetically engineered foods" and "Transgenic today, but carcinogenic tomorrow."

Up to 20 police formed a human barricade across the main entrance to the Brisbane Convention Center in case the group attempted to enter the conference, where more than 450 scientists and business and legal leaders gathered.

Similar demonstrations are staged the day in Melbourne, Sydney, Adelaide and Perth.


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Date: Sat, 8 Jul 2000 10:05:20 -0400 (EDT)
From: Richard Wolfson rwolfson@concentric.net GEN7-7

Note from Dr. Joe Cummins on the following report: "The report below shows that Bt corn is clearly not substantially equivalent and since it was permitted for release on that basis it should be withdrawn!"

Transgenic Corn is Extra Tough Stuff

by Rabiya Tuma, American Society for Microbiology Meeting Report - May 2000

Ground up transgenic corn and rice plants expressing Bacillus thuringiensis(Bt) protein Cry1Ab, decompose in soil about 10-15% slower than non-transgenic varieties. This may be better for soil, as there would be a higher level of organic matter in the long-term, [conjectured] Deepak Saxena and his colleagues from the New York University at the 100th Annual Meeting of the American Microbiology Society.

Previously, Saxena and his colleagues showed that Bt toxin leeches from the roots of transgenic corn plants into the soil. The toxin is lethal to lepidopteran insects (e.g. butterflies and moths) and remains bioactive in the soil for more than 7 months. In the light of these results, the research team wanted to learn whether the transgenic plant decomposes at a rate similar to the non-transgenic plant. ...

According to Sexena, the Bt-corn is noticeably more rigid than non-Bt-corn, and often remains standing for longer. In fact, a delegate to the conference approached Sexena, remarking that only the Bt-corn was still standing in his father's field from last year, the rest of it long since down. He commented that, "It feels more like sugar cane than corn." The reason for the slower degradation of transgenic corn remains unknown.

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, 6 Jul 2000 10:28:31 +0200
From: "Wally" plantnet@iafrica.com

India Cheers While Monsanto Burns

by Paul Kingsnorth Reprinted from The Ecologist, Vol 29, No 1, Jan/Feb 1999

"We send today a very clear message to all those who have invested in Monsanto in India and abroad: take your money out now, before we reduce it to ashes." –Karnataka State Farmers Association, India

One of the most morally dubious claims made in Monsanto's recent newspaper advertising blitz was the assertion that the widespread use of food biotechnology is the only way to feed the world's poor. The corporation's argument went like this: millions of people currently go hungry in developing countries. In the future, as global population increases, this problem is set to worsen. Only high-yield agriculture can possibly produce enough food to meet this increased demand. Therefore, quite obviously, only "biotechnology can feed the world."

Monsanto's strategy was to try to portray its genetically modified (GM) crops as the solution to the hunger and poverty problems of the Third World. The company even tried to round up a group of 'respected voices' from developing countries to endorse an advert entitled 'Let The Harvest Begin', which praised biotechnology as "the seed of the future", which will "feed the world in the next century." Monsanto was playing a clever game: it was trying to portray opponents of food biotechnology as selfish and insular. What right, asked the corporation, do well-fed Western environmentalists have to deny the poor farmers of the Third World access to this wonderful new technology, which could feed their families and improve their living standards dramatically in years to come?

But this tactic is beginning to backfire spectacularly. In trying to use developing countries as pawns in its game, as it plays for dominance of the world's food markets, it is alienating the very people it claimed to be supporting: the poor. In India, where millions of peasant farmers still live a life of small-scale, subsistence agriculture, the corporation is facing nothing less than a crisis. Its trademark evasion, deception and subterfuge has enraged farmers all over the country. And if it won't go voluntarily, they are prepared to chase it out, by any means necessary.

At 1.30 in the afternoon on 28th November 1998, in Sindhanoor, in the Indian state of Karnataka, the leader of the Karnataka State Farmers Association (KRRS), a movement which claims a membership of ten million. arrived at one of India's first Monsanto test sites. The owner of the field, Basanna Hunsole, came out to greet him. With the help of Basanna's neighbours, a number of KRRS members, other local grassroots organizations representing 'untouchables' and landless farmers, they proceeded to tear up every one of the genetically modified cotton plants growing there. They stacked therm in a heap in the middle of the field, and set them on fire. In minutes, Monsanto's test crop was reduced to ashes.

This was the first strike in a grassroots campaign that is spreading rapidly across India: 'Operation Cremate Monsanto'. Professor Nanjundaswamy. a committed Gandhian and leader of the KRRS. issued a statement to the press as the field burned. "We denounce the ignorance. incompetence and irresponsibility of the Union government to gamble with the future of Indian agriculture." said the Professor. He went on to demand that all tests of genetically modified crops in India be stopped, that the country's Patent Act be amended to stop the patenting of basic crop varieties, and that Monsanto be banned from the country. Otherwise, he said. Indian farmers would continue to take the situation into their own hands.

Since that first action. at least three more Monsanto test sites have been burned. in Karnataka and Andhra Pradesh, and more cremations are promised. The tactic has spread from the KRRS to other grassroots organizations. In December 1998. following actions by local farmers and concern about illegal growing of GM crops, the government of Andhra Pradesh ordered Monsanto to stop the seven trials it was operating in the state. The first shots have been fired by Indian farmers in what is increasingly looking like a war against the giant corporation.

Monsanto has been operating in India since 1949. and is a market leader in agricultural chemicals. In recent years it has spent much time and money trying to win over Indian politicians and officials to the cause of GM crops. on which it has staked its future. It operates three Indian subsidiaries: Monsanto India, Monsanto Enterprises and Monsanto Chemicals, and early in 1998, Monsanto quietly acquired a 26 per cent stake in the Indian seed company Mahyco.

Mahyco-Monsanto is the organization through which Monsanto is attempting to push its GM crops onto the Indian people. The company is already claiming patent rights over thirty 'new' crop varieties including corn, rice. tomatoes and potatoes ˜ which it has genetically altered to he resistant to its own herbicides. But Mahyco-Monsanto's biggest effort in India at present is going into the testing of GM cotton. Cotton is grown widely in India, and Monsanto hopes that its GM variety known as 'bollgard' cotton ˜ can corner this market. The cotton is modified to be resistant to the boil weevil, a major cotton pest.

Of course, Monsanto wouldn't be Monsanto without a bit of subterfuge, and this is where the tale gets murkier. Monsanto apparently doesn't trust Indian farmers to swallow its propaganda as easily as it would like. So, in order to avoid having to persuade farmers of the case for GM crops, it has tried a different tack: growing GM crops on the farmer's land without te1ling him.

This is what happened to Basanna Hunsole, on whose land the first cremation took place. According to the farmer, he was approached in July 1998 by officials from Mahyco-Monsanto, who offered him the chance to grow ˜ free of charge ˜ a new variety of cotton, which they claimed would give him wonderful results. They omitted to tell him that the cotton was genetically modified, or that it had not been approved for testing by the government. In effect, Monsanto tricked Basanna Hunsole into unknowingly growing illegal crops on his land. Moreover, Basanna was unimpressed with what he saw. Despite Monsanto's claims, he said that the GM 'bollgard' cotton grew "miserably", and reached less than half the height of the traditional strains he was growing in nearby fields. Worst of all, they were heavily infested with boll weevils.

These illegal tests on Basanna Hunsole's land were carried out with no safeguards in place. There was no 'buffer zone' around the field, and none of the farmer's neighbours was notified of the potentially hazardous crops that were growing near their fields. Basanna only discovered the truth about what was growing on his land when Karnataka's Minister of Agriculture publicly announced, in November, the locations of Monsanto's test sites in the state.

Monsanto had obviously calculated that Indian farmers were easily fooled and too ignorant to bother informing about what was really happening on their own land. It is this corporate arrogance that has enraged farmers' groups all over India, and seen support for 'Operation Cremate Monsanto' spread rapidly since its inception. After the truth about Basanna Hunsole's field was discovered, Monsanto belatedly signed a statement in which they admitted their deception, and promised to behave themselves in the future. But when, a few weeks later, the government of Andhra Pradesh announced it was stopping all Monsanto trials in the state, it cited similar deceptions as the reasons for its decision.

So, 'what future for Monsanto in India? None at all, if another group of campaigners ˜ the 'Monsanto Quit India' ˜ campaign has its way. 'Monsanto Quit India' is a coalition of NFOs opposed to GM crops, and to Monsanto's attempts to monopolize Indian agriculture. It was launched on 9th August 1998 ˜ the anniversary of the day when Gandhi famously told the British to 'Quit India'. Now, say the coalition, the same message is being sent to Monsanto's headquarters in Illinois. The Monsanto Quit India campaign has already distributed thousands of 'Quit India' postcards to NGOs, community groups and farmers across the country. So far, just four months after the campaign began, over 10,000 people have signed these postcards and sent them to Monsanto's headquarters.

Resistance to Monsanto, and to their vision of a future where farmers everywhere will be dependent on global corporations for their livelihood, and where consumers have no choice about the food they eat, is growing fast in India. The recent decision by the Indian government to allow the mass import of American soya beans is beginning to alert the Indian public to the potential hazards of GM foods. Campaigners say that, due to the lack of labelling, there is no way of telling whether or not the beans from America are genetically modified.

The Monsanto Quit India campaign already claims tens of thousands of supporters, as do the various organisations and local efforts concentrating on burning Monsanto's crops until the corporation begins to listen to those who have worked the land for generations. Perhaps in future, before Monsanto claims that its supercrops are the only way to save the people in developing countries from a future of penury and hunger, they might care to ask those people themselves. In India, at least, they will find themselves increasingly unwelcome.


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Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 19:48:49 +0200
From: Huib & Willy de Boer bedum@mweb.co.za

06.07.2000.

Dear Franz, herewith the attachment on genetics as it appeared in our local news papers (Cape Town, South Africa). I think it makes it very clear in simple terms. Let me know what you think of it.
Regards, greetings .
Huib.

Note: articles probably sorced from Los Angles Times . Washington Post.

HUMAN GENOME (good short sumary)

GENETICS, Cape Town 29.06.2000

Sections:
Definitions.
History. Genetic Research.
Morals, Ethics, Legal aspects.

Alpha male ? Celera head Craig Venter and Francis Collins, head of the Human Genome Project.

In the beginning, there was one man. He is the Adam of the coming of age of DNA, the first human to have his genetic library read from first volume to the last. And he is the basis for what is being called the "reference genome", the genetic yardstick against which the rest of us may one day be measured. Rival groups say they have created the first complete human genetic standard - the human genome - which contains all the information needed to build a human body. The more complete genome was produced by Celera Genomics of Rockville, Maryland. Celera says it used one man's DNA as the foundation for its work . While the donor's name has not been disclosed, many suspect the DNA belonged to Craig Venter, the president of Celera. Samuel Broder, Celera's chief medical officer, is the only company official said to know the chosen donor's identity, and he is not talking. The information is stored in a fire-proof safe at the biotech company. Here is what Celera will say : the Alpha Human of genetics is male, white, over 21, and generally healthy, one of six men who donated blood and a semen sample for the cause. Venter was one of the donors, said company sources. So was Hamilton Smith,

A Nobel Prize winner, Celera scientist and emeritus professor at Johns Hopkins University. Smith is not shy about confirming his donation, but adds that he doesn't know if his DNA was chosen. " I hope it was," he says. James Shreeve, the author of a forthcoming book about the human genome race, was also one of the first six donors, said a source. While Celera's first donor made the biggest contribution to the company's genome, he is not the only person represented. Celera mixed the data of that first donor with that of individuals from five ethnic backgrounds, at least two of them women, says Christine Carter, who supervises Celera's human testing. The additional donors, included to try to identify key genetic differences in individuals, including a white, a black, an ethnic Japanese, an ethnic Chinese, and a Latino. Into this genetic stew, Celera added data from its rival, the Human Genome project, an international consortium of academic laboratories.

The consortium which announced it had completed a "rough draft" of the genome, also started with the DNA of one man. A resident of Buffalo, NY., Who donated semen and blood to the Roswell Park Cancer Institute in 1997.. Gradually , consortium scientists blended in the DNA of nine other volunteers. In all, the genome announced from a patchwork of the DNA of sixteen people. Both Celera and the HGP started with a male, because it simplified the task of reading the order of the 3.2 billion chemical units in a single human genetic library. That way, scientists would not confuse differences between people as errors in the sequence. Los Angeles.Times. Washington Post.

Definitions.

Amino Acid.
the molecular building block of proteins. The proteins in our bodies are composed of various combinations of twenty different amino acids.
Base pair (bp).
two DNA subunits held together by weak chemical bonds between their nitrogen-containing components. In nature, the component called guanine pairs with cytosine (GC or CG), and the base adenine pairs with thymine (AT or TA). The bonds between multiple base pairs hold two strands of DNA together in shape of a double helix.
Chromosome.
a structure in the nucleus of a cell that contains the cell's genetic information. We have 23 pairs of chromosomes, each composed of DNA subunits whose sequence determines our entire array of genes.
Cloning.
producing exact copies of a single gene, other DNA segments, an entire cell or complete organism. Cloned collections of DNA, called clone libraries, are useful tools in helping scientists piece together our genetic information.
DNA.
an abbreviation for deoxyribonucleic acid. The long , double stranded molecule coiled inside each cell consists of individual subunits called nucleotides that spell out our genetic information.(see Nucleotide.)
Gene.
an ordered string of DNA nucleotides that we inherit from our parents. Each gene has a unique location on a particular chromosome and acts as the blueprint for producing a specific protein.
Gene Mapping.
the sequence of DNA nucleotides, read as three-letter words called condons, that acts as a template for ordering amino acids to form proteins.
Gene Therapy.
transferring new DNA or an entire gene into an individual, usually with the goal of replacing that individual's damaged or missing gene to partially or completely restore the intended function.
Genetic Code.
the sequence of DNA nucleotides, read as three-letter words called condons, that acts as a template for ordering amino acids to form proteins.
Genome.
the entire complement of our genetic material. The human genome consists of about 3 billion base pairs dispersed among Chromosomes X, Y, and 1 through to 22. The combination XY will be male, and that of XX will be female.
Nucleotides.
DNA or RNA subunits containing a phosphate molecule, a sugar molecule and one of four nitrogen containing molecules called "bases". Each DNA nucleotide contains either an adenine, thymine, guanine or cytosine base, and it is often referred to by the single letters, A, T, G, or C.
PCR.
abbreviation for Polymerase Chain Reaction. Scientists use this technique to rapidly increase the amount of specific DNA sequence or to detect the existence of a defined sequence within a particular DNA sample.
Recombinant DNA.
molecules with different origins that have been joined to form a new chimeric chain. RNA. – an abbreviation for ribonucleic acid. Structurally similar to DNA, this molecule plays an important role in producing proteins from DNA blueprints.
Sequencing.
determining the relative order of nucleotides in a DNA or RNA molecule or the order of amino acids in a protein.

History. Genetic Research.

1860
Moravian monk, Gregor Mendel, carries out pioneering research into inheritance by cultivating pea plants, and observing character traits.
1869
Swiss doctor, Friedrich Miescher, isolates deoxyribonucleic acid .(DNA.)
1909
Identification of DNA's chemical composition. The term "gene" is used by scientists for the first time.
1953
James Watson and Francis Crick, describe DNA's double helix structure.
1969
First gene is isolated.
1970
First artificial gene is made.
1978
Bacteria are engineered to produce insulin.
1984
Researchers introduce genetic-finger printing for the first time.
1990
The Human Genome Project is launched. This is a United States led effort by public sector scientists to map the human genetic code.
1996
The genetic map of Brewer's yeast is decoded. Brewer's yeast was by far the most complex organism that scientists had studied so far.
1998
A private sector rival, Celera Genomics, joins the human genome race.
1998
A nematode worm, C, elegans, is the first mutlicelled animal whose genome is decrypted.
2000
US president, Bill Clinton, and British Prime Minister, Tony Blair, make a joint appeal for the genome sequence to be made freely available to the rest of the world.
2000
French scientists announce the first effective gene therapy. In their experiment, the researchers reversed immune system weakness in "bubble" babies, who because of their affliction , had to live in sterile plastic tents.
2000
Researchers complete the first working draft of the human genome

Morals, Ethics, Legal aspects.

Knowing the Human Genome can lead to discrimination against individuals carrying the "wrong" genes or may be prone to disease. This can also lead to manipulation, and intimidation or create a "sub genetic class" of individuals. A process of exclusion. This knowledge creates a tremendous social responsibility.

We have to place regulatory control procedures in place and have high and strict legal standards which are mandatory This is very similar to discrimination on the grounds of sex, skin colour, religion, physical disabilities, and inherited characteristics – And that is directly against Human Rights


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Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 21:46:33 +0200
From: "ekogaia" ekogaia@iafrica.com

Global threats to Dairy Agriculture by Globalisation.

"Byron Sokolich" bsokolich@debeers.co.za,

Do you wonder why our fruit industry in South Africa is beginning to take strain? Do you wonder where those strawberries in mid winter come from. Globalisation is the common thread and the process has hardly started.

There is a real risk for us, as has already happened in other African countries, that our agricultural system will collapse under these strains (already the fruit, oilseed and chicken sectors are under strain). We will then have to import these foods from developed nations that are subsidising their farmers. How long will these farmers be subsidised for if they are primarily feeding the rest of the world? I postulate that as soon as a majority of the worlds nations are caught in this trap, price increases are inevitable. With a falling balance of payments, a falling exchange rate, and no alternative food sources the south will be in more dire problems than it finds itself.

What happens if reliance on first world crops is interrupted by drought? Then we are on a slippery slope as noted in this great piece of journalism below by Devinder Sharma.


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Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 21:46:33 +0200
From: "ekogaia" ekogaia@iafrica.com
From: "Devinder Sharma" dsharma@del6.vsnl.net.in

evinder Sharma is a food and trade policy analyst. He also chairs the New Delhi-based Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security. Contact email: dsharma@ndf.vsnl.net.in

Milk: Greying of India’s White Revolution

By Devinder Sharma
The Hindu Business Line, New Delhi/Mumbai/Bangalore/Chennai;
July 3, 2000

Punjab’s dairy sector is in crisis. A flood of imports of highly subsidised imports of milk and cream from Denmark and Norway have created an uproar from domestic producers. Such has been the hue and cry that the Chief Minister Prakash Singh Badal was forced to rush to New Delhi recently to plead with the Prime Minister Atal Bihari Vajpayee to raise custom duties in a bid to stop the dumping of milk into Punjab.

This was bound to happen sooner or later. I have continuously been warning that the time is not far when milk will flow from the Netherlands, cheese from New Zealand and butter fat from the United States. This is how the daily requirement of milk and milk products of an average household in India will be met in the coming years. With the quantitative restrictions and the import curbs on the import of milk and milk products being gradually phased out under pressure from the WTO and the rich trading blocks, India is sure to be inundated with powder milk and milk products.

It is not as if the country is faced with milk shortage that calls for increasing imports to meet the growing domestic requirement. In recent years, India has emerged as the biggest producer of milk with an output of 78 million tonnes in 1999-2000, outpacing 72 million tonnes achieved in the United States. The world’s largest producer of milk , however, has become a net importer of milk and cream. In the six months spanning April and October last year, India imported 16,700 tonnes of milk and cream. It was only after the negative impact of the “bound tariffsö became clearly visible that the government has successfully managed to re-negotiate a two-tier tariff structure that would allow imposition of 15 per cent duty on imports up to 10,000 tonnes and thereafter the duties will rise to 60 per cent. The complex duty structure is however facing problems in its effective implementation.

In India, it took nearly thirty years to achieve self-sufficiency in milk production, and in the process emerge as the biggest milk producer in the world. Ever since the launch of Operation Flood in 1969-70, before which the Indian dairy industry was in the depths of despair, the effort has been to involve the farmers through a network of cooperatives, owned and controlled by farmers, with an intelligent mix of policies that provided the incentive for enhancing productivity and production. More than 80,00,000 dairy farmers , mostly women , are members of more than 60,000 dairy cooperatives. The dairy cooperatives have been the road that has pulled millions of poor from the poverty trap. Indian milk production, in contrast to other milk producing countries, is characterised by millions of small and marginal farmers including landless milk producers for whom dairying is not only a business but also the main source of employment.

Even before the WTO began asserting its mandate, the Indian government had been toying with the idea of opening up the vast Indian market for unrestrained imports of skimmed milk powder and milk products. Following the government’s economic liberalisation policy, milk powder, which used to be on the restricted list (for imports) was put on the open general license in 1995-96. The open-door policy to MNCs has only placed the national milk grid in jeopardy.

It is being said that the tarification of non-tariff barriers under the WTO had forced India to bind the import of milk powder at zero duty. This was primarily because milk powder import had so far remained on the restricted list and therefore was devoid of any non-tariff barriers or what is known as quantitative restrictions (QRs). At the same time, this also demonstrates the complete lack of understanding of the domestic scene by the Indian negotiators. After all, if the “bound dutiesö could be revised after an uproar in India following the flood of cheap imports, why couldn’t the Indian bureaucrats, negotiating in the WTO process, do it earlier?

Also, a little known fact is that much of the milk and milk products that are being imported are of inferior quality. Bulk of these imports can be easily stopped under the sanitary and phytosanitary conditions. But unfortunately, a Finance Ministry suggestion that called for a strict monitoring of the quality of the imported dairy products elicited no response from the Prime Minister’s Office!

Interestingly, the imports of milk powder into India this year have been contracted at US $ 1,400 per tonne, even as the US and the EU are providing a subsidy of US $ 1,028 and US $ 959 per tonne of subsidy. The import price, with the subsidy built-in, is substantially lower than the cost of production in India!

The logic behind allowing MNCs to import milk powder without countervailing duties is difficult to fathom, when their own governments are giving them massive subsidies. The Producer Subsidy Equivalent, which measures the aggregate quantum of subsidy as a percentage of the value of the milk produced, in 1997 stood at 82 per cent in Japan, 59 per cent in Canada, 54 per cent in the European Union, 47 per cent in the US and 23 per cent in Australia. Furthermore, the per tonne subsidy of US $ 811 for milk powder declared by the EU in 1998 or the US $ 875 per tonne subsidy provided by the US under its Dairy Export Incentive Programme constituted roughly 55 per cent of the prevailing international price of US $ 1,500 per tonne the same year.

Such has been the high level of protection provided to milk producers by the developed countries that even with the stipulated reduction in both the volume and the amount of subsidies, the EU and the US can continue to flood and dump its highly subsidised milk and milk powder onto the unsuspecting developing countries, which have little safeguard mechanisms to protect their small dairy producers. Jamaican farmers, for instance, had recently spilled milk on the streets to protest against the dumping of milk by the United Kingdom. Such protests will gradually be seen in India, as the negative impact of the trade policy becomes visible and strong enough. The gains of the much-publicised “White Revolutionö will soon fritter away, thereby bringing in social inequalities and injustice. #

"All policymakers must be vigilant to the possibility of research data being manipulated by corporate bodies and of scientific colleagues being seduced by the material charms of industry. Trust is no defence against an aggressively deceptive corporate sector," THE LANCET, April 2000

"When a butterfly flaps its wings in Africa, it can cause a hurricane in New York."


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.