10 September 2000

Table of Contents

RATS IN THE GRAIN: Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer
Sir John Krebs in organic attack
Contaminated Babies
"Sir John Krebs is a famous bird brain"
Books on GE to add to your library... current list.
spurious claims
GE Legume inoculant - watch out!
4 GE stories – internet links
medical use of cannabis
Pigs Transplants Release Virus Infecting Human Cells
An Early Example of Substantial Equivalence
Clone scientists 'more interested in wealth than health. (Rev Ian Paisley)
Greens demand comprehensive ban on human cloning
GM crops 'worse than N-waste'
Bad News For Genetic Engineering: Lymphatic Plague
great news from Hawaii: GE papaya has short shelf life
Attack of the Uber Tomatoes
GM papaya homepage
GM sweet potato homepage
GM apple a day may protect teeth

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Date: 2 Sep 2000 05:36:14 +0100
Oiginated: Biotech Activists

RATS IN THE GRAIN: Dirty Tricks and Trials of Archer


By James B. Lieber, The "Supermarket to the World", Four Walls Eight Windows $26.00 (386P)

According to Publisher's Weekly, "Lieber meticulously serves up a seamy stew of sex. lies, and videotapes."


Excerpts from a press release reveal that " ADM had a checkered past full of scandal and conspiracy charges" but it enjoyed the protection of powerful politicians from both parties thanks to the charming and canny chairman Dwayne Andreas. From unscrupulous Cold War grain deals to Watergate pay-off money, nothing seemed to stick to the Midwestern power broker. But in the summer of 1995, that luck changed.

After an intense undercover operation, the FBI pounced. Like a legal thriller, Rats in the Grain profiles the witnesses and their testimony, the phalanx of ADM lawyers (Williams & Connolly), and the federal prosecutors, inner workings of the Departments of Justice and Antitrust, the judge, and the always unpredictable mole. Lieber developed a close relationship with Whitacre, visiting him in prison, and trying to understand what drove the super-achiever to turn on the hand that fed him."

-Publisher's Weekly

"Lieber deserves praise for his persistence in illuminating a massive case of white-collar crime. There are no pure heroes in the book. In the end, however, justice is more or less served twice-first, as ADM pays large fines for violating antitrust laws, then later as a jury convicts ADM executives who enter prison with Whitacre."

-The Cleveland Plain Dealer

"Lieber's meticulously researched book proves packs of rats have taken up residency in corporate America, international agri-business and – here's a shock – US Justice system. Even more shocking is the abundant evidence lawyer Lieber presents to build a solid case that the US Justice Department often subjugated itself to ADM's political power and well-connected attorneys in the prosecution of informant Mark Whitacre for fraud and tax evasion."

-The Farm and Food File

"Indeed, as one reads through Lieber's book, one sees not only the contempt for the public – the competitor is our friend, the customer is our enemy, which was the popular ADM refrain---but the law was indeed prostituted in the ADM case. Rats In The Grain is a story of corrupt corporate culture and manipulation."

-The Agribusiness Examiner

"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

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Date: 3 Sep 2000 06:41:33 +0100
Originated from: (ngin)

Norfolk Genetic Information Network (ngin), Krebs shows his true colours again <<<

For more on Krebs see: FOOD FIX: G8, OECD, FSA, Krebs and Paterson How the Food Standards Agency is part of a global GM spin operation

Organic produce attacked by food agency

Sir John Krebs in organic attack

By Nick Nuttall, Environment Correspondent
The Times, September 2nd

CONSUMERS who believe that organic produce has nutritional and food-safety benefits are wasting their money, the head of the Food Standards Agency said yesterday.

In a devastating attack, Professor Sir John Krebs characterised organic food, which has been promoted by such figures as the Prince of Wales, as an image-led fad.

Supporters of organic farming hit back by accusing Sir John of being out of touch with consumers and of being in the pockets of the biotechnology industry.

Harry Hadaway, of the Soil Association, the organisation which certifies organic food and organic farmers, said: "As a historic supporter of genetically modified foods we feel Sir John continues not to represent the wishes of the British consumer who have made it clear that they reject chemical farming."

Sir John, 54, who was a surprise choice for the £96,000-a-year post as head of the agency,stuck to his guns, however: "[Consumers] are not getting value for money, if they think they're buying food with extra nutritional quality or extra safety. We don't have the evidence to support those claims.

I think the organic industry relies on image and that image is one that many consumers clearly want to sign up to."

Sir John, who recently chaired a debate on biotechnology and GM foods, organised by the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development, said that some organic foods on sale in Britain may not be what they seem. He said organic standards in Britain were high but they were not necessarily applied in the rest of the world, and an estimated 70 per cent of organic food is imported into Britain.

His comments come in advance of his interview tomorrow on BBC1's Countryfile, which will give details of tests that found pesticide residues on organic carrots.

Sir John said yesterday that he was happy to eat GM, organic or conventionally produced foodstuffs. "I choose food on the grounds of whether it is fresh and well produced."

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Subj: Re: ngin: Krebs in organic attack

Date: 02/09/00 20:40:33 GMT Daylight Time

From: (ngin)

Krebs broadcast on Countryfile on BBC One at 1230 GMT/1130BST on 3 September.

In the same way that Sir John Scott [of our Royal Society] here in New Zealand supported the obnoxious grocery leaflet promoting GE food perhaps Sir John Krebs should see the report below. How much longer should we wait before we accept that we are poisoning ourselves?

Robert Anderson
Member Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Genetics

Contaminated Babies

Norfolk Genetic Information Network (ngin)

A recent Australian study of the meco-nium (first bowel discharge) of new born babies detected lindane in 78 per cent of samples, chiorpyrifos in 59 per cent, DDT in 52 per cent, PCP in 43 per cent, malathion in 34 per cent, PCB in 27 per cent and chiordane in 16 per cent. There was a mean of three pesticides per baby.

While it is not surprising that organochlo-rines like lindane, DDT, chlordane, PCP and PCB were detected, given their per-sistence and ubiquitous nature, it is surprising that supposedly non-bioaccu-mulative insecticides like chlorpyrifos and malathion were detected. These chemicals are neurotoxic, meaning that they can interfere with the brain and ner-vous system development of the foetus and the neonate, causing life-long deficits in function, as mentioned in the previous article on chiorpyrifos.


Deuble, L., Whitehall, J.F., Bolisetty, S., Patole, S.K., Ostrea, E.M., Whitehall, J.S. Environmental pollutants in meconium in Townsville, Australia. Department of Neonatology, Kirwan Hospital for Women, Townsville. Courtesy of Marianne Lloyd-Smith, National Toxics Network, Australia.)

"There is no good food without good ingredients. Its great to see people thinking about what they eat and demanding more and more top-quality organic products".

- Anton Edelmann, Master Chef, The Savoy Restaurant, London.

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Date: 3 Sep 2000 19:31:57 +0100
From: "jcummins"

"Sir John Krebs is a famous bird brain"

September 3, 2000
Prof. Joe Cummins

Today Ron Baxter provided an article on Sir John Krebs head of the British Food Standards Agency, who attacked organic agriculture as a fad. Sir John's attack was modeled after the leadership of Alex Avery in the United States. It was noted that Sir John was a surprise choice for head of the Food Standards Agency.

Actually, Sir John was Professor of Bird Behavior at Oxford. The selection committee was deeply impressed by his research showing that the brains of birds grow after those birds stored food. The selection committee felt much smarter after packing their pantries and kitchen cabinets with nuts and berries.

Sir John's strong point turned out to be establishing pecking orders. For example, at the Edinburgh Meeting on Genetically Modified Foods Sir John invited Dr Arpad Pusztai as the sole spokesperson opposing genetically modified (GM) foods then surrounded him with a flock of fluttering twits all criticizing the good doctor and opposition to GM foods. It seems clear that Sir John identifies himself with his research subjects and who has ever heard of fair play among the fowl?

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Date: 4 Sep 2000 11:06:16 +0100
From: Ericka

Books on GE to add to your library... current list.

(Feel free to add any I've missed - E.)


  1. Ronnie Cummins and Ben Lilliston, 'Genetically Engineered Food: A Self-Defense Guide for Consumers'. Marlowe & Company, a division of Avalon, 2000.

    Now available in bookstores and for ordering on the internet. Genetically Engineered Foods explores the current debates surrounding health and environmental risks of genetically engineered foods. The book contains extensive new research on US food companies - which are using genetically engineered ingredients, and which aren't. It also provides practical guidelines for consumers who wish to keep genetically engineered foods out of their diet. The book is by Ronnie Cummins of the Organic Consumers Association, and Ben Lilliston of the Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy. (Organic Consumers Association -

  2. Anderson, Luke, 'Genetic Engineering, Food, and Our Environment'. Chelsea Green Publishing Company, White River, Vermont 1999

  3. Fagan, John, 'Genetic Engineering: The Hazards, Vedic Engineering, The Solutions'. Maharishi University, 1995.

  4. Fox, Michael W., 'Beyond Evolution, The Genetically Altered Future of Plants, Animals, the Earth & Humans'. Lyons Press, 1999.

  5. Ho, Mae-Won, 'Genetic Engineering: Dream or Nightmare'. Gateway Books, 1998.

  6. Jack, Alex, 'Imagine a World Without Monarch Butterflies'. One Peaceful World Press, 1999

  7. Kneen, Brewster, 'Farmageddon: Food and the Culture of Biotechnology'. New Society Publishers, 1999.

  8. Lappe, M. and Bailey, B., 'Against the Grain: Biotechnology and the Corporate Takeover of Your Food'. LPC, 1998.

  9. Nottingham, S., 'Eat Your Genes: How Genetically Modified Food is Entering Our Diet'. Zed Books, 1998.

  10. Rifkin, Jeremy, 'The Biotech Century'. Tarcher/Putman, 1998.

  11. Teitel, M. and Wilson, K.A., 'Genetically Engineered Food: Changing the Nature of Nature: What You Need to Know to Protect Yourself, Your Family, and Our Planet'. Inner Traditions International, Ltd. 1999.

    ---------- Ericka Dana , Nader 2000 Iowa Field Coordinator
    Iowa Green Party Treasurer, Agriculture Committee
    OCA Eastern Iowa Regional Coordinator
    Catnip Farm, Iowa County, Box 72, Victor, IA 52347

    Organic Consumers Association

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    Date: 4 Sep 2000 17:18:18 +0100
    From: Robert Mann

    spurious claims

    The Slow Food discourse posted by Ericka included many good ideas, but also the following:

    The monetary advantages resulting from the use of biotechnologies are acknowledged as being clearly evident; they stem largely from an increase in productivity of plants, which some estimates place at 6-7%.
    Who has "acknowledged" the vague category "biotechnologies" as resulting in "clearly evident monetary advantages" ? It's news to me.

    On the contrary, nearly all biotek corporations have yet to get a cent of revenue, let alone net a profit - according to a recent New York Times article by Nicholas Wade, one of the most experienced science journalists.

    Much nearer the truth is that banks are being permitted to issue billions in 'venture capital' and the inherent complexity of GM allows slick-talking gene-jockeys to con them out of huge amounts which never pay off. The venture capital is spent by the gene-jockeys on equipment, chemical kits, travel, etc, but the lending institutions get no return. That is the general record so far. The "monetary advantages" are only to those who spend the venture capital without producing a return.

    As for the persistent hope that GM organisms will give higher yields, the figure 6-7% is the DECREASE of soybean yield in the USA among the duped farmers who have bought GM beans to grow (except for the drought districts where the deficit is more like 30%).

    I for one am sick of the chronic confusion between fact and fantasy by the GM propagandists. 'We hope for higher yields' is not reality; can anyone cite an actual yield increase from a GM crop? The only claim that has reached me is for the Hawaiian GM pawpaw.


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

    Top PreviousNextFront Page

    Date: 4 Sep 2000 17:38:58 +0100


    Ericka wrote:

    The monetary advantages resulting from the use of biotechnologies are acknowledged as being clearly evident...

    Dear Ericka,

    Farmers have dumped 25 million pounds of milk today, because there is too much milk and the market, and the depressed prices are putting them into economic depression! :<( Check it out: cost farmers $3.25 to grow a bushel of corn and they are getting under $2 for that same bushel. Let's hear it for MONSANTO, genetic engineering, and fallacies about monetary advantages from biotech.

    Robert Cohen

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    Date: 5 Sep 2000 14:52:11 +0100
    From: jill davies
    From: Mary-Howell Martens kandmhfarm@SPRINTMAIL.COM

    hi all,

    I'm forwarding this because it has serious consequences whether or not you're an organic grower, being that it's now cover crop season.

    GE Legume inoculant - watch out!

    Sustainable Agriculture Network Discussion Group

    While we are on the topic of legume inoculants, it is very important to alert all organic/sustainable farmers to the fact that there are currently genetically engineered Rhizobium inoculants on the market. This can be pretty confusing. For example, Urbana sells 2 alfalfa/clover inoculants - 'Dormal' which is not genetically engineered and 'Dormal Plus' which IS genetically engineered.

    For those of you who are certified organic farmers, most organic standards do not allow the use of genetically modified organisms on an organic farm. Genetically modified Rhizobium is just that. There have been cases of organic farmers who have lost certification on fields where they planted alfalfa seed that came pre-inoculated with Dormal Plus. These fields lost certification for 3 years - back to the start of transition - because this is considered a prohibited material. Some organic farmers who ordered untreated alfalfa seed (no fungicide) last year received alfalfa seed pre-inoculated with Dormal Plus, even though they did not ask for it.

    You really have to keep your eyes open! There are getting to be more and more genetically modified agricultural products on the market - its not just Bt corn and Roundup Ready soybeans anymore, folks!

    Therefore - before using any microbial inoculants - PLEASE - verify with the manufacturer (not the dealer) IN WRITING that the inoculant is not genetically modified. THEN - make sure you read the label on each and every bag before planting to make sure that you don't inadvertently plant something that will jeopardize your certification. Save your labels to document that you did not plant seed with a prohibited inoculant. And talk to your certifier about other products that may be genetically modified and therefore may be prohibited.

    This is for your protection!

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    Date: 6 Sep 2000 05:56:19 +0100

    4 GE stories – internet links

    On 6 Sep 2000, at 9:35, Planet Ark wrote:

    Israelis use tree gene to fight desertification - ISRAEL

    EU farm ministers split over pace of GM approvals - FRANCE

    Brazil soy farmers tap GM black market in key state - BRAZIL

    Australia canola cut by price, rain, not GM fears - AUSTRALIA

    'World Environment News' is copyright © Planet Ark 2000
    All headlines are copyright © Reuters 2000

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    Date: 6 Sep 2000 19:21:54 +0100
    From: "jcummins"

    Californian centre will test medical uses of cannabis

    medical use of cannabis

    By REX DALTON, Nature 407, 6 (2000) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

    [SAN DIEGO] Marijuana is about to come under close scientific scrutiny in California. The Center for Medicinal Cannabis Research is being set up by the University of California to study the drug's efficacy and safety.

    Announced last week, the centre will study the effects of cannabis on a number of diseases, including AIDS, muscle spasticity and nausea caused by cancer treatment. Some biochemistry might also be funded.

    California's state assembly has provided US$3 million for the first year of research, and plans to fund two more years at $3 million each. Any research institution in California can apply for funds from the centre, which will be a venture between the university's San Diego and San Francisco campuses. Research proposals will be reviewed by a national panel of experts and approved by the National Institute on Drug Abuse, which will also supply the cannabis.

    The plan is to start enrolling patients and conducting studies in January, according to Igor Grant, a physician at the University of California at San Diego and co-director of the centre. He says that clinical trials and studies should provide reliable evidence on whether any medicinal benefits can be derived from smoking marijuana or ingesting marinol, a synthetic version of marijuana's most active ingredient, THC (delta-9-tetrahydrocannabinol).

    Although there are surveys and retrospective studies on the purported positive medicinal effects of cannabis, there are few prospective, blinded studies on the drug. US federal authorities have balked at funding such studies, concerned that they might encourage abuse of marijuana.

    But in recent years, several prestigious scientific groups have called for a comprehensive cannabis study. Earlier this year, the National Academy of Sciences' National Research Council issued a report recommending research on cannabis.

    California has voted to make cannabis legal for medicinal use, and 'cannabis clubs' provide marijuana for various purported health needs. This has prompted legal battles between state authorities and federal prosecutors, who fear that medicinal use will be used as a cover for criminal activity.

    As these disputes went on, California state Senator John Vasconcellos, a Democrat from Santa Clara, successfully pushed the bill to fund the cannabis research centre through the state assembly.

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    Date: 6 Sep 2000 19:58:18 +0100
    From: "jcummins"

    Pigs Transplants Release Virus Infecting Human Cells

    When pig cells contact human cells the pig cells release retrovirus (PERV). When infected human cells were transferred to nude mice (lacking imminue system) infecting virus were released from the human cells. The experiment shows that pig human transplants will release retroviruses infecting human. Clinical trials of pig to human transplants should be stopped,Now! 07 September 2000

    Nature 407, 90 - 94 (2000) © Macmillan Publishers Ltd.

    Infection by porcine endogenous retrovirus after islet xenotransplantation in SCID mice

    Luc J.w. Van Der Laan, Christopher Lockey, Bradley C. Griffeth, Francine S. Frasier, Carolyn A. Wilson, David E. Onions, Bernhard J. Hering, Zhifeng Long, Edward Otto, Bruce E. Torbett & Daniel R. Salomon

    Animal donors such as pigs could provide an alternative source of organs for transplantation. However, the promise of xenotransplantation is offset by the possible public health risk of a cross-species infection. All pigs contain several copies of porcine endogenous retroviruses (PERV), and at least three variants of PERV can infect human cell lines in vitro in co-culture, infectivity and pseudotyping experiments. Thus, if xenotransplantation of pig tissues results in PERV viral replication, there is a risk of spreading and adaptation of this retrovirus to the human host.

    C-type retroviruses related to PERV are associated with malignancies of haematopoietic lineage cells in their natural hosts. Here we show that pig pancreatic islets produce PERV and can infect human cells in culture. After transplantation into NOD/SCID (non-obese diabetic, severe combined immunodeficiency) mice, we detect ongoing viral expression and several tissue compartments become infected. This is the first evidence that PERV is transcriptionally active and infectious cross-species in vivo after transplantation of pig tissues. These results show that a concern for PERV infection risk associated with pig islet xenotransplantation in immunosuppressed human patients may be justified.

    Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2000 Registered No. 785998 England.

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    Date: 6 Sep 2000 20:13:35 +0100
    From: "jcummins"

    A fine early example of the substantial equivalence concept!

    An Early Example of Substantial Equivalence

    7 September 2000

    Colorado's cannibals
    Featured articles

    Colorado's cannibals

    At sometime around AD 1150 a small Puebloan habitation in the Cowboy Wash area of southwestern Colorado was suddenly abandoned. Seven bodies found in a non-burial context within the site showed evidence of cannibalism -their bones showed signs of butchery, and had apparently been cooked as though for consumption. However no direct evidence that the bodies had been eaten was available.

    Research published in this week's Nature now provides this direct evidence in the form of human tissue remains found in preserved human faeces from the Cowboy Wash site. Marlar et al used an immunological detection assay to show that this human waste contained the human heart and muscle protein myoglobin. The possibility that the myoglobin was present because of some internal injury in the gut of the person who produced the waste was ruled out by control experiments.

    Providing evidence of cannibalism has proven to be a difficult area both for archaeologists, scientists and anthropologists. Not only is it difficult to find direct scientific evidence but this controversial issue breaks social taboos and can involve political pressures. These problems are summarised in this week's featured News and Views article by Jared Diamond, which takes the form of an imaginary debate between cannibal claimants and sceptics. The authors of the research meanwhile hope that their discovery will allow the debate to, "shift from the question of whether or not cannibalism occurred to questions concerning its social context, causes and consequences."

    Featured articles

    Archaeology: Talk of cannibalism

    Biochemical evidence of cannibalism at a prehistoric Puebloan site in southwestern Colorado

    Richard A. Marlar, Banks L. Leonard, Brian R. Billman, Patricia M. Lambert & Jennifer E. Marlar Jared M. Diamond

    Incontrovertible evidence of cannibalism has been found at a 900-year-old site in the southwestern United States. Why do horrified critics deny that many societies have found cannibalism acceptable?

    Related links

    Colorado Archaeology Network

    Nature © Macmillan Publishers Ltd 2000 Registered No. 785998 England.

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    Date: 7 Sep 2000 07:33:51 +0100
    Via: Biotech Activists

    Clone scientists 'more interested in wealth than health. (Rev Ian Paisley)

    Ananova: 6th September 2000

    Scientists who advocate human cloning are more interested in generating wealth for themselves than improving people's health, the Rev Ian Paisley has claimed.

    The Northern Ireland MEP told a debate on human cloning in the European Parliament in Strasbourg that scientists were trying to profit from the patenting of human genes.

    He condemned recent moves by Prime Minister Tony Blair's Government to ease the ban on human cloning by giving MPs and peers a free vote on whether the law should be relaxed to permit therapeutic cloning.

    The decision was taken by the Government after a panel of experts headed by the chief medical officer, Professor Liam Donaldson, concluded that the potential benefits outweighed the ethical objections.

    As a safeguard, the Government said it plans to bring in new legislation to outlaw reproductive cloning - the creation of duplicate human beings.

    However, the proposal angered politicians and churchmen across Europe including the Democratic Unionist leader who told MEPs scientists were trying to "play God".

    "Certain scientists have become so arrogant that they are patenting what they have stumbled upon as their own creation," Mr Paisley claimed, noting one human genetic science company had patented 100 human genes in the United States with applications pending on another 8,000.

    "They may argue that human cloning is about the promotion of health when it is really about the promotion of the wealth of scientific companies.

    "Scientists have taken the lunacy of Hitler's fascism and are attempting to fight that war in the laboratories of the world. This parliament must reject such attempts to give scientists sovereignty over the cloning of human life."

    For more, visit

    Community email addresses:

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    Date: 7 Sep 2000 07:33:51 +0100
    Via: Biotech Activists

    Human Cloning Debate

    Greens demand comprehensive ban on human cloning

    The Greens/efa In The European Parliament

    Strasbourg, 6 September 2000

    The Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament, which has been instrumental in organising today's debate with the Commission, is demanding a comprehensive ban on human cloning techniques, following the British government's recommendation that medical research using human embryos created by cell nuclear replacement (essentially the same production method as for Dolly the sheep) should be permitted. The Group has therefore introduced a Resolution before Parliament which states that "therapeutic cloning", which involves the creation of human embryos solely for research purposes, poses a profound ethical dilemma, crosses an irreversible boundary in research norms and is contrary to public policy as adopted by the European Union.

    Hiltrud Breyer MEP (Germany) said "The distinction which some scientists and the British government are seeking to make between so-called "therapeutic cloning" and " reproductive cloning" in humans is a false one. In practice the technique of producing embryos by cell nuclear transfer is the same and the move to permit such research represents an erosion of established ethical values. We cannot permit the deliberate production of human embryos as though they were simply a disposable commodity." She added "We already have an agreement at EU level that Community funds should not be used for research into such techniques. The recommendation of the British government is therefore in direct conflict with this policy and we wish to ensure that EU funds are not used, either directly or indirectly, for these purposes.

    The Greens/EFA Group considers that such an important issue should be dealt with at international level. Paul Lannoye MEP (Belgium), Group President, said "Whilst there are undoubted advances in medical knowledge to be made from human genetics, there are alternative research models which do not require the artificial production of embryos in this way. We need strict legal, ethical and social constraints on such activities in order to prevent abuses of this knowledge. We wish therefore to see a universal ban at the level of the United Nations on all human cloning techniques, including "therapeutic" uses. The EU is currently involved in drawing up a Charter of Fundamental Rights and this is clearly an issue which also deserves full attention in that document."

    Press Service of the Greens/EFA Group in the European Parliament

    Helmut Weixler (press officer)

    phone: 0032-2-284.4683   fax: 0032-2-284.4944   mobile phone: 0032-75-67 13 40

    e-mail:     website:

    "Of all the technologies now in use, genetic engineering is especially dangerous because of the threat of unexpected, harmful side effects that cannot be reversed or corrected, but will afflict all future generations. The side effects caused by genetic manipulations are not just long-term. They are permanent".

    - Dr J. Fagan. Award-winning molecular biologist and author of Genetic Engineering: The Dangers.

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    Date: 7 Sep 2000 12:46:20 +0100

    GM crops 'worse than N-waste'

    By Paul Kelso The Guardian, Wednesday September 6, 2000

    Genetically modified crops pose a greater threat to the environment than nuclear waste or chemical pollution, the executive director of Greenpeace told a court yesterday.

    Lord Melchett, head of Greenpeace UK, was speaking on the second day of a retrial at Norwich crown court in which he and 27 others are charged with causing criminal damage to a farm scale trial of genetically modified herbicide resistant forage maize.

    Questioned by Owen Davies QC, defending, Lord Melchett said that he thought genetic modification represented the most serious threat to the environment.

    "Because it is alive it's not like chemical pollution which you can clean up or even nuclear waste. It might take thousands of years, as in the case of Chernobyl, but it will eventually disappear. GM, if it gets into the environment in a way that causes a problem is probably impossible to stop or recall.

    "The other element is that it is capable of going everywhere. Chernobyl was contained to a large area of Europe including Britain but it could not go all over the world. GM because it's alive can ... and could affect generations to come. You can't sweep it up, pull it in, it has not got strings attached."

    All 28 defendants deny the charges, which arose from action at a field at Lyng, Norfolk, last July, claiming they acted to protect other crops from imminent contamination by GM pollen. At the original trial they were cleared of theft but the jury was unable to reach a verdict on the criminal damage charges.

    Lord Melchett, 52, said the group had intended to uproot six acres of maize and return it to its owner AgrEvo (now Aventis) at its headquarters in Kings Lynn.

    "I believe the crop when it flowered would release GM material widely into the environment around the field and further afield.

    "When that was released it would cause damage to other agriculture, organic crops and honey, conventional crops, soil and wildlife. Once that GM material was released it was alive and it would remain alive and continue to spread and would be unstoppable."

    Lord Melchett denied the attack on the field was a publicity stunt and said they had acted because the danger of contamination was imminent. He said he was horrified to learn that at the conclusion of the trial the GM maize had been ploughed back into the soil rather than removed.

    "It never crossed my mind that in July 1999 they [AgrEvo] would simply spread the stuff and plough it in. I was horrified, it seems very irresponsible to me. It was obviously the cheapest method but the most dangerous I can imagine as a farmer."

    William Brigham, the owner of the land on which the crops were being grown, had given an interview to Farmers Weekly in which he said the GM maize was about to flower releasing its pollen.

    "We realised that if we were to protect the environment we would have to move in the next few days," said Lord Melchett.

    The trial continues today.

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    Date: 7 Sep 2000 15:38:13 +0100

    Bad News For Genetic Engineering: Lymphatic Plague

    An epidemic rise in one under-publicized category of cancers should sound an alarm for all Americans. There is a powerful link to the dramatic surge in lymphatic cancer: the 1994 approval of the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone (rbGH). Before 1995, lymphatic cancers were comparatively rare.

    Today, if one adds up the total number of cancer deaths from breast, prostate, lung, pancreatic, and genital cancers, they do not cumulatively equal the number of deaths from lymphatic cancers. Do I have your attention?

    This year Americans will consume nearly 180 billion pounds of milk and dairy products in various forms. That will average out to 666 pounds per American, nearly 40% of the average American diet. Cheese eaters, ice cream slurpers, and milk drinkers of both sexes and every age group will be ingesting dairy products from hormonally-treated cows.

    Most Americans are unaware that laboratory animals treated with rbGH experienced enormous changes in their lymphatic systems. The spleens of these animals grew dramatically.

    The controversial genetically modified cow hormone was approved for human consumption in February of 1994. Cancer statistics have recently been published by the U.S. Census Bureau comparing death rates from cancer by sex and age groups in 1980, 1990, and 1995. These data support evidence of a runaway plague. All of America became a laboratory study for rbGH, which is now in America's ice cream, cheese, and pizza.

    There are small increases and decreases in lymphatic cancer rates from 1980 to 1990 depending upon sex and age group. What happened in 1995 represents the most dramatic short-term increase of any single cancer in the history of epidemiological discovery and analyses.

    (Deaths per 100,000 population in specified age group)

    AGE GROUPS198019901995% increase198019901995% increase

    The approval process for rbGH was the most controversial drug application in the history of the Food & Drug Administration (FDA). In order to address that controversy, the FDA published an article in the journal SCIENCE (August 24, 1990).

    Data in that paper reveal that the average male rat receiving rbGH developed a spleen 39.6 percent larger than the spleen of the control animals after just 90 days of treatment. The spleens from rbGH-treated females increased in size by a factor of 46 percent. These are not normal reactions and portray animals in distress. These animals were "under attack" by the genetically engineered hormone. The spleen is the first line of defense in a mammal's lymphatic system.

    Lab animals treated with rbGH developed lymphatic abnormalities. This same hormone causing changes in lab animals was introduced into America's food supply in 1994. As Americans continue to ingest genetically engineered milk and dairy products, lymphatic cancer rates soar. Americans have become laboratory subjects in genetic engineering's experiment, and the resulting data indicates extreme cause for concern.

    Robert Cohen

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    Date: 8 Sep 2000 11:31:09 +0100
    From: Leigh Hauter

    great news from Hawaii: GE papaya has short shelf life

    this came from Kathy Dorn (of formerly Irradiation Free Food Hawaii)

    By the way, I hear some good news that the e-beam is doing terrible. it turns out that the GE papaya has a short shelf life and the farmers can only get 20 cents per lb. compared to 60 cents for the traditional solo papaya.

    The farmers thought the advantage of the e-beam would be that they could let the fruit get riper before picking and therefore get sweeter. However, due to the short shelf life, they still have to pick them green.

    All the solos that are grown go to the vapor heat facilities en route to Japan which will not accept irradiated food and where they get 3 times the mainland price. This news came from a papaya farmer who knows the scoop.

    All the farmers want to abandon the GE papaya and plant the traditional but the ring spot virus is still here. The State is threatening to bulldoze all non-GE fields and the farmers are in an uproar. They have formed a new group, The Papaya Freedom Fighters and they maintain that the purpose of the State's threats is to destroy the independent farmers so only the corporate "packing house" fields are left.

    Top PreviousNextFront Page

    Date: 8 Sep 2000 16:41:28 +0100
    From: Robert Mann

    Attack of the Uber Tomatoes,1282,38646,00.html?tw=wn20.... Scientists have genetically modified tomatoes so that they ripen more slowly and produce twice the amount of an antioxidant that can help prevent blindness and cancers.

    - and of course there are no side-effects


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


    Date: 8 Sep 2000 20:38:57 +0100 From: "jcummins" Subject: "Xenotransplantation conflicting findings"

    This week I circulated the abstract of the article below, the article showed that pig cells transplanted to immune deficient mice released retroviruses capable of infecting mouse or human cells.

    Nature 407, 501 - 504 (2000)

    Infection by porcine endogenous retrovirus after islet xenotransplantation in SCID mice

    Luc J.w. Van Der Laan, Christopher Lockey, Bradley C. Griffeth, Francine S. Frasier, Carolyn A. Wilson, David E. Onions, Bernhard J. Hering, Zhifeng Long, Edward Otto, Bruce E. Torbett & Daniel R. Salomon

    There has been a great deal of pressure to permit clinical trials of humanized pig to human organ transplants. The main threat has been the release of pig retroviruses (PERV) that could cause human infections that would be difficult to control. Maiwan Ho and I have an article on the ISIS website ) fully discussing this issue.

    Today a press release from Australia was pointed out to me. That press release referred publication in Nature in mid-August. There was a brief mention and back reference to a Science article in mid-August but the research report was not fully published until this week but had been mentioned in news articles in both nature and science. The press release was about experiments that may disagree with the report above in Nature. However, the press release did not provide enough information to allow any reasonable evaluation of the results.However, there is a great deal of pressure to begin clinical trials of pig to human transplants now.

    We all recollect the violent response from science bureaucrats when Dr. Arpad Pusztai briefly mentioned his research results to an interviewer. However, there was not a peep from the science bureaucrats of the Royal Society about press releases and prepublication discussion of the threatening issues around pig to human transplantation. The lesson is clear, prepublication discussion is forbidden except for studies that please science bureaucrats of the Royal Society or their patrons.

    The science politics of genetic engineering and xenotransplantation is growing very rancid.

    The researchers and their patrons seem to have little concern for the human subjects of their experiments . Recently the experiments on gene therapy were found to cause human death or injury but those overseeing the experiments do not seem to face criminal judgment but rather they faced minor bureaucratic disapproval.

    The threat of viruses in xenotransplantation is such that those undertaking human experiments that lead to release of deadly viruses should face trial by jury in the courts not just bureaucratic mumbling.Indeed, the officials of companies and university deans and presidents promoting and goading such studies should be brought to trial by jury. Such undertakings would greatly focus research but it could lead to beneficial turnover in the administrative ranks.


    28 August 2000

    Diabetes And Pig Pancreas Transplants No Australian Researchers Study Safety

    Research by Dr Yi-Mo Deng, Professor Bernie Touch and Associate Professor Bill Rawlins from the University of New South Wales in Sydney has shown that when pig cells are transplanted into diabetic mice, there have been no instances of untoward infections. There are ongoing concerns about infections that may occur when pig cells are transplanted into other animals (xenotransplantation) in studies that are leading up to trials of pig cell transplantation into humans.

    These results are reported in the upcoming issue of the top international journal 'Transplantation', being released on October 15.

    The group transplanted insulin-producing pig cells into mice lacking an immune system and examined the mice at different periods for up to 3 months for evidence of pig endogenous retroviruses (PER). These viruses are present in all pig cells and are inactive in the pig. They are a consequence of evolution, where ancient viruses combined with the DNA of pigs they infected, later becoming silent and remaining there without causing disease. All species including man have such viruses.

    The Sydney Group found that very small numbers of pig cells containing PER migrated from the site where the insulin-producing cells were transplanted to other organs in the mice. They looked for but could find no evidence that PER was infecting these organs.

    The report in transplantation follows that of a Californian Group, which appeared in nature two weeks ago. The Californian group also showed migration of small numbers of pig cells containing PER from the transplant site in their mice. However, the data they produced was interpreted to suggest that active infection of PER may be occurring.

    Pig tissue is being investigated as a possible source of tissue to transplant into humans for the treatment of a number of disorders including diabetes because of a shortage of donor human tissue.

    The results from the safety studies carried out by two independent units in different continents has provided information for the first time on what happens when pig tissue is transplanted across species. The differences between the reports means that further experiments are needed. Safety remains the key element in xenotransplantation, and further experiments are continuing.

    For more information contact:
    A/Professor William Rawlins
    Senior Medical Virologist
    Dept of Microbiology
    Professor Bernie Touch
    Pancreas Transplant Unit
    South Eastern Area Laboratory Service University of New South Wales University of New South Wales
    through the University of NSW public relations unit on (02) 93852873 (Ms Amanda Farnsworth)

    Top PreviousNextFront Page

    Date: 9 Sep 2000 08:22:43 +0100

    GM papaya homepage

    Here's the homepage of the man responsible for GM papaya :

    Perhaps we should all ask him what safety testing has been done on these mutant crops? His email address is :

    Marcus Williamson

    Top PreviousNextFront Page

    Date: 9 Sep 2000 08:30:19 +0100

    GM sweet potato homepage

    Here's the Monsanto "official" story about the GM sweet potato :

    Note that independent food safety testing is not mentioned anywhere in the article...

    Perhaps we should ask the Kenyan researchers, Dr. Florence Wambugu and Dr. Daniel Maingi, what independent food and environmental safety testing was done on these crops before their release into the environment?

    Florence Wambugu is an advocate of GM foods who is quoted in reports by many other GM advocates. Try this search for examples :

    Marcus Williamson

    Top PreviousFront Page

    Date: 9 Sep 2000 15:47:26 +0100
    From: Paul & Katrin Davis

    GM apple a day may protect teeth

    By Tim Radford, The Guardian, Saturday September 9, 2000

    A daily, genetically modified apple could one day put dentists out of a job. Scientists in Kent are planning to convert apples and strawberries into antibacterial treatments that would protect against tooth decay.

    Teeth decay occurs because a bacterium called Streptococcus mutans sticks to the tooth surface in a plaque, and begins eating away at the enamel. David James of Horticulture Research International at East Malling told the British Association science festival yesterday that he and colleagues were working with scientists at Guy's hospital on a new peptide - a form of protein - that did not kill the germs, but prevented them from sticking to the plaque.

    If a gene that made the protein were engineered into fruit, it could be one of the "magic bullets" in the form of fruit and vegetables in tomorrow's armoury of health care.

    "The problem they have is, how do you deliver this to the consumer?" Professor James said. "Obviously you could make it as a pharmaceutical product.

    "But our idea in the longer term is to have a means of delivery that involves a raw product. It can't be a processed product because the protein would be destroyed.

    There were other reasons for genetically modifying orchards. English apple varieties were under threat from imports, and 30% of Kent's orchards had disappeared in the past five years. East Malling scientists hoped to extend the commercial storage life of apples and pears.

    Growers used chemicals to "dwarf" orchard trees to make fruit easier to pick but gene engineers could do the job better. Technology could also produce strawberries that could resist botrytis, a fungus that threatens each year's crop. The first target for a GM British fruit could be the Bramley cooking apple: its pollen is sterile, so there would be no danger of cross pollination.

    Dr Rosemary Collier of HRI told the conference she had been looking at ways of protecting vegetables from aphid attack.

    The currant-lettuce aphid wintered on currant bushes and in summer was attracted by scent to land on lettuces. She and a colleague were planning to release volatile chemicals that would make the summer lettuces smell like currants - and put the little predator off the scent.

    © Copyright Guardian Media Group plc. 2000

    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:

    Our website, 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.