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Genetic ID, which is the company in the USA that tests foods to see if they are genetically engineered has a new website, which describes how foods are tested etc.
This fabulous website is: http://www.genetic-id.com
June 20, 1997
London, Reuters [WS] via Individual Inc. : Genetically modified farm products emerged as a leading sticking point between the United States and Europe on trade when grain nations met in London on Thursday. U.S. Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said that what he described as "phoney science" was "the greatest threat to free trade."
His comments in a speech at the meeting of the International Grains Council were an indirect attack on countries that restrict the sale of genetically-modified on the basis of consumer concern, without what the U.S. considers adequate scientific backing.
The Associated Press – 20 Jun 1997
BRUSSELS, Belgium (AP) - Responding to public concern about food safety, the European Union on Wednesday approved a measure requiring companies to label genetically modified food.
The move is certain to spark complaints from the United States. U.S. Trade Representative Charlene Barshefsky earlier in the week told EU officials that Washington would view labeling as a possible violation of world trade rules. ...
The rules will require companies seeking EU approval of gene-modified products to identify them as such on ``a label or an accompanying document." EU officials said all 15 member nations must put the labeling law into effect by July 31.
European farm, environmental and consumer groups have called for the labels, arguing the grain has not been adequately tested for safety.
Austria and Luxembourg have banned the import of genetically modified grain, saying the herbicides and antibiotic-resistant chemicals used in its production could cause adverse reactions in some individuals.
Intellectual Property & Biodiversity News - Vol. 6, Number 7 May 28,1997
Trangenic fish are being developed by several organizations to stock aquaculture farms. These fish are created with specific traits such as enhanced growth rates, increased product efficiency, disease resistance and expanded ecological ranges. To achieve these desired traits, the fish eggs are injected or fused with the DNA of other species. One of the genes experimented with, is the human growth hormone gene. This gene has been inserted into the common carp, crucian carp and loach, resulting in a dramatic increase in the growth of these fish.
Another trait that is being experimented with, is the insertion of a coldwater tolerance gene from a fish, such as the ocean pout, into the Atlantic salmon. By doing this, the researchers expect to extend the range of the salmon to the coastal regions in northern Canada. The researchers working on these transgenic fish freely admit that an accidental release into the natural environment is a possibility, and that the methods of minimizing the damage from such an occurrence need to be addressed.
Choy L. Hew and Garth Fletcher, "Transgenic Fish for Aquaculture," CHEMISTRY & INDUSTRY, April 21, 1997.
PRESS RELEASE: 18 June 1997 RAFI / ANAPQUI / OXFAM-UK
FARMERS AND NGOS CALL ON UNITED NATIONS TO CONDEMN QUINOA PATENT AS THREAT TO FOOD SECURITY AND VIOLATION OF HUMAN RIGHTS
Bolivia's National Association of Quinoa Producers (ANAPQUI) is asking two professors at Colorado State University to abandon their controversial patent on one of the country's most important food crops - quinoa (Chenopodium quinoa) - a crop that feeds millions throughout the Andes, including many Aymara and Quechua Indigenous People.
"Our intellectual integrity has been violated by this patent," said Luis Oscar Mamami, ANAPQUI's President. "Quinoa has been developed by Andean farmers for millenia, it was not 'invented' by researchers in North America," said Mamani.
Subject: patenting of genes under question
On 18 June 1997, the European Parliament Legal Affairs Committee voted to allow industry to have patents, i.e. monopoly control, of living organisms - human parts, animals and plants. This radically overturns current European patent law, which forbids the patenting of plant and animal varieties, and allows monopolies deep into our genetic heritage. The proposed text of the draft law will now move to the plenary of the European Parliament and will be voted upon on 15 - 17 July this year.
The procedures of debate and voting in the Legal Committee had been distorted in order to allow the rapporteur, who is strongly in favour of "life patenting", to push through his interests without proper debate or compromise negotiations.
Public interest groups from all parts of society have strong reservations about the idea of "life patenting" for a number of reasons, which are illustrated below. The Committee has not addressed any of these concerns but has produced a one-sided law proposal which only takes on board the interests of the biotechnology industry. It totally bypasses those of consumers, farmers, doctors, researchers, indigenous people and patients, as well as those concerned with animal welfare, development options, biodiversity, environment and religion.
If the draft law is passed as it is, there are dangerous implications for society's access to food and medicine, socio-economic justice and ethical questions. The European vote will also have an enormous impact on the South, effectively forcing full patenting of life on the rest of the world. Some of the implications are illustrated below:
After 9 years and millions of these mice dying invariably of cancer, no cure has been found for humans. But industry has managed to sell the false promise that with patents the biotech industry can provide cures. Animal suffering is thus justified and this unproven technology continues, unchallenged.
Another argument of the life patent-pushers is that we need the proposed directive for European companies to be able to compete with their counterparts from the USA and Japan, which will somehow inevitably also create jobs. This argument is based on a total misconception of reality -or a straightforward lie. It is precisely the US biotech corporations, eager to expand their business in Europe, who are lobbying hardest for this directive. It is the same companies who lead the patent applications at the European Patent Office. Patents applied to life forms is about market control - not about stimulating innovation, research or jobs. Nowhere does the draft law stipulate that the patent holder has a responsibility to establish research or production in the region where it is granted. No one seems to have asked industry to prove its claims.
info: Beth Burrows, President/Director
The Edmonds Institute, 20319-92nd Avenue West, Edmonds, Washington 98020 USA phone: 425-775-5383, email: firstname.lastname@example.org fax: 425-670-8410
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