Genetically
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 Food


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7 February 99

Table of Contents

Monsanto UK News Update
Scientists To "Sell" Genetic Tampering
Tories Attack "Muddle" Over Altered Foods
A Web Of Deceit
Ignorance Feeds The Propaganda Machine
Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Plants
Guidance document to facilitate notifiers in the preparation of plant GMO dossiers
Arabidopsis -- A Model Plant Genome
Sample Letters to stop Terminator
UK National Daily Launches Genetic Food Watch Campaign
Transgenic pigs
Transgenic pigs in Canada
Companies That Sell Open-Pollinated (Non-Hybrid) Seeds
French supermarket chain bans GM

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Date: 5 Feb 1999 18:06:07 -0600
From: hhollers@centuryinter.net

Monsanto UK News Update

Some time ago I signed up for the news releases from the Monsanto UK site. It's always good to know what the "enemy" is up to. Here's their most recent "News Update." Sure enough, they've put the Time article about Aspartame being safe on their web site, along with a bunch of other propaganda.

Alice Swanson
Healin' Hollers
Old Joe, Arkansas

------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
Date sent:Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From:listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk
Subject:News Update

We welcome those of you new to this list and would like to thank you for joining. We hope you will find this service convenient and instructive.

Thank you for your interest.

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This message is sent to Monsanto UK subscribers on request. We never send unsolicited e-mails.

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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

IN THE NEWS:

Scientists To "Sell" Genetic Tampering

The EU wants scientists to come out of the lab and convince the public that changing the genetic make-up of food is really OK. The European Commission says the science has been badly damaged by well publicised criticism from environmental campaigners and consumer protection groups. http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/99/february99/040299_DailyTelegraph.html


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

Tories Attack "Muddle" Over Altered Foods

William Hague recently accused the Prime Minister of ignoring expert advice to establish a moratorium on genetically modified crops, arguing that such a measure would be common sense. But Tony Blair insisted during question time that the Government would proceed logically and scientifically and "not on the basis simply of prejudice of either side of the debate, because that would only serve to increase public concern on the matter". http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/99/february99/040299_Independent.html


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

A Web Of Deceit

Heard the one about the common shampoo ingredient that causes cancer? Or how about the epidemic of blindness among toddlers who accidentally get waterproof sunscreen in their eyes? These absurd fictions used to be the stock-in-trade of ninth-graders bent on frightening the younger kids. But now such tall tales are appearing on the Internet, and many adults are taking them seriously. http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/99/february99/2299_TIMEOnline.html


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

Ignorance Feeds The Propaganda Machine

The House of Lords says it is safe: the public is terrified. Has there ever been such a wide gap between popular and expert opinion as there is on genetically modified food? http://www.monsanto.co.uk/news/99/february99/1299_DailyTelegraph.html


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

IN THE KNOWLEDGE CENTRE:

Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Plants

Opinion of the Scientific Committee on Plants regarding Chicory derived from genetically modified male sterile, Glufosinate tolerant parental lines (RM3-3, RM3-4 and RM3-6) notified by Bejo Zaden (notification C/NL/94/25-A) (SCP/GMO/087-Final) - (Opinion adopted by the Scientific Committee on Plants, 18 December 1998) http://www.biotechknowledge.com/showlib.php3?1004


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

Guidance document to facilitate notifiers in the preparation of plant GMO dossiers

Guidance document to facilitate notifiers in the preparation of plant GMO dossiers for consideration by the Scientific Committee on Plants (SCP/GMO/103-Final) - (Opinion expressed by SCP on 18 December 1998) http://www.biotechknowledge.com/showlib.php3?1007


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Date sent: Fri, 05 Feb 1999 11:03:29 -0500
From: listmaster listmaster@apollo.bivwood.com
To: monsanto_uk-list@monsanto.co.uk

Arabidopsis -- A Model Plant Genome

An ambitious international venture to decode nearly all of the genetic material in a flowering plant called Arabidopsis thaliana--a member of the mustard family--is speeding ahead of schedule. And the project is already hastening the discovery of important genes in crop plants. http://www.biotechknowledge.com/showlib.php3?981


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Date: 5 Feb 1999 18:45:26 -0600
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)

Sample Letters to stop Terminator

Sections:
Letter to the USDA
Letter to your Senator

Thank you to Dayna Conner for copying and cleaning up the editable letter (below)from the RAFI website for sending to the USDA Director and our congresspeople to stop the terminator technology.

http://www.rafi.org/usda.html First is a letter to USDA Director Dan Glickmand, then on to our congresspeople.

According to Patrick Mooney, Director of RAFI, we have a couple of weeks now to lobby the government to mothball the terminator and not give the patent to Monsanto.

Letter to the USDA

From: [ concerned_citizen@youraddress]

Subject: [your message title here]

[date here]

The Honorable Dan Glickman
Secretary of Agriculture
200-A Whitten Bldg.
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington DC 20250

FROM: Concerned Citizen []
[Your Affiliation]
[Your City and Region]
[Country]

Dear Secretary Glickman,

I am writing to ask that the USDA immediately cease negotiations to license the Terminator technology to a Monsanto subsidiary (Delta and Pine Land Co.). I also urge the USDA to abandon its worldwide patent applications on this immoral and dangerous technology.

The Terminator technology (US patent #5,723,765) is a genetic technology that renders farm-saved seed sterile. This technology has no agronomic benefit and should never see the commercial light of day. The Terminator violates Farmers' Rights and threatens agricultural biodiversity. The Terminator isn't about improving agriculture, it is about sterilizing seeds, wresting control of seeds and plant breeding from farmers, and fattening Monsanto's profits. According to Delta and Pine Land, Monsanto stands to make as much as US $1.5 billion per year using the Terminator to force farmers to return to the commercial seed market every year. This is not progress, it is a threat to global food security and an egregious use of public research money.

As a public agency dedicated to promoting agriculture, USDA should be taking steps to safeguard the rights of farmers to save seed, not designing technologies to eliminate those rights. In light of the alarming rate of consolidation in the seed industry, I urge USDA to launch a public inquiry into the impacts of seed industry consolidation on farmers and food security.

The Terminator is an anti-farmer, anti-biodiversity technology - paid for by public money - and in large part aimed, according to USDA and Delta and Pine Land, at farmers in developing countries. USDA and Monsanto have indicated in Patent Cooperation Treaty documents that they intend to pursue patents on the Terminator in at least 87 countries. National applications are moving forward - or have issued - in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, most European countries, and probably more jurisdictions.

Scientists warn that, under certain conditions, the trait for seed sterility will flow, via pollen, from Terminator crops to surrounding plants, making the seeds of neighboring plants sterile. Given the profound risks to food security and the environment, especially in the biodiversity-rich South, the Terminator patent embodies the kind of threat to public morality described in Article 27(2) of the WTO TRIPs agreement.

The Terminator technology is a dead-end for farmers and a threat to food security worldwide. It is morally unacceptable, and it must be banned. I respectfully urge you to stop the Terminator technology and cease negotiations for its commercial development.

USDA should work for farmers - not Monsanto.

Letter to your Senator

[Your Name]

cc:
admars@ars.usda.gov
bob.smith@mail.house.gov
senator_lugar@lugar.senate.gov rafi@rafi.org

[Date here]

I am writing to ask that the USDA immediately cease negotiations to license the Terminator technology to a Monsanto subsidiary (Delta and Pine Land Co.). I also urge the USDA to abandon its worldwide patent applications on this immoral and dangerous technology.

The Terminator technology (US patent #5,723,765) is a genetic technology that renders farm-saved seed sterile. This technology has no agronomic benefit and should never see the commercial light of day. The Terminator violates Farmers' Rights and threatens agricultural biodiversity. The Terminator isn't about improving agriculture, it is about sterilizing seeds, wresting control of seeds and plant breeding from farmers, and fattening Monsanto's profits. According to Delta and Pine Land, Monsanto stands to make as much as US $1.5 billion per year using the Terminator to force farmers to return to the commercial seed market every year. This is not progress, it is a threat to global food security and an egregious use of public research money.

As a public agency dedicated to promoting agriculture, USDA should be taking steps to safeguard the rights of farmers to save seed, not designing technologies to eliminate those rights. In light of the alarming rate of consolidation in the seed industry, I urge USDA to launch a public inquiry into the impacts of seed industry consolidation on farmers and food security.

The Terminator is an anti-farmer, anti-biodiversity technology - paid for by public money - and in large part aimed, according to USDA and Delta and Pine Land, at farmers in developing countries. USDA and Monsanto have indicated in Patent Cooperation Treaty documents that they intend to pursue patents on the Terminator in at least 87 countries. National applications are moving forward - or have issued - in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Japan, South Africa, most European countries, and probably more jurisdictions.

Scientists warn that, under certain conditions, the trait for seed sterility will flow, via pollen, from Terminator crops to surrounding plants, making the seeds of neighboring plants sterile. Given the profound risks to food security and the environment, especially in the biodiversity-rich South, the Terminator patent embodies the kind of threat to public morality described in Article 27(2) of the WTO TRIPs agreement.

The Terminator technology is a dead-end for farmers and a threat to food security worldwide. It is morally unacceptable, and it must be banned. I respectfully urge you to stop the Terminator technology and cease negotiations for its commercial development.

----------------------------------------
http://www.greenbuilder.com modem: 512.288.3903

Green Building Professionals Directory at http://www.greenbuilder.com/directory


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Date: 6 Feb 1999 07:43:06 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

UK National Daily Launches Genetic Food Watch Campaign

The Daily Mail, a national UK newspaper has launched a new campaign against GM.

Those of you with sharp eyes may have seen in the qoutes from the Parliament debate a reference to Novartis funding the Labour Party. Today the Mail followed it up with a huige front page headline :- LABOUR'S LINKS TO GENE FOODS and the following article

Labour's Links To Gene Foods

by David Hughes, Political Editor, 6 February 1999

DISTURBING questions about the Government's policy on so-called Frankenstein food were raised last night when it emerged that a producer of genetically modified crops has given money to the Labour Party An offshoot of the Swiss chemical giant Novartis spent thousands of pounds sponsoring a seminar for newly-elected Labour MP's in 1997.

It was also revealed that, in a lobbying blitz on Whitehall. highly paid executives from the GM giants are visiting the Agriculture Ministry on an almost daily basis. One Labour insider said: We were amazed at the extent these companies had civil servants wrapped round their fingers.

The new raft of revelations came two days after Tony Blair rejected calls for a three-year ban on introducing commercial GM foods. The Government had already faced econflict of interesti charges because Science Minister Lord Sainsbury is on the Cabinet Comittee dealing with biotechnology - even though his family firm is a leading retailer of GM products.

A Labour official yesterday confirmed that Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK had sponsored the training seminar at the Institute of Civil Engineers building opposite the House of Commons. The party refuses to say how much money was involved, other than that it was more than £5,000. Novartis is one of the world's leading biotech companies spearheading the introduction of GM food. It specialises in the development of GM maize.

A spokesman insisted yesterday that its UK pharmaceuticals arm is a eseparate operating companyi which has nothing to do with GM food. The same point was made by Labour.

But food campaigners said this was merely an attempt by Novartis to cover its tracks in its attempts to gain influence with the Government.

The news coincided with the announcement that Franceis biggest supermarket chain Carrefour o which has outlets all over the world o has ordered all GM foods to be cleared from Its shelves. And a Daily Mail investigation revealed that British customers are unaware that they are buying so-called Frankenstein food because of a hopelessly-confused labelling system. It is so full of loopholes that as much as 90 per cent of products containing GM Ingredients do not have to be identified.

The big players in the battle of GM food are conglomerates that straddle the world -- Monsanto and DuPont from North America, AgEvro of Germany, Novartis of Switzerland. Formed three years ago from the merger of Ciba and Sandoz, Novartis saw its sales stand at £13.9 billion last year. With such huge sums at stake, It is unsurprising that the GM firms are among the most sophisticated lobbying organisations of the age. They say they are working for the good of mankind, particularly the billions in the Third World who do not have enough to eat.

But the real prize is the vast profit that awaits them when the genetically modified crops start growing around the world.

They are masters of the art of persuasion. They have to be knowing that consumers - particularly in the West - are instinctively hostile to the concept of genetically engineered food.

Novartisis involvement with the Labour Party is an object lesson in how they work. The final page of Labour's 1998 Annual Report carries a list of all the companies that gave the party at least £5,000 in spon#172# sorship during 1997. The list includes Novartis Pharmaceuticals UK Ltd.

critics have accused the Government, food manufacturers and supermarkets of conniving with the conglomerates to force feed their products to consumers. They point to the fact that huge quantities of GM foods are now in supermarkets despite the fact there has been no consultation with consumers and no studies on the long-term health effects.

MP's have raised concern about a Ministry of Agriculture project, revealed by the Daily Mail last month, under which £125,000 was paid to Sheffield University to devise a strategy eto promote public understandingi of biotechnology. Researchers from the universityis Journalism Studies department called for a campaign of official leaflets and eeducationali videos to be shown at supermarket checkouts.

Friends of the Earth and other campaigning groups would like a five year moratorium on GM foods to help ensure public health is not needlesly put at risk. English Nature, the government's official advisory body on wildlife issues, also wants a moratorium on the commercial growing of GM crops in the UK amid fears they will contribute to the disappearance of songbirds and other wildlife.

The Prime Minister's rejection of the moratorium idea came despite growing pressure from across the spectrum - - ranging from Tory leader William Hague to Prince Charles, Labour backbenchers, consumer groups and green campaigners. The backlash against GM foods erupted in the Commons this week in a highly-charged debate which saw a cross-party alliance blasting the headlong rush to their use.

Tory former minister Alan Clark believes the consumer is feeling the edouble squeezei of multi-national firms such as Monsanto and the big supermarkets. There is an unholy combination between those two forces to cajole. intimidate or by financial inducement persuade the consumer that they are perfectly safe if they go quietly along and swell the profits of these two bodies, he said.


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Date: 6 Feb 1999 17:05:58 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

Transgenic pigs

Not only is the UK one of the major arms producing nations, now they are trying to become the worlds largest exporter of transgenic pigs.

Official figures for export from the Home Department:- figures in brackets are transgenic pigs exported for breeding purposes, other figures are for exported pigs for research work.

Wonder who eats the bacon when they are finished!!!
MonthBreedingResearchDestination
June 97(19)5to USA
Aug 97(19)7to Japan
Nov 974to Netherlands
April 98(19)12to Canada
April 9810to Spain
April 98(19)21to Spain
May 982to Netherlands
June 98(19)21to Italy
June 985to Spain
Sept 98(19)8to Canada

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Date: 6 Feb 1999 20:15:06 -0600
From: joe cummins jcummins@julian.uwo.ca

Transgenic pigs in Canada

Paul Davis today provided the important information shown below. Experiments on Pig to Human transplantation are scheduled to begin this March at University Hospital, London , Ontario according to the London,Ontario news media.

The local press have refused to publish information about the international moratorium on Pig to Human transplatation.The media report the $millions provided by Novartis and the suffering of those awaiting transplantation. The only concern expressed are the ethical concerns of animal rights and a few religious fanatics. The British exports to Canada clearly signal multinational corporations efforts to get around the legitimate concerns over spread of ERV viruses in virulent form from pigs to people.

Sadly the bureaucrats of the Canadian government are providing the people of southern Ontario as white mice in a dangerous experiments , while cowardly newpersons cheer them on and report public relations for large corporations.


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Date: 6 Feb 1999 18:02:28 -0600
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)

From Organic Gardeing Listserv:

Date: Fri, 5 Feb 1999 09:17:32 -0600
From: Fred and Aleta Sonnenberg binary@TDS.NET

Companies That Sell Open-Pollinated (Non-Hybrid) Seeds

Here is a list of seed companies that sell non-hybrid seeds. These seeds produce plants whose seeds can be planted successfully.

Aleta


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Date: 6 Feb 1999 07:43:33 -0600
From: devatalk@mcmail.com

French supermarket chain bans GM

Also from the Daily Mail today - (more to come!!!)

THE French food company which established Britainis first hypermarkets removed all GM food from its shelves last night. Carrefour's customers had expressed concern about the products despite a major advertising and information campaign by the market leader, Monsanto. The Carrefour group has more than 200 stores in France and opened a huge branch outside Caerphlliy, in South Wales, in the early 1970s. With an annual turnover of more than £lO billlon it is one of Europe's leading retailers.

A spokesman said: eExperts worldwide are divided on the risks posed by the spread and release of GM foods for both consumer health and the environment. Many questions are still unanswered. For the first time, man is crossing barriers between species. It seems impossible to us, at the present level of knowledge, to be able to measure the long-term consequences. The lack of transparency which surrounds GM foods is contrary to our policy of traceability.

It will be a major operation for Carrefour, as 516 out of its 1,800 own-label products have, until now, contained genetically-engineered ingredients in some form.