Genetically
 Manipulated 


 

 
 
 Food


 News

20 April 99

Table of Contents

BRIT GM crop trials go ahead
"Gone with the Wind" [rapeseed] New Scientist 17Apr99
"Unpalatable truths" New Scientist 17Apr99
Are GE Foods Safer than Natural Foods because they have been Tested Scientifically?
Greenpeace & Monsanto advisors - Explanation Needed
4,200 GM crop trials in Canada
A new (the 4th!) US GE listserv
NotMilk-ADC Weekly Newsletter
The GS Handbook and Monsanto's legal action
FACTBOX - EU consumer responses on GM food issues
European Consumers Disdain New Gene-modified Foods
"Genetic Engineering of Food: Does It Conflict with Jewish Principles?"
Canada threatens EU with food tariffs.
What is and isnit GE? Food in the UK

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Date: 17 Apr 1999 09:09:06 -0500
From: MichaelP papadop@peak.org

BRIT GM crop trials go ahead

By Charles Arthur, Technology Editor, INDEPENDENT (London) April 17

The Government refused to back down yesterday on its plans for "farm-scale" trials of genetically modified (GM) crops, despite evidence released this week that the plants' pollen can travel further than thought - - 2.5 miles.

Jeff Rooker, the Minister of State for Agriculture, rejected suggestions that the Department for the Environment should alter its approach to the trials, which will involve planting field-sized areas with GM crops to investigate their effect on the surrounding ecology.

Yet only three sites will be planted this year, which some scientists say is too few to draw useful conclusions.

Michael Meacher, the Environment minister, said up to 20 sites are planned and the trials will take up to four years. The Government refused to countenance changes to the trials even after government-sponsored research suggested the precautions are inadequate.

*** NOTICE: 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 the included information for research and educational purposes. ***


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Date: 17 Apr 1999 16:34:03 -0500
From: Colleen Robison-Spencer crobison@mnsinc.com
© Copyright New Scientist, RBI Limited 1999

"Gone with the Wind" [rapeseed] New Scientist 17Apr99

By Andy Coghlan, From New Scientist, 17 April 1999
http://www.newscientist.com/cgi-bin/pageserver.cgi?/ns/19990417/newsstory6.html

POLLEN BLOWN FROM LARGE FIELDS of genetically modified oilseed rape remains fertile over greater distances than expected, say British botanists. Their results could prompt a review of rules governing the size of the "buffer" zones between transgenic and natural plants--as the pollen fertilised plants after travelling twice the buffer distance currently demanded in Britain.

Environmentalists have warned of dire consequences if genes that make crops resistant to herbicides spread to weeds. And organic farmers fear losing their status if their crops are pollinated by nearby transgenic plants.

To see how far live pollen could spread, Jeremy Sweet and Euan Simpson of the National Institute of Agricultural Botany in Cambridge studied a 9-hectare plot of transgenic oilseed rape. The rape was resistant to glufosinate, a weedkiller made by AgrEvo of Frankfurt.

At various distances from the plot, the investigators grew male-sterile rape plants. Oilseed rape frequently self-fertilises, but because they make no pollen themselves, male-sterile plants are much more likely to be fertilised by airborne pollen. Afterwards, the researchers screened seeds produced by the male-sterile plants to see what proportion were resistant to glufosinate, proving they had been cross-fertilised by transgenic pollen.

Simpson and Sweet presented their results this week at a conference on gene flow and agriculture at the University of Keele in Staffordshire. Even at sites 400 metres away from the transgenic plots, as many as 7 per cent of the seeds were herbicide resistant. "That is quite high," says Simpson. At 100 metres, between 8 and 28 per cent of the seeds were resistant. However, Simpson stresses that by using male-sterile plants, he and Sweet have examined a "worst-case scenario".

Currently, experimental plots of transgenic oilseed rape must be grown at least 200 metres from unmodified crops. In earlier experiments, Simpson and his colleagues examined 8000 seeds from normal rape plants growing up to 150 metres from a field of transgenic rape, but found none with seeds that became herbicide resistant through cross-pollination.

"Fertile plants are a lot less likely to be fertilised by incoming pollen," says Simpson. This year, the researchers will repeat their experiments replacing half of the male-sterile plants with normal rape plants.


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Date: 17 Apr 1999 16:43:46 -0500
From: Colleen Robison-Spencer crobison@mnsinc.com

"Unpalatable truths" New Scientist 17Apr99

By Debora MacKenzie, New Scientist, 17 April 1999
© Copyright New Scientist, RBI Limited 1999

Sections:
Rat Experiments
Nonstarter
Key differences

Rat Experiments

EARLIER THIS YEAR, Britain was rocked by claims that genetically modified foods are dangerous. Arpad Pusztai, a biochemist who used to work at the Rowett Research Institute in Scotland, said he had shown that GM potatoes were harmful to rats because of their genetic modification alone.

Were the GM potatoes toxic? On the basis of Pusztai's evidence, it's impossible to say. In fact, his results support only one obvious conclusion: rats hate potatoes.

Pusztai fed separate groups of rats on normal or GM potatoes to see if the GM food had different effects. That's good, basic toxicology. Unfortunately he couldn't make the animals eat enough potato, so they were malnourished no matter which kind they were eating.

According to toxicologists who examined the data, changes in their organ weights and immune reactivity showed no unambiguous association with genetic modification (This Week, 6 March, p 13). Starvation or known toxins in raw potato were the most likely culprits for any changes seen in the rats.

These experiments reveal a serious problem that is only now being grasped by the biotechnology industry: standard toxicology tests don't work for food. It is often difficult to feed lab animals enough GM fodder, whether or not they find it palatable, to see if it has undesirable effects compared with unmodified food. Essentially, animal models are not sensitive enough to reveal small differences between modified and unmodified foods.

Nonstarter

Even if you manage to get animals to eat enough test food, you risk changing their diet so profoundly that even those eating unmodified food will be abnormal. For all but the most blatantly toxic GM foods, this may make it impossible to draw meaningful conclusions from such experiments.

Politicians, taken aback by huge public mistrust of "Frankenfoods", are also realising that safety testing of these foods is not straightforward. In Britain, the Cabinet's biotechnology committee has commissioned a report on the human health implications of GM foods from the government's Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Adviser, due to be published this month. A Cabinet Office memo, leaked by Friends of the Earth, asks: "Why don't we require a pharmaceutical-type analysis of the safety of these foods, with proper trials?" But as the problems to date have shown, the proposition is a nonstarter.

So how can we check the safety of GM food? Scientists from the 29 industrialised countries of the OECD concluded at a meeting in Paris in December that a whole new approach is needed. In September, they will meet again to start drawing up ways of carrying out such checks.

They are up against some serious logistical problems. Harry Kuiper of the State Institute for Quality Control of Agricultural Products in Wageningen, Netherlands, tested a GM tomato by freeze-drying it and feeding so much to rats that each got the equivalent of 13 of fresh tomatoes a day. Any more, and they would have been poisoned by the basic nutrients, such as potassium, in the tomato powder.

"But toxicologists still said we hadn't fed them enough to get a meaningful result," says Kuiper. The usual approach for testing a new food additive, for instance, is to feed it to a rat until a toxic effect is observed. That way, you get an idea of the nature and threshold of any toxicity. But with tomatoes, the researchers never managed to reach that threshold. In standard toxicological terms, says Kuiper, they have not been adequately tested. Others would argue that if such large amounts are harmless, the food cannot reasonably be called toxic.

Nonetheless, these difficulties mean that GM food developers usually avoid testing whole foods. Instead, they try to isolate the changed portion and test that. As an example, Roy Fuchs, head of scientific affairs at Monsanto, one of the world's biggest developers of GM food, quotes potatoes carrying a gene for the Bt toxin, an insecticide normally produced by Bacillus thuringensis. Monsanto sells its Bt potatoes in the US and is applying for a European licence. Fuchs says that the potatoes, like all genetically engineered plants so far, do not produce enough of the product of the novel gene for it to be isolated from the plants themselves and tested. "So we put the novel genes in bacteria, produce the gene product and test it by conventional methods." However, the protein made by the bacteria may not be the same as that made by the plant, especially in its potential to cause allergy.

The production of a novel protein is only one of the potentially harmful changes that occur in when a foreign gene is inserted into a plant. Because the positioning of the novel gene within the plant's DNA is essentially random, it may alter the plant's expression of its own genes--with unpredictable effects. It is this kind of change that stymies conventional toxicology. Food is a complex mixture of substances that occur in different quantities in different varieties of crops and in the same variety grown under even slightly different conditions. When is a change in one or several of those substances a problem?

Unfortunately, says Kearns, no one has ever tested conventional food for toxicity, so no one quite knows where to start. One exception is potatoes. Conventional plant breeders in the US and the Netherlands test new potato varieties for elevated levels of known toxins such as solenines. French breeders do not--and there are no legal requirements in any country to do so. And that still leaves toxins in GM foods that we may not yet know about. "We have to think through these things case by case," says Kearns, starting with a better understanding of what is in normal crops.

Kuiper's institute is working on a screening test that detects differences in the pattern of messenger RNA molecules produced by normal and transgenic tomatoes. The hope it that this will provide a fast way to see if there have been large changes in gene expression. The method can reliably detect differences between red and green tomatoes--which is encouraging, says Kuiper, because green ones produce more toxins.

Key differences

The team has also compared the chemicals synthesised by normal and transgenic plants by looking at their nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) spectra. Nearly every chemical compound in the plant produces a characteristic "fingerprint" of peaks. The screening test revealed that there were up to eightfold differences in concentrations of sugars, amino acids and various unidentified compounds. Impressive as this sounds, it may not be significant: Kuiper notes that there were greater differences between unaltered tomatoes grown in different conditions than there were between GM and normal tomatoes grown in identical conditions.

A better way of exploiting NMR might be to use it to find substances that differ in transgenic foods and then to test these substances in, for example, cell cultures, to see if the changes could be harmful. The need for such tests may be soon be pressing. But when crops are engineered to produce a number of desired nutrients or "nutraceuticals", changes in the plant's own gene expression could become much more complex and their potentially toxic effects harder to test.

However, proponents of GM foods point out that whichever direction food testing goes, the subtly altered products on our plates will have been tested far more thoroughly than any conventional food. After all, even ordinary kidney beans are poisonous if undercooked. Dozens of people die each year from cyanide from peach seeds. Manioc, the staple diet of millions, had to be grated, squeezed and cooked to drive off the cyanide before improved varieties became available. And some of the most notorious food-linked poisons, such as aflatoxins in grain, do not come from the food but moulds that infect it. In the comparison between modified and unmodified foods, nothing is clear cut. And testing is never simple.


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Date: 18 Apr 1999 05:51:23 -0500
From: Jaan Suurkula m-25430@mailbox.swipnet.se
Subject: Re: B-GE: Unpalatable truths New Scientist 17Apr99

At 17:19 1999-04-17 -0400, Colleen Robison-Spencer posted an article from New Scientist.

There is a higly misleading point that I want to comment. The rest of the article is clipped.

This inspired me to the following article that you may use freely but please include my signature in the case. It is written so that it can be used independently of the text above.

Jaan Suurkula, MD

PHYSICIANS AND SCIENTISTS FOR RESPONSIBLE APPLICATION OF
SCIENCE AND TECHNOLOGY (PSRAST)
- A global network -
E-mail: info@psrast.org    Fax: +46-322620944    Tel: +46-322622966
Website: http://www.psrast.org (NOTE - New Domain)

Are GE Foods Safer than Natural Foods because they have been Tested Scientifically?

By Jaan Suurkula, MD

This is a favourite argument of biotech proponents that has confused many journalists and politicians. Even at least one of the Food safety experts at the EU expert commission has bought it. He even tried to convince me about it by saying: "The GE foods have been much more thouroughly tested scientifically than conventional foods ever have. So therefore they are safer." And he added that "there are poisons in conventional foods and yet there are no regulations demanding any food safety testing on them." The poison issue is another favourite argument of the GE food proponents. In one of the key papers paving the way for present regulations on the basis of "substantial uquivalence", a large part of it was focussed on the toxity of conventional foods.

The Testing done in Practice on Natural Foods is Superior to what has been Done On GE-foods

  1. In the testing of presently marketed GE foods, only short term animal test have been used. These have been very superficial. A typical example is the testing of RR soy, as described in the article:

    "The approval of Roundup Ready GE-Soy - based on incomplete evidence" at our website: http://www.psrast.org/subeqex.htm Short term testing on animals is completely insufficient as explained in this article. Long term testing on humans is the only way of ensuring a reasonable level of safety of a new food source. But even with long term scientific testing for years there is a residual risk that some slowly acting harmful substance will pass undetected. Even rigorous long term testing of medical drugs misses a significant number of harmful effects although testing on drugs is much easier than on foods (see http://www.psrast.org/molbreli.htm.

  2. For natural foods there has been long term testing, mostly since thousands of years that is greatly superior to the superficial short term animal test approved by FDA, EU and others for GE foods (see http://www.psrast.org/subeqow.htm. This "testing" is their daily use as a food. It was this practical "testing" by regular use and not scientfic testing that revealed the mentioned toxic effects of natural foods already hundreds or thousands of years ago. It is the same kind of long term "testing" that has revealed side effects undetected by rigorous drug testing sometimes not until the drug has been clinical used on millions of patients. The long term effects of GE foods are on the contrary unknown. It cannot be excluded that the global, mostly involuntary testing now going on with all the people eating unlabelled GE foods will cause widespread damage. This is because GE may cause the appearance of unexpected harmful substances that may be difficult to detect otherwise than through long term testing on humans (see "How harmful are GE foods at: http://www.psrast.org/FAQ.htm").

  3. The number of natural foods containing toxins is very low and they are very well known today. Their existence is completely irrelevant to the GE food issue. The fact that they were well known long before modern science appeared verifies that "testing by regular use" is a useful method.

  4. Why not accept "testing by use" for GE foods? - The reason is that present GE foods represent little if any benefit to mankind. And there is no scientific basis for denying the possibility that they may contain very harmful substances in the worst case. The safety of presently marketed GE foods has not even been tested with long term animal experiments (the famous Pustzai potato long term experiment was on GE potatoes not marketed as food).

There is no reasonable justification for such experimentation. Therefore we demand an immediate withdrawal of all presently marketed GE foods and a global moratorium on their use (see http://www.psrast.org/decl.htm.

Jaan Suurkula MD
Chairman of PSAGEF


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Date: 18 Apr 1999 12:29:28 -0500
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)

Greenpeace & Monsanto advisors - Explanation Needed

Dutch Greenpeace has recently published a report on the procedural shortcomings around field trials in the Netherlands. Though the report seems pretty good at first sight, close reading shows that the content is not really strong.

One of the main conclusions is that it is not possible to make sound objections because of the missing information in many applications. This is a bluntly wrong conclusion and it is an insult to those campaigners who succesfully opposed several applications at the Council of States.

To the astonishment of many, the report appears to have been written by a Monsanto PR advisor, Piet Schenkelaars, who runs his own advisory office, is a former associate of Schuttelaar & Partners and is still doing work for Monsanto and in close relationship with the Producer board that strongly promoted RR soy when it was introduced.

Just a few weeks after the row about the work of Schuttelaar & Partners for another environmental organisation, Greenpeace now makes the same mistake.

The strategy behind this is a puzzle and Grenpeace should explain this.

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Date: 18 Apr 1999 12:38:46 -0500
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)
Via: russell@iprolink.co.nz

For MAI-not (un)subscription information, posting guidelines and links to other MAI sites please see http://mai.flora.org

4,200 GM crop trials in Canada

By Martin Mittelstaedt, The Globe & Mail, Toronto, March 19,1999

Genetic Experiments on Canadian crops top 4,200 in decade- Green Party fears ecological consequences while Ottawa welcomes more biotech firms

Biotechnology companies and agricultural researchers have conducted more than 4,200 field trials in Canada using genetically altered crops during the past 10 years, according to federal statistics obtainted through the Access to Information Act.

The trials have been conducted in every province, except Newfoundland, with more than 73% of the tests done in the three Prairie provinces.

The high number of experiments is being touted by the federal government in a recent advertisement designed to attract to Canada European biotechnology companies that face organized and often militant opposition to testin genetically altered crops in their countries. (snip)

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Date: 18 Apr 1999 21:42:26 -0500
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)
Via: scott fuller smf13@cornell.edu

A new (the 4th!) US GE listserv

Introducing a new listserve on biotechnology in agriculture and foods.

biotech-L@cornell.edu

A group of Cornell students has formed around the issue of genetically modified organisms (GMO), particularly pertaining to agricultural commodities and foods.

The list welcomes all views but may mostly be engaged in informing ourselves, the greater community and Cornellians on the potential concerns of GMOs in agriculture. Postings are preferred which deal with biotechnology in agriculture. Otherwise, the range and complexity of information could be overwhelming.

This list is created by a new group of active Cornell students called: People for Responsible Biotechnology in Agriculture. The group is not limited only to students. Cornell faculty and staff, researchers, farmers, and community members are invited to participate in this open forum.

To get on this list send an email to:

listproc@cornell.edu

In message text write:

SUB biotech-L your name

No commas or periods and all on the same line.

(To unsubscribe do the same but put UNSUB rather than SUB.)

For more info contact Scott Fuller smf13@cornell.edu. Items can also be posted to biotech-L@cornell.edu (biotech and L are not case sensitive) without actually being on it.

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Date: 18 Apr 1999 22:36:27 -0500 From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)
Via: dorietz@awod.com
Organization: Anti-Dairy Coalition (ADC)

NotMilk-ADC Weekly Newsletter

The Anti-Dairy Coalition Weekly Newsletter
Join the ANTIDAIRY Coalition
http://www.antidairycoalition.com
Join the NOTMILK Generation
http://www.notmilk.com

Dear Friends,

It is rare that we get the opportunity to influence a government act. This is about you and the food you eat vs. the chemical companies who feel that you do not have a right to know whether you consume genetically engineered foods. You have had absolutely no say in the process...up until this moment. Today's newsletter might be the most important thing you ever see or do.

Please read it and forward it to a friend or a discussion group. Think about your children and your loved ones. Do we have a right to know? Our government believes that we do not.

Sections:
The Not-so Secret Code-x
Codex
Genetic Engineering
The Meeting
The Issue - Consumer's Right To Know
The Flawed Conclusion
Dominos
Congress - The Crooks Who Take Bribes
Evidence Of Scientific Fraud
Real Science
A Fair Hearing
Final Question
Conclusion
Who Pays The Expenses?
Can You Make A Difference?

  1. A World Committee Deciding Your Right To Know
  2. Names Of Congressmen Who Take Bribes From Monsanto
  3. An "insider's" Meeting Attended By The Notmilkman
  4. You Can Make A Difference

The Not-so Secret Code-x

Do you sometimes wonder about the "deals" being made behind closed doors? What happens in Washington? How do rules get made and laws get passed? Rules that affect what chemicals will be allowed in our foods. Rules being passed about whether you have a right to know whether red dye number seventeen or agent orange is to be included in tonight's supper.

Codex

MOST AMERICANS have not heard of the not-so new agency (established in 1962) which will soon make critically important decisions affecting every person on this planet. CODEX, established jointly by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) and the World Health Organization (WHO) IN 1962, was set up to facilitate world trade in foods and promote consumer protection through the development of international food standards. Codex membership currently stands in excess of 150 countries.

Genetic Engineering

MILK became the first wide scale genetically engineered product for Americans. Cow's naturally occurring hormones are now genetically engineered, their components combined with E. Coli bacteria to produce a version of that hormone in large quantities. When injected into cows, more milk is produced. However, the new milk is different.

The Meeting

On Thursday, April 15, 1999, I attended a meeting/policy discussion headed by Robert Lake, the U.S. delegate to CODEX. Meetings of this type are standard for Washington, DC. Attendees included representatives from Coca-Cola, Campbell Soup, American Frozen Food Institute, International Life Sciences Institute, Hershey's, Best Foods, Proctor & Gamble, Monsanto and dozens of other companies. There were also representatives from government agencies including FDA, USDA and the State Department. Also attending were attorneys and two scientists from Consumers Union.

The Issue - Consumer's Right To Know

The United States currently holds the position that genetically engineered foods should not carry a label identifying them as such. That position is supposedly based upon science. It is not. It is based upon fraud, misconceptions and influence.

The Flawed Conclusion

When Monsanto first started doing research on the genetically engineered bovine growth hormone they realized its potential to change all of the foods in our supermarkets. Their agenda was to make regulators believe that genetically engineered foods were indistinguishable from the "wholesome foods" that they replaced. In order to exert their influence, Monsanto called in a favor from C. Everett Koop, the esteemed ex-surgeon general. Koop wrote a position paper about rbGH milk, calling it exactly the same as "wholesome milk."

Dominos

FDA's finger of approval also set into motion a long line of falling dominos. USDA, NIH, GAO, FAO, WHO, JAMA, etc. The entire fraud is laid out in detail:

http://www.antidairycoalition.com/010399.html

Congress - The Crooks Who Take Bribes

Congress considered labeling milk containing the new hormone. Four members of the Dairy, Livestock and Poultry Committee took "bribes" from Monsanto while voting on a bill that would have required the manufacturers to let the public know what they were consuming. Congressmen call such bribes PAC money. In this case, Monsanto gave money to these crooks: Volkmer, Dooley, Gunderson and Pombo.

Evidence Of Scientific Fraud

Genetic engineering does not work. The "SYSTEM" does not work. Monsanto created a "FREAK" amino acid when they first made rbGH. Monsanto did not inform FDA. To this day, FDA refuses to deal with this "SCIENTIFIC FACT."

Real Science

Monsanto admitted the error in the July, 1994 issue of the Journal of Protein Science. Monsanto scientist, Bernard Violand, Ph.D., published evidence of this error. However, Monsanto never told FDA.

One amino acid difference in a protein can result in Alzheimer's or diabetes. Sickle cell anemia is a genetic disease in which one amino acid is different. With rbGH, Monsanto replaced the #144 protein LYSINE with epsilon-N-acetyllysine, a "FREAK." This word ("FREAK") was used by Monsanto's own scientist and author, Bernard Violand.

A Fair Hearing

Robert Lake, United States delegate, afforded me the opportunity to present any and all information to this group of manufacturers and government officials. To Lake, and the attendees, the major issue was: HOW CAN WE POSITION OURSELVES AT THE INTERNATIONAL MEETING? As far as I was concerned, the major issue was that the American position was flawed.

Final Question

Near the end of the meeting I was given a final opportunity (my fifth) to speak to the assemblage. I asked this question.

"Is there any manufacturer who believes that we will not make another mistake? Don't consumers have a right to know what they are buying? Shouldn't genetically engineered foods have labels?"

I asked for a show of hands from the food manufacturers. "Who believes that the science is perfect and who believes that we will make no mistakes with the new technology?" Not one hand went up. I asked the question again in a different form. "If you all agree that there might be a future genetically engineered error, should we not label foods? Does anyone believe that the science is perfect?"

One hand went up in the back of the room.

"May I ask what company you represent?"

Her answer: "I work for the State Department."

Conclusion

The United States position is based upon flawed science. I submitted detailed evidence (Chapter three of my book) to Mr. Lake, the U.S. delegate. He politely turned down my informational offer. Committees such as this one often base their decisions upon information submitted from those who lobby, on behalf of their well-funded clients.

Who Pays The Expenses?

I was probably the only person in that room who paid his own way to and from the meeting. I cannot compete financially with Monsanto and Coca- Cola.

Can You Make A Difference?

Here is your opportunity. This could be our one best chance to make a difference. CODEX meets in Canada next week. Here is the CODEX telephone number, FAX number, EMAIL address and snail mail address.

Would you take the time to make your opinion known?

For Further Information Contact:

L. Robert Lake
U.S. CODEX Office
Room 4861, South Building, Washington, DC 20250-3700
Phone: (202) 205-7760    Fax: (202) 401-7739    E-mail Address: uscodex@usda.gov

Robert Cohen
Executive Director, ANTIDAIRY Coalition
201-871-5871    http://www.antidairycoalition.com     http://www.notmilk.com

****************************************************

Read the columns you missed at: http://www.antidairycoalition.com/column.html This file at: http://www.antidairycoalition.com/041899.html Do you know of someone who should get a copy of this newsletter? Have them send their Email request to dorietz@awod.com and it will be done!

To be removed from the ADC list please Email

dorietz@awod.com Subject: "Remove from ADC List" (Please use the same Email address that brought this Email to you)

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Date: 19 Apr 1999 02:52:33 -0500
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk (jim mcnulty)
forwarded from: Paul Mobbs mobbsey@gn.apc.org

The GS Handbook and Monsanto's legal action

Hi all,

You may be aware of the recent legal action by Agrevo and Monsanto against the genetiX snowball (GS) group. At the High Court in London on Monday 19th April things will move one step further when Monsanto will seek a permanent injunction against those involved in GS to stop them pulling up test sites. However the test as to whether or not you are in GS is not whether you've done any damage, or whether you're an active part of the group - it is whether or not you possess a copy of GS's "Handbook for Action".

It was my view that the possession a book being used as a measure of guilt was discredited some time ago, and was only a measure recently used by the Nazi party in the 1930s, Senator JoE McCarthy and the British special Branch on the look out for active animal liberationists. But it would appear that Monsanto have ressurected this guilt-by-association approach as a means of identifying anyone who might have the slightest urge to mess up one of their sites.

However, the injunction does not stop there. Just to make sure they know who has a copy of the book Monsanto are demanding as part of the High Court injunction a list of all those people GS have sent copies of the handbook to so Monsanto's lawyers can hunt them down an serve them with copies of the injunction.

Now to me, as someone who is not an active participant in GS (I just provide space for their website), and who has no intention of ripping up a genetic test site, it all seems a bit much. I believe that the action by Monsanto offends many of the principles of freedom of thought and expression that most modern democracies legally defend (unfortuately they still do not have de facto protection in the UK because the Human Rights Act 1998 has not been legally 'commenced', and is not likely to be until 2001). Therefore, in solidarity with those who Monsanto wish to persecute - both in GS and anyone who has a copy of the handbook - I have today created an Adobe Acrobat version of the handbook so people can print it off and circulate it easier. In my view the only response to an effort by a private corporation to restrict the availability of ideas is to "wideband" them to the largest possible audience.

If you wish to download a copy of the handbook the Acrobat file is located in the "Green Backlash" section of my website at: http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/dc/backlash

If you wish to browse the existing HTML version, or download the HTML version as one ZIP file, then go to the genetiX snowball website to get the version I prepared perviously - http://www.gn.apc.org/pmhp/gs As stated by Martin Luther King, "For evil to succeed all it needs is for good men to do nothing". I do not believe that legal action that seeks to determine guilt by the possession of books is morally right. I believe it offends all those hard-won rights and freedoms that people have won over many centuries of struggle. I hope that you will pass this message on to your friends, and that you will all download copies of the GS "Handbook for Action".

It is clear that, despite what 'New Labour' says, there is still not true guarantee of freedom of expression in the UK. Even if groups do eventually win the legal battles, the hassle of continual legal challenges from corporations seeking to restrict and obfuscate debate on important issues in relation to the public's well-being will always drain and immobilise those involved. In the face of such a power the only response is solidarity and resistence with those subjected to that power.

If any of you outside the UK have space on your websites - arounds 2 to 3 megabytes would be idea - you might like to set up 'mirror' sites of the GS website to ensure the message about the genetic modification of our food, and the steps ordinary people can take to get involved in the issue, can still get out. Please contact me if you can offer some web space.

Finally, for your security, and in case Monsanto should ever decide to get nasty at me, I'm sending this mail out with the recipeint list suppressed, and when it's done I'm deleting it. I have no wish to act as a conduit for one corporations actions against freedom of expression.

Peace 'n' love

Paul

"We are not for names, nor men, nor titles of Government, nor are we for this party nor against the otherO but we are for justice and mercy and truth and peace and true freedom, that these may be exalted in our nation, and that goodness, righteousness, meekness, temperance, peace and unity with God, and with one another, that these things may abound."

-- Edward Burroughs, 1659

THE FREE RANGE ACTIVISM NETWORK
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Date: 19 Apr 1999 09:23:37 -0500
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk (jim mcnulty)

FACTBOX - EU consumer responses on GM food issues

© Copyright 1999, Reuters, April 19, 1999

LONDON, Reuters [WS] via NewsEdge Corporation : Consumer and environmental groups across the European Union have voiced concern about the growing of genetically modified (GM) crops within the EU and the use of GM foods for human and animal consumption.

Consumer groups say shoppers no longer have a choice over what they eat because growers and food manufacturers are not prepared to separate GM and traditional foodstuffs from field to table.

Some scientists fear GM crops could threaten biodiversity and even inflict genetic damage on animals and humans. Others believe the dangers are exaggerated, saying possible benefits of pest-resistant plants that are cheaper, more nutritious and higher yielding outweigh any drawbacks.

Faced with consumer concerns, seven European retail chains have responded by forming a consortium to ensure no such ingredients get into their own-label products.

Britain's J.Sainsbury Plc set up the body with six other European groups to weed out possible GM foods at any stage of production. Other consortium members are Britain's Marks & Spencer, Carrefour of France, Delhaize of Belgium, Italy's Effelunga, Swiss Migros and Superquinn of Ireland.

Following are summaries of how the issues are seen by consumer and environment groups in individual EU member states.

  1. AUSTRIA - Environmental organisations Greenpeace and Global 2000 are active against GM crop testing. Global 2000 has reached agreement with local authorities that they will be informed if test plantings take place. Four top biotechnology firms scrapped plans to carry out the first field trials of genetically modified maize in Austria because of negative public opinion and lack of government support.

    Two years ago, more than 20 percent of the Austrian population signed a petition against genetically modified foods.

  2. BRITAIN - Widespread criticism by consumer groups of commercial growing of GM crops and use of GM ingredients in food. Most British supermarkets have either pledged to stop selling GM products in their own-label items. Foods containing GM products are to be labelled by law. The government is to shake up a committee of experts which advises it on genetically modified foods, bringing in people with no links to the biotechnology industry. Ten of the 13 committee members will be replaced, with the government planning to bring in wildlife and farming experts and academics. The committee had been criticised on the grounds that it is too close to the industry and changes were needed to calm public fears.

    Britain's biggest farmer, the Co-operative Wholesale Society, has dropped out of proposed new field trials of GM crops.

  3. DENMARK - Resistance to GM foods by consumer and environmental groups appears strong, with some recent polls of consumers showing 70 percent opposition.

  4. FRANCE - Resistance to gene-crops has been spearheaded by Greenpeace and consumer groups. Environment groups have called for a three or five years moratorium on all gene-crops to reconsider the risks from gene foods.

    French farmers are generally favourable to gene-crops as they see potential yield gains and cost savings. But they have been cautious as they are well aware of the resistance. Farmers planted Novartis maize seeds last year but only on a marginal 2,000 hectares (4,942 acres). Environment groups called for the crop to be destroyed but it was eventually separated from the conventional crop and most of it sold on export markets.

    A public debate last June resulted in a jury of 14 voters giving guarded backing to gene-crops. A parliamentary report also gave a green light but acknowledged consumer concerns are legitimate.

    Greenpeace has been active in the French courts challenging French authorisations to market and cultivate some maize seeds as well as a decision to register new 12 strains on the French seeds catalogue.

  5. GERMANY - Protests from consumer groups are not as strong as a few years ago but they can mobilise opposition against products such as Nestle's Butterfinger bar which contains GM maize. Activists also regularly destroy test fields growing GM sugar, maize, rapeseed and potatoes.

  6. ITALY - There have been some protests by environmental groups and greens but far less audible than in some other EU states.

  7. NETHERLANDS - Greenpeace International is based in Amsterdam and vigorously opposes GM foods. Polls show many consumers are wary but they have not stopped buying products containing GM soy, the only product on sale in the Netherlands.

  8. PORTUGAL - Main consumer group the independent Portuguese Association for the Defence of the Consumer (DECO) supported GM foods as long as people were fully informed about ingredients and manufacturers were liable for health risks. DECO says food manufacturers must be considered responsible for present and future risks and be subject to possible financial sanctions by the authorities for any infractions. Portuguese importers have spurned U.S. maize in recent months because of concerns it may include unapproved strains of GM crops.

  9. SWEDEN - Sweden practices a 'principle of caution', meaning that before there is adequate scientific evidence, people should exercise caution. Many foods are available which have a special environmental seal and these are growing in popularity.

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Date: 19 Apr 1999 09:24:00 -0500
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk (jim mcnulty)

European Consumers Disdain New Gene-modified Foods

April 19, 1999, © Copyright 1999, Reuters

Sections:
Framing The British Debate
A Varied Response
Fears Reach Marketplace

LONDON, Reuters [WS] via NewsEdge Corporation : Fed-up with funny food, Europeans are increasingly turning their noses up at U.S. exports of gene-modified produce in a consumer revolt that could explode into a trans-Atlantic trade war.

From London to Lisbon, consumers scarred by a series of food scares are wary of the new grains, whose genetic make-up has been altered to increase resistance to vermin and drought. and lambasted by Prince Charles, GM foods, critics argue, must undergo thorough, long-term testing to ensure they do not impair health or hurt the environment before widespread use is allowed.

In counterpoint, U.S. and European firms are racing to develop the revolutionary new technology that could transform 21st century farming with bigger crop yields, better nutritional content and fewer herbicides and pesticides -- at no known risk.

Last year, the U.S. raised the lion's share of the nearly 30 million hectares (74.13 million acres) of GM seeds sown worldwide, with 40 percent of the soybeans and 20 percent of the maize planted there modified.

In Europe, the response has been far more hesitant. While there are scattered trials across the continent, there is no commercial production and some countries like Austria and France have real or de facto bans on specific imports or production.

But most importantly, the European consumer is getting indigestion at the prospect of eating the new foodstuffs. There are calls for better labelling and some supermarkets have joined together to ban genetically modified food.

European governments have often been seen as slow to respond, but observers believe the EU might dig in its heels on this issue and trigger yet another trade row with the U.S. which has been unwilling to separate GM from non-GM grain exports.

In early April, the World Trade Organisation decided in favour of the United States and five Latin American countries and against the European Union's banana import policy, resolving a bitter and long trade stand-off.

But unlike bananas, the GM food debate is not a pure trade issue. It centres instead on health and safety. And it evokes deep-seated fears of evil big business enriching itself at the expense of the defenceless little guy. said a source at a European bio-technology company.

Brian Gardner, a leading independent agriculture analyst said GM foods, much like hormone-treated beef exports at the root of another EU-U.S. trade dispute, could spiral into a major battle. a specific obstruction of trade for trade reasons...the others are in the Gardner said.

Framing The British Debate

In Britain, the response to genetically modified foods must be seen in the light of the transcendental food scare of BSE, popularly known as mad-cow disease, and the lessons it taught both consumers and the government.

After insisting for nearly 10 years that humans could not get the disease from cattle, the British government in March, 1996 climbed down when it said that such exposure was the most likely explanation for a new human disease pattern.

The public outrage at this turnaround explains in part consumer mistrust in the new products, and government reluctance to wade into another food minefield.

The environmental group Greenpeace has attempted to set the GM agenda in a bid to rebuild credibility after admitting its campaign against the disposal of the Brent Spar oil loading and storage buoy in the Atlantic was based on faulty data. Greenpeace is saying, 'Hold on a wee minute here. Who's controlling this. The government doesn't said Jacquie Reilly, a researcher at the University of Glasgow who specialises in the media and food scares. The government, still reeling from BSE, got in the debate late in the Reilly said. The debate has been set by others and it is a wider debate than usual. Greenpeace is basically attempting to set the agenda. It looked around at possible targets and...especially after Brent Spar it

In February, Prime Minister Tony Blair joined in, saying that as there was no scientific evidence to stop British expertise in farming and science from leading the way

This was not what critics wanted to hear. We're happy that supermarkets are taking on board what their customers want and are labelling more than is required but we're not entirely happy that this situation is being led by industry as said the Consumer's Association spokeswoman.

A Varied Response

While European companies are competing in the sector, none has been as visible as U.S. based Monsanto Co.

Nigel Poole, manager of external and regulatory affairs at Zeneca Plant Science, the division of newly merged Anglo-Swedish AstraZeneca that is developing GM foods, expressed frustration at the emotional tone of the debate. Look at this as a marathon race, you don't give up after the first 10 metres. (But) why do we lump everything together when we should be talking about actual products and Poole said.

But environmentalists are encouraged by the consumer response. said Arnaud Apoteker, from This is raising hopes that this movement will also reach the main GMO

Fears Reach Marketplace

Most telling of this success is the small, but spiralling reaction within the European grains markets.

In late March in France, maize tendered by the national grain office ONIC fetched a premium of 15-30 francs per tonne over market prices because it was considered GM free as ONIC maize comes from the 1997 harvest and pre-dates GM sowings.

In Iberia, importers have been steering clear of genetically modified U.S. maize, and are turning to eastern Europe for supplies although this means daunting logistical problems.

Arpad Nagy, from the grains department of the Hungarian trading company Gabona, said GM hadn't yet played a role with foreign buyers, but he added that the fact that Hungarian grains are not

Demand for organic farming is growing apace, and applications for licensing in Britain were up by 500 percent in February on the level at the same time last year. Still only 0.5 percent of British farmland is organic compared with an EU average of 1.33 percent.

Not everyone in the region is as squeamish. Russia, the recipient of EU and U.S. food aid, is in its sixth year and fourth generation of genetically modified pigs.


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Date: 19 Apr 1999 12:10:21 -0500
From: cleanmaine@nemaine.com

Hi, below is last minute news of event tonight - please pass the word. thanks.

Nancy Oden,
New England Resistance Against Genetic Engineering (NE RAGE)

MONDAY, APRIL 19

"Genetic Engineering of Food: Does It Conflict with Jewish Principles?"

Steven M. Druker, Executive Director, Alliance for Bio-Integrity. Do you know that your fruits, grains, and vegetables are being implanted with conglomerations of genes from viruses, bacteria, insects and animals? that 60% of the packaged food available to us today contains genetically modified organisms? that this genetic tampering threatens the health of consumers and the health of the environment? that these experimental foods are being mass marketed without safety testing and labeling?

The Jewish community has special reasons to be concerned with this venture. Here are some questions we need to ask: Do vegetables implanted with genes from insects, pigs, or people remain kosher?

Does wholesale sundering of species boundaries violate either the letter or spirit of Jewish law?

Is the repatterning of the blueprints of life a legitimate exercise of human dominion over nature, or is it a disruption of the integrity of God's creation? In this presentation, public interest attorney Steven Druker will discuss recombinant DNA technology and its potential impacts on food safety and environmental health.

He will address these major issues in light of his research into Jewish teachings from Torah, Talmud, Kaballah, and scholars such as the Ramban. Druker is spearheading a lawsuit against the Food and Drug Administration to obtain mandatory safety testing and labeling of all genetically engineered foods.

19 Apr 1999 7:30 p.m., Leventhal-Sidman Jewish Community Center (Heritage House), 50 Sutherland Rd., Brighton (near Cleveland Circle) (between Commonwealth and Beacon. Park on Beacon St., walk one block up Sutherland.) Contact Nina Moliver at 617-524-9432


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Date: Mon, 19 Apr 1999 12:55:47 -0700 (PDT)
From: Bob McCroskey bobmc@uniserve.com
Subject: growth hormones in Canadian beef.

Canada threatens EU with food tariffs.

By Ian Jack, Financial Post: National Post page D1
Saturday, April 17, 1999

OTTAWA- French mineral water, Swiss and Belgian Chocolates, German ham, English gin - all could disappear from Canadian stores if Ottawa follows through on its threat yesterday to slap 100% tariffs on many European food imports.

It's all part of a long-running dispute over an EU ban on imported Canadian beef.

The European Union has refused since 1989 to import meat from livestock treated with growth hormones, which amounted to a ban on Canadian and U.S. beef.

The World Trade Organization ruled a year and a half ago that the ban was illegal, but the EU has been dragging its feet on implementing the decision.

Canada yesterday published its list of potential retaliatory targets. The list will be winnowed by mid-May and could be implemented soon after if the EU doesn't reverse the ban.

For now, the list includes European jams, jellies, candy and cucumbers. And Canadians might have to do without "livers of any animal prepared or preserved" and "swine offal."

Europe's latest deadline for implementing the WTO's ruling is May 13, but the EU said yesterday it could well miss that, too. More scientific study of the effect of growth hormones on humans is needed, it said.

If Canada goes ahead with the sanctions, it "could inevitably have a chilling effect on Canada-EU trade." the EU warned.

The Americans have also published a list of retaliatory targets, but theirs doesn't include gin or vodka.

Canada will seek comments on its list by May 17, then decide what action to take. The EU and Canada are discussing compensation, but federal officials said if a deal cannot be achieved they will retaliate.

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Date: 20 Apr 1999 00:42:46 -0500
From: Judy_Kew@greenbuilder.com (Judy Kew)
Via: genetics genetics@gn.apc.org

Please note that in this UK GE info they estimate soy and corn are in 80% of processed foods between them. That's higher than our estimates.

What is and isnit GE? Food in the UK

Sections:
News Points
GE Foods: A Little Help Through The Minefield
Beware Labelling!
GE-Free Brands

News Points

The following article is now slightly out o date so we have included references for more up to date information.

GE Foods: A Little Help Through The Minefield

There are currently four genetically engineered crops allowed into our foods in the UK as well as a number of processing aids and enzymes. While this may seem a paltry amount, 2 of those crops, soya and maize, find their way into up to 80% of processed foods between them. Over and above this there are many non-food uses of GE crops bringing in particular another major GE crop into our everyday lives: cotton. The list below outlines some of the more common uses of these ingredients

  1. Roundup Ready Soya (Monsanto ) So far this is the most ubiquitous of the gene foods. Genetically engineered to tie farmers to Monsanto's own herbicide (Roundup) it currently accounts for 15% of the US soya crop and will next year constitute 30%. While Brazillian, Canadian, European and Eastern soya is currently GE-free the bulk of soya used for ingredients is from the US and Monsanto have ensured that GE soya has been mixed with, and therefore contaminated conventional supplies. In food, look for the following ingredients: Soya protein, Textured vegetable protein (TVP), soya protein isolate, soya flour, lecithins (most are soya based. Look also for the number E322). Some flavourings are also based on soya

    Examples of products that may contain GE soya: Not surprisingly Vegetarian foods have been amongst the first to definitely use GE soya: Batchelors Beanfeast, a readymix soya meal produced by food giant Unilever. It is currently the subject of a campaign by Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth and

    The Genetic Engineering Network since it was the first admitted GE soya product in the UK. Since then Unilever have also labelled Vesta Currys (another ready to eat meal) as containing GE soya. Soya protein of this type also gets into sausages, noodles, babyfood (SMA products for example will likely contain GE soya as will Boots own brand), beer, breads, pet foods, pies (eg Co-op vegetable pasties or Asda's farm stores shepherd pies) and frozen foods (eg Ross Frozen foods have been found to contain GE soya), Pate's (eg Sainsbury have 23 kinds of Pate's and Spreads definitely containing GE soya) and animal food.

    Walkers Crisps have confirmed that 29 of their Smiths, Walkers, Quavers and Monster Munch brands may contain GE-derived soya flour or protein from either GE soya or maize (see below). Soy protein is also used for inks, adhesives, packaging films, paints, plastics and, ironically, pesticides.

  2. Soya oil is much more widely used. Very often it is mixed with other oils in margarines (eg Co-op soya margarine) most of which use soya lecithins anyway (eg Vitalite probably contains GE-soya, Safeways Soya spread declares itself as 'new and improved' now that it is genetically engineered!). Mayonnaise, cooking oil, sandwich spreads, Ice creams (chocolate Haagen Dass probably contains GE) and Cheese replacements (Summer county cheese alternative contains GE soya and is another Unilever product). Soya oil is also used as a processing aid in, for example, the production of some Alpen and Ready Brek cereals)

    As for GE soya lecithins, they are widely used for Chocolate, baked goods, margarines and dietary products (eg slim fast drinks). Examples include Nestle chocolates and McVities chocolate biscuits. Marks and Spencers have admitted that they are using GE soya across many of their products

  3. BT maize (Novartis) Maize (corn), like soya, is also entering Europe unsegregated and often unlabelled. Indeed this year a tiny percentage of the french maize crop (less than half a percent) will also be genetically engineered yet even with such small amounts the industry is claiming they cannot segregate. BT maize produces a small toxin intended to kill the corn borer, which has in turn been shown to effect beneficial lacewing insects. It is also the subject of much criticism from, for example, the French competent authority on antibiotics for the use of a marker gene that confers antibiotic resistance.

    Also like soya, maize is used for a wide variety of food and non food uses either as whole corn in products such as corn chips (Doritos, Uncle Bens Tacos) or more usually as Corn oil, corn syrup and corn starch. Starch occurs in many goods from Soups and sweets to toothpaste. Below are some examples of products identified as containing GE maize in the UK: Asda farm stores vegetable and chicken curry, Mayonnaise, Irish stew and salad dressings.

    Sources from within Unilever suggest that they may begin putting GE maize in Batchelors soups and elsewhere in their range. Maize, like soya, is a major animal feed and so will enter the human food chain often indirectly.

  4. FlavrSavr Tomato (Zeneca) Referred to when it was launched in 1996 as 'the Trojan Tomato', This was the first whole GE crop to reach UK shelves and is genetically engineered to not rot so quickly, thereby saving processing costs. It was introduced in labelled cans of tomato paste by both Sainsburys and Safeways who have since claimed that it is a soaraway success with the punters. Look for the tins of tomato paste that look almost identical to normal paste but bigger and therefore better value for money - you probably won't notice the label until you look this closely

  5. GE Chymosin- 'vegetarian rennet' Natural chymosin is produced from a calfs stomach and is used in cheesemaking, GE chymosin is made by a genetically engineered bacteria. It is used in a number of 'vegetarian cheeses' (for example Co-op vegetarian cheese) and has in the past been endorsed by the Vegetarian society. There are however non-animal, non-GE rennets available that are endorsed by both the Vegetarian Society and the Soil Association -so the ethical cheese eater can sleep easily

  6. Bollgard BT Cotton and Roundup Ready Cotton (Monsanto) These two genetically engineered cotton varieties already account for around 50% of the US cotton crop. US cotton is used for Jeans, clothing, fabrics as well as cottonseed oil which can be used in processed food or cans of fish.

  7. Roundup Ready Canola (Monsanto) Canola is the American name for what is known in Europe as Rapeseed.

  8. Canadian GE Rape has just been approved for import into Europe and will primarily be used as an oil in margarines, cooked foods, biscuits etc. More worryingly DNA from GE rape has been detected in Germany in jars of Canadian honey produced by Clover Crest and Fuersten-Reform. Since around half the field trails currently testing GE crops in the UK are currently rape (mostly from Plant Genetic Systems, Agrevo and Monsanto) its quite likely that similar contamination is occurring in European honey. The beekeepers association recently expressed strong concern that it does not know the effect on either its products or its bees from this genetic pollution

Beware Labelling!

At present a smattering of products containing GE ingredients are labelled and often it takes a long time and lots of letter writing to deduce whether your own diet is currently contaminated (The standard reply is 'it may be but we can't tell').

From the first of September new labelling directives across Europe mean that products contain GE soya and Maize protein will have to be labelled. Jeff Rooker, the food safety minister, has hailed this as "a victory for consumers" while in fact it will only serve to further confuse matters. Around 95% of products containing GE soya and maize ingredients will not be labelled under the new legislation. This is because the directive excludes oils, lecithins, starch, syrups and flavourings. It also attempts to set a threshold limit for the presence of GE protein beneath which manufacturers can escape having to label.

Unilever has suggested a figure as high as 10% but the final figure is yet to be set. Labelling will give a false sense of security.Merely labelling a problem (in this case genetic pollution) doesn't banish it. The only real way to ensure choice and protect the environment is to support those who are avoiding GE ingredients in their products altogether

Avoiding genetically engineered ingredients: While it is tempting to become disheartened by the wide reach of GE soya and maize into common foodstuffs the only people claiming that the battle is over are the biotech industry themselves who want GE food to be considered a fait accompli. In fact many small US soya suppliers are offering guaranteed non GE supplies (known as 'identity preserved') as are major suppliers such as Central Soya or Norgrow from both Brazil and Canada. Companies who use good amounts of soya also have the option of placing a growing order where farmers will grow the specific amounts of GE-free soya they require.

GE-Free Brands

For the consumer the following brands, companys and trades are guaranteeing GE-free good food:

They are not however excluding other GE soya ingredients (eg oils and lecithins). They have instructed their suppliers not to use GE maize Kelloggs- Currently not using any GE ingredients. According to Careline operator: " We believe there needs to be an awful lot more testing before we would even consider using genetically modified ingredients.. and the way public opinion is going at the moment we wouldn't consider using it" Heinz - Have told the Vegetarian Society that all the products they license (over 50 products) are free of GE ingredients and will remain so.

Told a customer "Heinz do not currently use ingredients containing GM material" Linda McCartney products - McVities prepared foods recently decided that no Linda McCartney products would contain GE ingredients - unfortunately this decision is not to be applied to other McVities products though.

National Trust say "We do not support the use of such foodstuffs, in fact all our current work on developing our menus is to source as much product as we can from our estates, local suppliers and organic meat producers" - Sue Wright, National Catering Manager. Chartwell School Dinners - If you are a school child in Kent the safest place to eat is the school canteen. over 1600 schools in Kent provide non GE school meals every day

Pret a Manger - If however you are a city type with little time available this chain of coffee and sandwich bars also guarantee not to use GE food House of Commons - Or alternatively if you are a Member of Parliament or a peer of the realm the catering committee in the palace of westminster has instructed the bars and restaurants of the mother of all parliaments to keep away from GE ingredients. Shame the same standard isn't app99 17:24:46 +0100

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