12 June 99

Table of Contents

Clearing Up Newest Rumors About Aspartame Sweetener
Re: Glickman - I wouldn't celebrate just yet
From the ASM (American Society for Microbiology) Meeting 1999
Interview: U.S. Monsanto says cuts Ukraine business
Brazil fights phantom menace in soya wars
Scientists With a Free Rein
Land Agents worried about GM crops
Paul McCartney's activism against Genetically Engineered Foods
New Investigational Data show Monoclonal Antibody to IgE may Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms
GM Food in New Zealand
Zeneca's Touchdown 5 Herbicide Approved For Roundup-Ready Soybeans
What's up doc???
Monsanto Site: Mission Statment

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Date: 8 Jun 1999 13:23:22 -0500
From: "Campbell, Jon" Campbell@Rational.Com

Wall Street Journal: Aspartame

Isn't it interesting that they mentioned nothing about the technical facts of the matter: methyl alcohol, formaldehyde, and Dr. Blaylok's research into excitotoxins. Not even the brain cancer link in rats and the hanky-panky at its approval. I guess that is why it is called the WALL ST Journal. It says what Wall St. wants to hear.


------------- Original Message --------------
From: Betty Martini []
Sent: Tuesday, June 08, 1999 1:21 PM

Wall Street Journal: Aspartame

Dear Costas,

This was written by Marilyn Chase of the San Francisco, Calif office, 415 -765--6125, fax 415-956-0797. I also faxed a copy of my note to CDC to the New York office to Gabriella Stern who writes Health and Science, phone 212 416-2667 and fax 212 416-2350. This article was written because Diabetic Interview was published, national diabetic magazine we gave information to recently.

I don't know if they didn't know I lectured for the World Environmental Conference, and the information was true, the email that circled the globe, but they now have the web site, and knowledge of the NoMarkle page with confirming evidence.

All my best,

Clearing Up Newest Rumors About Aspartame Sweetener

Wall Street Journal, June 7, 1999

CALL IT A TEMPEST in a diet-soda can. The debate over aspartame – despite official rulings of safety – continues to be the most confusing food fight on the horizon.

Picture: Health Journal – First there was a widely received blitz of e-mail, falsely blaming the sweetener for causing multiple sclerosis, Gulf War syndrome, and other ills. A news magazine called Diabetes Interview, popular among patients, added more heat to the debate in a recent article that looked at some provocative hypotheses linking aspartame to neurologic toxicity. Diabetics commonly use sweeteners to keep their blood sugar in check.

The American Diabetes Association shot back with a letter that compared the magazine to holocaust deniers. The magazine's publisher, Scott King, suggests the association is tainted because it receives money from Monsanto, the maker of the Equal brand of aspartame. ADA vehemently denies the grant monies nvolve any quid pro quo (and adds that the letter-writer wasn't speaking for the association).

Whew! What's a soda-drinker – or diabetic – to make of all this?

Here's the unsweetened truth. Since approving aspartame in 1981, the Food and Drug Administration has collected more than 7,000 consumer complaints about the product. The most common symptom reported is headache. But controlled trials haven't nailed down any proof of a link.

Consumers with a little time and motivation can read the record for themselves by searching "aspartame" in a database like PubMed, at There, you'll find 603 study citations. Scroll through the scary hypotheses and small-case reports implicating aspartame in seizures or brain tumors, and then weigh that against the larger body of reassuring data from controlled studies that fail to prove the sweetener causes these illnesses.

For instance, the specter of brain tumors was laid to rest in a 1997 case-control study in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. It found no ties between the cancer and a child's consumption of the sweetener, or a mother's use of it during pregnancy.

Aspartame does pose one undisputed health hazard for the roughly one in 16,000 people in the country who have a condition called phenylketonuria, also known as PKU. Sufferers can't metabolize phenylalanine, an amino acid, which can build up and cause mental retardation. Aspartame contains the substance.

DUKE UNIVERSITY researcher Susan Schiffman, Durham, N.C., whose work has been funded by Monsanto, thought she had settled the issue about headaches a decade ago when she published a study in the New England Journal of Medicine that found a placebo pill triggered more headaches than did the sweetener.

Caffeine-laden tea and soda were likelier cuprits, she says.

Still, reports of throbbing temples have produced a view of aspartame that survives debunking studies. The lead article in the National Headache Foundation's current newsletter states that among other foodstuffs, "Aspartame also seems to be a major trigger" of headaches.

Individuals who suspect they can't tolerate aspartame have learned to read labels and avoid it. There are a host of other sweeteners besides aspartame:sucaralose (Splenda), acesulfame K (Sweet One), sorbitol, mannitol and an herbal product called stevia. Monsanto is testing a new product currently called "Sweetener 2000."

Some adult diabetics are beginning to question how much they really need the artificial sweeteners. In parallel with the trend of "tight control," measuring blood sugar up to 10 times a day and correcting with careful doses of food and insulin, there's a move by some to reconsider the limited use of sugar.

Instead of being the lone villain, sugar is now seen as one of a host of carbohydrates that must be carefully measured and balanced throughout the day by diabetics. "Everything from a slice of bread to a glass of juice gets turned into sugar once it's in the body," says Mr. King, an insulin-dependent diabetic.

"You have to know the chemistry of food and play with it," says San Francisco fitness-club director Laura Greenfield, a longtime diabetic. "A baked potato really whacks my blood sugar up," more swiftly than a bowl of ice cream.

NEVERTHELESS, endocrinologist Alan Marcus, like many doctors, still recommends artificial sweeteners as part of a diabetic's tool kit. "I'd rather see a person take an Equal in their coffee than a teaspoon of glucose. They'll require less insulin and less obesity will develop," he says. "Use them judiciously – as with any food or additive."

Ms. Greenfield views Equal with equanimity. "I drink one Diet Coke every three days, and one packet of Equal a day to sweeten my tea." But she says she also eats cookies.

"There's no one forbidden food in diabetes. You can eat sugar food as long as you count it with your carbohydrates. What any diabetes educator would tell you is use it in moderation," she says. "We shouldn't be relying on artificial sweeteners.

In spite of what it calls "overwhelming evidence that aspartame is safe," the FDA says it will continue to monitor and follow up on reports of adverse reactions to the sweetener. Consumers and physicians can file such reports with consumer-complaint coordinators at FDA district offices around the country, as well as with its emergency-operations branch in Rockville, Md.


  1. Take the 60-day No Aspartame Test and send us your case history. Mission Possible International 5950-H State Bridge Rd. #215 Duluth, GA 30097 USA
  2. Tell your doctor and all of your friends!
  3. Return Asparcidal food to the store. (anything with Monsanto's NutraSweet/Equal/Spoonful/Benevia/NatraTaste)

VISIT Get links to over 30 sites on aspartame
VISIT ..FAQs & Cases
VISIT Exposing Bovine Growth Hormone

Disability and Death are not acceptable costs of business!

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Date: 8 Jun 1999 13:47:10 -0500
From: (Judy Kew)

Re: Glickman - I wouldn't celebrate just yet

From a subscriber:

I sincerely hope that all of you consider the carefully chosen words of Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman. All he and Monsanto have commited to is more convincing marketing strategies to reshape public opinion.

"the United States must pay closer attention to questions being raised around the world about genetic engineering"

[could relate to the loss of US credibilty in global markets and loss of income from boycotts of US crops. We cannot assume that it is because of ethics, environmental impact or health ramifications.]

"We can't force-feed . . . reluctant consumers,"

[as a mother "force feeds" a child something that is good for her?]

"Ultimately, if the consumer doesn't buy, the technology isn't worth a damn. Period."

[Correlation: if the consumer will buy it then it is worth something--which will just invite more carefully worded advertising campaigns orchestrated to convince us.]

"He said European concerns about the potential health and environmental effects of modified crops are taking a toll on U.S. grain exports." --

[further proof that his change of heart is market driven, not based on sudden enlightenment.]

"There are certainly more and more questions being asked about biotechnology, and those questions must be answered," Glickman said. "They cannot be brushed off. They must be dealt with. --

[so that we can forge ahead with GEF]

"You can't stop progress. ... But it doesn't mean that it is written on Mount Sinai that there aren't questions that have to be answered. I believe that is the era we are entering right now."

[GEF is not progress. It is a war against nature]

voluntary labeling

[will probably work just about as well as voluntary political campaign limitations]

Glickman has resurrected a biotechnology advisory committee that will have a wide array of experts, members of the public and critics.

[because global boycotts could bring the US Agri-structure to its knees]

Jay Byrne, a Monsanto spokesman, said he regards the attention as positive. As Byrne sees it, the flurry of new studies in Washington can allay any fears that might be sprouting.

[These people would need a sledge hammer to make it any more clear that they intend to forge ahead only to reclaim public opinon.]

"People are getting engaged in a responsible manner seeking out valid independent information from the science community on this issue,"

[As independent as the Nuffield Commission?]

"It's not enough to celebrate science for science's sake," Glickman said in the speech. "When it's all said and done, the public opinion poll is just as powerful a research tool as the test tube."

[Public opinion is more easily altered than the unforeseen ramifications of GEF]

In an interview, Glickman said he was trying to send a message not just to the American people, but to others in government.

[And that message is that public opinion must be altered before we can forge ahead with GEF]

He said he remains committed to biotechnology as important both to human health and to farming.

[Reaffirming his committment to GEF]

But, he added, a better job has to be done about building confidence.

[Reaffirming a commitment only to sway public opinion]

"There's a growing concern about what people eat, what goes in their mouths," Glickman said.

[The growing concern is by the people eating the food, not by the people producing it!!!]

Monsanto's Byrne said that Monsanto is happy to participate in any new talks. "All too often, this debate can be polarized by the extremes of fear or concern and those of hope," he said. "The best public service is to have an informed debate in the middle,"

[Translation: we have more money, unlimited resources, better advertising, PR and marketing people, and are more powerful than you are. We will win this debate.]

I only hope my cynicism is not vindicated!!! Right now we must work harder than ever.

---------------------------------------- modem: 512.288.3903

Green Building Professionals Directory at

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Date: 8 Jun 1999 16:27:41 -0500
From: joe cummins

From the ASM (American Society for Microbiology) Meeting 1999

The following article is from the American Society for Microbiology meeting 1999:

It may not be obvious, but every time you drink a can of Coke, you are reliant on biotechnology. The high fructose corn syrup used to sweeten Coca-Cola is obtained from raw corn starch via a series of enzymatically catalyzed steps, which break starch down to glucose, and then convert it to fructose.

More than 10 million tons of cornstarch are processed in this way each year – just one example of how the industrial use of enzymes has become big business. The enzyme required for the development of these products, however, is likely to differ significantly from the original wild-type enzyme.

At the 99th American Society for Microbiology meeting in Chicago, Jeremy Minshull from Maxygen Inc described a new technique, called molecular breeding that allows rapid evolution of such enzymes via genetic shuffling.

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Date: 9 Jun 1999 17:02:06 -0500
From: (jim mcnulty)

Interview: U.S. Monsanto says cuts Ukraine business

By Pavel Polityuk, Wednesday June 9, 2:47 pm Eastern Time

CHUBYNSKE, Ukraine, June 9 (Reuters) - U.S. agricultural group Monsanto (NYSE:MTC - news), frustrated by Ukraine's slow reforms and debts by local consumers, said on Wednesday it would reduce its presence in the country. Vladimir Vasiliev, Monsanto's coordinator of projects and business development in Ukraine, told Reuters.

The company, based in St Louis, Missouri, has been working in the ex-Soviet state since 1988, covering 15-20 percent of the domestic needs in herbicides. tens of millions of were the main obstacle to developing the company's business in the country of 50 million people.

Vasiliev, who declined to give concrete figures, said Monsanto had cut its sales in Ukraine by some 30 percent so far We have no plans to increase supplies until new landlords he said.

The company is frustrated by the absence of private land ownership in a system where agriculture is still dominated by low-productivity cash-short Soviet-era collective farms.

The country's fertile land cannot be used as collateral for bank loans.

Vasiliev said Monsanto's future activity in Ukraine would depend on the outcome of the presidential election set for October 31 this year.

Analysts say that President Leonid Kuchma, regarded as a moderate reformer, is likely to face a strong challenge from a leftist candidate.

Monsanto is not the only Western company whose agricultural business has been affected by slow reforms in Ukraine.

A government official told journalists last week that several Western producers of chemicals had plans to stop or reduce their business activity in Ukraine due to debts by local farms worth a total of $215 million for last year alone.

Ukraine does not produce enough chemicals of its own for crop protection.

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Date: 9 Jun 1999 17:08:46 -0500
From: (jim mcnulty)

Brazil fights phantom menace in soya wars

The Guardian, June 09, 1999
© Copyright 1999, _____via IntellX_____

The state of Rio Grande do Sul in southern Brazil is leading the country's fight against GM corporations.

The town of Nao-Me-Toque, or Don't-Touch-Me, in southern Brazil owes its peculiar name to an obdurate traveller who slept rough on the land before it was settled. Last month Nao-Me-Toque gained a more contemporary meaning when a depot there received international food giant [ Monsanto ] 's first harvest of Brazilian genetically modified (GM) soya, which is the subject of a court order that it cannot be touched.

The crop is now the symbolic prize in a legal tussle that could determine the future for GM foods in Brazil, currently the world's largest producer of non genetically modified soya and the source of more than a third of soya imported to the UK.

Brazil, which accounts for 25% of world production, is the last remaining major soya grower that has yet to grow the transgenic product commercially. Both the US (50% of world production) and Argentina (16% ) are already dominated by the genetically modified seed.

The crop, now in sealed packages in the silvery-blue Nao-Me-Toque depot, was planted by Monsanto when the Brazilian government gave the go-ahead last year for test sites. In March, however, the state of Rio Grande do Sul overruled the government and banned test plantations. Monsanto went to court and the soya was harvested under the watch of the state authorities and taken to Nao-Me Toque, pending a ruling on its legal status.

The case is more than just a parochial flashpoint in the genetic debate. It will establish to what extent Brazilian states can resist the federal government's decisions on genetically modified foods and keep one of the world's main agricultural exporters GM-free.

The government and the states are at loggerheads over GM production. The ministry of agriculture has already liberated commercial growing of five GM seeds. However, all of Brazil's states are against the new technology. In an unprecedented decision last month, all 27 state agriculture secretaries voted during their National Forum against commercialising genetically modified crops.

The fight against Monsanto is being led by Rio Grande do Sul, Brazil's southernmost state and second largest soya producer, whose recently-elected Marxist governor Olivio Dutra is opposed to the seeds for political as much as environmental reasons. With his thick moustache and radical talk, Dutra is almost a caricature of the traditional `gaucho' cowboy of Rio Grande do Sul.

`We have a very clear objective and {monsanto} has a very clear objective so it's like a war,' says Jose Hermeto Hoffman, Rio Grande do Sul's agriculture secretary. He cites the farmer's loss of autonomy - he will have to buy all seeds from Monsanto - and the reliance on herbicides as reasons for keeping the state GM free. `We were trying to make our agriculture more sustainable and then {the multinationals} came along with this bomb.'

Rio Grande do Sul has tried to legalistically outmanoevre the leaders in Brasilia. Dutra managed to ban the current test sites by passing a decree that requires growers to show the state a certain amount of information such as an environmental study that the test sites did not have. It also has a more complete law banning GM crops passing through the state legislature. If that is not approved, then the idea is to either increase bureaucracy to not make it worth farmers' while or by introducing a GM tax. Eleven other states have similar plans.

Hoffman will use any means possible to thwart Monsanto because he believes that Monsanto is already moving quickly into production. When Hoffman was told earlier in the year that the previous administration had granted test licences to 79 areas in the state, he discovered that all of the sites were of only a few hectares, apart from the one planted by Monsanto which was 435 hectares.

`No one says they are just doing research for an area of 435 hectares. With {the seeds harvested} they could have planted 18,000 hectares.' In reply Monsanto claim that they were doing nothing wrong because they had been given permission for the site.

The financial basis for Rio Grande do Sul's stance is a gamble that there will be a market for non-GM soya, even if the price is higher than the modified version. In April representatives of a consortium of 10 European supermarkets including Sainsbury and Marks & Spencer travelled to Rio Grande do Sul inquiring about buying large amounts of non-GM soya.

Meanwhile, most soya producers are not that interested in the ideological questions of the genetics debate. They are more concerned about whether they can retain competiveness when the main competitor - Argentina - has reduced its costs by switching to GM.

Andre Barbosa Barretto, vice president of the Rio Grande Federation of Agro-Cooperatives says time is running out. `Monsanto was hasty in launching its seeds before the results of research. But we don't have much time before the producer loses patience. The producer doesn't want to lose productivity.'

In Nao-Me-Toque, at the heart of the soya growing region in the north of the state, farmers are excitedly waiting the arrival of the `superseeds' that they have been told about by Monsanto's field workers for several years. Alexandre Wiedtheuper, who has 280 hectares of soya, says there is a great anticipation. `They have created this idea in people's heads. It's a form of pressure.'

In the reception of the town's Cotrijal cooperative, there is a poster for genetically modified soya seeds. `Made to make the soya farmer's life easier' the slogan reads. Gelson Melo de Lima, Cotrijal grains manager, says that it will be very difficult for the region to stay free from GM - whatever the politicians decide. `Whenever there is an advance in technology the producer is curious,' he says. `It is going to be very difficult to resist what is going on in the rest of the world. Do you think we can stay isolated? I don't think you can stop progress.

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Date: 10 Jun 1999 05:51:26 -0500
From: Colleen Robison-Spencer

Scientists With a Free Rein

From Frederick [MD], Thursday, June 10, 1999; Page A28
© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

The May 17 front-page article "20 Years Later, Stolen Gene Haunts a Biotech Pioneer" illustrates the high stakes sometimes involved in scientific research. Perhaps not generally known is that scientists are not licensed by any authority.

Scientist Peter Seeburg has admitted that he stole certain material in 1978 from the University of California at San Francisco to further his work at Genentech and that his subsequent work for Genentech involved lies of various kinds. Mr. Seeburg, described as "one of the world's most eminent molecular biologists" and "now an accomplished researcher in Germany," has implicated David Goeddel and Axel Ullrich in at least some of his misdeeds. Mr. Goeddel, a member of the National Academy of Sciences, has denied misconduct.

What, if anything, might happen to Mr. Goeddel? It's not as if Mr. Goeddel's license to practice science could be suspended or revoked.

Even though the integrity of a scientist's conduct may have consequences measurable in terms of a billion dollars, as in the Genentech case, no mechanism exists whereby the unfit can be barred from practicing science. Yes, editorial boards of scientific journals have standards, and the federal government has the power to investigate and, in a sense, punish certain forms of misconduct in federally funded research. But science has no remedy analogous to disbarment of unfit lawyers or yanking the licenses of unfit physicians.

Maybe the Genentech case will provoke a serious look at the possibility of licensing persons to practice science and the establishment and enforcement of standards of practice.

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Date: 10 Jun 1999 06:02:40 -0500
From: Jon


2 items on the UK's Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey on GM crops

1. ngin comment on RICS survey results
2. full table of results

Land Agents worried about GM crops

1. ngin comment on RICS survey

A Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) survey of over 100 chartered surveyors in rural practice across the country has shown they have considerable concerns about the growing of GM crops and just as importantly think that their clients (ie farmers and landowners ) have to.

The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors represents some 100,000 members. They practise throughout the world. 6000 chartered surveyors specialise in rural property.

The most interesting statistics from the survey (full table given below) are in a way the 'negative' ones ie how few land agents are NOT concerned or, as importantly, understand that their clients (ie famers) are NOT concerned about GM crops. For example, on the question of which issues concern clients in relation to GM products:

As to putting a GM clause into tenancy agreements so that the landlord can veto the growing of GM crops, only 3. 76% said this was not necessary.

And only 11. 28% said they'd advise landlords to let tenants grow GM crops. So the landlord who stopped his tenant in Berkshire and the trustees who stopped Captain Barker's trial in Wiltshire were acting according to the best advice.

On 'will it affect land values' only 15. 79% say no - so this is a big vote of support for the concerns already expressed on the impact on land values by the RICS leadership

On GM crops affecting neighbouring land values, it's only 32. 33% who are saying 'don't worry'. In other words, it's less than a third of land agents that are confident neighbouring land values won't suffer!

Even less (just 24 . 81%) are confident that having grown GM crops in the past won't have an effect when it comes to selling the farm they've been grown on. THIS HAS POWERFUL IMPLICATIONS FOR FARMERS GETTING INVOLVED IN TRIALS.

And they are scientifically well founded concerns as well - Research showing that monitoring of GM beet trials in Europe shows naked DNA (which is considered highly 'infectious') from the GM beet was found in the soil 2 years after the trial! In other words, you can't justy plough over the trial and think the problem's gone away.

Only 6.77% wouldn't ask if GM crops had been grown on the farm and only 9.02% wouldn't take it into account in valuation


2. Full table of RICS survey results:

  1. Do you feel you have sufficient knowledge of the issues around GM products to properly advise your clients?

    Yes 20.30%   |   No 79.70%

  2. Have any of your clients asked for advice in respect of GM crops?

    Yes 13.53%   |   No 85.71%   |  Undecided/Not applicable 0. 75%

  3. Do you feel that you have adequate access to information on the issues around GM products?

    Yes 24.06%   |   No 74.44%   |  Undecided/Not applicable 1.50%

    Which issues concern your clients in relation to GM products?

  4. Neighbours growing GM products

    Yes 77.44%   |   No 6.02%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 16.54%

  5. Effects on land values

    Yes 73.68%   |   No 12.03%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 14.29%

  6. Legal implications

    Yes 71.43%   |   No 14.29%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 14.29%

  7. Should tenancies contain a clause requiring tenants to notify the landlord if they intend to grow GM crops?

    Yes 90.23%   |   No 3.76%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 6.02%

  8. Would you advise landlords to allow tenants to grow GM crops on to their land?

    Yes 11.28%   |   No 75.19%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 13.53%

  9. Would you advise tenants to grow GM crops on their land?

    Yes 10.53%   |   No 72.93%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 16.54%

  10. In your opinion would the growing of GM crops affect the value of land?

    Yes 57.89%   |   No 15.79%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 26.32%

  11. In your opinion would the growing of GM crops on neighbouring land affect the value of clientsi land?

    Yes 42.86%   |   No 32.33%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 24.81%

  12. In your opinion would the previous or present growing of GM crops make land more difficult to sell?

    Yes 63.91%   |   No 24 .81%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 11.28%

  13. Would you support the maintenance of a register of all land where GM crops have been grown?

    Yes 75.94%   |   No 18.80%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 5.26%

  14. Do you think that such a register should be publicly available?

    Yes 67.67%   |   No 27.07%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 5.26%

  15. Will you ask about the GM history of a site when carrying out a valuation?

    Yes 88.72%   |   No 6.77%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 4.51%

  16. Should the issue of GM cropping be a matter to be taken into consideration when conducting a Red Book Valuation?

    Yes 83.46%   |   No 9.02%   |   Undecided/Not applicable 7.52%

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 05:48:35 -0500
From: "Craig Winters"

Paul McCartney's activism against Genetically Engineered Foods

Dear Health Freedom Fighters,

Paul McCartney held a recent press conference and is taking a very high profile stand against genetically engineered foods in England. He is removing the soy entirely from Linda McCartney's vegetarian food line and the company is leading a campaign against genetically modified foods. Each of the 38 different products in the line will say "Say No To GMO" on the packaging.

Paul McCartney's international popularity should be a great asset in influencing others worldwide to avoid and campaign against genetically engineered foods.

Below is the text from a British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC) report. Better yet, go to the link and see the photos. Plus, there is a 46 second audio clip that has more dialog than the news report.

Thanks Paul! The whole world is watching...

Craig Winters
Executive Director
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

The Campaign
PO Box 55699, Seattle, WA 98155
Tel: 425-771-4049    Fax: 603-825-5841
E-mail:    Web Site:

The Campaign's Mission Statement: "To create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States."

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 07:07:58 -0500
From: Colleen Robison-Spencer


The disclosure article reminds me of a piece on ABC News recently. They reported on a new allergy drug that will be available soon. They said the drug "borrowed from nature" to rid patients of allergic symptoms. No other mention of how it was made. I wrote ABC and said that consumers might like to know it was made from humanized mouse antibodies. I have snipped one of the sites found. Genentech is the company involved in the stolen gene case.



Genentech, Inc.

New Investigational Data show Monoclonal Antibody to IgE may Reduce Seasonal Allergy Symptoms

Philadelphia, Penn. – November 9, 1998 --

A recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody to IgE may reduce the occurrence and severity of nasal and ocular symptoms associated with seasonal allergic rhinitis (SAR) -- commonly known as hay fever – according to a study presented today at the American College of Allergy, Asthma and Immunology. The investigational drug, called rhuMAb-E25, also known as anti-IgE, is a recombinant humanized monoclonal antibody to IgE (immunoglobulin E) that is intended to interfere early in the allergic process.


Data Disclosure; Business Wants to Breach a Stonewall

By Cindy Skrzycki
Washington Post Staff Writer, Friday, June 11, 1999; Page E01

The scientific research community supports the idea of intellectual honesty. Business has always wanted to see and double-check the science that underlies important federal rules. And some in Congress think everyone should have access to scientific data collected with taxpayer dollars.

This sharing of information is known as "transparency," and it sounds as though it might be a hard thing to argue against. But as the Office of Management and Budget works on a rule that would allow anyone to take a peek at the scientific calculations that go into devising thousands of federal rules and policies, the scientific, university and medical communities are scrambling to limit broad access to this data.

What disturbs them is that the law giving rise to the OMB rule allows everyone to use the Freedom of Information Act to get at the scientific data in studies that are the underpinnings of highly controversial rules. Currently, agencies that award federal research grants can request the data from those who receive grants, but they seldom do.

The debate between the business community, which thinks it has the right to know about the science that goes into rules that it must comply with, and the researchers who want their work protected from prying eyes was set off by a 1997 Environmental Protection Agency proposal to tighten air-pollution rules at considerable cost to industry.

After the EPA rule change was proposed, Sen. Richard C. Shelby (R-Ala.) pressed the agency for the Harvard University study that helped it draw its conclusions about the need for a new air-quality rule. But EPA refused to request the data for Shelby.

"What the heck? Can you imagine the arrogance?" Shelby said, who responded with the disclosure legislation.

Critics argue that under Shelby's law, anyone wanting to peer into the work of researchers could have a field day, since 60 percent of the scientific research conducted at colleges and universities is funded by the federal government.

Researchers have a long list of worries. They predict that confidentiality agreements with research subjects would be breached, companies' proprietary information could fall into the hands of competitors, and funding relationships between universities and private industry would be jeopardized.

"We agree research data should be made available, subject to the protection of sensitive research data that, if disclosed, would harm the conduct of science," said George Leventhal, senior federal relations officer for the Association of American Universities. "Using the FOIA is the wrong way to do it."

Leventhal said the pharmaceutical, biotechnology and semiconductor industries, which have partnerships with universities, also feel their proprietary research would be in peril.

The Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, for example, wants OMB to draw the rule narrowly, making sure that it would not raise privacy concerns or jeopardize companies' intellectual-property rights.

In an effort to delay the rule, opponents are supporting an amendment that Rep. James T. Walsh (R-N.Y.) plans to tack onto an appropriations bill that would call for a year-long study to look at the potential "unintended consequences" of the law.

Critics of the law have been pointing out the pitfalls to their representatives in Congress. One sociologist who works with rape victims predicted that she would lose access to her subjects if they feared their names or stories would one day become public.

Shelby said there are safeguards in the current Freedom of Information Act that protect the privacy of patients, trade secrets and other sensitive information.

"FOIA is a tried and tested mechanism for making information available to the public," Shelby said in a talk he gave Wednesday at the American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Joint Center for Regulatory Studies. He said the new OMB rule would "empower the people to have access to the data."

He chided the scientific community for appearing "to view federal funding as an entitlement" and for assuming the public is "too stupid to understand their research" and likely to misuse it.

William Kovacs, vice president of environment and regulatory affairs for the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said universities and hospitals are conducting "a complete campaign of misinformation," trying to convince members of Congress that sensitive information, like the names of AIDS patients, would be released.

Kovacs said the chamber supports a narrow interpretation of the law that would require the release only of data that is used to make a policy or rule, not the research that is done for other government purposes.

Others in the research and regulatory arenas are looking for a middle ground.

Robert Hahn, director of the Joint Center for Regulatory Studies, and Linda Cohen, an economics professor at the University of California at Irvine, suggest tailoring access to the documents. They believe there should be access to the information that results in regulations that have significant economic impact – such as the EPA's 1997 ozone and particulate matter standard, which would make current air-pollution rules more stringent -- and an independent agency should be created to replicate the results of research before any standard becomes final.

"Give the data to a completely disinterested party and see if they can replicate the results," said Randall Lutter, former OMB economist and an AEI resident scholar.

© Copyright 1999 The Washington Post Company

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 16:26:20 -0500
From: (jim mcnulty)

GM Food in New Zealand

John Broad, Invercargill Waste, The Southland Times
© Copyright 1999, _____via IntellX_____

THE Government has laid bare a hornet's nest with its cavalier disregard for its citizens' health in the way it is handling the genetic foods issue.

About 80 percent of our processed food contains genetically- modified ingredients, usually soy, corn, canola and cottonseed derivatives.

Agri-chemical company [ Monsanto ] is behind the big American push to make us take these foods.

The National-led Government has already blocked three attempts to pass labelling legislation.

The Greens party's efforts to introduce a moratorium-inquiry into GM Foods wasn't supported by Labour, so foundered.

Dutch researchers have cast doubt on the safety of GM Foods, showing that bacteria modified for antibiotic resistance can transfer their drug-resistant traits to bacteria in the gut.

Superbugs are coming . . .

No long-term health studies have been carried out into these foods.

Most supporting information supplied to our vetting authorities, Anzfa and Erma, was submitted by Monsanto itself.

And Anzfa is intending to approve Monsanto's Roundup Ready GE soy beans and cottonseed.

Canola and corn next (already in our food).

The Royal New Zealand College of Physicians has called on the Government to take exceptional caution about genetically-modified food because research was, and still is, incomplete and biased.

At United Nations-sponsored talks in Cartagena, five nations, including United States of America and Australia, blocked efforts by 132 nations to introduce a biosafety protocol that would have allowed restrictions on experimental organisms.

You can't help but conclude that our Government is a big business puppet selling us out.

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 16:27:40 -0500
From: (jim mcnulty)

Zeneca's Touchdown 5 Herbicide Approved For Roundup-Ready Soybeans

business Wire, Wilmington, Del., June 10, 1999
© Copyright 1999, _____via IntellX_____

Growers will now have a choice for their weed control needs

Zeneca Ag Products announced today that it received U.S. regulatory approval to sell Touchdown® 5 herbicide for use over glyphosate-tolerant soybeans, currently sold as Roundup Ready® soybeans.

The registration, granted by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency on June 8, comes in time for significant use of Touchdown 5 over glyphosate-tolerant soybeans in 1999.

"With an estimated 30 million acres of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans varieties in the U.S. alone, this approval opens a huge, new market for Touchdown," said Bob Woods, president of Zeneca Ag Products. Touchdown has been registered for other uses since 1991.

Zeneca reached a long-term agreement in March, 1999, with [ Monsanto Company ] , giving Zeneca a license to test, register and sell Touchdown 5 for use over Roundup Ready soybeans, corn and cotton in the U.S.

Based in the United Kingdom, [ AstraZeneca PLC ] (NYSE:AZN) is a major $15.8 billion international bioscience business engaged in the research, development, manufacture and marketing of ethical (prescription) pharmaceuticals and agricultural products, and the supply of healthcare services.

Zeneca Ag Products is a business unit of Zeneca Inc. in the United States, and Zeneca Agrochemical is a business unit of Zeneca Corp. in Canada. Both companies are wholly owned subsidiaries of AstraZeneca PLC. Zeneca Ag Products and Zeneca Agrochemical together form a $1 billion North American agrochemical business with approximately 1,700 employees.

Web site:

Touchdown® 5 is a registered trademark of a Zeneca group Company. Roundup Ready® is a registered trademark of Monsanto Company.

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 18:08:30 -0500

What's up doc???

A European wide initiative by supermarkets and food producers to give consumers confidence that products are GM-free has been launched. Called Cert -ID it plans to trace the source ingredients from seed to processed product (incl animal feed I think).

I am told Robert Oates of Genetic ID has been speaking on TV reports - only unfortunate thing is that a level of 0.1% GM has to be accepted because of testing proceedures - maybe they will soon come up with even more sensitive proceedures. Certainly another nail in the coffin lid..... Only thing is - the driving force was Sainsbury supermarket (of Lord GM Sainsbury fame) and Nestles have also signed up...... but maybe I should be positive - maybe they have woken up that the game is nearly over and GM is soon out!!!!

And as expected the first long awaited rumble of a GM trade war appeared yesterday. Richard Rominger, US deputy agriculture secreatry, speaking yesterday in London was reported as saying that blocking imports of GM crops could cause a worse transatlantic trade crisi than earlier disputes. Talking about US approach he said, "Our deeper concern is for the need to establish a scientifically sound and open system in Europe. Knowledge brought directly to the people has been the starting point of biotechnology in the united states. we hold public meetings and welcome public participation:"

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Date: 11 Jun 1999 18:57:18 -0500

Monsanto Site: Mission Statment

I was just out looking for some information on the Russet Burbank potato and discovered Monsanto has once again redesigned their American web site...they now have this righteous statement:

Monsanto has reinvented not only itself, but an industry. [and perhaps the whole of Creation?] We're now a life-sciences company, exploring [destroying?] the natural connections between food, medicine and health. We're developing products previously inconceivable, confirming our conviction [yes indeed, they ought to be convicted] that such a new way of looking at things will help us all to thrive.

Under their "Nutrition" heading, they list the "Nutra Sweet" pages, where you can go and be convinced by the American Diabetes Assocation and the Multiple Sclerosis Foundation of the safety of Aspartame.

Under the "Media" heading, they tout their National Medal of Technology awards from President Clinton. And a press release from the Biotechnology Industry Organization. At the end of this rather lengthy piece of propaganda they have a long list of "independent experts" which include:

  1. Terry Franel, Senior Economist
    American Farm Bureau Federation
    (202) 484-3600

  2. Jeffrey Barach, Ph.D.,
    Vice President, Special Projects
    National Food Processors Association
    (202) 639-5900

  3. Dave Schmidt, Vice President, Food Safety
    International Food Information Council
    Washington, DC
    (202) 296-6540

  4. L. Val Giddings, Ph.D.,
    Vice President, Food & Agriculture
    Biotechnology Industry Organization
    Washington, DC
    (202) 857-0244

  5. Allan Noe, Vice President
    American Crop Protection Assn.
    (202) 296-1585

  6. National Corn Growers Association
    St. Louis, MO
    (314) 275-9915

  7. Alice Q. Swanson

Healin' Hollers

Old Joe, Arkansas