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20 December 99

Table of Contents

US Justice Department Probes Monsanto's Gene-Licensing Pacts
New Novartis Patents (rest)
Book: Feudalism -- Alias American Capitalism
How drug giants let millions die of Aids
Correspondence between Bruce Martin and Dr. Pusztai
FOCUS-Monsanto withdraws Delta & Pine Land merger
Fw: New-at-ERS (Ag Income and Finance; Food Insecurity)
GM-free canteen for Monsanto staff
Pharma-gedon

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Date: 18 Dec 1999 11:42:45 U
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

US Justice Department Probes Monsanto's Gene-Licensing Pacts

By Jerry Guidera, Staff Reporter, Thursday, December 16, 1999 05:00 PM
© 1999 Dow Jones & Company, Inc. All Rights Reserved.

WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The Justice Department is investigating the gene-technology licensing agreements of Monsanto Corp., looking for evidence of any effort to control the price of seeds the agribusiness giant sells to farmers.

According to people close to the matter, the investigation stems from the government's lengthy review of Monsanto's (MTC, news, msgs) proposed $1.8 billion buyout of Scott, Miss.-based cottonseed producer Delta & Pine Land Co. (DLP, news, msgs) and an ongoing review of the rapid consolidation of the seed-growing industry.

A Justice Department spokeswoman confirmed part of the probe, but declined to provide details on the matter or confirm the broader investigation. "We are investigating the Delta & Pine acquisition and related matters in the cottonseed industry," said Jennifer Rose.

Jeff Bergau, a Monsanto spokesman, also confirmed the Justice Department probe but said the agency is focusing exclusively on the cottonseed market. "To the best of our knowledge," he said, "Justice is focusing exclusively on the Delta & Pine merger and the cottonseed market."

He also noted that the company has understood - throughout the merger review process - that intellectual property and licensing issues would be included in negotiations with federal regulators for approval of deal.

People close to the matter said that the current review is focusing primarily on the cottonseed market and that Justice Department attorneys are firm on their demands that Monsanto enter into a binding consent decree that would force them to license their technology at low cost to rival seed producers.

Federal regulators have been looking into consolidation trends and any potential efforts to monopolize the specialized genetically manufactured seed industry for a number of years now.

In July 1996, Justice officials served Delta & Pine with an order seeking all documents and any information related to its acquisition of three seed companies as it firmed its 70% market control of the cottonseed market, according to company documents. In that investigation, which is continuing, Justice is looking into whether the combinations violated Section 7 of the Clayton Act. Federal antitrust rules prohibit any horizontal or vertical merger that may substantially lessen competition or tend to create a monopoly.

Justice took depositions of a number of Delta & Pine executives in 1997, but hasn't yet closed the probe. In regulatory filings, the company has said it "is committed to full cooperation" with the government in its investigation.

Federal regulators began looking into the Monsanto-Delta & Pine combination nearly two years ago as part of the normal regulatory clearance process for the acquisition. After asking for more documents related to the merger earlier in the year, Justice attorneys took the unusual step Aug. 9 of filing a third Civil Investigative Demand - or CID - related to the deal.

In the third information request related to the merger, federal antitrust experts began looking into the possibility that the combination was part of an effort to corner the market for certain types of seeds, according to people close to the matter. Now, Justice officials are also concentrating on any arrangements Monsanto may have in its licensing agreements that could result in weakening competition, the people familiar with the matter said.

Justice lawyers have been looking into some of the same allegations that are included in a private suit filed earlier this week. The agribusiness giant was hit with a purported class-action lawsuit filed here in district court alleging, among other things, that Monsanto's seed licensing practices give the company too much influence over prices charged to farmers. The private litigation focuses exclusively on the production of corn and soybean products, but lawyers involved in the case said they are considering widening the charges to include allegations of collusion in the cottonseed market as well.

Meanwhile, the acquisition of Delta & Pine is still under review and is reaching the final stages, people close to the deal said. The acquisition of Delta & Pine is a crucial element of the company's long-term strategy, according to analysts and company documents and Monsanto has pegged some of its hopes on the deal.

The Monsanto-Delta & Pine merger is set to expire at the end of the month, though the two have an option to extend the deal again well into 2000. Justice lawyers are said to be firm in their demands that Monsanto agree to license their cottonseed gene technology and are prepared to block the deal if the companies move to close the merger.

Signaling that a deal may still be within reach, Robert Shapiro, Monsanto's chief executive officer, is scheduled to meet with Assistant Attorney General Joel Klein, the head of Justice's Antitrust Division. The meeting Monday is seen as a last-ditch effort to salvage the merger, according to market sources, but it is unclear if the broader Justice probe will be an issue at the talks. Quote for referenced ticker symbols: DLP, MTC


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Date: 18 Dec 1999 15:00:28 U
From: wytze geno@zap.a2000.nl

New Novartis Patents (rest)

The application was filed 14 January 1999.

Title of the Patent: The use of Neonicodinoids on transgenic plants.

First some additional information on patent WO9935913: The claims are not only made for Bt and lectin crops but also for transgenic plants expressing fungicidal, nematodical, acaricidal active ingredients or which are tolerant against herbicides or against the attack of fungi.

The other patent, WO9935910 is pretty similar in its claims but the pesticides are different. In this patent pest control is obtained by the use of pymetrozine, profenofos, a benzoylurea derivative, especially lufenuron or a carbarnat derivative especially fenoxycarb.

Especially preferred components in mixtures are for example, Ni-25, Ti 304, Clothiamidin(Ti435), MTI 446, fipronil, pyriproxifen, thiaolioprid, fluxofenime, imidaclopriod, thiamethoxam, diafenthiuron, diazinon, disulphoton, furathiocarb, cyromazin, cypermethrin, tau-fluvalinate, tefluthrin OR Bacillus thuringiensis products.

According to the application these substances surprisingly, even highly surprisingly show synergistic effects in or on the transgenic plants.

----- Part IV ------------------

As said in a previous post the "invention" mentioned in patens WO 9935913 and WO9935910 can be applied to Herbicide Resistant (HR) crops. The patent, in Table C, lists the different kinds of HR and the crops to which they apply.

The crops to which all HR listed in the patent apply are: cotton, rice, brassica, potatoes, tomatoes, cucurbits, soybeans, maize, wheat, pomefruit, stonefruit, citrus. .

The different types of HR (Herbicide Resistant crops) are:

  1. ALS = Acetolactate Synthase Gives tolerance to: Sulfonylureas. Included are: Imidazolinones, Triazolopyrimidines, Dimethoxypyrimidines and N-Acylsulfonamides: Sulfonylureas such as Chlorsyluran, Chlorimuron, A whole list of sulfurons: Ethameth-, Met-, Pro-, Tria-, Cino-, Trifu-, Oxa-, Ben-, Fluza-, Nico-, Rim-, Thifen-, Pyrazo-, Clopyra-, Azim-, Imazo-, Sulfo-, Amido-, and Flupyr Sulfuron. Tribenuron, ACC322140, NC 330, CGA 362622. Imidazolinones such as Imazamethabenz, Imazaquin, Imazamethyphyr, Imazethaphyr, Imazapyr, and Imazamox. Triazolopyrimidines such as DE 511, Flumetsulam and Chloransulam. Dimethoxypyrimidines such as Pyrithiobac, Pyriminobac, Bispyribac and Pyribenzoxim.

  2. ACCase = Acetyl-COACarboxylase Gives tolerance to: Diclofop-methyl, Fluazifop-P-butyl, Haloxyfop-P-methyl, Quizalafop-P-Ethyl, clodinafop-propargyl, fenoxapro-ethyl, Tepraloxydim, Sethoxydim, Cycloxidim, Cloproxydim, Tralkoxydim, Butoxydim, Calodyxim, Clafoxydim, Clethodim.

  3. Nitrilase. Gives tolerance to: Bromoxynil, Ioxynil

  4. IPS = Inhibition of Protein Synthesis Gives tolerance to: Chloroacetanilides such as Alachlor, Acetochlor, Dimethenamid.

  5. HOM = Hormone Mimic. Gives tolerance to: 2,4-D Mecoprop-P

  6. PROTOX = Protox Inhibitors Gives tolerance to: For instance: Diohenyethers such as Acilluorfen, Aclonifen, Bifenox, Chlornitrofen, Ethoxyfen, Fluoroglycofen, Fomesafen, Lactofen, Oxyfluorfen; Imides such as Azafenidin, Carfentrazone-ethyl, Cinidonethyl, Flumiclorac-pentyl, Flumioxazin, Fluthiacet-methyl, Oxadiargyl, Oxadiazon, Pentoxazone, Sulfentrazone, Imides and others such as Flumipropyn, Flupropacil, Nipyraclofen and Thidiazimin; and further Fluazolate and Pyraflufen-ethyl.

  7. EPSPS = 5-Enolpyruvyl-3-Phosphoshikimate Synthetase. Gives tolerance to: Glyphosate and/or Sulphosate

  8. GS = Glutamine Synthetase Gives tolerance to: Gluphosinate and /or Bialaphos

----------- Part V -----------

Novartis patent WO 9935913 gives 22 biological examples of the "invention". They do not if and if yes which auxiliary was used.

Essential data of the biological examples are: Typical set up of a test:

--------------- Part VI --------------------

Date: 19 Dec 1999 08:03:57 U
From: wytze geno@zap.a2000.nl
Subject: New Novartis Patent VI

Synergistic effects and advantages of the "invention" as described in patent WO9935913.

"In particular, it has been found, surprisingly, that within the scope of invention the pesticidal activity of a nitroimino- or nitroguanidino-compound in combination with the effect expressed by the transgenic useful plant, is not only additive in comparison with the pesticidal activities of the nitroimino- or nitroguanidino- compound alone and of the transgenic useful plant alone, as can generally be expected, but that a synergistic effect is present.

The term "synergistic", however, is in no way to be understood in this connection as being restricted to the pesticidal activity, but the term also refers to other advantageous properties of the method according to the invention compared with the nitroimino- or nitroguanidino-compound and the transgenic useful plant alone.

Examples of such advantageous properties which may be mentioned are:

I will check some of the details of the patent again, especially the part that mentions a reduction rate of 40-50%!

Wytze

---------------------- Part VII --------------

Date: 19 Dec 1999 10:56:35 U
From: wytze geno@zap.a2000.nl
Subject: New Novartis Patent: Final.

Patent WO9935913 is built up as follows:

Some additional info on HR crops. First, in part IV one class of HR crops was forgotten: Class 9) HPPD = Hydroxphenylpyruva: dioxygenase Gives tolerance to: Iaoxazoles such as Isoxaflutol, Isoxachlotol. Triones such as Sulcotrion, Mesotrion.

A correction for PROTOX: In stead of dioheny it should read: diphenylethers.

In table A some more herbicides are mentioned:

Resistance to Sulfonylureas can also be obtained by Cytochrome P450 eg P450 SU1 which also gives resitance to Xenobiotics.

Table A describes resistancies for the following crops: Maize, wheat, barley, soy, potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, grapes, pome fruits, Brassica vegetables, Oil Seed rape, sugarcane, cotton, banana, melons, sugarbeet-beetroot, sunflowers.

The insecticidal and/or acaricidal effect of the method according to the invention may become apparent directly, i.e in a destruction of the pests which occurs immediately or only after some time has elapsed, for example, during codysis(?WdL), or indirectly, for example as a reduced oviposition and/or hatching rate, the good action corresponding to a destruction rate (mortality) of at least 40-50%".

The application was filed 14 January 1999.

Title of the Patent: The use of Neonicodinoids on transgenic plants.

End.
Wytze


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Date: 18 Dec 1999 23:43:56 U
From: rickved@bellsouth.net

Book: Feudalism – Alias American Capitalism

MONSATAN AND FRIENDS

There is great book on the terror of capitalism at the following website: http://users.uniserve.com/~synergy/welcome.html

Everything below this line was cut and pasted from the first page of the website.

..................

Feudalism – Alias American Capitalism

Reasons to Read the Book

The aim of the book is to provide enough shocking facts about the manipulative practices of America's power elite, that readers will be motivated (i.e., made angry enough) to take part in efforts to bring the richest 1% under control, ...before they impoverish the planet and destroy the biosphere.

Unless you are aware of just how and why the richest 1% in America are directly responsible for the nation's declining quality of life, you will probably benefit greatly from the facts and analytical perspectives offered in this book.

Some of the issues covered in the book are listed below:

  1. why the number of American billionaires suddenly doubled in 1986, quadrupled by 1987, and by 1990 was nearly eight-fold!!...while at the same time, the number of soup kitchens and street beggars increased dramatically throughout the country

  2. how and why the richest 1 (one ) percent have come to own more wealth than the combined wealth of the bottom 90 (ninety) percent

  3. why the elected Congress continues to pass discriminating tax shelter laws that make the rich richer and the poor poorer

  4. why and how voters have been left with less influence than lobbyists why so many of America's politicians can openly break the law ...but remain virtually immune from prosecution

  5. why Wall Street has been preoccupied with leveraged buyouts and mergers, and how they are fleecing the country

  6. why the price of housing has increased to the extent that owning a home is no longer an expectation for many

  7. why workers' wages are steadily dropping, and why America's manufacturing plants continue to close down

  8. why the baby boomers may not have a pension when they retire

  9. why the education system is graduating functional illiterates

  10. why 200 American banks and 226 Savings and Loan thrift institutions (S&L's) failed in 1988 alone

  11. why and how the media is being used to misinform the public

  12. why the American government befriends so many dictators

  13. why the American Dream of the 50's has turned into the American Nightmare of the 80's

  14. why the defense budgets are so huge, ...but still get passed

  15. why a Hollywood actor and a small-town peanut farmer were elected to the highest office

  16. why America has sold military weapons to both Iran and Iraq

  17. why the Allies have helped Israel to forcibly eject Palestinians from land that they (the Palestinians) had occupied for at least the past two thousand years

The items above are just a sample; there is much much more at: http://users.uniserve.com/~synergy/welcome.html


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Date: 19 Dec 1999 13:44:34 U
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

Not directly GM but this article is an excellent insite into intellectual property rights and access for the poor to the new tecnologies (aids medication). To stifle research with patents is one thing. To deny increasing numbers of the developing world access to the latest medication is surely scandal beyond comparison. It's good for votes and donations though, as Mr Gore seems to be finding out, please read. If only the Lion would wake up. Jim Mc Nulty

How drug giants let millions die of Aids

Revealed: Ed Vulliamy reports from Washington, The Observer, UK 19/12/99
http://www.newsunlimited.co.uk/observer/uk_news/story/0,3879,115672,00.html

Revealed: Ed Vulliamy reports from Washington on how the pursuit of profit by Western companies - and their political allies - stalled South Africa's fight against HIV, and sees the tragic cost in the townships

They came to bury their dead at the usual time: on Saturday morning, as the early sun caught the smoke rising from broilers in the marketplace cooking up the goats' heads.

The cemetery is a scrap of land between Khayelitsha and Nyanga, two sprawls of township shacks and dust hidden 'behind the mountain', as they say, from Cape Town and the turquoise ocean.

This morning, mourners lay 27 young people, mostly women, into hurriedly dug graves. They died, says Melvyn Mbulawa - burying his 21-year-old daughter Joyful - 'of cancer'. Others describe the cause of death as 'That Thing'.

Newspaper advertisements say either 'short illness' or 'long illness'. But everyone knows this was no cancer. The dead were just another tiny crop in the savage harvest that will reap the lives of millions in South Africa, and tens of millions across the continent. The scourge of Aids.

Mbulawa winces, kicks a stone, wipes the sweat of sorrow from his brow. 'She was like a little doll at the end,' he says quietly, 'thin like sticks.'

In the wider world, the scale of the Aids crisis in Africa is well known. Up to 80 per cent of those in the world dying of Aids are in sub-Sarahan Africa.

There are 22 million HIV positive cases in Africa - 65 per cent of those across the planet. One in seven new cases is in South Africa, where the rate is rising fastest. There are townships where the death rate from Aids is higher than the birth rate, communities that will in time disappear. It is an apocalypse, the holocaust plague of the next century

What has remained hidden until now, however, are the lengths to which pharmaceutical companies and their political allies seem prepared to go in refusing to confront and treat this pandemic, until their ability to ensure vast profits is guaranteed.

With a bundle of exclusively obtained documents, today The Observer lays bare a cabal in Washington DC, which on the face of it toyed cynically not just with a premium on profit, but with political campaign contributions and personal careers, putting at risk millions of lives among the poorest and most defenceless people on earth.

That cabal comprises some of the most powerful drugs companies in the US and Britain, whose purchasing power has bought up research funded by the US taxpayer to treat Aids. They are not only withholding their help but are engaged in legal action to stop South Africa from treating its millions of HIV sufferers.

It also embraces a cosy triangle of big-time Washington wheeler-dealers: Vice President (and would-be President) Al Gore, White House Chief of Staff John Podesta (likely to retain the office in a Gore administration) and his brother, Anthony Podesta - point-man in Washington for the most powerful lobby in town, that of the pharmaceutical barons.

Between them, these three men and their friends in the big drug companies' lobby have put South Africa's (and other nations') desperate attempts to combat Aids on hold, while millions stand to die.

For the people who live in the shanties of Khayelitsha and Nyanga, the big problem, apartheid, is gone. The shacks proudly bear the flag of Nelson Mandela's South Africa. Yet this is still a land of guns, liquor, despair and violence.

Violence against women is a way of life; the word 'rape' is barely used, rather 'initiation'. The victims are usually about 12 or 13.

Such depravity is one of the reasons why the African National Congress authorities have built a new Aids and TB clinic in the heart of Khayelitsha. Here, Eric Goemaere of Medecins Sans Frontieres has set up shop.

Goemaere, embarking on the most daunting project of his career on misery's front lines, estimates that 60,000 children will be born HIV-positive each year in this area, and that most will die within five years.

Recent UN figures show that the number of women with Aids in Africa has now overtaken that of men. This is partly to do with social habits, explains Goemare: there's a belief afoot that sex with a virgin is a cure for Aids in men.

Then there's the fact that HIV transmits more easily from men to women than vice-versa, 'coupled with the number of vaginal lacerations suffered by women during ritual group sex and violent sex in the home'.

Once patients are HIV-positive, they become more susceptible to tuberculosis, which in turn complicates the treatment for HIV. Except that there is no treatment for HIV in South Africa - because of the pharmaceutical lobby and its friends in politics.

In 1997 the South African government passed a law setting up, among other things, a marketplace for medicines based on affordable prices. Clause 15c relied on two practices agreed under the World Trade Organisation's guidelines.

One, compulsory licensing, allows businesses in a country in a state of emergency to manufacture generic products paying only a royalty to the patent owner. The second, parallel importing, lets a nation import drugs made more cheaply in one country than in another.

Patent rights for the HIV cocktail would cost the South African health service an inconceivable $10,000 per Aids patient. Using the mechanisms under Clause 15c would reduce the costs by between 50 and 90 per cent.

But the legislation was labelled 'piracy' by Pharma - the Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America. This is a formidable alliance of the nation's 100 biggest drugs companies. They claimed the South African law would violate patents and undermine profits on which research depended.

For a battle against a government led by the world's most popular leader, Pharma needed political clout, and chose a consultancy called Podesta.Com.

It chose well. What was formerly Podesta Associates was founded by two brothers from Chicago, John and Anthony, and rated by Washingtonian magazine among the top 20 lobbying groups in the capital.

Both men were heavy-hitting Democrats, both had the President's ear and were especially close to Gore. Both were members of President Clinton's transition team when he took office in 1992. John remained at the White House, later becoming Chief of Staff, while Tony streamlined the company. 'We Help You Change Outcomes' was his slogan.

The Clinton administration, with John Podesta as Chief of Staff, went to war over South Africa's anti-Aids drive. Trade Representative Charlene Barshevsky denied South Africa tariff breaks on its exports to the US. Gore told Nelson Mandela to his face that the US would not tolerate the legislation.

South Africa refused to back down, and the pharmaceutical companies intervened directly. They sued: led by Pharma, the massive Bristol Myers Squibb from the US, Britain's SmithKline Beecham and Glaxo (through its South African subsiduary), Germany's Bayer, Roche of Switzerland, France's Rhne-Poulenc and a host of others.

The choice of 'First Respondent' and principal defendant, at the top of the list, was brazenly defiant: 'The President of South Africa, the Honorable Mr N. R. Mandela N.O.' It had been some years since Mandela was faced with a legal charge.

The South African Bill, claimed the writ, 'deprives owners of intellectual property in respect of pharmaceutical products'. The man who helped draw up the law, special health adviser Ian Robert, retorts: 'We never intend or intended, and never will abrogate patent rights'.

Gore was now embarking on his campaign to become President. His impartiality in espousing Pharma's cause over the South African legislation was thrown into doubt by the millions of dollars received in campaign contributions brokered by his own chief of staff's brother - from Pharma and the companies suing Mandela and South Africa.

Meanwhile, the US-South African binational commission continued to meet regularly, to handle trade-related business between the two countries.

Leading the talks were the Deputy President of South Africa, Thabo Mbeki (now President), and his opposite number, Gore. For 18 months, Mbeki urged and pleaded with Gore to intervene on behalf of his government and its struggle against HIV.

Gore not only refused to help - he appears, as one insider puts it, to have repeatedly 'put intense pressure on Mbeki to drop the legislation and comply with the drug companies'. Sources have told The Observer that in these talks Gore's team aimed straight for South Africa's raw nerve - the high wire along which the ANC government has to walk - saying that its stance on Aids drugs would 'jeopardise foreign investment'.

On 30 April, 1998, the US placed South Africa on the '301 Watch List', usually a preparation for economic sanctions. Congressman Rodney Frelinghuysen of New Jersey [where Bristol Myers is based] introduced a provision into the Foreign Operations [Aid] Bill to cut off all aid to South Africa until Mandela's proposals were dropped.

That Pharma was prodding Frelinghuysen is evident from internal documents obtained by The Observer , which capture the flavour of the campaign to defy Mandela.

At the end of last year, officials in the US embassy in Pretoria reacted against Frelinghuysen's legislation. The Observer has learnt that Millard Arnold, minister councillor for commercial affairs at the embassy, protested to his superiors and told the South Africans that the Foreign Operations law and the drug companies were 'not a reflection of America's position'.

According to one US government source, staff were embarrassed. 'We felt we could not do this to these people', said the source.

This is how Pharma's director, Tara Lichtenfels, reacted, in a letter of 10 November to Frelinghuysen, obtained by The Observer : 'We are disappointed to learn of recent comments made by US embassy personnel in Pretoria with regard to your legislation. It... indicates an impertinent disregard for the democratic process Americans hold dear and so vigorously champion around the world.'

On that same day, Frelinghuysen fired off an angry letter to US Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, also obtained by The Observer , saying he was 'seriously concerned about Mr Arnold's remarks' and demanding a reiteration of US policy to the South Africans.

Three days later, Barbara Larkin, Albright's assistant secretary for legislative affairs, wrote to House Speaker Bob Livingston, promising that 'the administration will pursue this issue vigorously'.

On 5 February this year, Larkin assured Frelinghuysen that 'we are making use of the full panoply of leverage in our arsenal to persuade the South African government to change its law'.

An attached report by the State Department confirms that it is acting 'with the full support of pharmaceutical industry representatives'. The report, obtained by The Observer , goes on to describe how the US embassy in Pretoria courted the Swiss and EU member embassies to interest them in a 'joint effort' against South Africa.

The effort bore immediate fruit. The report reveals that French President Jaques Chirac 'raised France's concerns' during a state visit, 'and that the Swiss and German presidents also raised the issue privately with Deputy President Mbeki'.

Britain, meanwhile, cut a clueless figure. Although Glaxo Wellcome was to the fore in suing Mandela, a letter from Andy Pearce, First Secretary at the British embassy in Pretoria, to the Department of Trade and Industry in London and his counterpart at the US embassy reports that [the then] Health Minister Frank Dobson 'did not have a very detailed discussion with his South African counterpart', and that 'the whole issue remains thoroughly confused'. Pearce is, however, 'conscious that Sir Richard Sykes of Glaxo Wellcome is due to visit South Africa shortly'.

The EU was forthright in joining the Americans. Commission Vice-President Leon Brittan write directly to Mbeki to express his 'concern that the new law might conflict with the objectives of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement'. Gore hit the campaign trail, beset by a carefully co-ordinated campaign of demonstrations by Aids activists.

On 17 September, Gore responded to the pressure. He about-turned, saying that he accepted the principle of compulsory licensing and parallel importing. His patron, master of the volte-face President Bill Clinton, followed suit at the World Trade Organisation meeting in Seattle.

The pharmaceutical companies quickly found another Democrat to back: major industry figures suddenly appeared prominently on the list of donors to Gore's challenger Bill Bradley. 'I am not afraid', retorted an indignant Al Gore, 'to stand up to the pharmaceutical industry.'

But the lawsuit remains on hold. A Pharma spokesman said: 'We still regard the legislation as an abrogation of intellectual property, and in that sense the case is suspended, but still there.' Strengthened by its Nobel Prize, Medecins Sans Frontieres now counters the drug companies with its timely Access to Essential Medicines Campaign for worldwide access to life-saving drugs.

Former Manhattan advertising man Daniel Berman leads its drive. From Geneva, he said last week that the drug companies and consultancies divided the market into the lucrative territories of America, Europe and Japan and what is known as 'Rest-of-World'.

He said: 'The responsibility is to the shareholders and no one else. If you were to try and raise the question of Aids in Africa, or similar, they'd look at you like you were from another planet.'

Berman's calculations are that, of 1,300 new medicines marketed between 1975 and 19 only 13 cover diseases that afflict the Third World.

In the shanty, Goemaere has persuaded 85 per cent of pregnant women in his district to come forward for HIV testing.

But he asked: 'What is the point of pleading with thousands of women to come and find out that they and their children are going to die, if I then have to say that I have no drugs to do anything about it?'


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Date: 20 Dec 1999 16:57:01 U
From: MichaelP papadop@peak.org

Correspondence between Bruce Martin and Dr. Pusztai

Thanks Bruce- I'm networking this one

This is a letter to and the reply I received from Dr Arpad Pusatai. He says it all.
Bruce

Sections:
Bruce Martin wrote:
Dr. Pusztai's reply

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: [Fwd: [Fwd: FDA Hearings Oakland CA USA]]
Date: Mon, 20 Dec 1999 20:55:05 +0000
From: Arpad Pusztai A.Pusztai@freenet.co.uk
To: clarity1@hypersurf.com

Bruce Martin wrote:

Dr Pusztai

I attended hearings today in Oakland CA. by the FDA regarding the sfaety and proposed labeling of GMO in human and animal food. I was amazed at the way these "public" hearings were conducted. The first panel had six people 4 were blatantly pro-industry and came from universities that have received major endowments from Monsanto and Novartis. the other two were outspoken about the potential risks and uncertainties of this new genetic manipulation of plants.

The woman from UC Berkeley Dr Susanne Huttner stated that there was no difference between the traditional hybridizations and showed the ancestors of the modern tomato which she said was a toxic plant. She went on to say that not a single case of harm has been recorded and that this new technology is safe and should not be segregated or labelled as different.

In the afternoon 2 minute slots were given for public testimony. The bio tech companies had got out their people an it was about 80% of the comments that were opposed to any restrictions labeling or change in the current 1992 laws that were written by a current Monsanto executive.

The reason i am writing is Martina McGloughlin from UC Davis Biotechnology program was very disrespectful of any one who opposes GE foods and said your study "only proved rats don't like to eat cold potatoes."

Why is someone in the western USA so angry and libelous of you? She sounded scottish so maybe you know who she is.

I am afraid the bio-tech companies have won. The FDA is so damn sure of themselves that this stuff is safe and needs no segregation or labeling.

What is you opinion?

Sincerely looking for truth
Bruce Martin, oakland CA USA

Dr. Pusztai's reply

Dear Bruce Martin,

Thanks for your e-mail. Unfortunately, the proceedings of these FDA events were exactly the same in Chicago and Washington and now, from your report, in Oakland. However, no amount of propaganda will remove the dangers associated with GM-food. As you said that the FDA had won. You must understand that this is one of the main strategies of this game. You must sow the seeds of inevitability of the GM-future in the minds of the people and show that they will be powerless to oppose it.

You asked for my opinion. So, please, see what happened in Europe; none of our supermarkets are selling GM-food while in August 1998 their shelves were full. Consumer power can be awesome and so it should be. I am not against GM-crops provided that they are properly and transparently researched annd shown to be safe BEFORE they are accepted into the food chain (including animal feeds).

The post-hoc argument that nobody has so far been harmed in the US by eating it is a stupid argument. How would they know it? Do they expect people to drop dead or what? Is there any possibility of monitoring like you would do in a proper double-blind trial with drugs when most of the GM-stuff is mixed with non-GM. I am afraid, you (mainly the Americans) have been conned into accepting something that is at best untested and unknown but at worst very dangerous. What will your children say to you in 20-30 years' time if they have been harmed? The long-term consequences of this technology are unpredictable and IRREVERSIBLE

As far as my "critics" go, I am quite used to it. There has been so many libellous and cruel things have been said about me, most of them deliberately and without ever bothering even to keep up the appearance of fairness, that what your Martina (she is most likely to be of Irish descent from her name) said is quite innocuous in comparison.

Please, do not be taken in by FDA, Monsanto, etc propaganda. Remember, if you can be convinced this way, this is still much cheaper for them than to do proper studies which would cost hundreds of millions of dollars. Propaganda must be exposed what it exactly is. There are so three papers on the biological testing of GM-foodstuffs published in peer-reviewed international scientific journals. Two of these are from me; rely on them because these are scientific facts and not propaganda leaflets.

Best regards
Arpad Pusztai


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Date: 21 Dec 1999 06:52:15 U
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

FOCUS-Monsanto withdraws Delta & Pine Land merger

ST. LOUIS, Mo., Dec 20 (Reuters)

Monsanto Co. (MTC) said Monday it had withdrawn its merger approval filing for its merger with cotton seed breeder Delta and Pine Land Co. (DLP) due to delays in the anti-trust review and demands by the U.S. Department of Justice.

"We worked in good faith for over a year with the DOJ to address their concerns and complete a merger that maintained competition in the sale of cottonseed. Unfortunately, we were unable to come to an understanding that would have let us to go forward with this transaction," Hendrik Verfaillie, president and chief operating officer of Monsanto, said in a news release.

"While the withdrawal of the filing does not preclude additional efforts with the (Justice) Department, we cannot be optimistic that they will succeed," he added. Officials at Scott, Miss.-based Delta could not be reached for comment. Monsanto said the two companies will be meeting to discuss certain issues including a merger termination fee associated with the decision.

Monsanto had agreed to buy Delta in May 1998 in a deal valued then at $1.9 billion, but it had been mired in a lengthy antitrust review process.

In August, the Justice Department had issued a civil investigative demand (CIV), which is similar to a subpoena - asking for more information to determine whether the companies had conversations that lessened competition in the cottonseed market.

"Basically I think that the antitrust issues were bigger than people initially thought," Christine McCracken, agribusiness analyst with Midwest Research, said.

McCracken said there were still likely suitors for Delta including the French-German life sciences company Aventis and Midland, Mich.-based Dow Chemical Co.

Earlier today shares of Delta dropped near a 52-week low after Monsanto's merge announcement with Pharmacia & Upjohn Inc. (PNU) raised concerns among analysts that Monsanto would call off its deal to buy Delta.

Delta's stock closed off 1 at 16-3/16 and Monsanto's stock closed off 5-1/8 at 36-5/8 on the New York Stock Exchange.

REUTERS


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Date: 21 Dec 1999 16:03:55 U
From: wytze geno@zap.a2000.nl

Fw: New-at-ERS (Ag Income and Finance; Food Insecurity)

Jack Harrison wrote:

New materials, listed below, have been added to the website of USDA's Economic Research Service (ERS), http://www.econ.ag.gov/new-at-ers

To subscribe or unsubscribe to the New-at-ERS mailing list, go to: http://www.econ.ag.gov/whatsnew/subscribe


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Date: 22 Dec 1999 06:54:59 U
From: jim@niall7.demon.co.uk

GM-free canteen for Monsanto staff

By James Meikle, Wednesday December 22, 1999

Caterers have delivered Monsanto the final insult by banning genetically modified food from the GM giant's own staff canteen "in response to concern raised by our customers."

Anti-GM campaigners Friends of the Earth gleefully welcomed the vote of "no confidence" in the new technology while Monsanto, already reeling from worldwide financial fears for its GM future, complained that the decision removed choice for its employees.

The canteen at Monsanto's main offices in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, is run by an outside contractor Sutcliffe Catering, part of Granada Food Services. In a statement to customers, Mike Batchelor, quality systems manager of Granada , said it was working "to remove, as far as is practicable, GM soya and maize from all food products served in our restaurant."

It would continue to sell products such as confectionary that were packaged and labelled by manufacturers as having GM ingredients, "where it is appropriate". Mr Batchelor added the step had been taken "to ensure you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve".

Adrian Bebb, food campaigner for FoE, said: "The public has made its concerns about GM ingredients very clear. Now it appears that even Monsanto's own catering firm has no confidence in this new technology." He said caterers and manufacturers must go further to ensure they did not sell meat and dairy products from animals raised on GM animal feed.

Tony Combes, director of corporate affairs for Monsanto in Britain, denied any suggestion the decision was embarrassing. Granada had a blanket policy. "This has nothing to do with the fact that they are running Monsanto's canteen. You go to any outside catering company and you will see the same thing."

At Monsanto's Cambridge offices, the canteen was run in-house and there was no ban on GM food.

"We believe in choice. At our Cambridge restaurant the notice says some products "may contain GMOs" because our staff are happy to eat foods sprayed with fewer chemicals."


Top PreviousFront Page

Date: Tue, 21 Dec 1999 18:26:05 -0500 (EST)
From: Rural Advancement Foundation Intl rafi@rafi.org

Rural Advancement Foundation International
Geno-Types
21 December 1999
http://www.rafi.org

Pharma-gedon

Sections:
Shotgun Marriage?
Upjohn Doe?
Suisidekick?
GM Outs?
Implausible Denial:

What do you get when you make a GM cross of Pharmacia-Upjohn and Monsanto?

Pharma-gedon*

Monsanto terminates itself. No surprises in No-Name $27 billion merger. Move heralds pharmaceutical industry strategy to distance itself from GM food flop.

Shotgun Marriage?

Monsanto's Sunday night announcement that it will merge with Pharmacia-Upjohn ends 20 months of speculation that the agbiotech monolith would either be broken up or married off. Faced with a huge debt load following $8.5 billion in agricultural input acquisitions; endless lawsuits claiming damages from its genetically-modified seeds; and plummeting share value and seed sales as producers and consumers back away from GM products, Monsanto had no choice but to seek protection in a larger enterprise.

Further evidence of its crumbling agbiotech future, Monsanto announced yesterday that it would drop its ill-fated bid to acquire Delta & Pine Land Co. (D), the world's largest cotton seed company and the co-owner (with the US Department of Agriculture) of the prototype Terminator patent. Jilted after 18 months, D is now threatening to sue Monsanto for using regulatory hurdles as an excuse to drop the acquisition and to avoid paying a $81 million break-up fee (the penalty fee if Monsanto failed to acquire D by the end of 1999).

There is a good possibility that the Pharmacia-Upjohn and Monsanto deal will itself fall through. In June 1998, American Home Products agreed to hitch up with Monsanto but the deal went sour during that summer. Since then, the St. Louis, Missouri company has been seen stepping out with almost every eligible Life Industry Major including Du Pont (Wilmington, USA) and Novartis (Basel, Switzerland). According to press reports, Pharmacia-Upjohn will likely attract competing bids from other suitors.

When Novartis announced last month that it would spin-off its huge agbiotech division in a new venture with most (but not all) of Astra-Zeneca's (Sweden/UK) agchemical and seeds activities, Monsanto's options narrowed. Although DuPont was obviously interested, most analysts concurred that the pesticides and seeds monopoly that would be created by a marriage with Monsanto would be too much even for the jaundiced U.S. Justice Department. With Novartis and DuPont out, Hoechst (Germany) and Rhone-Poulenc (France) newly united as Aventis, and Pfizer and American Home Products competing for Warner Lambert Co., Monsanto was obliged to rummage through the Gene Giants' "B" team.

Upjohn Doe?

Although the soon-to-be-weds have yet to decide on a name for their venture, they will retain the name "Monsanto" for their agricultural activities -which will become a separate legal entity with 80% of the stock still held by the fused enterprise. The most surprising aspect of the deal is the decision to keep the Monsanto name. Tainted by Terminator, blighted by biotech backlash, and drowning in a rising tide of consumer opposition to genetically engineered crops and foods, it's hard to imagine a less popular corporate identity in 1999.

The Monsanto name is clearly a liability, so it's difficult to understand why Pharmacia-Upjohn didn't insist on elimination of the Monsanto monniker as a pre-condition for the merger. Indeed, shares of both companies fell after the announced merger, and industry analysts attribute the slide to investor disappointment that the company would preserve the flagging agbiotech business.

Perhaps the new entity shouldn't be overhasty in adopting a new name. Until they can figure out what to do about the lawsuits, Terminator and Traitor technologies, and the vestiges of the first generation of GM crops, the best strategy may be to adopt a low profile. RAFI suggests that a subtle, no-frills name such as "Upjohn Doe" with 'no fixed address' might best serve company shareholders.

Suisidekick?

When Novartis and AstraZeneca united their agricultural programs a few weeks ago, they decided to call it Syngenta. If Pharmacia-Upjohn shoulders Monsanto's Traitor Tech and $6 billion debt burden, they could be known as SuiSidekicks or maybe Pharma-gedon is closer to the mark. SuiSidekicks reflects the company's notoriety for developing suicide seeds, and plants whose genetic traits can be turned on and off with a shower of proprietary chemicals (Traitor Tech).

But Pharma-gedon captures the real essence of the merger. After all, it's the drug companies that are the dominant force in the colossal consolidation trends. The pharma titans clearly want to distance themselves from the less profitable and extremely controversial ag biotech scene.

GM Outs?

This time last year, RAFI would have predicted that the Gene Giants would continue to integrate human health care and agricultural industries into a common Life Industry. The technology and the patent control mechanisms are very close and the long-term market opportunity for "nutriceuticals" and "functional foods" seemed to guarantee the unification of the two industrial segments.

But now that the producer/consumer rebellion has crossed the Atlantic, the pharmaceutical industry wants to distance itself from the first generation of agricultural biotech products. Understandably, they are afraid that their own GM drugs will be tarred with the same brush if they have to defend GM foods.

Implausible Denial:

Does this represent a major strategic shift and a collapse of the life industry model? Not likely. It's a tactical adjustment and recognition that the first generation GMOs were scientifically sloppy and introduced ineptly. Producers and consumers see that the products have little to offer for the risks they require. It is impossible to make the marketing of seeds that can survive your own herbicides seem anything but self-serving.

The second generation looks no more likely to win favor. Biotech companies are moving from input traits (like herbicide-tolerance)to output traits such as dry matter content and transportability. The second generation traits may reduce costs for food processors but, again, offer little or nothing to farmers o or consumers. RAFI predicts that generation two GMOs will also flop. Pharmaceutical companies are looking up the pipeline and have concluded that the next half-decade or so of agricultural biotechnology is fraught with far too much risk.

Accordingly, they'll keep the ag side of their interests at arm's length. In the long run, they won't drop agbiotech altogether because the synergies are just too lucrative to abandon. The recent moves by Novartis, AstraZeneca, and Pharmacia-Upjohn are belated – but implausible – attempts to give the Gene Giants safe shelter as the roof caves in on the GM food market.

* In 1999, Brewster Kneen, a well-known and much-respected Canadian author and agricultural activist wrote Farmagedon, a brilliant and thoughtful analysis of the impact of biotechnology on agriculture. We happily acknowledge that his title is the inspiration for our suggestion for a new name for Pharmacia-Upjohn/Monsanto and we commend his book to readers. The book can be obtained from The Rams Horn, S-6, C-27 Rural Route 1, Sorrento, BC, V0E 2W0 Canada. Email: ramshorn@ramshorn.bc.ca

Happy Holidays from RAFI! Please see our holiday cartoon on the RAFI web site: http://www.rafi.org/web/news.shtml