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Date:

May 23, 2001

Subject:

World Congress, Fanatics, CSPI, BIOThailand, Burried Rice,

 


AGBIOVIEW: World Congress, Fanatics, CSPI,<br /> BIOThailand

color="#000000">       



color="#000000">Date: color="#000000">   size="-4" color="#000000">May 21 2001 11:02:36 EDT face="Times" size="-4" color="#000000">

color="#000000">From: color="#000000">   size="-4" color="#000000">AgBioView
<AgBioView-owner@listbot.com>

color="#000000">Subject: color="#000000">       
AGBIOVIEW:
World Congress, Fanatics, CSPI, BIOThailand, Burried Rice, Organics,
Genetic ID, Argentin
color="#000000">





The World Congress

http://www.worldagforum.org



Watch it live NOW at http://www.umkc.edu/is/mts/waf2001.



The second World Congress -- May 20 to 22, 2001 in St. Louis -- will
bring

together experts from production, supply, technology, government,

academia, transportation, environmental protection and other
disciplines.

Included in discussions will be:



* Global economic and agricultural baseline long-range forecasting

* World calorie and nutrition demands -- and implications for food
stocks,

trade and consumer trends

* Technology priorities and funding, both agricultural and related

disciplines

* Sustainability and environmental considerations

* Government policies affecting agriculture and its support
systems



The agenda can be see at

http://www.worldagforum.org/congress2001/agenda.html.



To view a live streaming video link, go to

http://www.umkc.edu/is/mts/waf2001.

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++ >


Date:  May 16 2001 21:19:27 EDT 

From:  "terry hopkin"
<a0felan3@hotmail.com> 

Subject:  source fanatics 



We seem now to be in the grip of folk, more occupied  with the
source,

that is to say, GM, Commercial farming, or Organic, than the safety
of

food and agricultural products. These must be defined as " source
fanatics

". I feel sure that each of the three "sources" have
their fanatics but to

date I have had  viruses sent to my e post address every time I
have dared

to mention any risk involved with ORGANIC FOOD! and from what I can
gather

from others this is pretty normal practice. For love or money, no one
is

allowed to say that organic is not synonymous with safe. One wonders
why?

One wonders why the slightest hint of a chance of a speculation
about

safety in GM or Commercial farming products etc. is taken as gospel
whilst

reasonable doubts about certain aspects of Organic products is
greeted

with , must be proved by scientific peers, or your trying to damage
the

organic food movement.



What I do know is that in my lifetime organic milk had killed more
people

by infecting them with TB than any other Commercial product has done
to

date, and that it was only by opposing pressures from outside, that
herds

were tested and inoculated etc., milk became safe and the slaughter of
my

coevils ceased





Perhaps it is therefore I demand safe food not pretty labels.



terry hopkin      
a0felan3@hotmail.com

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date:  May 17 2001 21:50:15 EDT 

From:  "terry hopkin"
<a0felan3@hotmail.com> 

Subject:  the good the bad and the evil 



Now it seems that we have the GOOD food industry which of course
is;-

guess;- organic and the BAD food industry dominated by the EVIL
chemical

industry.



What I find is that ALL FORMS OF FOOD PRODUCTION HAVE COMMERCIAL

INTERESTS, AND SADLY WILL HAVE THEIR SHARE OF FLIM-FLAM MEN(OR
WOMEN),

AND IT THEY WE HAVE TO CONTROL AND IT IS THEY WHO WILL PRODUCE
UNSAFE

PRODUCTS, REGARDLESS OF SOURCE.



Terry Hopkin a0felan3@hotmail.com 

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date:  May 17 2001 17:56:13 EDT 

From:  "Frances B. Smith"
<fbsmith@consumeralert.org> 

Subject:  White House Proclamation on Biotechnology Week



The White House today issued this Proclamation for National
Biotechnology

Week:



http://www.usnewswire.com/topnews/Current_Releases/0517-165.html



Frances B. Smith

Executive Director

Consumer Alert

1001 Connecticut Ave., NW, Suite 1128

Washington, DC 20036

Phone: 202-467-5809

Fax::202-467-5814

www.consumeralert.org

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date: 19 May 2001 15:17:32 -0000

To: agbioview-owner@listbot.com

From: porphyry@vnet.net

Subject: Re: AGBIOVIEW: CSPI conflict of interest web
site

color="#000000">    

I heartily disagree with the opinions expressed in Alan

McHughen's article "Regarding the CSPI Site Disclosing
Scientist's

Links to Industry" (AgBioView msg# 1077). The CSPI's Web site

(http://www.integrityinscience.org), while interesting to those
few

individuals who happen to have a fetish for politics, is
essentially

useless to both consumers and society generally. The American
people

are far too busy and have far better things to do with their time

than to "demand and require access to [reams and reams] of
accurate

information in order to conduct legitimate debate. This includes

[reams and reams] of information germane to the credibility of

authorities and experts." On those occasions when we do surf the
Web

for politics, the overwhelming majority of us visit the same few
Web

sites over and over (like http://www.democrats.com or

http://www.worldnetdaily.com), Web sites that tend to confirm and

reinforce our own particular views of the world. And we certainly

*don't* need CSPI, or anyone else, to tell us that scientists are

"kept" men. We already know that, for the simple reason
that

scientists are *employees* who work for someone else, not
independent

members of the professions.



If CSPI wants to make a Web site that the American people will

take seriously, instead of giving us a laundry list of the funding

sources of every scientist on the planet, they should simply
provide

us with the scientist's name, employer, declared political party

(obtainable from the voter registration lists that most states now

have made available on the Web), and religious

perspective/affiliation. This will tell us all we need to know
about

whether we should trust them or not. Political web sites like

http://www.democrats.com and http://www.worldnetdaily.com should
then

provide a link to it.



Red

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date: 21 May 2001 04:29:43 -0000

Subject: BioThailand

From: adpowell@pacific.net.sg

To: agbioview-owner@listbot.com

        

Hello everyone:



BIOTEC in Thailand have asked me to pass this on. Maybe it is of

interest. If anybody would like other meetings arranged around the
region

while youare here, let me know and I will try to help.

Andrew Powell



BioThailand 2001: From Research to Market

An event that will showcase the development in biotechnology in

Thailand as well as the rest of the world, to be held at the Queen

Sirikit National Convention Center, Bangkok, Thailand during 7-10
November

2001.



The event aims to update the academic, research and industrial

communities with the new scientific knowledge and innovation as well
as

offers opportunities for participants to develop cooperation with
their

potential alliances.  BioThailand will features three main
activities,

namely: scientific conferences, exhibition and bioalliance. 
Among

scientific meetings scheduled to be held are:

* Conference on Rice Biotechnology

* Conference on Starch Technology

* Symposium on Shrimp Biotechnology

* Seminar on Biotechnology for Sustainable Utilization on
Biological

Resources in the Tropics

* Scientific Symposia on Medical Biotechnology, Food Biotechnology
and

Seed Technology



Seminars sponsored By Japanese Society for the promotion of
Science

include

  JSPS Seminar I       
Improvement of enzyme function with protein

engineering technology

  JSPS Seminar II       Microbial
genetics and microbial diversity in

Southeast Asia

  JSPS Seminar III      Development of
sago industry

  JSPS Seminar IV     Microbial waste
treatment and bio-remediation

  JSPS Seminar V      Development of
nitrogen-fixing symbionts and

mycorrhizae for sustainable agriculture and forestry

  JSPS Seminar VI     Bioactive compounds
from bioresources indigenous to

Southeast Asia

  JSPS Seminar VII    Microbial utilization of
organic waste resources

  JSPS Seminar VIII   Process development for microbial
production of

organic acids, bio-polymers and related food additives



Through the collaboration with various S&T organizations such as
the

Thai Society for Biotechnology (TSB), the Japan Society for the
Promotion

of Science (JSPS), the National Research Council of Thailand (NRCT)
and

the Food Science
and Technology Association of Thailand (FoSTAT),

BioThailand is expected to be the event of the year for all
stakeholders

in biotechnology in Thailand and neighboring countries to come
together;

approximately 700

participants from Thailand is anticipated to attend the scientific

meetings.



As the potential of biotechnology is being recognized all over the

world, this event, thus, should be of interest to the
international

scientific and industrial communities who would like to learn the
current

progress in science as well as to establish linkage with Thai public
and

private sectors.  In this respect, I would be grateful for your
assistance

in bringing BioThailand 2001 to the attention of relevant
organizations in

your contact.  More information and registration can be found in
our

official website: http://biothailand.biotec.or.th. Our BioThailand

Secretariat

remains at your disposal to provide you with assistance and
further

information that you may require.



Yours sincerely,



Ms. Duangkaew Chongkachornphong

BioThailand Secretariat

Tel:  (66-2) 6425322-31

Fax: (66-2) 2488303-5

Email: biothailand@biotec.or.th

URL: http://biothailand.biotec.or.th



>From Andrew D. Powell, Singapore - adpowell@pacific.net.sg

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date: 19 May 2001 17:22:01 -0000

From: igoklany@erols.com

To: agbioview-owner@listbot.com

Subject: Reply to Tom DeGregori regarding burial of GM food

        

Tom,



Perhaps the most definitive method of bringing this to a head is
to

have the farmer and "Save the harvest"  bring a suit
asking for an

injunction against burial of food which has not been determined to
be

unsafe for human consumption on the grounds that burial would be a
crime

against humanity and an abridgment of the human rights of those who
would

receive this shipment and who would otherwise go hungry and suffer
from

undernourishment.



As I have noted in an article I hope is published one of these
days,

the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, passed by the U.N.
General

Assembly in 1948, recognizes the importance of adequate food,
clothing,

and housing. Its Article 25 (1) states that ¤[e]veryone has the
right to a

standard of living adequate for the health and well-being of himself
and

of his family, including food, clothing, housing...Ë (UN 1998).
The

Universal Declaration on the Eradication of Hunger and Malnutrition
is

much more explicit (UN 1974).

It specifies that ¤[e]very man, woman and child has the inalienable
right

to be free from hunger and malnutrition...Ë Thus it could be argued
that

any efforts to block research, development and, where appropriate,

commercialization of GM crops would violate Article 10 of the
Declaration

on Human Rights Defenders which states that ¤No one shall
participate, by

act or failure to act where required, in violating human rights
and

fundamental freedoms...Ë

(UN 1999).



The same argument could perhaps be used to argue against the
burial.

The lawyers on this listserve may have a better notion than I
regarding

whether such an argument might indeed prevail in court.



I. M. Goklany

++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=



Date:  May 18 2001 17:33:55 EDT 

From:  "NLP Wessex"
<nlpwessex@bigfoot.com> 

Subject:  Monsanto wheat yield increases to double with
MAB 



A report in the UK's 'Farming News' 10 May on developments in
marker

assisted breeding (MAB) at Monsanto adds further support to the UN
Food and

Agriculture Organisation's (FAO) positive prognosis on the world's
ability

to feed its growing population until at least 2030 without reliance on
the

use of genetically engineered crops and animals.



In a news release 24 July 2000 on its latest report on global food
needs

and

provision the FAO commented: "Can the world produce enough food
to meet

global demands? The answer is yes, according to a new report from
FAO's

Global Perspectives Studies Unit....[which] forecasts trends in
food,

nutrition and agriculture over the next 30 years."



Although including a brief discussion on their potential benefits
and

risks,

significantly the quantitative analysis carried out by the FAO report
did

not include any
contribution to global food output from GM crops due to

ongoing uncertainties regarding agronomic performance, biosafety
and

consumer acceptance. The positive prognosis of the FAO report is based
on

anticipated conventional crop trends.



In 'Farming News' Monsanto now predicts that its MAB programme
could

generate annual growth rates in wheat yields which are in fact more
than

double those used in the encouraging FAO projections. Moreover, it
seems

increasingly likely that these developments will simultaneously
provide

spin-off applications for conventional breeding programmes in other
major

staple crops.



These advances represent an application of modern biotechnology which
is

likely to achieve public acceptability in a way which those
promoting

methods which incorporate recombinant DNA into farm plants and animals
are

finding increasingly difficult to emulate.



For more information on the FAO report and MAB developments at
Monsanto and

Syngenta see:

http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/monsantomab.htm



NATURAL LAW PARTY WESSEX

nlpwessex@bigfoot.com

www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Date:  May 19 2001 01:22:57 EDT 

From:  Andrew Apel <agbionews@earthlink.net> 

Subject:  Various 



Colleagues,



These are strange days. Activists complain about ¤genetic pollutionË
and

the citizens of Britain and Europe cower in their homes, fearing
the

impending deadly influx of a yellow smog of pollen that threatens to
choke

honeybees, songbirds and the neighbors of farmers... and now a
British

activist group offers a ¤SuperweedsË kit at

http://www.irational.org/cta/superweed/ - see

below.



Natural Reality SuperWeed kit 1.0



SuperWeed Kit 1.0 is a lowtech DIY kit capable of producing a
genetically

mutant superweed, designed to attack corporate monoculture.



Order SuperWeed kit 1.0



SuperWeed kit 1.0 contains a mixture of naturally occuring and
genetically

mutated (GM) Brassica seeds (Oilseed Rape, Wild Radish, Yellow
Mustard,

Shepard╠s Purse). If these seeds are allowed to germinate and
cross

pollinate, a SuperWeed will be created that will be resistant to
current

herbicides (e.g. Roundup┼), thus not only threatening the
profitability of

conventional and GM Brassica crops, but also of herbicide production
and

distribution as well.



If you feel that the authorities are not going to respect the wishes
of

the majority of the population for a ban on GM crops (currently 77%
in

favour of a total ban), you could choose to cultivate and release

SuperWeed 1.0 into the environment (see planting instructions
below).

Alternatively you could choose to create your own propaganda
campaign

threatening biotech corporate interests with this genetic weapon.
Whatever

you do, the threat is often as effective as

the execution.



Without a national ban on GM crops SuperWeeds will occur without
your

intervention anyway. Biotech companies such as Monsanto know this,
but

intend to be one step ahead by developing new gene products to
preserve

their profits. By releasing SuperWeed 1.0 into the environment long
before

biotech companies have a suitable fix, you will contribute to large
losses

in their profitability, thus causing them to reassess their future

strategies and

investments.



We can outpace and outmanouver these biotech giants as we are not
bound by

profits or legislation.



We suggest that you hold this kit until you receive clear signs that
there

will be a national ban on GM crops within the next few months, in
which

case destroy these seeds by burning. If you believe that there will be
no

GM crop ban you could choose to cultivate SuperWeed 1.0 and release
it

into the environment immediately.



If there is no GM crop ban within the next few months, Natural
Reality

will not hesitate to escalate this conflict further by manufacturing
and

distributing SuperWeed Kit 2.0 containing many more offensive
capabilities.



Planting Instructions.



SuperWeed 1.0 will grow in regular garden soil. Sew 50 seeds in 1m
square

and rake into the soil either in Spring when the threat of frost is
past

or late summer/ fall.



You could also grow SuperWeed 1.0 indoors on your kitchen
windowsill.



For further details contact:



email: superweed@irational.org

onted by
activists,

respond by thinking that ignoring the activists will make them go
away.

Some corporations and their industry groups have responded to
activists

with various appeasement

measures, like funding ¤environmental studies,Ë which of course
brings the

activists back for more $$ and more demands. The activists won╠t go
away,

and industry doesn╠t learn.



BIO and the CBI have blown a few $million to persuade consumers
that

biotech is good for drugs, and that plays good with sick folks. BIO
and

the CBI have paid plenty to persuade consumers that biotech is good
for

farmers, which is fine, but consumers don╠t give a **** about
farmers, so

that╠s a waste of cash. The biotech industry has been saying for
years

that biotech will be great for developing countries, but when it comes
to

developing countries, the

intellectual property questions are like pulling teeth because the

activists pretend that the farmers in developing countries don╠t
want

better seed, and don╠t want them to have better seed, and
persuade

lawmakers that better seed is bad for farmers who want better
seed.



A worthy question is, should anyone defend the ag biotech industry if
it

doesn╠t want to defend itself? A reasonable corollary to that
question is,

should anyone defend the ag biotech industry because it╠s
defenseless?



If the industry doesn╠t think the game is worth the candle, then
maybe

it╠s not.



Outrageous: Biotech Rice To Feed Landfill, Not The Hungry



- From: Tom DeGregori <trdegreg@uh.edu>



The Houston Chronicle had a front page story this morning on the plans
for

"nearly 5 million pounds of genetically modified rice -- the
first of its

kind

--  ... to be buried in a landfill next week."

<snip>

Does anyone have any idea what can be done to stop this madness?



Tom DeGregori



-------------------------------------------------



Response to Craig Sams, President, Whole Earth Foods Ltd.



Craig, people are beginning to understand what the ¤organicË
industry is

all about. Organic reduces this, reduces that, reduces something else,
but

the only thing it really ¤reducesË is what it can scare consumers
about.

¤OrganicË is all about food that doesn╠t have stuff in it
that

scaremeongers say is scary. If the organic industry could scare
consumers

about irradiated mutated cabbage seeds (I am waiting for that one),
it

would do that too. But the irradiated vegetable seeds have been out
there

for too long, they╠re beyond recall.



Come on, Craig, admit it. We all want higher agricultural production,
with

a lower impact on the environment, and the benefits of the best and
most

benign technology humans can devise should be used. Admit that the
best

available technology should be used, in production, processing and

packaging. Bend to the facts. If ¤organicË farming were the norm,
as

currently defined, mass hunger and starvation would be the norm, and
you

know it. It would be like in those countries where they╠re too poor
to try

anything other than ¤organicË farming.



Come on, Craig, the ¤organicË industry, if it really wanted to,
could

really embrace all, truly all, of the best and most productive of
modern

technology. You could be a pioneer in your industry if you wanted.



Here╠s a challenge for you, Mr. Sams: make a map of the globe, a map
that

displays where ¤organicË farming predominates, and compare that to
the

health and welfare of the people who live there. You╠d discover
that

¤organicË is easier to preach than to practice.



I realize that you cannot respond honestly to this because of your

corporate, financial and political interests, but I felt a response
to

your post was necessary.



If you believe you can respond honestly in spite of your obvious
conflicts

of interest, I
would also like to know how much money Whole Earth Foods

has contributed, directly or indirectly, to groups which campaign
against

genetically engineered crops.



--------------------------



Colleagues,



On May 5 I sent the following: ¤If Genetic ID wants to deny
profiteering

by helping to foment bogus food scares in concert with Greenpeace
and

other groups, this money-making corporation can issue a press
release

stating that it supports genetic engineering as a safe and
environmentally

sound means for improving agriculture...Ë And I recommended waiting
a week

for some response. More than a week is gone with no response, so
it

appears the allegation has to

stick.



On May 1 I challenged Robert Vint, in his capacity as Genetic Food
Alert

(GFA) National Coordinator, to ¤publicly call on Greenpeace and
Friends of

the Earth to conduct ╬independent, long-term tests╠ of GM foods,Ë
but that

¤callË didn╠t happen that I saw. It appears his group has a
possible

potential allergic reaction to the ¤unknown consequencesË of
objective

research.



This suggests that multinational activist groups cannot respond to

challenges any better than the multinational corporations. But then,
the

former are never challenged by the latter, so who knows?

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



5 Million Lbs of Genetically Modified Rice to Texas Landfill



Planetrice.com

May 18, 2001



Texas rice grower wishes the rice could be used for beneficial
purposes

but understands Aventis' legal concerns



http://www.planetrice.net/newspub/newstory.cfm?id=874

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++



Argentina's Agriculture Secy Places Priority On Biotech



Serena Parker,  17-May-2001 Dow Jones



BUENOS AIRES -(Dow Jones)- The launching of Argentina's National

Advisory Commission on Biotechnology Policy highlights the

Agriculture Secretariat's commitment to promote policies that
lower

costs and increase the competitive nature of the sector,
Agriculture

Secretary Marcelo Regunaga said in a press conference late
Thursday.



"I'm convinced of biotechnology's importance in the future of

Argentine agriculture," Regunaga said. As a major commodities

exporter competing on a global level against countries like the
U.S.

and European Union that subsidize producers, Argentina needs to

reduce production costs.



"Argentina is a country that doesn't subsidize and we're
competing

with countries that do," Regunaga said. Argentina, like the U.S.,
is

one of the countries that has quickly embraced new
biotechnological

advances. "On biotechnology we agree with the U.S., on subsidies
we

don't. I told (U.S. Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman) that there

were some issues that we'd work together on and that there were

others that we'd fight about."



The first genetically modified soy was approved for use in
Argentina

in 1996, and in 1997, 1.75 million hectares were planted with
GM-soy.

For 2000-01, 9.45 million hectares, or 90%, of the soy crop is

GM-soy. In addition, the U.S. Department of Agriculture estimates

approximately 20% of Argentina's 2000-01 corn crop is planted with

biotech varieties. The rapid acceptance of biotechnology by
Argentine

farmers means the country has doubled its grain and oilseed output

over the past ten years, "We think biotechnology has a
fundamental

role in this," Regunaga said.



While boosting yields and acreage planted, biotechnology has also

reduced problems with soil erosion. The use of
glyphosate-resistant

soy allows farmers to spray glyphosate, a less potent herbicide,
on

their fields at a lower environmental cost. No-till practices by

farmers has also helped reduce soil erosion.



The commission will work on fostering research and development,

approving trials and new products, and work on international trade

negotiations toward the elimination of barriers on GM-goods. "We
will

work intensely to make Argentina a country with the best
conditions

for those who want to invest in biotechnology," Regunaga
said.

Regunaga said while consumers won't be represented on the
commission,

the group will work to reinforce all the controls and research
on

adverse health or
environmental impacts.



Next week, Regunaga is traveling to the U.S. for the World

Agricultural Forum of agriculture ministers to be held Sunday
through

Tuesday in Missouri. Regunaga will meet with his E.U. counterparts
as

well as U.S. businessmen to discuss opportunities in the Argentine

agribusiness sector."There is a lack of new business development
in

Argentina," Regunaga said and he will work to encourage it



*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*



USDA Reports On Study On Genetically Modified Canola

Dow Jones 17-May-2001



WASHINGTON -(Dow Jones)- The following is the text of a report on
a

study prepared for the Canola Council of Canada. The report was

produced by a U.S. Department of Agriculture attache and released

Thursday.



Report Highlights: A study prepared for the Canola Council of
Canada

and paid for by GM canola-makers Monsanto and Aventis concludes

Roundup Ready and Liberty Link have made western Canadian farmers

millions of dollars since their introduction in 1997. The study
says

farmers who grew GM canola last year reported an average
additional

net return over conventional varieties of $5.80 an acre. That

translates to a total of almost C$39 million (6.7 million acres of
GM

canola X $5.80). However, the economic model developed for the
study

calculated the profit advantage to be $10.62 per acre.



STUDY CONCLUDES GM CANOLA IS MAKING MORE MONEY THAN CONVENTIONAL



The following is based on a March 15, 2001 Manitoba Co-operator

article. Please note that all values are in Canadian dollar
currency

unless otherwise specified. Genetically modified (GM) crops are

controversial, but a study prepared for the Canola Council of
Canada

and paid for by GM canola-makers Monsanto and Aventis concludes

Roundup Ready and Liberty Link have made western Canadian farmers

millions of dollars since their introduction in 1997.



The direct impact to growers (from 1997 to 2000) has been anywhere

from $144 million up to $249 million.; said Joanne Buth, the
Canola

Council of Canada's vice-president of crop production. And the

indirect impact, including the impact of the crushing industry and

inputs suppliers is anywhere from $58 million to $215 million, for
a

total over that four-year period of up to $464 million. So the
bottom

line of the study is switching from the conventional to the

transgenics, growers have seen higher yields, lower dockage and

better returns. There has been less tillage, less herbicides used,

less fuel (used) and millions of dollars in savings that impact on

the industry.



The study titled &#160;An Agronomic and Economic Assessment of

Transgenic Canola; is based on a survey of 650 Prairie canola

growers, 13 case studies and an economic model. Although there are

five types of GM canola, only Roundup Ready and Liberty Link,
which

last year accounted for around 55% of Western Canada;s canola

production, were included in the study.



Clearfield (formally known as Smart) canola was not included
because

it's not considered transgenic. Its herbicide-resistant traits
were

developed through mutagenesis. The study says farmers who grew GM

canola last year reported an average additional net return over

conventional varieties of $5.80 an acre. That translates to a
total

of almost $39 million (6.7 million acres of GM canola X $5.80).

However, the economic model developed for the study calculated the

profit advantage to be $10.62 per acre.



The results came as no surprise to Ernie Sirski, President of the

Manitoba Canola Growers Association. I actually thought the net

economic return would've been a bit higher than that, he said in
an

interview. The only reason it has gone from zero to 55 or 60%

transgenic in canola is because we're making money with it.
Farmers

don't do things for nothing.



However, Buth said the results did surprise the Canola Council. We

knew there would be some advantage to transgenic canola, but we

didn't expect as much as there is,she said. We knew farmers were

making money but we didn't know how much. Measuring the benefits
in

order to respond to GM critics was one of the reasons for the
study,

Buth said. The
study also shoots down a commonly held belief among

farmers that GM canola is responsible for depressed canola prices

because it has increased production. Buth said while GM canola has

contributed to more acreage, higher yields and increased
production,

it has not affected prices. We looked specifically at the

relationship between Canadian production of canola and the prices
and

when you did the correlation essentially there was no correlation

between the canola production and the prices,she said. That's not
to

say that producers don't adjust their acreage in terms of prices
but

if there is an increase in acreage it doesn't have a great impact
on

the price of canola.



Canadian canola prices generally track soybeans, Buth said. Canada

has never produced more than 8.8 million tonnes of canola - a drop
in

the world's 300 million tonne (mt) vegetable oil market. The study

looked at canola prices, but did not investigate the impact
increased

canola production has on the basis - the difference between the
cash

and future price. One farmer at the meeting told Buth, when
Canadian

farmers produce more canola, buyers widen the basis, resulting in

lower prices to farmers.



The study found GM canola seed costs more the conventional, but

farmers plant less of it. Farmers who plant Roundup Ready canola
also

pay a fee for the transgenic technology. But the study says
farmers

make more money growing GM canola. On average it yielded three

bushels an acre more or 10 per cent higher than conventional

varieties, despite the same use of fertilizer. Dockage on GM
canola

dropped to 3.87% versus 5.14% for conventional. Farmers who grew
GM

tilled less. Fifty percent of the GM growers direct seeded
compared

to 35% of conventional growers.



When you work that our across the acres in the year 2000 that
would

have meant 2.6 million acres with fewer tillage passes, which is

obviously a good-news story in terms of soil conservation and less

use of things like fuel and equipment,Buth said.



Last year, thanks to reduced tillage and less summerfallow, GM

growers cut diesel fuel use by 31.2 million litres saving $13.1

million, Buth said. The study also says planting GM canola in 2000

cut herbicide costs by 40% and reduced herbicide applications by

6,000 tonnes. I like the impact it's (GM canola) having on the

environment - using less tillage and diesel fuel, Sirski said.



Farmers surveyed for the study said the main reason they grew GM

canola was the improved weed control, Buth said. The second reason

cited was improved yields and higher profits. It's interesting to
see

that the guys that chose transgenics were saying it was for better

returns and the ones that were not choosing transgenics were
saying

it was for concerns about (higher) costs,Buth said.



Some may question the study's conclusions because it was funded by

companies that sell GM canola, but Buth said, the Canola Council
of

Canada co-ordinated the research and had input from provincial
canola

growers associations. We wanted to guard against the results being

skewed and make sure the research was objective,she said.



*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*



Protesters Prepare To Upstage Biotech Industry Gathering



- Seth Hettena Associated Press 17-May-2001



DULZURA, Calif. (AP) _ Past the cardboard sign that reads
"Ruckus,"

at the end of a dirt road high in the Jamul mountains, protesters
are

training this week to take to the streets of San Diego during an

upcoming biotech industry convention. The industry insists it is

pioneering new technologies that benefit humanity by fighting
disease

and other health risks, increasing crop yields and eliminating
pests.



Opponents, however, are convinced that biotech companies are

introducing potentially harmful, genetically engineered products
into

homes and farms, placing profits above people.  In the past,
the

Ruckus Society has trained activists who have disrupted global
trade

meetings and political conventions. Now it's preparing for the
annual

convention of the Biotechnology Industry Organization, or BIO, to
be

held June 24-27 in San Diego.



San Diego police are anticipating that thousands of protesters
will

hit the streets
next month.  "We're planning for the worst-case

scenario: That is, thousands of demonstrators, some of whom plan
on

being violent or destructive," Assistant Chief of Police John
Welter

said. "We will not tolerate violations of the law, and we will
arrest

and prosecute. But if they come here to demonstrate lawfully and

peacefully, we want to work with them."  Han Shan, a
spokesman for

the Berkeley-based Ruckus Society, said he did not know how many

people would protest in San Diego. But he hoped the turnout would

surpass the turnout at the 2000 BIO convention in Boston, where

police counted 2,500 demonstrators.



The Ruckus Society believes violence is not the way to build
support

for its cause and distanced itself from the anarchists linked to

chaos at the 1999 World Trade Organization protests in Seattle and

other cities, according to Shan.  "You want to talk about
those

folks, you should find some because you're in the wrong place,"
he

said. "I'm not out there making enemies. I'm out there to change
the

debate."



More than 12,000 industry leaders and executives are expected to

attend what BIO expects will be its biggest convention ever. The

conventions have drawn large but peaceful demonstrations in other

cities over the past three years.  About 90 percent of the

researchers and executives who plan to attend the San Diego

convention are working on cures for cancer, heart disease,

Alzheimer's disease and other conditions, according to BIO
officials.



But people training at the Ruckus Society's BioJustice Action Camp

east of San Diego believe profit-centered biotech firms are also

unleashing genetically modified "frankenfoods" and other
potentially

devastating technologies on the unwitting public.  "We think
there is

another agenda," said 31-year-old Simon Harris of Berkeley,
who

attended the camp. "And that is control."  At past BIO
conventions,

activists have called for an end to the sale of genetically

engineered products and tougher regulation of the industry. They
have

also singled out the practices of individual companies.



Harris said his goal at the upcoming protests will be to "bring
some

sunshine on the biotech industry and make them more accountable
for

what they've been doing."  The 150 people attending the camp
on the

grounds of the Madre Grande Monastery explored the basics of

nonviolent protest: forming blockades, climbing buildings to hang

banners, political theater and tips on how best to deal with tear
gas

fumes. Actor Woody Harrelson, a veteran of California protests,
was

expected to drop by the camp by Saturday.



San Diego police aren't disclosing details of their plan involving

the convention, but Welter said enforcement costs could reach $1

million.  "We have to make sure we don't overreact or
underreact," he

said. "If you overreact, you look like you're limiting freedom
of

speech. If you underreact, people say 'where were the cops?"
'



BIO officials said they were prepared for the protests, which have

had little impact on past meetings, according to Carl Feldbaum,
the

organization's president.  "We have to deal with these folks
as they

come," he said. "The introduction of a technology into a
raucous

democracy is going to create controversies, and that's something
we

have to expect."



Feldbaum, a cancer survivor who says he has directly benefited
from

biotech drugs, believes few protesters know much about the
industry.

"I wish some of the demonstrators would talk to their parents
about

what kind of diseases and conditions the biotech industry has
already

addressed," he said.

*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*-*



DEVELOPING INFRASTRUCTURE FOR BIOTECHNOLOGY



Center for International Development at Harvard University

Brad Mitchell http://www.cid.harvard.edu/cidtech (from Agnet)



The arguments about the pros and cons of agricultural technology -

pesticides, synthetic fertilizers and biotechnology - are widely

known. The Green Revolution is touted by some as being one of the

great accomplishments of modern society and others as one of the

great evils. A distinction is often made between the applications
of

agricultural
technology in developing countries and in developed ones.



Extensive work experience in both developing and developed
countries

shows that there is a strong correlation between the
infrastructure

that surrounds the technology, and the amount of benefit derived
from

that technology. The better developed the infrastructure
(education,

regulations, oversight), the greater the benefits and the lower
the

negative impacts. The less developed the infrastructure, the lower

the benefits and the greater the negative impacts.



The negative impacts of the Green Revolution were not so much a result
of

the

introduced technology, but a result of having an inadequate

infrastructure behind it.

Pesticide poisonings and development of pest resistance were and are
far

more

frequent in countries where extension education and regulation are

under-funded and otherwise inadequate. The result is that the

technology is often blamed for the problems, rather than the fact

that it was introduced into a "market" that was not prepared
for it.

Ten years ago in India, rice growers were experiencing noticeably

different benefits and problems from pesticide use than were
cashew

growers. Since rice is a major crop, the Ministry of Agriculture
had

invested heavily in training and education for rice cultivation.
Rice

growers demonstrated fairly good knowledge of integrated pest

management and safe handling of pesticides. Cashews, however, were
of

little financial consequence nationally, and little such education

was provided to cashew growers. Few could distinguish between a

beneficial insect and the target pest. Many still mixed tanks of

methyl parathion with bare hands. The result was what one would

expect: rice growers benefited economically from the use of

pesticides with few apparent health problems. Cashew growers spent

more money on pesticides than they saved, and they had a
relatively

high incidence of poisoning.



In the debates in this country and elsewhere, there have yet to be
voiced

many

concerns with developing an infrastructure around agricultural

biotechnology, other than warnings of over-regulation. It might be

argued that the world is falling into the same trap with
agricultural

biotechnology as it did with the first Green Revolution, which was
to

introduce a technology without the infrastructure to support its
use.

This problem is of particular concern in developing countries, but

may also be relevant to certain areas of developed countries. Most

applications of agricultural biotechnology in the US have been

targeted towards major crops - corn, wheat, soy, cotton. One
assumes

that extension agents in areas where major crops are grown

extensively are actively educating growers on this new technology.

However, there is considerably less grower education in the
Northeast

on agro-biotechnology. Still, the technology is used here. A corn

grower from New England was recently heard to say that he was
going

to plant Bt corn for a pest against which it is ineffective. This

statement strikingly echoes those of the Indian cashew growers ten

years ago.



Currently, most growers in the Northeast report that their main

source of information on biotech seeds is the seed salesman. As

valuable as advice from salesmen may be, as the sole source of

information, it is dangerous. Salesmen generally work on
commission,

which creates a strong bias against giving any information that
might

curtail the use of a product they sell. Several new chemical
classes

of pesticide have been introduced in the past few years, and

resistance has developed in a very short time. It should be the

responsibility largely of industry representatives to ensure an

adequate educational infrastructure before introducing a
technology

into a country or location.

+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++









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