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Date:

June 25, 2002

Subject:

James Watson, 'Rogue Genes', Prince Charles, Greenpeace, GM Tomato, Patience, Cotton

 

Today in AgBioView: June 26, 2002:

* DNA PIONEER DECRIES OVER-REGULATION OF GENETIC
RESEARCH ON FOOD
* Don't fear 'rogue genes'
* CHARLES RENEWS ATTACK ON GM CROPS
* GREENPEACE CAN'T FACE FACTS
* 'Greenpeace Conclusions On Bt Cotton Incorrect'
* Blessed Are the Poor with Spirit
* Scientists create tomato to reduce cancer risk
* Biotech exporters need patience
* Ag-biotech needs to target consumers!
* Greenpeace's cotton warning
* Re: Greenpeace Cotton Warning Full of Holes

DNA PIONEER DECRIES OVER-REGULATION OF GENETIC
RESEARCH ON FOOD

June 24, 2002
Associated Press (Via Agnet)
By Jay Lindsay

BOSTON- DNA research pioneer Dr. James Watson was cited as
saying after a
speech to the American Seed Trade Association's annual
conference in
Boston on Monday that there was over-regulation of genetic
engineering of
food and blamed activists for raising irrational fears.

Watson, who won the Nobel Prize 50 years ago as co-discoverer
of the shape
of DNA, said genetically engineered food is simply an expansion
of
traditional efforts to breed crops with certain traits, adding, "We've
been breeding new varieties, insect-resistant plants ... in
traditional
ways. We've been changing the food forever. I think it's just this
name
'gene.' Genes are power."

Jeanne Merrill, a Greenpeace campaigner, was quoted as saying,
"We have
these powerful tools to fundamentally alter (food) and we don't
have a
clear understanding of what the effects are," and that genetically
modifying food is unnecessary, and there's nothing natural about
much of
the genetic testing.

Watson was further cited as saying environmental groups, such
as the
Sierra Club and Greenpeace, oppose biotech crops for political
reasons and
aren't interested if tests show the food is healthy, adding, "You
never
win with these guys. Ten people do OK - no, they want a hundred
people,
then they want 10,000 and then they don't want anyone to get
sniffles ever
from eating this stuff. They get bigger memberships if people are
afraid."
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.nationalpost.com/search/site/story.asp?id=98B45140-2
CD4-479D-88E5-DD88062D9B4B


Don't fear 'rogue genes'

Agricultural biotechnology has been carried on safely for centuries,
without a single mishap or injury to any person or ecosystem

National Post
June 21, 2002
By Henry I. Miller

Foes of agricultural biotechnology lambast it as unproven,
untested,
unnatural and uncontrollable, and worry that "rogue genes" in the
modified
crop may contaminate wild (or domesticated) relatives. These
fears are
unfounded.

Those opposed to plants crafted with the newest gene-splicing
techniques
(and food derived from them) gloss over two fundamental points:
Neither
biotechnology nor genetic engineering is new, and consumers,
government
and industry all have extensive -- and positive -- experience with
both of
them.

Early biotechnology -- the application of biological systems to
technical
or industrial processes -- dates back at least to 6000 BC when the
Babylonians used specialized microorganisms in fermentation to
brew
alcoholic beverages. And genetic engineering can be dated from
man's
recognition that animals and crop plants can be selected and bred
to
enhance desired characteristics. In these applications, early
biologists
and agriculturists carried out selection for desired physical traits,
with
poorly understood changes in the organisms' genetic material
occurring
concomitantly.

Putting it another way, "nature" didn't give us seedless grapes and
fungus-resistant strawberries: The genius of farmers and plant
breeders
did. And during the past half-century, better understanding of
genetics at
the molecular level has added to the sophistication of the genetic
improvement of all manner of organisms.

At the risk of mixing metaphors, fears over the movement of "rogue
genes"
is a red herring. Gene flow is ubiquitous. All crop plants have
relatives
somewhere on the Earth, and some gene flow commonly occurs if
the two
populations are grown close together. Gene flow from wild
relatives to
crop plants may even be encouraged by subsistence farmers in
maintaining
the broad genetic base of the varieties that they plant using seed
harvested from an earlier crop: a kind of poor man's genetic
modulation.
Such gene flow does not occur when farmers buy their seeds from
seed
producers, of course, but in that case, gene flow in the other
direction
is still possible, with genes from the cultivated crop ending up in
the
wild relative.

That is most likely to happen if a certain gene(s) from the crop
confers a
selective advantage to the recipient, an occurrence that is
uncommon with
gene-splicing, where most often the added gene places the
recipient at a
selective disadvantage. The worst-case scenario would be gene
transfer
from plants that have been engineered for enhanced resistance to
certain
herbicides, because once the herbicide-tolerance gene has been
transferred
to the wild relative, there will be a strong selection pressure to
maintain it there if the same herbicide is used, making the weedy
wild
relatives more difficult to control. However, it should be
emphasized that
this scenario raises no issues of ecological or food safety; if the
use of
one herbicide were to be compromised, farmers would simply
move on to
another.

Gene transfer is an age-old consideration for farmers. Growing
hundreds of
crops, virtually all of which (save only wild berries) have been
genetically improved, the practitioners of "conventional" agriculture
in
North America have meticulously developed strategies for
preventing pollen
cross-contamination in the field -- when and if it is necessary for
commercial reasons. In order to maintain the highest level of
genetic
purity of plants, distinct varieties of self-pollinated crops such as
wheat, rice, soybean and barley need to be separated by at least
60 feet,
while certain insect-pollinated crops need wider segregation - a
half-mile
for watermelon and a mile for onion, for example.

Canola -- the general term for the genetically improved rapeseed
developed
by Canadian plant breeders a half-century ago -- is a good
example. The
original rapeseed oil, used as both a lubricant and as an edible
oil, was
harmful when ingested because of high levels of a chemical
called erucic
acid. Conventional plant breeding led to the development of
genetic
varieties of rapeseed with low concentrations of erucic acid, and
canola
oil has now become the most commonly consumed oil in Canada.
High-erucic
acid rapeseed oil is still used as a lubricant and plasticizer,
however,
so the high- and low-erucic acid varieties of rapeseed plants must
be
carefully segregated in the field and thereafter. Canadian farmers
and
processors easily and routinely accomplish this.

These applications of conventional biotechnology, or genetic
engineering,
represent scientific, technological, commercial and humanitarian
successes
of monumental proportions. However, the techniques used for
these earlier
successes were relatively crude and recently have been
supplemented, and
in many cases replaced, by "the new biotechnology," a set of
enabling
techniques which make possible genetic modification at the
molecular
level. The prototype of these techniques, variously called
gene-splicing
or genetic modification (GM), is a more precise, better understood
and
more predictable method for altering genetic material than was
possible
previously.

An authoritative 1989 analysis of genetic technologies by the
United
States National Research Council summarized the scientific
consensus:
"With classical techniques of gene transfer, a variable number of
genes
can be transferred, the number depending on the mechanism of
transfer; but
predicting the precise number or the traits that have been
transferred is
difficult, and we cannot always predict the [traits] that will result.
With organisms modified by molecular methods, we are in a
better, if not
perfect, position to predict [their traits]."

The desired "product" of gene-splicing may be the engineered
organism
itself -- for example, bacteria to clean up oil spills, a weakened
virus
used as a vaccine, or a papaya tree that resists viruses -- or it may
be a
biosynthetic product of the cells, such as human insulin produced
in
bacteria, or oil expressed from seeds.

Gene-spliced plants have for several years been grown worldwide
on more
than 100 million acres annually (about 7% of that in Canada), and
more
than 60% of processed foods in the United States contain
ingredients
derived from gene-spliced organisms. There has not been a
single mishap
that resulted in injury to a single person or ecosystem. Thus, both
theory
and experience confirm the extraordinary predictability and safety
of
gene-splicing technology and its products.

The new gene-splicing techniques already have yielded many
important new
research tools and commercial products. They have only begun to
change the
way we do biological research and to increase the choices
available to
farmers, food producers, physicians, and consumers. But
because the new
biotechnology is an extension, or refinement, of the kinds of
genetic
modification that preceded it, perhaps we should think of the
technological era that is upon us as a Brave Old World.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

CHARLES RENEWS ATTACK ON GM CROPS

PA News
By Sam Greenhill
June 25/02 (Via Agnet)

The Prince of Wales tonight was cited as launching another attack
on
genetically modified organisms, saying: "We only have one
planet."

Charles, who earlier this month accused governments of ignoring
the
dangers, was cited as telling a gathering of conservationists,
including
King Constantine of Greece, at a St James's Palace reception that
GMOs
upset the harmony of nature, adding, "We have this one planet.
There are
lots of people out there busily trying to find other ones. Some
people
think that when we have finished with this one we can simply start
again
somewhere else. But I'm not prepared personally to find another
one. It's
important to care for the one we know exists. They will be
re-engineering everything. To me it's absolutely essential that we
operate
husbandry and stewardship of this piece of Earth. I hope we
understand the
vital importance of working in harmony with nature and not against
it. It
seems to me that technology is marvellous as long as it's used
appropriately. We don't have to use it if it's doing damage."
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GREENPEACE CAN'T FACE FACTS

June 25, 2002
Life Sciences Network Media Release
http://www.lifesciencesnetwork.com

Food derived from genetically modified organisms, which has
been approved
for consumption by New Zealanders and Australians, is safe, the
Chairman
of the Life Sciences Network, Dr William Rolleston, said today.

"Greenpeace is scare mongering when they try to persuade
people to the
contrary.

"GM foods are the most thoroughly tested for safety of any new
foods on
the market. It takes at least 9 years to get food from a genetically
engineered plant onto the supermarket shelf. All food derived from
GM are
tested for toxicity and allergenicity and then thoroughly assessed,
by
independent agencies, before consumers get anywhere near
them.

"The proof of the pudding, so to speak, is, despite strenuous
attempts
over the last 15 years to prove otherwise, none of the opponents
have been
able to come up with one sustainable case where an approved
GM plant or
food has actually posed a risk to humans or animals.

"The Life Sciences Network has never approached these issues
blindly,
unlike the opponents of GM. We have consistently argued for
case-by-case
assessment to assure public confidence in the regulatory
process. The
Royal Commission thoroughly examined all the evidence put
forward by
Greenpeace and still came to the conclusion that the regulators
acted
independently and professionally in their duty to preserve the
public
interest.

"No amount of trying to reinvent the facts or the history will change
the
fact that Patrick Moore made a very powerful case to the Royal
Commission
and despite strong cross examination was unshaken in his
testimony.

"As a founder of Greenpeace he is in an unique position to
comment about
the ways in which that once-proud organisation has been
de-railed and led
down the garden path in its misguided campaign against gene
technology,"
concluded Dr Rolleston.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++

'Greenpeace Conclusions On Bt Cotton Incorrect'

Asia Intelligence Wire
June 23, 2002

Academics in China have come forth to trash Greenpeace
campaign against Bt
cottonseeds. The conclusions made by the author of the
Greenpeace report
are incorrect, said Prof Yufa Peng director, Centre for Biosafety
Research, Institute of Plant Protection and Prof Shirong Jia of
Biotechnology Research Institute, Chinese Academy of Agricultural
Sciences
(CAAS), Beijing in a joint statement released by Monsanto.

After carefully reading the report 'A Summary of Research on the
Environmental Impact of Bt Cotton in China' by Dayuan Xue,
Nanjing
Institute of environmental Sciences and published by Greenpeace
earlier
this month, the two scientists in the fields of agricultural
biotechnology
and plant protection in their statement said: The governmental and
private
sector funded research on biosafety were significantly increased
in last
five years and according to the scientific data generated from
these
research the greatest environmental impact of Bt cotton was its
benefit to
the environment in the form of significant reduction (70-80 per
cent) of
the chemical pesticide use. It is known that pesticides used in
cotton
production in China are estimated to be 25 per cent of the total
amount of
pesticides used in all crops. Further, the statement adds it not only
reduced the environmental pollution, but also reduced the rate of
harmful
accident to the human and animals caused by the overuse of
pesticides.

Farmers and scientists in China are currently realizing the benefits
of
using GM insect resistant cotton crops. Risks to beneficial insects
and
the environment are negligible. As of the end of 2001, 13
insect-resistant
transgenic cotton varieties were grown in 12 provinces in China.
Since
most of these provinces belong to Northern China, we take this
areas as
example where cotton is the most important cash crop. The overall
economic
and social benefit is estimated to be more than two billion remnibi.
No
risks to beneficial insects and the environment have been
observed in the
field. Therefore, based on the above facts and other related
findings, we
think that the conclusions made by the author of the report
published by
Greenpeace are incorrect. In fact the report has only collected very
limited research data. A large amount of positive results have not
been
quoted by the author, and many other results have been painted in
a
negative way.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.techcentralstation.com/1051/envirowrapper.jsp?PID=10
51-450&CID=1051-062502A


Blessed Are the Poor with Spirit

Tech Central Station
By Gregory Conko and C.S. Prakash
06/25/2002

This year's UN-sponsored World Food Summit just concluded
with a grim
reminder that the goal of cutting world hunger in half by 2015 set
six
years ago at the first Food Summit still seems far out of reach.
This
time, however, delegates agreed to meet the challenge of
achieving genuine
food security with a very potent tool: agricultural biotechnology.

Biotechnology holds the potential to increase food production,
reduce the
use of synthetic chemical pesticides, and actually make foods
safer and
healthier. Already, farmers in the United States, Canada,
Argentina, South
Africa, and elsewhere have benefited from improvements in
productivity and
reduced use of synthetic pesticides.

The real future of biotechnology, however, lies in addressing the
special
problems faced by farmers in less developed nations. Opponents
of
biotechnology argue that it will forever be the play toy of rich country
agriculture and that it could never help farmers in less developed
nations. But the unanimous agreement by 182 nations that the UN
must
"advance agricultural research and research into new
technologies,
including biotechnology," demonstrates that the poorer countries
of the
world disagree.

Although most commercially available biotech plants were
designed for
farmers in the industrialized world, farmers in less developed
countries
now grow nearly one-quarter of the world's biotech crops on more
than 26
million acres (10.7 million hectares).

The reason is simple. The most common biotech plants were
engineered to
address problems with insects, weeds, and plant diseases. And
farmers in
less developed nations face these problems, too. For example,
farmers in
South Africa and China grow biotech cotton that is resistant to the
major
insect pests. And the Indian government approved it for
commercial
cultivation this spring. South African farmers also grow
insect-resistant
corn as well as soybeans that are engineered to make weed
control easier.

And while this first generation of crops was primarily designed to
improve
farming efficiency, the environmental benefits they offer are
extensive.
The United States Department of Agriculture found that U.S.
farmers
growing biotech corn, cotton, and soybeans reduced the total
volume of
insecticides and herbicides they sprayed by over eight million
pounds per
year. Similar reductions have been seen in Canada with biotech
canola.

In China, where pesticides are typically sprayed on crops by hand,
some
400 to 500 cotton farmers die every year from acute pesticide
poisoning.
But the adoption of biotech cotton varieties has lowered the
amount of
pesticides used by more than 75 percent and reduced the number
of
poisonings by an equivalent amount. South African cotton farmers
have seen
similar benefits.

Perhaps most importantly, the productivity gains generated by
biotech
crops could save millions of acres of sensitive wildlife habitat from
being converted into farmland. The loss and fragmentation of
wildlife
habitats caused by agricultural development in the less developed
countries experiencing the greatest population growth are widely
recognized as among the most serious threats to biodiversity.
Increasing
agricultural productivity is an essential environmental goal, and
would be
much easier in a world where agricultural biotechnology is widely
used.

Fortunately, many biotech varieties have been created specifically
for use
in less developed countries and will soon be ready for
commercialization.
Examples include insect-resistant rice varieties for Asia,
virus-resistant
sweet potatoes for Africa, and virus-resistant papaya for Caribbean
nations. Other crops now in the research pipeline would bring
better
tolerance to temporary drought conditions or extremes of heat and
cold.

In addition, biotechnology offers hope of improving the nutritional
benefits of many foods. Among the most well known is the variety
called
"Golden Rice," genetically enhanced with added beta carotene,
which is
converted to vitamin A by the human body.

And Golden Rice is just one example. Another variety developed by
the same
research team has elevated levels of digestible iron. Scientists at
Tuskegee University in Alabama are enhancing the level of dietary
protein
in sweet potatoes, a common staple crop in sub-Saharan Africa.
There are
even biotech bananas in development that produce vaccines
against cholera
and hepatitis B.

Admittedly, experts recognize that the problem of hunger and
malnutrition
is not caused by a global shortage of food. Political unrest and
corrupt
governments, poor transportation and infrastructure, and, of
course,
poverty, will all need to be addressed if we are to ensure real,
worldwide
food security. But the long-term solution requires generating
greater
yields in the regions where food is needed most, and biotech
crops are
good tools for helping farmers do that.

Although the complexity of biological systems means that some
promised
benefits of biotechnology are many years away, the biggest threat
hungry
populations currently face are restrictive policies stemming from
unwarranted public fears. Scare stories spread by
anti-biotechnology
campaigners have led to the adoption of restrictive policies in
many
countries. But time and again those scares have been proven
wrong.

Mankind has been modifying the genetic makeup of plants for
thousands of
years, often in ways that could have had adverse impacts.
Food-grade
tomatoes and potatoes are routinely bred from wild varieties that
are
toxic to human beings, for example. But plant breeders, biologists,
and
farmers have identified methods to keep potentially dangerous
plants from
entering the food chain.

The choice of World Food Summit delegates is clear. Innovators
must
proceed with caution. But, as a report published by the United
Kingdom's
Royal Society, the National Academies of Science from Brazil,
China,
India, Mexico and the U.S., and the Third World Academy of
Science,
contends, "It is critical that the potential benefits of [biotechnology]
become available to developing countries."

Gregory Conko is Director of Food Safety Policy at the Competitive
Enterprise Institute in Washington, DC, and C.S. Prakash is
Professor of
Plant Molecular Genetics at Tuskegee University in Alabama. The
authors
are co-founders of the AgBioWorld Foundation, based in Auburn,
Alabama.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Scientists create tomato to reduce cancer risk

Yorkshire Post
June 24, 2002 12:15 PM

Scientists have created a tomato that destroys dangerous cancer
triggers.

The tomato, which may protect against prostate cancer, was made
by mistake
by Government researchers.

Scientists at the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and Purdue
University in West Lafayette, Indiana, were trying to develop
late-ripening tomatoes for food processing.

Unexpectedly, they found that the new tomatoes had
three-and-a-half times
the normal level of the cancer-fighting antioxidant lycopene.

Lycopene is one of the pigments that colour tomatoes and other
fruits and
vegetables red, orange or yellow.

In the body, it mops up destructive electrically charged oxygen
molecules
called free radicals that can damage tissue and trigger cancer. A
six-year
study of nearly 48,000 men in 1995 found that those who ate at
least 10
servings each week of foods containing tomatoes or tomato sauce
were 45
per cent less likely to develop prostate cancer.

The Harvard University study also found that four to seven weekly
servings
reduced prostate cancer risk by 20 per cent.

Professor Avtar Handa, a horticultural scientist at Purdue
University,
said: "We were quite pleasantly surprised to find the increase in
lycopene. This is one of the first examples of increasing the
nutritional
value of food through biotechnology. In fact, it may be the first
example
of using biotechnology to increase the nutritional value of a fruit."
Co-researcher Autar Mattoo, head of the USDA Vegetable
Laboratory, said
the lycopene increase occurred naturally in the
genetically-modified
tomatoes.

"The pattern for the accumulation was the same as in the control
tomatoes," he said. "The lycopene levels increased two to 3.5
times
compared to the non-engineered tomatoes." Lycopene is one of
the most
powerful antioxidants and is twice as good at combating free
radicals as
the carrot pigment beta-carotene.

But it is difficult to increase the amount of lycopene in the diet.
Research has shown that taking purified antioxidants as
supplements does
not work.

Randy Woodson, director of agricultural research programmes at
Purdue
University, said: "When you just take lycopene as a drug it doesn't
have
the same effect. There is still a lot of biology to understand before
we
know why phytonutrients (plant nutrients) in food are so much
more
effective than if they are given as supplements." The research was
reported in Nature Biotechnology.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.guelphmercury.com/news/roberts/news_roberts_0206
2484840.html

Biotech exporters need patience

Guelph Mercury
Monday June 24, 2002
OWEN ROBERTS

Although we sometimes see protesters dressed like deformed
tomatoes and
corn demonstrating outside grocery chain stores, for the most part
North
Americans have accepted biotechnology.

Regionally, we're a hub for this new science. But it's not that way
everywhere. Europe's been less enthusiastic -- many there
associate any
hint of genetic tinkering with atrocities still vivid from the Second
World War, and want nothing to do with it.

And that will only change if consumers are fed balanced
information
instead of propaganda.

Media heard that message repeatedly at a news conference about
biotechnology attitudes in Europe, at the BIO 2002 meeting earlier
this
month in Toronto.

There, European authorities from Belgium, Austria and the
Netherlands
described what's needed to fill the biotechnology information void.

"The negative public attitude towards agricultural biotechnology is
because people are ignorant about scientific facts," said
communication
manager Ann Van Gysel, with the government-funded
VIB-Flanders
Interuniversity Institute for Biotechnology in Belgium.

One of her seven-year-old institute's mandates is to promote a
well-structured public debate on biotechnology.

The institute conducted research that convinced it biotechnology
crops are
as safe as conventional crops, and they want other Belgians to
know ...
but without fanfare, bells and whistles.

"We need sound, well-balanced information, not promotion
campaigns," she
said.

To that end, she and her colleagues appeal to schoolchildren with
approaches such as a programme that makes farmers from
traditional,
organic and biotechnology persuasions available online, so kids
can ask
questions of them.

That way, answers can be assessed evenly, and the students can
draw their
own conclusions.

Apparently, it's not as hard to make a point in Holland. Rutger
Schilpzand, who works for a biotechnology and genomics
consulting company
there, says his country is one of the most accepting European
nations for
biotechnology -- only 25 per cent of the population opposes
genetically
modified food, versus almost half in Germany and the U.K.

Biotechnology was introduced early there, and farmers and the
public have
had time to digest it. But still, he said, Dutch people crave a better
understanding of the technology.

"They want safety ... and most of all more information," he said.

If biotechnology's ability to promote sustainability can be shown, it
will
win converts, he added.

Biotechnology faces a much tougher audience in Austria. There,
the most
popular media vehicle is a sensational tabloid that crusades
against it.
As a result, balanced information does not prevail.

Barbara Streicher, public relations co-ordinator for the
government-funded
information organization Plattform Gentechnik & Wir (it accepts no
financial support from biotech companies), says gene technology
was a
finalist in a poll of "terms Austrians dislike the most," along with
such
notables as "nuclear power," "globalization," and "foreigners."

But, says Streicher, they will accept gene technology for medical
applications, and that's what she thinks will make her country turn
around.

The BIO 2002 news conference offered only a snapshot of Europe.
But it
exemplified the strong division that still exists. For companies set
on
exporting biotechnology products there, the message is be patient.

Owen Roberts teaches agricultural communications at the
University of
Guelph. His column appears Mondays.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: vkonaje@zuari.co.in
Date: Wed, 26 Jun 2002 15:56:54 +0530
Subject: Ag-biotech needs to target consumers!

Hi,

Consumers are a confused lot these days with so many
choices/brands. Add
to that comes the hysterical campaigns from the pro and anti GM
groups,
which is holding up the progress of one of the most important and
powerful
technologies known to man, in an area which is most in need of
innovative
technologies - agriculture/food.

One of the big reasons is, I believe, until now, the final consumer -
the
common man, has seen virtually no advantage from the GM
ag-products,
either in terms of price or value. Most GM crops introduced until
now
have probably helped reduce usage of chemicals/pesticides or
have helped
with better yields, which help the growers. One might argue that
better
yields means depressed commodity prices being passed on the
the consumer,
but on the other hand, by the time the commodity reaches the
customers
from the farms, there are a lot of other factors which influence the
prices (like logistics, monsoons etc) and therefore the argument
loses
weight and therefore the consumer is influenced by groups of
people who
may have interests other than that of the common consumer.

THE major difference that I find between the applications of
biotech/genetics in pharma/industries as compared to
agriculture/food is
that, in pharma/industrial applications of biotech, the last link in the
supply chain i.e, consumers, benefit as much as the producers,
either by
way of more/better drugs or thro' better process efficiency.
Therefore,
biotech solutions in these areas seems to be well accepted. In
Ag-biotech, it seems, with the presently commercialised products,
the
first/second link in a long supply chain, i.e the growers/processors
stand
to benefit the most. Whatever benefits accrue to the last link, the
consumer, cannot be easily quantified due to reasons mentioned
above.
Therefore, it is but natural that the issue becomes
controversial/confusing, since the consumer presently hardly has
any say
in what she/he gets, but most of the pro-biotech/anti-biotech
groups
target the consumer with their respective view-points.

Ag-biotech companies will do very well to introduce value added
products
targetted at the end-consumer, rather than merely target the
growers with
pest resistant crops. Directly benefitted consumers having the
final,
educated say will surely kill off any controversy in ag-biotech. In
short,
Ag-biotech needs to create a win-win situation for both, the
consumers and
the growers.

Vinay
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

From: ipmorg@ipmvenkitu.com
Subject: Greenpeace's cotton warning
Date: Fri, 21 Jun 2002 06:22:54 +0530

P.Venkatesan, Agriculturist

Farmers forced to continue using chemical pesticides which is
decades long
practice taught by our scientist.

Now only the same scientist says that there is lot of health hazards
in
using these chemical in agriculture, that too only after the
consumers and
farmers started crying about this.

In the same way now the GM food has come. It will take decades
to show it
real health hazards.

Now that there would not be any hazards to health or environment,
or else
it will not be felt now. But the same scientists are going to say that
tese GM foods are the main cause for all the Health hazards.

It is human behavior that any new things comes, it will be accepted
by
many and criticized by some. It is the inborn human tendency. But
both
are correct. At a later date both will be proved to be truth. But the
truth of the accepted group ought to have experienced lot of
problems
which could not be solved. this is the long felt experience from
time
immemorial.

As such the for and against shou