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Date:

June 12, 2002

Subject:

Earth Summit, GP China Study, Canadians Support Biotech, Prince Charles is Back, No Logic, Organic Recalls, BBC Drama, Golden Rice

 

Today in AgBioView: June 13, 2002:

* Re: Cyberspace, search engines and Green propaganda
* Predators of bollworm
* Earth Summit in Johannesburg
* GREENPEACE WILL NOW OPPOSE EVERYTHING
* Why Greens Shouldn't See Red
* Most Canadians support biotechnology use, poll says
* Pinstrup-Andersen Paper
* Prince's GM fears are 'hysteria'
* Arias considers the UE moratorium on authorisation of
transgenics a
"mistake"
* Realizing There's No Real Logic in Biotechnological
* Natural, organic foods eight times more likely to suffer recalls,
study
says
* FARMERS ATTACK 'IRRESPONSIBLE' BBC DRAMA
* Tangible Benefits for Food Production and Environment
* Western Morning News: Don't close minds to GM
* EU SCIENTISTS IN URGENT TALKS ON GERMAN FOOD SCARE
* Golden rice: Hope or hype?
* VN to get US help to apply biotechnology to farming
* MODIFED CROPS A BOON FOR FARMERS, STUDY SHOWS
* Biotech crops boost farm incomes, yields - US study

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 16:33:56 -0500
From: "Gale west"
Subject: Re: Cyberspace, search engines and Green propaganda

Dr. DeGregori,

I did the same experiment last fall in October and November
using search
engines specific to the French language (since I'm a professor at
a French
University). I found exactly the same results and used those
results to
give a talk entitled ' Les Trois ''P'' du Mouvement des
Consommateurs
contre les OGM : Protection, Peur et Profits '. This translates as
'The
three P's of the anti-GMO consumer movement : protection, fear
and
profits'. In the presentation I showed how the retoric of the web
pages
talks about human and environmental health, giving the
impression that the
authors want to 'protect' consumers. The pages go on to make all
kinds of
wild, exaggerated claims that serve to frighten consumers. Finally,
almost
all the pages made some kind of statement about giving them
money and
switching to organic products, thus the 'profits' part of the equation.

Yours,

Gale*

Gale West, Ph.D., professeure titulaire
Telephone : 418-656-2131, poste 3755
E-mail: gale.west@eac.ulaval.ca
4421, Pavillon Comtois, Universit╚ Laval, Ste-Foy (Qu╚bec)
G1K-7P4
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
+

From: krao@blr [mailto:krao@vsnl.com]
Sent: Wednesday, 12 June 2002 8:18 PM
Subject: Predators of bollworm

For those concerned about the predators of bollworm: Chickpea,
Pigenon
pea, sunflower, sorghum, maize and chilly plants are some of the
alternate
hosts for bollworm. When these are planted along with cotton,
bollworm
predators would have adequate feeding sites.

C Kameswara Rao
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date: Wed, 12 Jun 2002 09:42:17 +0530
From: "Barun Mitra"
Subject: Earth Summit in Johannesburg

Agriculture will be a major issue at the forthcoming Earth Summit
in
Johannesburg. Are there others on this list who are considering to
be
there? I think it would be great if we could all collaborate to make a
meaningful presence at the Earth Summit.

Recently, Dr. Norman Borlaug, had written a letter to Indian
agricultural
scientists following the decision of Indian government to approve
Bt
cotton for commercial planting. The letter was also circulated on
this
list. The key element that Dr. Borlaug highlighted was the role of
modern
agricultural technologies in increasing agricultural productivity, and
consequently lowering stress on environmental resources.
Contributing to a
better environment.

This could be the most effective point for us to stress during the
Earth
Summit. We are trying to compile a reference of literature on
beneficial
impact of modern agriculture on environment. Would greatly
appreciate
suggestions from the members of Agbioworld.

Please let us discuss and explore the possibilities. We must try
and make
ourselves heard in Johannesburg.

Barun Mitra
Liberty Institute, New Delhi
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.satirewire.com/news/june02/greenpeace.shtml

GREENPEACE WILL NOW OPPOSE EVERYTHING

Amsterdam (SatireWire.com) ˇ Known for its long-standing
opposition to
whaling, logging, strip mining, genetically modified food, nuclear
power,
the chemical industry, wars, corporations, politics, and weapons,
the
activist group Greenpeace today announced that as of 12:01 this
morning,
it will just oppose everything.

"It's all bad, it all needs to stop," said a Greenpeace
spokesperson, who
added the group will no longer send out action alerts calling for
opposition to specific issues, but will instead issue daily alerts to
all
members that read, "No" in 37 different languages.

The new directive took effect immediately after midnight, as the
famous
Greenpeace ship Rainbow Warrior was ordered to oppose the first
thing
available, which turned out to be Barbados.

"Stupid Barbados. You must be stopped!" yelled wild-eyed
Rainbow Warrior
captain Niels Sturngen as he drove the bow directly into what
turned out
to be a beach. "Surrender," Sturngen added.

At a press conference late this morning, Greenpeace
spokesperson Wendy
Albright explained the group's new stance and fielded questions
from
reporters.

"So you're opposed to everything?" asked one reporter. "Even, say,
fruit
salad?"

"Can't stand it," said Albright.

"Paleolithic art?

"Yuck."

"What about Pink?"

"Hate the color, hate the singer."

Etc................
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++

Why Greens Shouldn't See Red

Asia Intelligence Wire
June 10, 2002

Last week, the Nanjing Institute of Environmental Sciences
released a
study outlining the adverse environmental impacts of Bt cotton -
that is,
cotton genetically modified to kill the bollworm pest. However, to
draw
those conclusions would be illogical at best, and plain incorrect, at
worst. The findings, ironically, ought to relieve the greens of their
concern for Bt's safety vis-a-vis the environment.

Here's why. The report says that Bt cotton is not effective in
controlling
secondary pests. Well, it was never intended to - the cotton
bollworm was
supposed to be the focus of this particular genetic modification.
Moreover, why is that a negative finding from an environmental
point of
view? Is it not a positive result that Bt cotton harms none other than
the
pest it is intended to? Another result is that the stabilities of insect
community and pest sub-community...in Bt cotton fields may (my
emphasis)
be less than those in conventional cotton fields. What this
basically
means is that where insect communities are less stable, certain
pest
species can be expected to be more dominant.

Indeed, the report itself admits that the possibility (my emphasis)
of
outbreaks of certain pests in Bt cotton is much higher. But
nowhere does
the report say that Bt cotton definitively encourages incidence of
pest
outbreaks. And even if it were to, does that imply that Bt cotton
harms
the environment? By answering 'yes', one would be assuming that
farmers,
plagued by pests, would resort to pesticides, which in turn would
damage
the environment. That surely cannot be equivalent to Bt cotton
damaging
the environment!

Moreover, it is debatable whether farmers would do just that. Bt's
biggest
advantage is that it reduces the need for repeated, external
applications
of pesticides. If that advantage is non-existent, Bt cotton seed, 4-6
times more expensive than conventional cotton seed, would cease
to be
attractive for the farmer. The same argument holds true for yet
another
conclusion - that Bt cotton would probably lose its resistance to
bollworm...after 8-10 years. How does that translate into an
adverse
environmental impact? On the other hand, this'll either lead
farmers to
discontinue planting Bt seeds altogether or seed companies to
develop
superior varieties which would remain effective against the
bollworm.

Either ways, the greens ought not to be seeing red. The
conclusion that
does merit concern from an environment standpoint is that of Bt
cotton
adversely affecting the population of natural enemies of bollworm.
By
harming a bug which, in turn, harms the very same bug Bt cotton
intends to
act against, Bt cotton does itself no favours. Here perhaps, a bit of
perspective would be in order. Must the safety of a bug take
precedence
over a technology which not only diminishes the usage of
chemicals (which
the report acknowledges) but, by increasing existing yields, also
offsets
agricultural pressure on our limited natural resources?
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.globeandmail.com/servlet/GIS.Servlets.HTMLTemplate
?tf=tgam/common/FullStory.html&cf=tgam/common/FullStory.cfg&
configFileLoc=tgam/config&vg=BigAdVariableGenerator&date=200
20612&dateOffset=&hub=headdex&title=Headlines&cache_key=h
eaddexScienceĄt_row=2&start_row=2&num_rows=1

Most Canadians support biotechnology use, poll says
Strong backing for health-care benefits, but a split on genetically
changing food

The Globe and Mail
By STEPHEN STRAUSS
June 12, 2002

Despite street protests against so-called Frankenfood and genetic
pollution, Canadians generally remain receptive to biotechnology,
a poll
commissioned by the federal government says.

And their support has not much wavered over the three years and
six
different polling periods in which their attitudes have been
surveyed by
Earnscliffe Research and Communications, an Ottawa-based
polling firm.

The latest results say that by margin of two to one Canadians
favour
biotechnology, and regardless of any negative feelings they might
harbour,
eight out of 10 would like the country be a world leader in the field.

But the generalized support is contingent on a case-by-case
analysis of
what people perceive they personally will get out of genetic
manipulation.
"Where there is a significant potential for benefit, benefit trumps
risk,"
Elly Alboim, a principal researcher with Earnscliffe, told a session
of
the BIO 2002 conference.

This means that when it comes to medical benefits that might
accrue due to
the manipulation of genes, Canadians favour using the new
technology by a
margin of four to one. And more specifically, only 13 per cent of the
roughly 1,500 people polled in March are absolutely against the
use of
embryo-derived stem cells whose use has been restricted in
proposed new
legislation before Parliament.

This was down from 18 per cent a year earlier.

By way of comparison, Mr. Alboim said that polls in the United
States
indicate that between 30 to 35 per cent of Americans are dead set
against
stem-cell research.

When it comes to the environment, three quarters of Canadians
would
support modifying trees to make them more pest resistant and 72
per agree
that using micro-organisms to clean up the environment is a good
thing.

However, the approval rate for biotechnology slips dramatically
when it
comes to its role in food and agriculture. Slightly more than half the
people surveyed feel comfortable buying genetically modified food,
although nearly 60 per cent would accept some risk if it led to new
vitamin- or medicine-enriched food.

Adamantly opposed by a margin of almost three to one is the use
of cloned
animals for food.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++

NOW AVAILABLE from the International Food Policy Research
Institute

Speech presented by Per Pinstrup-Andersen at the ongoing
"World Food
Summit" in Rome.

MORE RESEARCH AND BETTER POLICIES ARE ESSENTIAL
FOR ACHIEVING THE WORLD
FOOD SUMMIT GOAL
By Per Pinstrup-Andersen

DOWNLOAD the article
http://www.ifpri.org/pubs/articles/2002/pinstrup_wfs2002.htm

LINK to the World Food Summit
http://www.fao.org/worldfoodsummit/english/index.html
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Prince's GM fears are 'hysteria'

BBC News
12 June, 2002

Prince Charles' fears over GM crops have been challenged by a
leading
scientist as symptomatic of the "hysteria" surrounding the subject.

Professor Patrick Bateson, vice president of the Royal Society, told
the
BBC that he saw "no evidence" that genetically modified crops
were causing
environmental damage.

But campaigner Dr Sue Mayer argued there was a "conflict"
between organic
farmers and GM crop testing.

They were responding to the Prince's calls for GM research
companies to be
made liable for harming the environment.

'No good evidence'

Prince Charles said the emphasis seemed to be on backing GM
crop research
which "posed an acute threat to organic farmers" regardless of a
possible
environmental threat.

He said consumers were being denied choice by governments
supporting GM
crops over increasingly popular organic food - despite
consumption growth
of 15% a year.

But Professor Bateson, of the UK's national academy of science,
told BBC
Radio 4's Today programme: "As far as I can tell, I have lost choice
over
what I can buy in the supermarket as a result of the hysteria over
GM
foods."

And he said he had seen "no good evidence" that GM crops have a
detrimental effect on the environment.

"On the contrary it seems to have led to an improvement in
environmental
conditions," he said.

Wider concerns

Dr Sue Mayer, executive director of Genewatch, said organic
farmers were
under threat because of GM crop growing.

And she argued that the issue would become "much more acute"
for farmers
in the future.

And she said the organic industry needed safeguarding.

"It is very urgent that we protect the interests of a really growing
organic farming industry - which is healthy for the environment,"
she
said.

Prince Charles spoke in the German city of Lubeck after accepting
the 2002
Euronatur Award for his efforts to protect the environment.

The Prince talked of the threat of GM research to organic farming,
depleting fish stocks in the North Sea and the use of plastic corks
in
wine bottles.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://fundacion-antama.org/

Arias considers the EU moratorium on authorisation of
transgenics a
"mistake"

Fundacion ANTAMA

Valencia, 20th May (EFEAGRO).- Today, Miguel Arias, Spanish
Agriculture
Minister, considered the European Union moratorium on the
authorisation of
new genetically modified organisms (GMO) a mistake, as other
countries are
taking the lead in this kind of production.

Arias made these statements after his conference, during the
International
Federation of Agrarian Journalists (IFAJ), which is taking place in
Valencia until the 23rd of May. He assured that ýwe have to be
cautious,
but we also need to authorised new varieties".

The minister explained that some countries, as the United States,
Canada
and Argentina are in the lead of this matter, while the European
Union is
using a "double language", allowing the OMG for human medicine
but not for
the improvement of food and agriculture products, which is a
"backwardness".

He added that the moratorium will end up" as soon as the new
communitary
Directives on labelling and traceability are approved; new varieties
will
be then authorised, once accurate and independent risk
assessment of a
concrete OMG is handled in".
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Realizing There's No Real Logic in Biotechnological

The Toronto Star
By Jon Filson and Jennifer Bain
June 12, 2002

I DON'T KNOW about you, but I can't get a handle on this
biotechnology
thing. It's the biggest issue in food today, and I can't pick a side,
can't learn enough about it, can't guarantee you I have an informed
opinion.

I spent last weekend rotating between the camps for and against
biotech
food, each of which held well-attended conferences this week. I've
been
reading up on the stuff whenever I could for the past few months. I
didn't
want to write until I knew I could write with intelligence.

Well, it ain't gonna happen.

Going into this weekend, I basically thought like this: organic food
generally tastes better and contains less inherent risk than
genetically
modified food. But when you're starving, any food tastes great ˇ
genetically modified or no. And if GM food can help create more
food and
more nutrient-laden food for poorer nations, or for any nation, for
that
matter, than hats off. Who's going to oppose that?

But that kind of thinking only scratches the surface of what's going
on.
Everyone from the U.N. down to the small-time farmer has a stake
either
for or against biotech food. At these conferences, and in all the
literature, these groups are only too happy to share their opinions,
none
of which seem to have much in common with the other. Patents,
trade
contracts, international treaties, profit-making and rabble rousing,
and
on and on and on.

"There's enough food in the world to feed everyone now," Lori Ryan
of
Development and Peace told me at Biojustice 2002, the
anti-biotech
convention that ran Saturday. "And it's not happening."

Ryan's right ˇ that's the problem. But the question is whether
biotechnology will help feed hungry people or not. At the moment,
this
subject is massive, almost uncontrollably complicated for
someone coming
in from the outside. Totally opposite claims are made on each
side, each
argued rationally, passionately, each believable and unbelievable
in their
own way.

Consider Bernard Solaz, of Oxfam Canada. Also on Saturday, in a
U of T
class dominated by boomers and university students, in between
sessions of
"Why Biotech Will Not `Feed the World'" I had a 15-minute
conversation
about biotech food with this guy. I felt I learned a lot. At the end, he
thanked me for listening.

"So often, we are portrayed on the margins," Solaz told me, with a
trace
of sadness. Next time I see him though, a day later, he's at Grange
Park,
at the Festival of Alternatives Biodiversity, singing and dancing as
part
of a troupe that includes a person dressed as a tomato. The
troupe calls
seed and herbicide maker Monsanto Company "Mon Satan," and
members sing
cheerfully about murders and cancer, preaching to the converted.
And this
guy, this group, wants credibility? Doesn't work that way any more.
I now
take Bernard's words as authoritatively as Richard Gere's.

At the Bio 2002 conference, which started on the weekend and
wraps up
today, the answers didn't come any easier. On Monday I went to
"Biotechnology for Developing Countries: An Important Tool in
Sustainable
Development" to hear how biotech will feed the world.

Roger Beachy, president of the Donald Danforth Plant Science
Centre, an
independent St. Louis group, stood up and told a room full of suits
that
"50 per cent of all child deaths are related to nutritional
deficiencies."
If biotech food can help this, who would oppose it?

Sakiko Fukuda-Parr, an economist with the U.N. said "one third of
the
world's population is making under $2 a day," and that "technical
progress
has simply not spread.

"You have to think of incentives because people who make $1 a
day don't
make up much of a market," she says, explaining the private
sector has
much of the know-how and works for profits above anything else. If
private
companies can make money and still help feed the world, aren't
we all
better off?

Roger Horsh, a vice-president at Monsanto, spoke and explained
how the
company's products increase yields in underdeveloped countries.
If the
food is safe, how is it bad that the world gets more of it? Or does
the
fact that Monsanto is trying to make money make you nervous?
Still, we
live in a capitalist country, what's wrong with making money?

It's all too much ˇ I can't decide. Through all this mass of
information,
misinformation, the food consumer, all of us, have a vested
interest in
what's going on. We just want to know what we're eating and know
it's
helping, not hurting us.

All I can tell you is that you need to know more about this subject,
need
to know more about the possible dangers and benefits of biotech
food, and
the ways it could change the world, for the better, or for worse.

And the people involved need to do a far greater job in figuring out
what
they're doing, deciding if it's safe and not just profitable, and start
telling the world if biotechnology is or isn't.

Because as complicated as this subject is, we do have to pick
sides. We
either eat this stuff, or we don't. We either produce this stuff or we
don't. We feed it to our kids, or we don't, try to feed the Third World
with it, or we don't. We do pick sides, whenever we shop for food.

So questions hang over us all. Does anyone know what we're
eating? What
it's doing to us? To the world?

I don't think those questions can be answered right now. Not just
by me.
No one else can either. Or if they do, we're not being told it straight.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.meatingplace.com/meatingplace/DailyNews/News.asp
?ID=9362

Natural, organic foods eight times more likely to suffer recalls,
study
says
by Dan Murphy on 6/12/02 for www.meatingplace.com

Organic and "all-natural" products are eight times more likely to be
recalled for food safety-related problems than conventional
products,
according to data compiled by the Food and Drug Administration
and Health
Canada, a news release stated.

The non-profit Center for Global Food Issues conducted a
nine-month review
of monthly food and supplement product recalls reported by FDA
and the
Food Inspection Agency of Health Canada, which revealed that
"all-natural"
or organic products have significantly higher recall and product
warning
rates than conventional foods.

The reasons for various recalls and warnings included:

* Failure to label products with potentially dangerous allergenic
ingredients
* Other labeling violations
* Microbial contamination
* Other food safety-related concerns

"An $8 billion-plus industry in North America, organic products still
represent less than one percent of the total marketplace, yet they
accounted for more than eight percent of all recalls," noted Alex
Avery,
research director for the Center for Global Food Issues. "This
suggests
that consumers have an eight-fold higher risk factor for
safety-related
recalls when they purchase organic products [instead of]
conventional
foods."

While urging consumers to be aware of food recalls, the Avery said
that
U.S. and Canadian food supplies are the safest in the world,
noting that
the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported in
February a
substantial and sustained decline since 1997 in the number of
food-borne
illnesses, due to the impact of existing food-safety regulations.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++++++

http://www.thepigsite.com/LatestNews/Default.asp?AREA=LatestN
ews&Display=3745


Natural, Organic foods 8 times more likely to have safety and recall
problems, study finds

The Pig Site
13 June 2002

US - Organic and "all natural" products are revealed to be eight
times
more likely to be recalled for safety related problems than
conventional
products, according to U.S. Food and Drug Administration and
Health Canada
records.

A nine-month review by the non-profit Center for Global Food
Issues of
monthly food and supplement product recalls reported by the U.S.
Food and
Drug Administration and the Food Inspection Agency of Health
Canada show
products marketed as organic or "all natural" have significantly
higher
recall and warning rates than conventional foods.

Reasons for recalls and warnings included failing to label
products with
potentially dangerous allergenic ingredients, mislabeled products,
bacterial contamination and other serious safety-related concerns.

"An $8 billion-plus industry in North America, organic products still
represent less than one percent of the total marketplace, yet they
accounted for more than 8 percent of all recalls," noted Alex Avery,
research director for the Center for Global Food Issues. "This
suggests
that consumers have an eight-fold higher risk factor for
safety-related
recalls when they purchase higher-priced organic products over
less costly
conventional products."

Some retailers, like Whole Foods Markets have multiple violations
for the
same products and violations. While urging consumers to be
aware of food
recalls, the Center reminds consumers that the U.S. and
Canadian
conventional food supplies are the safest in the world.

In fact, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control reported in February a
substantial and sustained decline over the past five years in the
number
of illnesses caused by major foodborne pathogens due to the
strength of
existing food safety regulations.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
++

FARMERS ATTACK 'IRRESPONSIBLE' BBC DRAMA

June 10, 2002
PA News (Via Agnet)
By Graham Hiscott

UK farmers' leaders were cited as calling the BBC "irresponsible"
today
for screening the thriller Fields of Gold which dealt with the issue
of
genetically modified crops. Ben Gill, president of the National
Farmers'
Union, was quoted as saying the programme had "set back
sensible debate"
on the issue and that the BBC1 drama, shown at the weekend and
starring
Anna Friel and Max Beesley, contained inaccuracies about
farming, animal
welfare, the use of antibiotics and pesticides. Gill was further
quoted as
saying, "The NFU believes it was irresponsible of the BBC to
screen this
programme. There are many serious questions surrounding the
issue of GM
crops. That is precisely why debate must be balanced and
informed by sound
science. Objectivity and sound science were thrown out of the
window in
Fields of Gold in favour of sensationalism and science fiction. It
may
have been exciting drama but if it has set back sensible debate on
this
important subject, was it really worth it?"
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Tangible Benefits for Food Production and Environment

WASHINGTON, June 11 /PRNewswire/ -- A new report issued by
the National
Center for Food and Agricultural Policy (NCFAP) quantifies
significant
increases in farm income, food production, and reductions in
pesticide use
that may result from wider use of agricultural biotechnology in the
United
States.

This report is a valuable resource to policy makers, consumers,
food
companies, farming organizations and anyone concerned about
the future of
the American food supply, said Gene Grabowski, spokesperson
for the
Alliance for Better Foods. NCFAP should be commended for
making such an
important contribution to our understanding of the potential of
biotechnology, and for defining many of the implications that may
result
from decisions to produce or reject biotech crops.

Plant Biotechnology: Current and Potential Impact for Improving
Pest
Management in U.S. Agriculture An Analysis of 40 Case Studies
was released
Monday in Toronto at BIO 2002 by Leonard Gianessi, primary
author and
program director of NCFAP. BIO 2002 is the annual trade
convention of the
biotechnology industry.

Composed of 40 case studies of 27 crops grown in the United
States, the
report compares the observed and potential impacts of biotech
crops versus
conventionally bred crops. The study finds that American farmers
can
reduce their dependence on pesticides by as much as 163 million
pounds
annually and increase their annual profitability by $2.5 billion in
savings and increased productivity through the increased use of
biotech
crops varieties.

NCFAP's study shows that we have only scratched the surface of
biotech's
benefits to our environment and food production, said Grabowski.

Currently, six of the 27 crops evaluated are grown in the United
States --
soybeans, corn, cotton, papaya, squash and canola. These crops
alone
produce an additional 4 billion pounds of food and fiber without
expanding
agricultural acreage, improve farm income by $1.5 billion and
reduce
pesticide usage by 46 million pounds.

The study found that if farmers converted to biotech varieties of an
additional 21 crops available, production could increase by
another 10
billion pounds, farm income would improve by an additional $1
billion and
pesticide usage could be decreased by an additional 117 million
pounds.
Californian farmers stand to reap the most benefits with biotech
varieties
of fruits, vegetables and other crops that could lessen their
dependence
on pesticides by 65.8 million pounds per year.

NCFAP's findings are supported by similar research on European
adoption of
biotech by Dr. Richard Phipps, a principal research fellow at the
University of Reading (UK), and published in the Journal of Animal
and
Feed Sciences. That study showed that increasing the acreage of
cotton,
rape seed, maize and sugarbeet biotech varieties could decrease
European
pesticide usage by 14.5 million kilos (32 million pounds).

NCFAP is a private, non-profit, non-advocacy research organization
in
Washington, D.C. The study was commissioned by the
Rockefeller
Foundation, and additional funding was provided by the Grocery
Manufacturers of America, the Biotechnology Industry Organization,
CropLife America, the Council for Biotechnology Information and
Monsanto.

The Alliance for Better Foods encourages fact-based discussion
about
development in food biotechnology. Its membership represents
diverse
agriculture and food-related groups, including farmers,
processors,
distributors, retailers, scientists, food technologists and
professionals
in other fields dedicated to improving nutrition, protecting the
environment and fighting world hunger.

For full NCFAP report go to
http://www.ncfap.org/40CaseStudies/MainReport.pdf.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Western Morning News: Don't close minds to GM

Western Morning News
June 11, 2002 06:05 PM

ORGANIC farms are an excellent example of good marketing, but
poor science
and a threat to reasoned public debate if the views of Guy Watson
and his
ilk are allowed to hold sway as if on a matter of principle. Until
recently, the hallmark of organic farming was its restricted use of
chemical fertilisers and pest controls. I never heard of them
denying
themselves the best available genetic material, until now. Certainly
they
never tried to control what crops any other conventional farmer
might
grow. Their attitude now seems to be: "Genetic technology? - not
on your
life"

It is an infringement of liberty and a denial of normal democratic
processes for a minority sector of society to dictate what the
conduct of
the vast majority might be

Equally worrying is their denial of science. They don't want to know
the
answers to the questions we are all asking about genetically
modified
seeds or other biotechnical advances. If successful in their aims,
we
shall never know what economic benefits conventional farmers
might be
denied - and their customers who are the vast majority of
price-conscious
shoppers. No more shall we know the true risks

That is not to say we should swallow without question every
scientific
technique that is offered. On this farm we often try new ideas and
reject
many of them

But the sum total of technical advances of one sort and another
over my
own lifetime is that one man now produces 30 times as much milk
for his
labour. I am confident the milk is purer, the animals healthier, their
welfare better and the soil more fertile. To both producers and
consumers
I say give us the chance to find the truth of the matter. Then we can
make
an informed choice whether to use the new techniques, and
whether we then
want to buy and eat the resulting produce. To be denied this
freedom is
the threat I fear