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May 11, 2000


Combined Postings: Atomic GM; Vandana Shiva Lecture


From: Alexander Micke <

Subject: atomic GM

ArialDear Dr. Prakash,

A colleague from California called my attention to your AgBioView
site and I read with some amusement and some dismay the discussion that
was going on under the heading "atomic GM". Dismay, because it looks
like some active molecular biologists are not aware of research that
was carried ot with great enthusiasm by top geneticists (Muller,
Stadler, Gustaffson, Stubbe, Swaminathan, Konzak and many others)
between 1925 and 1990. Amusement, because it needs a "law professor" to
search his memory and present some facts on the issue to the internet

All the information that has been asked for, is readily available
from the Plant Breeding and Genetics Section of the Joint FAO/IAEA
Division in Vienna (Austria)
I have been in charge of that programme from 1969 till 1991. We had
numerous projects and conferences on the subject, the results of which
are available in IAEA publications. We have issued a "Mutation Breeding
Newsletter" as well as a series of "Mutation Breeding Reviews", which
can be obtained free of charge by writing to

In particular, attention of interested scientists might be called to
the two volumes of proceedings of a symposium "Plant Mutation Breeding
for Crop Improvement", published by IAEA in 1991 and to the Mutation
Breeding Review Nr. 3 by MICKE, A., M.MALUSZYNSKI, B.,DONINI "Plant
cultivars derived from mutation induction or the use of induced mutants
in cross breeding". Specific "Mutation Breeding Reviews" dealt
with pearl millet and sorghum (1982), pea (1985), pepper (1986), fruit
trees (1990), oil seed crops (1990), rice (1990), durum wheat (1990),
oil seed quality (1999). You might be interested to receive a reprint
of a review "Mutations in Plant Breeding" I published in 1999, if you
let me have your regular mailing adress, but the text may also be found
under <<http://turn.to/plantmutations>http://turn.to/plantmutations.

Turning to a specific subject mentioned by someone: It is true,
that the first "topless" Vicia faba was obtained in Sweden (SJÖDIN
1971, Hereditas), but the first cultivar, using this mutant trait was
developed by STEUCKARDT et al. in Germany (1982). Now, there are
several induced and spontaneous mutant alleles known in the "Ti/ti"

I would be glad to hear from you, that this message was useful for your

Kind regards.


Prof. Alexander Micke (former Head of the FAO/IAEA Plant Breeding

Salmannsdorfer Str.94

A-1190 Vienna (Austria)

Fax +43-1-4405456. e-mail:


From: "Martin Livermore" <

Subject: Poverty and Globalisation

For your information, the text of a Reith lecture by Vananda

Shiva is at


"Poverty and Globalisation" was the title of the fifth of this year's

Reith lectures, delivered by Vananda Shiva to an invited audience in

Delhi. The text includes questions and answers after the lecture
itself. I use this as an

example of the worst of what we are up against: almost every sentence

contains a distortion or misrepresentation of the truth to fit with

thesis. Note the attacks on big business in general, and even on

rice. Shiva's world view is of one where happy (female) farmers tend

productive biodiverse fields in a spirit of constructive local

(note a claim for 20 tonnes per acre output of food from mixed cropping

Mayan peasants: I'd like to know the secret of their success!).

Although one of the more radical opponents of biotechnology (amongst

evils), Shiva has a high degree of credibility in some circles as the

authentic voice of Indians. Her views fit well with the new orthodoxy,

where environmentalists and others in industrialised countries seek to

protect developing countries from making the same mistakes as the

world (the so-called "arrogance of affluence").

The lecture series will be rounded off on 17th May by a summing up and

discussion lead by Prince Charles from his home.




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