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Date:

May 18, 2003

Subject:

AgBioWorld News Release: MORE THAN 200 INTERNATIONAL SCIENTISTS

 

MORE THAN 200 INTERNATIONAL SCIENTISTS VOUCH FOR THE BENEFITS AND
SAFETY OF BT CORN IN THE PHILIPPINES

'Letter to President Arroyo Released as first major crop season gets underway'

- AgBioWorld News Release, http://www.agbioworld.org/

Auburn, AL; May 20, 2003 - An international declaration attesting to
the safety and benefits of agricultural biotechnology has been sent
to Philippine President Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo on behalf of more
than 200 scientists from around the world.

The declaration posted at
http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech_info/articles/soundscience.html was
accompanied by a letter of praise for the President's ongoing support
of research, development and commercialization biotechnology-derived
crops in the Philippines, according to C.S. Prakash, Ph.D., president
of Agbioworld Foundation, Inc.

The "Sound Science - Not Silence" declaration, which has been signed
by more than 200 scientists from around the world, details scientific
facts about positive environmental, economic and health impacts of
agricultural biotechnology, especially that of insect-resistant corn
which recently received full planting approval in the Philippines in
December 2002. "As the first major season of planting Bt corn gets
underway in the Philippines, it is important to ensure that dialogue
based on sound science continues, instead of unsubstantiated and
misleading information," said Prakash.

"Sound science, not silence, must prevail."

The declaration states "The reality is that crops developed through
plant biotechnology are among the most well-tested,
well-characterized, and well-regulated food and fiber products ever
developed. This is the overwhelming consensus of the international
scientific community, including the Royal Society, National Academy
of Sciences, the World Health Organization, the Food and Agriculture
Organization of the United Nations, the European Commission, the
French Academy of Medicine, and the American Medical Association."

More than 3500 scientists from 60 countries, including 20 Nobel
laureates, have signed an earlier, broader AgBioWorld Foundation
petition in support of agricultural biotechnology. Details are at
www.agbioworld.org.

---
The AgBioWorld Foundation (http://www.agbioworld.org ) is a
non-profit organization based in Auburn, Alabama, that provides
information to teachers, journalists, policymakers, and the general
public about developments in plant science, biotechnology, and
sustainable agriculture. Contact: Dr. C. S. Prakash at
Phone: 334 663 1511

*****************

May 20, 2003

Her Excellency Gloria Macapagal-Arroyo
President of the Republic of the Philippines Malacaņang Palace
San Miguel, Manila 1000 Philippines

Dear Your Excellency Macapagal-Arroyo:

Please permit us to bring to your attention a declaration entitled
"Sound Science--Not Silence" signed by over two-hundred scientists
attesting to the safety of biotechnology-derived crops including Bt
corn.

This declaration states that "Scientists fully engaged in research
and examination of the potential impact of biotechnology-derived
crops have concluded that commercial biotechnology-derived crops and
foodstuffs are as safe as conventional crops and foodstuff, and
deliver important economic and environmental benefits to farmers and
society at large."

As you are clearly aware, anti-biotechnology groups continue to
spread the word that biotech crops are unsafe creating fear among the
farmers and consumers. Here, through scientific facts and reasoning,
we counter their allegations that biotech crops are unsafe for public
health and the environment. The declaration is also posted at
http://www.agbioworld.org/biotech_info/articles/soundscience.html

AgBioWorld's earlier broader petition vouching for the safety of
bioengineered crops has been endorsed by over 3500 scientists from
across 60 countries including 20 Nobel laureates.

We are highly apprecitative of your excellent support for scientific
research in Philippines especially for your encouragement of the
biotechonology. Thus, we hope that you would help continue in your
support of the excellent research and development already underway in
this valuable technology at your country and further support the
commercialization of GM crops in Philippines. There is overwhelming
scientific evidence and support from the scientific community that
this is a safe and useful approach in improving our agricultural
production, improve environmental sustainability, and contribute
significantly to better health.

Please feel free to contact me should you need any additional information.
We thank you very much for your consideration, and we wish you
continued success in your endeavors to bring prosperity and improved
quality of life to the people of the Philippines.

With warm regards,

Yours sincerely,

C. S. Prakash, Ph.D.
President, Agbioworld Foundation