Combined Contributions....May 9, 2000
- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com
From: "Ghislain, Marc" <M.GHISLAIN@CGIAR.ORG>
Subject: RE: An African Student Pleads for Biotechnology
Along the same line, we are at CIP engaged in lowering NATURAL
the potato tuber. If successful, this technology will benefit not
Andean farmers and communities but will spill over virtually to any
growing potatoes. These potentials of genetically engineered crops
yet reached the public in general. Feel free to echo this type of
Here is a press-release from my friends at USDA.
Marc Ghislain, PhD
Molecular Biology Laboratory
Crop Improvement & Genetic Resources Dept.
International Potato Center (CIP)
PO Box 1558, Lima 12, Peru
Tel: 51 1 349 6017
Fax: 51 1 349 5638
Potato Gene Engineering Research Should Benefit Andes Farmers
New potato genes built by scientists at the Agricultural Research
might boost the health of subsistence farm families in villages
the Andes mountains. The Andean region of Peru, Bolivia and
Ecuador is the
ancestral home of the potato, America's most popular vegetable.
ARS scientists hope to improve the nutritional value of Andean
blocking natural but bitter compounds called glycoalkaloids.
communities use a processing technique to remove the
but it also removes proteins and vitamins as well.
ARS scientists manipulated the potato's own genes to help block
of a key glycoalkaloid. In experiments using potato plants with the
genes, they reduced glycoalkaloid levels up to about 40 percent in
preliminary field tests and up to 60 percent in greenhouse
will continue to further reduce the levels. ARS plant physiologist
R. Belknap leads the project at the agency's Western Regional
Center, Albany, Calif.
American potato growers and breeders should
also benefit from this biotechnology research. It may enable them to
use insect- or disease-resistant traits from wild tubers that would
today be removed from breeding programs because of high glycoalkaloid
levels. Some Andean spuds are primitive but are frost-tolerant. They
may have other traits that could broaden the biological diversity and
quality of potatoes in tuber-breeding programs for the Andean region
and the U.S.
ARS, the USDA's chief research agency, has a patent for the
anti-glycoalkaloid techniques and has licensed the technology
Potatoes, Inc., of Madison, Wis. But to ensure that Andean
benefit from it, company president Peter J. Joyce has
agreed to provide the technology to developing countries in the
After learning about the research, the International Potato Center
La Molina, Peru, contacted Belknap to arrange to test the new genes
experiments are part of the potato center's on-going research with
gene-engineered potatoes, begun more than a decade ago to improve
potato for developing country farmers. CIP's research
complies with Peru's biosafety regulations and is closely monitored
Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture. International Potato
biologist Carmen M. Herrera Gutierrez has begun a two-month stint
ARS scientific team in Albany to begin the learning process of how
Scientific contact: William R. Belknap, Crop Improvement and
Research Unit, ARS Western Regional Research Center, 800
Albany, CA 94710, phone (510) 559-6072, fax (510) 559-5777,
From: "Meredith Lloyd Evans - BioBridge"
Subject: Re: 'Green Revolution' Made us Stupid? HELP! NEED MORE
Geoffrey Lean is consistently anti-biotech. He is pro-'Gaia' and
But it is important to know what is the data behind this article and
source report before seeking to correct his messages. Is there
data comparing the iron and other trace element content of actual
and lines grown, and is there any accompanying data showing
humans of trace minerals and iron from such foods? (it is one thing a
having a high ppb dry matter of an element and another that the
actually bioavailable). Is the decrease in iron and trace elements
other issues eg increasing alumin[i]um in soils, increasing erosion
mineral-rich soils, natural impoverishment of poor soils, changes in
behaviour eg unpolished to polished rice, etc?
I don't want to respond to this report, sponsored by a respected
independent body (ESRC) using data from an irreproachable
source, UN, from a position of ignorance.
Mr Meredith Lloyd-Evans, Managing Partner BioBridge Associates &
International eeig; Co-ordinator European Biomaterials Network tel
566850, fax +44 1223 470222
Come to the Fourth European Biomaterials Network Workshop, Hawaii May
organised by BioBridge Associates, & visit
latest news in biomaterials in Europe!
----- Original Message -----
Subject: Re: 'Green Revolution' Made us (Literally) Stupid? HELP!
> We need data to counter the awful story described below. It went
> Independent this Sunday, and alleges that Green Revolution crops
From: Alex Avery <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Comments from a professional communications person in
Jamie Bishop has some great points. In that vein, we should
positive arguments that we have found work, both in public forums and
the press. For example: When someone argues that genetic
food crops is horning in on "God's realm" I respond with
this simple and
irrefutable argument. God didn't creat corn. God didn't create
corn. God didn't create modern soybeans, canola, triticale or any of
food crops that we grow to feed humanity. God doesn't farm for us
protect our crops from devastating pest outbreaks. God is
he expects us to use the gifts and talents he has given us to the
betterment of mankind. Biotech is a great example of the proper
use of God's gifts to humanity. Even the Vatican thinks so.
At 04:49 PM 5/8/00 -0700, Jamie Bishop wrote:
>There have been a few recent observations on public relations as
>to the cacophony of biotech issues, a rather large
From: "Meredith Lloyd Evans - BioBridge"
Subject: Fw: Friends Provident
The UK investment company Friends Provident has announced it will
applying strict 'ethical' criteria to companies in deciding
for its new equities investment portfolio. Here follows a letter
to the FT which I understand will be published, however without
references to Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth and their
propaganda - the FT does not want to stimulate a rash of letters
Subject: Friends Provident
Friends Provident's plans for a new
'ethical' equity investments
portfolio look worthwhile and exemplify the spirit of the times.
there is surely a role here for investment in companies who are
developing biotechnology-derived products for agriculture and food,
the Monsantos of this world to start-ups and enterprises round the
world. Such products feed directly into ethical stewardship of the
environment and sustainable use of the world's resources I hope
Friends Provident will not be cowed into taking a negative posture
will bring long-term detrimental effects to the causes it is
Mr Meredith Lloyd-Evans
From: Bob MacGregor <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: entrenched positions
The following showed up on RESECON (the list for resource economists)
recently; it resonates well with the difficulties faced in shifting
opponents of GE into a more rational stance. Moreover, it
highlights the importance of acting promptly (and continuously) to
prevent false positions from becoming entrenched.
I know that most men, including those at ease with problems of the
complexity, can seldom accept even the simplest and most obvious
truth if it be
such as would oblige them to admit the falsity of conclusions they
perhaps with great difficulty, conclusions which they have delighted
explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others,
they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.
From: Greg Conko <email@example.com>
Subject: RE: high school presentation
In September of last year, Consumer Reports magazine ran a feature
genetically-engineered foods. If memory serves, that article
name-brand food items which were tested and found to contain
material (though I don't believe that the story described the nature
testing). If you can get your hands on that story -- perhaps
school library -- it may be of some help.
Another tactic is to search the web sites of some of the more
anti-biotech organizations. In an attempt to gin up consumer
these groups may have listed on their sites a number of food
who use genetically-engineered products.