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May 8, 2000


Combined Contributions....May 9, 2000


<br /> Combined Contributions....May 9, 2000<br />

- 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
only the

Andean farmers and communities but will spill over virtually to any

growing potatoes. These potentials of genetically engineered crops
have not

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

Biotechnology adviser

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
potatoes by

blocking natural but bitter compounds called glycoalkaloids. 
Some Andean

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
tests.  Efforts

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
to Small

Potatoes, Inc., of Madison, Wis.  But to ensure that Andean
farmers can

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
(CIP) in

La Molina, Peru, contacted Belknap to arrange to test the new genes
there. The

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
by the

Peruvian Ministry of Agriculture.   International Potato
Center molecular

biologist Carmen M. Herrera Gutierrez has begun a two-month stint
with the

ARS scientific team in Albany to begin the learning process of how
good the

technology performs.

Scientific contact:  William R. Belknap, Crop Improvement and

Research Unit,  ARS Western Regional Research Center, 800
Buchanan St.,

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

anti-pollution pro-'industry-as-global-warmers-and-polluters'.

But it is important to know what is the data behind this article and
in the

source report before seeking to correct his messages. Is there
real, valid,

data comparing the iron and other trace element content of actual
crop types

and lines grown, and is there any accompanying data showing
absorption by

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
element is

actually bioavailable). Is the decrease in iron and trace elements
due to

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
and so-far

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
+44 1223

566850, fax +44 1223 470222

Come to the Fourth European Biomaterials Network Workshop, Hawaii May
2000 -

organised by BioBridge Associates, & visit
http://www.biomateria.com for the

latest news in biomaterials in Europe!

----- Original Message -----

From: <willy.degreef@seeds.Novartis.com>

Subject: Re: 'Green Revolution' Made us (Literally) Stupid? HELP!


> We need data to counter the awful story described below. It went
in the

> Independent this Sunday, and alleges that Green Revolution crops
fail to


From: Alex Avery <aavery@rica.net>

Subject: Re: Comments from a professional communications person in

Jamie Bishop has some great points.  In that vein, we should
share the

positive arguments that we have found work, both in public forums and

the press.  For example: When someone argues that genetic
engineering of

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
wonderful, but

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
and moral

use of God's gifts to humanity.  Even the Vatican thinks so.

Alex Avery

Hudson Institute

At 04:49 PM 5/8/00 -0700, Jamie Bishop wrote:

>There have been a few recent observations on public relations as
it relates

>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 <rdmacgregor@gov.pe.ca>

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
have reached

perhaps with great difficulty, conclusions which they have delighted

explaining to colleagues, which they have proudly taught to others,
and which

they have woven, thread by thread, into the fabric of their lives.

--Leo Tolstoy


From: Greg Conko <conko@cei.org>

Subject: RE: high school presentation

In September of last year, Consumer Reports magazine ran a feature
story on

genetically-engineered foods.  If memory serves, that article
listed several

name-brand food items which were tested and found to contain

material (though I don't believe that the story described the nature
of the

testing).  If you can get your hands on that story -- perhaps
from your

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.