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May 10, 2000


Multiple Postings I....May 11, 2000


AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

(Ten+ postings below....)

From: Lin Edo
Subject: RE: 'Green Revolution' Made us (Literally) Stupid? HELP! NEED

More information may be found at the following webpage:

and a 1998 press release at
This confirms that (1) the news is two years old and seems to have been
resurrected for other reasons and (2) that the green revolution is
mentioned as well as other environmental factors like PCB's, lead etc.

I have written to the author and skewed him to clarify his position on
the Independent article which puts the green revolution completely out of

Edo Lin

An excellent documentary called "The Rise and Fall of GM" was broadcast a
few months ago by Britain's Channel 4 about the GM debate in England, and
the transcript is now available on Channel 4's web site.

Just go to http://www.channel4.com/equinox/gmoframe.html and click on
TRANSCRIPT at the top, left corner.

They interviewed many scientific experts, such as Luis Herrera-Estrella,
Marc van Montagu, Roger Beachy and others, and they also interviewed anti-GM
activists, such as Mae Wan Ho and 'Women Say No to GMOs.'

Please take the time to visit this site and read the transcript, if you
haven't seen it already. Below are a few 'interesting' quotes from
the activists.

RENEE ELLIOT: I have a fundamental problem with whether it's GM or
conventional farming, I think we have to go towards
organic farming we have to go towards sustainable agriculture. So even if it
is safe I still think it's the wrong way to go.

BONNIE SOANES: For me there is a morality in that thought. It's not about
the science, because I don't understand the
science, it's about the morality of that thought. And you rely on your
intuitions, your emotions and your instincts and you basically say 'I don't
trust it, stop'.

DR MAE-WAN HO: Organic farmers are artists and poets. They have a certain
relationship with their land. I have farmers in India
saying that we have placental connections with the earth. And the trees are
poems that the earth writes and to the sky. They have a
love affair with their land. Peruvian farmers adopt plants into their
gardens as family members, and every year they have a ceremony in which the
old potato hands over to the new seed potatoes, the responsibility of
breeding human beings. What intensive agriculture does is to mechandise the
whole thing, they convert these poets into tractor drivers.


From: Bob MacGregor
Subject: attacking government

(from Agnet 10 May '00 #2)

SAY; May 9, 2000
Council of Candians Press Release

OTTAWA -- The Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy (CIELAP),
Council of Canadians, Professor E. Ann Clark of the University of Guelph
and Professor Bert Christie of the University of Prince Edward Island,
represented by the Sierra Legal Defence Fund, today filed a petition under
the Auditor General Act against the federal government for failing to
protect public health and the environment in regulating genetically modified
organisms (GMOs). Under the Act, the government is required to respond to
the challenge within 120 days.
The petition requests a review of all federal laws and regulations governing
genetically modified foods, animals, fish, trees, insects and animal feed.
The petitioners charge that the current regime is inadequate to protect
public health and the environment, fails to meet Canada's international
environmental obligations to protect biological diversity, and is
inconsistent with the principles of sustainable development.
"The current regime is constructed on a foundation of inadequate legislation
and regulations, deficient science, and institutionalized conflict of
interest. It is simply not good enough to protect the health and environment
of Canadians. Fundamental reform is required" said Dr. Mark Winfield,
Director of Research with the Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and
"The existing framework was not created to deal with the multitude of human
health, environmental, social and ethical problems cropping up, because
these issues are new and unique to GMOs, said Melanie Steiner, project
lawyer with Sierra Legal Defence Fund. We are asking the federal government
to address these issues and to promulgate laws that are more protective and
Under the Auditor General Act, a petition can be filed about environmental
matters. The Auditor General is obliged to forward the petition to the
responsible federal department within fifteen days of the date on which it
is received. After considering the petition, the appropriate Ministers
(including Health Canada and Environment Canada) are under a duty to
"It is unbelievable that common food additives such as sweeteners have to be
labelled, but foods that are being tampered with at the genetic level do
not," said Jennifer Story, Health Protection Campaigner for the Council of
Canadians. "Consumers are paying the price by being denied the right to
choose what they want to eat."
But it is not just the lack of labelling that is problematic; the entire
risk assessment process for GMOs is flawed. "The government has chosen to
rush products to market prematurely without ensuring their safety," said Dr.
E. Ann Clark. "There is no way that the government in good conscience can
say that it is protecting the health of its citizens and the environment."
Furthermore, "the federal risk assessment process is based entirely on data
provided by industry, like big seed companies. This lack of independent
government testing is a serious abdication of public responsibility," added
Dr. Bert Christie.
The citizens' petition requests that the relevant federal departments: enact
new legislation specifically to deal with GMOs; remove all institutional
conflicts of interest; undertake rigorous, thorough, independent and
transparent assessments of GMOs before they are allowed to enter the
marketplace; and provide mandatory labelling of foods derived from GMOs. The
government must respond to the Petition by September 4, 2000.
from Prakash@tusk.edu

The Japanese TV channel NHK has an interesting online public forum on
the biotech food issue
and may I encourage you to please check this out and provide your input:


>Eriko Kamio Rowe
>NHK World Forum Project
>212-696-5521 fax 212-696-5531


What has been printed by journalists?

What has been published (and peer-reviewed) by scientists and

From: Roger Morton
Subject: Safeway holds firm
Mime-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain; charset="iso-8859-1"
Content-Transfer-Encoding: quoted-printable

I love the quote from Susan Vickers "Clearly we need to do more educating,"
Biofood opponents protest at Safeway meeting
Wednesday, May 10, 2000=20
By Sandra Gonzales, San Jose Mercury News, Calif.

As Safeway shareholders convened in San Ramon, California, Tuesday for
their annual meeting, environmental activists tried to convince the
nation's third-largest supermarket chain to ban the sale of genetically
engineered products.

A preliminary tally announced later in the day showed that only 2 percent
of shareholders favored the idea =97 less than the 3 percent necessary to
bring the resolution back for a vote next year.

"Clearly we need to do more educating," said Susan Vickers, a spokeswoman
for the Sisters of Notre Dame de Namur, which filed the resolution along
with the Educational Foundation of America.

Both groups are part of a nationwide coalition targeting 23 firms involved
in developing or selling genetically engineered foods.

The resolution asked Safeway to remove genetically engineered ingredients
from its products until long-term testing shows they are safe, and to label
the products in the meantime. Safeway has more than 1,600 stores
nationwide, including 150 in the Bay Area. Safeway officials said it
would be virtually impossible to remove all
genetically modified food items.

"Clearly there is no alternative source today. Nearly all crops today have
been modified," said Debra Lambert, a Safeway spokeswoman. "It would be
very difficult to obtain these ingredients in an unmodified
form."Lambert also noted that agencies such as the U.S. Food and Drug
Administration, the Environmental Protection Agency and the U.S.
of Agriculture had approved the use of genetic modification and food
biotechnology.The FDA also requires labeling of genetically
engineered foods if they have
been significantly altered from their traditional form, Lambert said.

A recent report by the National Academy of Sciences concluded that
genetically engineered foods are safe, but should be more tightly regulated.
Protesters at the Marriott Hotel Tuesday dumped Safeway food products with
genetically engineered ingredients into a biohazard container as a symbolic
gesture. "We're out here to show the consumer's that we are
concerned about this,"
said Simon Harris, a spokesman for the Organic Consumer Association, which
organized the protest that drew just 14 activists. "We don't feel there's
been adequate safety tests to protect human health and the environment."

Harris called for stricter regulations and long-term testing while a
spokesman for another group, Global Exchange, questioned the actions of
corporate chains.

"What these corporations are doing is using us as guinea pigs," said Global
Exchange's Kevin Danaher. He stood next to a huge banner displaying a cob
of corn and a monarch butterfly, both of which protesters say have suffered
damage from altered ingredients.

"What right do these corporations have to experiment on our health?" asked
Danaher. Michael Passoff, a spokesman for the As You Sow Foundation, said other
supermarkets such as Whole Food Markets Inc. and Wild Oats do not sell
bioengineered foods. The foundation is part of the shareholder coalition
that supported the Safeway resolution.
A quarter of the nation's corn and cotton acreage is planted with
genetically engineered varieties.

Since 1992, dozens of biotechnology crops have been approved for sale to
farmers and hundreds more are in the works. In 1999, an estimated 70
million acres of U.S. farmland was planted with genetically
engineered crops.=

San Jose Mercury News, Calif.
Distributed by Knight Ridder/Tribune
From: Peggy Lemaux
Subject: Re: Safeway Reportedly Rejected on May 10 an Anti Ag Biotech

A colleague and I attended the "dumping" and 14 is an overestimate.
There were about 30 media, 6 protestors (at the time of the dumping), one
individual representing the nuns and two scientists (us). We had as many
media interviews as they did and the questions from the press in general
were quite balanced. We had some useful and educational dialogue with the
activists. We had also spoken with the public affairs director of Safeway
prior to the vote and offered ourselves as sources of information to the
board should that be useful. The contact will be very valuable, I think
and they appreciated having some individuals at the protest who could
speak to the science.

At any rate, the vote was 98% against the proposal of the sisters.

Thought you might be interested.


Peggy G. Lemaux, Ph.D.
Department of Plant and Microbial Biology
111 Koshland Hall
University of California
Berkeley, CA 94720
Phone: 510-642-1589
FAX: 510-642-7356
Web address: http://plantbio.berkeley.edu/~outreach

From: Greg Conko
Subject: Anti-GM claims 'misleading'
Date: Wed, 10 May 2000 16:42:57 -0400
MIME-Version: 1.0
X-Mailer: Internet Mail Service (5.5.2650.21)
Content-Type: text/plain;

The Guardian: Wednesday May 10, 2000
Anti-GM claims 'misleading'
James Meikle
Advertising watchdogs yesterday fired a warning shot at supermarkets for
making exaggerated claims in the battle to win customers to organic or
non-genetically modified food.
Iceland, the first chain to promote own brand products for having non-GM
ingredients, was rebuked for making misleading and "unacceptable" appeals to
some people's fears over the new technology, including an allegation that
mistakes had caused 37 deaths in the US.
Tesco was criticised for claiming that prices for organic food were "only a
little higher" than conventional produce and that it tasted better.
The Advertising Standards Authority upheld six out of nine complaints made
against an Iceland leaflet and all three complaints made against a Tesco
A spokesman for the ASA said the companies "are both trying to stake out new
ground in foods being healthier or better for you for whatever reason, but
are taking the science too far."
Last year the authority criticised GM giant Monsanto for inaccuracies in its
advertising on behalf of the technology.
Iceland said it would contest yesterday's adjudication, and claimed the
authority's procedures were flawed. Russell Ford, managing director, said:
"We can't understand why the ASA feels it has the expertise within its own
ranks to judge scientific statements."
The company believed the leaflet was not an advertisement, and therefore
fell outside the authority's powers.
Tesco said it had withdrawn the criticised brochure months ago because it
was out of date.

Gregory Conko
Competitive Enterprise Institute
From: BAHLOOWALIA@kinsealy.teagasc.ie
Subject: green revolution--

Posted to PBASIO Newsgroup

The logic used by the person or persons in downgrading "Green
revolution" is the most stupid way of interpreting science. But for the
production of food generated by Green revolution, countries like India
and China would have the same conditions as prevailing in many parts
of Africa. To mix up increased food production with iron deficiency as
cause and effect is naive. Iron deficiency occurs in many countries
which did not have "Green revolution" based production of cereals.
For example, it is mandatory to add iron supplements to wheat flour in
Chile for bread baking, to correct the nutritive value of bread. Also,
milk is fortified with vitamin D and calcium in most European countries
and USA.

It is well established that cereal are deficient in iron as well as some of
the essential amino acids. But diet of many Asian families is not based
only on cereals but includes legumes, vegetables and fruits which does
compensate for deficiency of one food source from another.
What is required are initiatives to add mineral supplements to diet and
not run down food production.

Beant S. Ahloowalia
From: Lee Bellavance
Subject: GM food research

I am looking for information about the long term condition of GM
foods that have been modified with either bacteria or virus genes in
order to made them pest resistent. I am specifically looking for
data concerning the bacterial or viral contents of products made with
these farm commodities. For example, if corn is modified with a
bacterial gene, what does the research show concerning the bacterial
content of a cornbread mix made with it. Especially one that has
been on the shelf for a year? Does the product then contain the
bacteria? Does the bacteria grow in the products made from the food?
Why or why not?

I am looking forward to seeing the research concerning this subject.
Thank you,

Lee Bellavance
Dear Lee:

Nice to hear from you. When we introduce a gene from a bacteria into
corn, the corn will contain only that gene and not the bacteria.
Corn already has 100,000 genes and this will be just one more
additional gene . Further, this gene will be converted to a
'plant-like sequence' before we put it in corn, and then becomes a
part of the corn genome. There is no bacteria in the corn due to
this introduction, and bacteria cannot grow on this corn any more
than it would do so on a regular corn. In fact, corn with a Bt
bacterial gene to make it pest resistant minimizes mold attack thus
reducing the deadly mycotoxins in this corn. Biotech can make our
food safer, more nutritious and more abundant; thus please do not
worry too much about the negatives but start researching the

From: sterling stoudenmire
Subject: Re: U.S. Congressional Report (Benefits/Risks) "Seeds of Opportunity"

Iagree this is a comprehensive list but what is our position on it as a
group of affected scientists?

At 05:11 AM 04/19/2000 -0700, you wrote:

>A very comprehensive report on Benefits and Risks of plant biotechnology
>from the US Congressional Committee on Biotechnology entitled "Seeds of
>Opportunity" is available at
From: "Frances B. Smith"
Subject: Re: Journal of Amer. Chiropractic Assn

In the JACA press release, the co-author of the anti-biotech article is =
listed as Barbara Keeler, a health and nutrition journalist. A quick =
internet search showed several other anti-biotechnology articles by her =
on environmental, "holistic health," natural health web sites. One was =
co-authored by Keeler and Steve Urow, the LA coordinator for Campaign =
for Food Safety. Here's the link to one of her other articles.
Frances B. Smith
Executive Director
Consumer Alert
Phone: 202-467-5809