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Date:

September 15, 2011

Subject:

Stop Worrying, Use Biotech; Turkey Opens the Door; Blue Rose; Greenpeace Birthday

 




Stop worrying about veggie prices: Use biotech to increase yield, fight inflation

Turkey – the delicate GM balance

World’s First ‘Blue’ Rose Soon Available in U.S.

Consumers willing to pay premium for healthier genetically modified foods: ISU study

Global food security and the governance of modern biotechnologies

What do they really think about GM food?

Gates Foundation embraces GM foods, despite some foolish opposition

The seed and agricultural biotechnology industries in India

Greenpeace must be subject to rule of law

Wishing Greenpeace an unhappy birthday

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Stop worrying about veggie prices: Use biotech to increase crop yield, fight food inflation

- Nidhi Nath Srinivas, Economic Times (India), Sep 11, 2011

2011 marks 10 years of Bt cotton, a successful GM crop. It's also been a year of high food inflation. That's a reminder: biotech can increase crop yield dramatically, and fight food inflation. Farmers are ready for reform, research is peaking. Now, government has to be smart and quick.

What hyper-imaginative critics of farm biotechnology call Frankenstein food, or Frankenfood, is now the handiest solution to India's runaway food inflation. The debate on genetically modified (GM) food no longer runs along the monster or messiah lines: it clearly is a viable solution, but a lot will depend Consider Bt cotton and its impact on the life of Panduranga Wamanrao Iname. Back in 2001, the cotton farmer hailing from Maharashtra's Patan taluk, near Aurangabad, was earning Rs 3,000 a month. He could not afford a pucca house or the basic conveniences of life. The problem: his crop was frequently ravaged by pests and the harvest was too small to support his family. A decade later, inflation has grown almost threefold, from 3.6% to 10%, but Iname is smiling. He owns 60 acres land, grows Bt cotton on half that area, and earns Rs 30,000 each month. He has a proper house, a tractor, and two well-educated sons.

After revolutionising India's fibre and textiles industry, biotech is now ready for food crops such as corn, vegetables, rice, pulses and oilseeds. And there are many more Inames awaiting the second Green Revolution that biotech and GM The Road Ahead: Cautious Optimism But while GM is a great idea, it's important to understand that no biotech seed can be magic bullet for all the problems a farmer faces. Then again, that is not its intention. By moving slowly, trait by trait, it allows farmers and companies to assess and monitor carefully.

"It's possible the effect of new technology on other crops may not be as dramatic as cotton but it will still be significant. Ultimately, it will result in higher yield and higher prosperity. And all stakeholders in the value chain have to gain or it won't be a winning product," says Paresh Verma, director, Shriram Bioseeds.
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An optimistic Dar emphasises the importance of acting sooner rather than later. "Every minute lost, every decision delayed means more people suffering from poverty and hunger. We should not let this happen" he says.

Ultimately, it is the farmer who will decide what to plant. And he is too savvy to make a mistake for more than one season. Given that Indian agriculture supports six out of every 10 Indians, in the farmers' prosperity lies the nation's prosperity. And in their ability to choose the best seed lies the future of affordable food — and low food prices.



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Turkey – the delicate GM balance

- Taylan Bilgiç , World Crops.com, Sept. 15, 2011

Turkey has cracked the door to imports of genetically modified (GM) corn, and it’s only a matter of time until that door gets blown wide open.

Turkey’s economy grew in Q2 for the ninth successive quarter, and by 8.8% on the previous year (Q2 2010 – Q2 2011). The rate of GDP growth surprised even the central bank, and while inflation is not yet a concern, food prices are high and rising.

This has brought the complicated issue of genetically modified (GM) food to the fore, with a request to the government from feed, poultry and egg producers to allow imports of three types of genetically GM corn to be used as animal and chicken feed.

“We can solve our raw material problem only through imports,” says Ulku Karakus, chief of the Turkish Feed Industrialists Union, explaining the problem. “Costly feed translates into expensive meat. Unless we pull down the cost of feed, we cannot drive down meat prices.”

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Right now it looks like corn is moving up in importance in Turkey’s fluctuating agricultural equation. And industrialists see no way out other than imports – just like the textile manufacturers who had to import cotton in the past few years.

It may be that GM crops are the solution to this problem, but as an increasingly important global economic power, the Turkish authorities must pay greater attention to managing the delicate balances of choices and expectations in the agricultural sector. If they decide to use GM crops as a means to resolve this tension, then they must also find ways to address public concerns over the issue, rather than turning the law into a complicated masquerade.

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World’s First ‘Blue’ Rose Soon Available in U.S.

- Danielle Venton, Wired, September 14, 2011




Long a symbol of the unattainable, blue roses will be for sale this fall in the United States and Canada.

Named “Applause,” the rose is genetically-modified to synthesize delphinidin, a pigment found in most blue flowers. The rose was first released in in Tokyo in 2009, after 20 years of research by Suntory, a Japanese company that also distills whiskey, and its Australian subsidiary, Florigene (now Suntory Flowers). Today Suntory announced the rose will be for sale at select florists in North America, beginning early November. While the flower might appear more silver-purple than sky-blue, Applause is the nearest to a true blue rose yet.


Arguably the world’s best loved flowers, humans have cultivated roses for more than 5,000 years. Roses can signify love, beauty, politics and war. Blue roses have a mythic quality since they, until recently, were impossible to grow. Roses appear naturally in many shades of red, pink, yellow and white, but lack the natural ability to produce blue pigments. For centuries blue roses have conjured unrequited love or the quest for the impossible.

Blue roses traditionally available through florists have been white roses dyed blue. Suntory and Florigene achieved the blue color inserting a delphinidin-producing gene from a pansy into an Old Garden ‘Cardinal de Richelieu’ rose. When debuting in Japan, Applause was sold for 10 times the price of normal roses.

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Consumers willing to pay premium for healthier genetically modified foods: ISU study

- Health Canal, Sept. 14,

AMES, Iowa - Consumers are eager to get their hands on, and teeth into, foods that are genetically modified to increase health benefits - and even pay more for the opportunity.



Wallace Huffman, distinguished professor of economics, shows off some produce enhanced with consumer traits through intragenic means. Huffman's research shows consumers are willing to pay a premium for enhanced produce. ISU photo by Bob Elbert

A study by Iowa State University researcher Wallace Huffman shows that when consumers are presented with produce enhanced with consumer traits through intragenic means, they will pay significantly more than for plain produce.

The research is published in the current issue of the Journal of Agricultural and Resource Economics

Intragenic modification refers to plants that are genetically modified with genes from other plants within their own species. Transgenic foods refer to plants that are modified with genes from other species.

Consumer traits are those modifications that are seen as a benefit to the consumer, such as enhanced levels of vitamins. Farmer traits refer to traits that benefit farmers, such as pest and drought resistance.

"What we found was when genes for enhancing the amount of antioxidants and vitamin C in fresh produce were transferred by intragenic methods, consumers are willing to pay 25 percent more than for the plain product (with no enhancements). That is a sizable increase," said Huffman, distinguished professor of economics.

Improving plants by using intragenic methods is very similar to cross breeding plants, a process very commonly used by backyard gardeners trying to improve their irises, and was the main method used by hybrid seed corn businesses prior to genetic modification.

Some plants, however, are difficult to cross breed for a variety of reasons. There are thousands of types of potatoes, for instance, each having some unique genetic traits. But since they reproduce by using an internal seed or eye of the potato, improving them through cross breeding with other potatoes is difficult.

By using the tools of genetic engineering, the intragenic process allows plant breeders to improve produce using within-species transfers.

Consumers' acceptance of genetically modified plants is a real turnaround from previous research. In 2001, Huffman first researched consumers' willingness to pay for transgenic foods. At that time, he showed that consumers would pay 15 percent less for foods made from or containing farmer traits introduced by transgenic methods, compared with produce that was not genetically modified at all.

If there remains any hesitation by consumers to eat genetically modified foods, it is difficult to say, said Huffman. "There still could be a little bit of negative feelings toward a genetically modified product, but they (consumers) see real value being created in enhanced consumer traits, and they are willing to pay for those enhancements that are introduced by intragenic methods," said Huffman.

It does seem that buying foods made healthier through intragenics does not make consumers uneasy, he said. Huffman's experiment involved consumers bidding on both genetically modified and non-modified fresh potatoes, tomatoes and broccoli.

The intragenically and transgenically modified products had increased levels of antioxidants and vitamin C. "The basic idea is that when consumers saw that the intragenic produce had elevated healthful attributes, they were willing to pay more for them," said Huffman.

Consumers were not willing to pay more if those enhancements were introduced through transgenic methods, he added.

Participants were also given information - positive, negative and neutral, and in combination - on genetic modification from scientific, human, financial, environmental and general perspectives.

The positive information on the food was given from the point of view of the food industry. The negative information was presented from the perspective of environmental groups. The neutral information was given as from the scientific community. The industry and neutral perspectives contained definitions of intragenic and transgenic modifications.

Huffman said that information from the food industry was usually given more weight by consumers than the information presented by environmental groups. The neutral information moderated the negative effect of environmental group information.

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Global food security and the governance of modern biotechnologies


- Joyce Tait & Guy Barker , EMBO reports (2011) 12, 763 - 768; 15 July

Food security has become an issue of serious concern because global food supplies are threatened by systemic collapse. Increasing demand for food caused by global population growth, changing lifestyles in developing countries, climate change and competition with biofuels are combining to create a ‘perfect storm’ (Godfray et al, 2010). Moreover, short-term weather pattern changes leading to floods and droughts and associated fires in key grain-producing areas of the world encourage speculation in agricultural commodities and cause wild price fluctuations. Drastic price hikes for staple foods during the past few years have triggered famine and revolts in developing countries, where people are hardest hit (Henn, 2011).

European regulatory systems—instead of scientific progress—will therefore determine whether technology-based solutions are part of the future of agriculture…

Basic research into plant, animal and microbial physiology and molecular processes has yielded extensive knowledge about plants, their pathogens and symbiotic partners. Scientists and policy-makers are confident that the application of this knowledge could lead to new and more efficient approaches to crop production that will eventually improve food security. In this context, Europe has a particularly important role, as it contains highly fertile land and is agriculturally very productive.

However, European countries find it difficult to respond constructively to these challenges, given their divergent opinions on how to address food-security issues, particularly in terms of whether and how science and technology should be part of the solution. In addition, individuals and interest groups opposed to genetic modification and related technologies have influenced policy making in agriculture. Unfortunately, the European Union (EU) has yet to develop a coherent approach that allows European citizens to reap the benefits of scientific progress and prevents special interests from dominating decision-making processes. European regulatory systems—instead of scientific progress—will therefore determine whether technology-based solutions are part of the future of agriculture within Europe, and in many other countries. This article explores the link between regulation and innovation in the context of food security in Europe, and considers the impact of European policy on the ability of other countries to respond to food-security challenges.

Foresight and horizon-scanning are important tools for the development of government policies and planning. They help to determine both the level of investment in scientific research and the policies that facilitate the application of such knowledge. Unfortunately, for more than a decade the prevailing policies in Europe have been either negative or neutral towards innovation for agricultural production. This has led to a lack of new genetically modified (GM) crop varieties for European agriculture and created an environment that is unreceptive to their application.

…GM crops are already contributing to increased yields, greater ease and predictability of crop management, a reduction in pesticide use and fewer post-harvest crop losses

Read on

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What do they really think about GM food?

September 8, 2011 By sol 2 Comments
A brief look into attitudes by the general public, politicians and journalists on green biotechnology and genetically modified food by Sebastian Olényi, TUDelft
http://www.btsblog.tnw.tudelft.nl/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/78prozent.jpg

In the recent weeks, field trials in Belgium and Germany with genetically modified (GM) crops have been destroyed by Anti-GM activists. Statements in the media and also by many researchers involved in plant science and green biotechnology imply that the general public does not support GM and is particularly negative about food containing genetically modified plants or other GM ingredients (GM food). Some scientists, especially the ones in favour of this research, feel misunderstood and misrepresented especially by politicians and the media. But is that correct? What does the attitude of the general public and particularly journalists and politicians really look like?
Having done some research and presentations on the topic, I want to try to give some ideas on these questions with this blog post. Let’s look at two of the many research projects which have been conducted on this and into some of the results of my research project:

How does the attitude of the general public look like?
The Eurobarometer is a series of surveys ordered by the European Commission. One of the topics they are covering in their general and in special surveys has also been biotechnology. With more than 25,000 respondents, the Eurobarometer is the largest survey on the topic available to date and is often quoted in the news and by different political actors.

Figure 1 - Percentage agreement “GM food should be encouraged” Eurobarometer/Gaskell et al. 2010
The Eurobarometer survey of 2010indicates indeed scepticism towards GM – 61% disagree totally or tend to disagree with the statement “GM food should be encouraged”, while only 23% are supportive of GM food. This scepticism has even grown since the last survey in 2005, when 57% were against GM food and 27% in favour of it.

Figure 2 - Percentage agreement “I would buy GM food if…” Eurobarometer/Gaskell et al. 2010
However, if one asks about concrete applications of GM, the survey shows a different picture. The majority of the interviewed people said they would buy GM if it was healthier or contained less pesticide residues. However only 36% of the respondents said they would buy GM food if it was cheaper, while 56% say they would not buy GM in this case.


Figure 3 - Percentage agreement that cisgenic/transgenic techniques should be encouraged - Eurobarometer/Gaskell et al. 2010
In another question, the Commission wanted to know if people would have different opinions on GM food that contains “foreign” genes, for example an inserted bacterial gene (transgenic) as opposed to GM food with genes from a related species or ancestor, e. g. a red apple variety with an inserted gene from a green apple variety (cisgenic). It indeed turns out that the support for cisgenic apples is significantly higher –55% of the Europeans agree or totally agree with the encouragement of this technology, while only 33% support transgenic apples. Despite huge differences between the different European countries, from 76% of the people in Cyprus to just 35% of the inhabitants of Luxembourg supporting cisgenic apples, the vote is clear enough and even in traditionally GM sceptical countries such as Austria and Germany, more people would want to encourage this GM food than not encouraging it.
Do people also act in accordance with their attitudes?
Research our group contributed to (Moses, Sleenhoff, Osseweijer et al., Consumer choice project 2008 – Official website Full report) indicates that people decide very different if they are in a shopping situation.

Figure 4 – Buying behaviour if GM is cheaper - Knight, Mather, & Holdsworth, 2007, Nature biotechnology
The study of Knight, Mather, & Holdsworth,published in Nature biotechnology in 2007, comes to very similar results: It was observed what happens if “spray-free” GM is sold on a “farmers market booth” at a 15% discount in comparison to being priced equally with conventional and organic food. It turns out that the price tag does have a significant impact on the shopping behaviour: Once GM is cheaper, it increases in almost all countries in market share, making it in Germany, Sweden and New Zealand even from third place to first place. According to this study, more people of those countries would buy GM food than people buying organic or conventional products if they could save money with it.

How about the attitudes of journalists and politicians?
In my research project “Green biotechnology and Genetically Modified Food: Perception and Attitudes of European Politicians and Journalists”, I tried to verify if science can find proof to the belief that politicians and journalists are (more) negative on the issue than the general public or not.

Figure 5 – Awareness of arguments in favor and against GM foods among European journalists - Olényi, 2010, Article in preparation
At first sight, the results are not exciting: Although both Members of the European Parliament and journalists are on average more negative than the general public, the difference on the general attitude questions is not significant. More striking are differences between different kinds of journalists and politicians: Journalists in different news departments think very differently about GM, so do – foreseeably – politicians from different parties. Science journalists are significantly more positive than the general public and their colleagues, while local journalists are very negative on the topic. Liberal politicians and conservative ones are more supportive than the greens, with the social democrats being somewhere in the middle. Both politicians and journalists are more sceptical towards GM regulations and towards industry and especially retailers, but trust University scientists, consumer organizations and environmental groups more than the respondents of the Eurobarometer. When journalists and politicians are asked “who should communicate more on the topic of GM, it is especially university scientists who are said to be missing actors in the public debate. All three groups – the general public, politicians and journalists – rank health and environmental arguments as being of highest importance when it comes to GM food. Politicians and journalists know significantly more about the topic and know more arguments against than in favour of GM, especially environmental ones. Still, many members of both of those groups would buy GM if it was healthier for them – 45% of the politicians and even 55% of the journalists said so.

So what do these and other studies tell us?
Plant researchers, agriculturalists, food scientists and green biotechnologists should not per se feel encouraged or discouraged by what they feel the public opinion might be. Attitudes differ tremendously between different applications of GM. New GM food products which are currently under development address issues such as health and the environment which are considered to be of use and importance by the general public. Both worries and chances which are addressed nowadays on health and environmental topics will continue to be listened to, especially if they are raised by trusted actors such as environmental groups, consumer organisations and public scientists. As especially the latter are perceived to be missing from the debate, they should embrace the opportunity to reach out to journalists, politicians and the general public. To be successful, they should not have the illusion that higher factual knowledge on GM will convince anyone in favour or against it, but have an open mind, a not too strong, but very clear advocacy standpoint and a specific dialogue and communication strategy for different target groups.
So what is the right answer if one is asked on how the public opinion on green biotechnology and GM foods really looks like? It depends.

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Gates Foundation embraces GM foods, despite some foolish opposition

- ACSH, September 12, 2011

Though most of her recent article for the online magazine Fast Company is dedicated to criticizing genetically modified (GM) foods, writer Ariel Schwartz does bring up some poignant facts. For instance, she draws attention to the dire agricultural situation in sub-Saharan Africa, a region continuously on the brink of famine.

As Schwartz explains, over 200 million residents in this area rely on the staple food cassava. This crop, however, is vulnerable to deadly viruses, so researchers from the Virus Resistant Cassava for Africa (VIRCA) project are using gene-modification technology to create a new breed of GM cassava plants that will be able to resist drought and viral disease. VIRCA is sponsored by the Gates Foundation, the Monsanto Fund, and the Howard Buffet Foundation, and will receive a donation totaling $11.9 million to aid in their efforts to enhance the use of GM technology to increase crop yields and nutrition in the developing world.

However, not everyone is as thrilled about the news as we are. Former Grist food writer Tom Philpott is calling on Bill Gates to back away from GM crops — which, according to him, have not been shown to increase food yields — and rely on organic farming instead.

“Sadly,” says ACSH's Dr. Elizabeth Whelan, “people like Mr. Philpott simply don’t understand the devastation among poor families that could be remedied by implementing biotech agriculture. Organic farming would clearly not be able to produce enough food crops to feed the world’s growing population — unless you were to devote most of the inhabited world to agriculture.”

ACSH’s Dr. Josh Bloom adds, “To be sitting around and considering hypothetical scenarios while millions of people are starving is so wrong. Mr. Philpott, who is probably well-fed, should be ashamed of himself.”


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The seed and agricultural biotechnology industries in India

An analysis of industry structure, competition, and policy options

- Spielman, David J.; Kolady, Deepthi; Cavalieri, Anthony; Chandrasekhara Rao, N.
2011, International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI)
kl

Since the late 1980s, technological advances and policy reforms have opened up new opportunities for growth in India’s seed and agricultural biotechnology industries. The impacts of such changes have been significant in India’s cotton sector, but less so for the country’s main cereal crops, where both yield and output growth rates have been relatively stagnant.
Some public policymakers and corporate decisionmakers are confident that the private sector will help reverse these trends, arguing that the right combination of new technological solutions and progressive policy reforms will unleash a significant increase in private investment in productivity-enhancing products and services.
The structure of India’s seed and agbiotech industries, as well as the policies designed to support their growth, will be a significant determinant of this expected impact. This paper examines the structure of India’s cereal seed and agbiotech industries, its potential effects on innovation and social welfare, and the policies that may improve both industry performance and the delivery of new technologies to resource-poor, small-scale farmers in India’s cereal production systems.
We focus our analysis on indicators and scenarios within India’s agricultural innovation market for improved seed and agricultural biotechnology products. This market includes firms engaged in the development, commercialization, and marketing of new seed-based technologies; it is characterized by a high level of knowledge intensity, relatively high levels of R&D investment, significant barriers to entry, significant levels of regulation, and relatively few products in the market. And it is within this market that factors such as strategic corporate behavior and public policy can affect the balance between a socially desirable rate of innovation, on the one hand, and a socially desirable distribution of the gains from innovation among consumers, farmers, and innovators, on the other hand.

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Greenpeace must be subject to rule of law

- Colin Bettles, Stock and Land, (Australia), Sept 14, 2011

QLD Nationals Senator Barnaby Joyce has rightly questioned Greenpeace's fundraising rights, saying environmental groups that destroy public property should not be entitled to receive taxpayer concessions.

He was commenting after ACT Police announced that summonses would be issued for two Sydney women to face the ACT Magistrates Court on charges relating to destruction of government-approved CSIRO genetically-modified wheat field trials in Canberra last month.

Police executed a search warrant on Greenpeace headquarters in Sydney shortly after the mid-July incident, during which the Australian Federal Police seized evidence.

Sen Joyce has made a valid point: why should Greenpeace benefit from a government ruling that allows the organisation to receive tax deductible donations under the Register of Environmental Organisations program.

"I find it a bit of a paradox that an organisation can get a tax deduction, in the same way that St Vincent de Paul or the Red Cross does, when it has been implicated in charges relating to the destruction of taxpayer property," he said.

"If Greenpeace is found to be implicated in the destruction of scientific research, then it should no longer receive the benefit of a tax deduction from the Australian people."

Sen Joyce says Greenpeace has actively promoted and endorsed the destruction of public property. He cited the organisation's media statement issued on July 14, following the incident.

In it, Greenpeace anti-GM campaigner Laura Kelly said: "GM has never been proven safe to eat and once released in open experiments, it will contaminate. This is about the protection of our health, the protection of our environment and the protection of our daily bread."

But surely the rejection of scientific research - whether GM technology or climate change - does not give any organisation the right to break the law. "I think it is very important to understand that the rule of law be maintained in regards to the respect of public property if you want to maintain a civilised society," Sen Joyce said. "The endorsement of destruction leads to anarchy."

Greenpeace spokesman James Lorenz said it was disappointing that Sen Joyce's first priority was persecution, rather than protection. "Today, international biotech corporations have the right to sue Australian farmers for patent infringement even if their crops have been contaminated," he said.

The Greenpeace activists used whipper snippers to set back the government-approved research by at least a year while causing about $300,000 in damages. Mr Lorenz said Greenpeace was completely transparent and independent of all government and corporate funding.

The police investigation is continuing and further people, who may have been involved or assisted in the commission of the offences under investigation, are likely to be charged with a number of offences - including trespass and damaging Commonwealth property.

But notwithstanding Greenpeace's 'noble' ideas, the Gene Technology Act 2000 - under which the trials are conducted - sets out a maximum penalty of two years imprisonment for anyone found guilty of damaging or interfering with approved GM trials and associated facilities.

Greens leader, Bob Brown declined to comment while the matter was in police hands, saying "peaceful protest is part of our democratic rights". "The public has a very big concern in this issue, but I'll leave it to the proceedings in the courts beyond that," Mr Brown said.

The Environmental Organisations register is maintained by the Environment Department, allowing groups like Greenpeace eligibility to receive tax deductible donations, under the Income Tax Assessment Act 1997.

Environmental organisations are added or removed from the register through directions form the Environment Minister and Treasurer. An Environment Department spokesperson said it was not appropriate to comment on ongoing criminal investigations.

However, the spokesperson said it was not appropriate for entities with deductible gift recipient status, or charity status, to be engaging in or supporting illegal activities.

Greenpeace is endorsed by the Commissioner of Taxation as a charitable institution and can access an income tax exemption and GST and FBT concessions. It is also listed on the Register of Environmental Organisations, meaning donations to Greenpeace are tax deductible.

Scientists and farm groups in Australia and abroad have expressed concerns that activists are deliberately spreading anti-GM fears to the general public, to assist fundraising efforts.

The Western Australian-based Pastoralists and Graziers' Association says it fully endorses Sen Joyce's questioning of Greenpeace's "privileged tax exemption".

PGA Western Graingrowers chairman John Snooke said grain producers were tax payers unlike Greenpeace. "It is ironic and disappointing that important public research being conducted by CSIRO and funded by tax payers was destroyed because Greenpeace has a gripe against a proven safe, internationally-respected breeding technique," he said. "What expertise does Greenpeace have in plant breeding?

In a nutshell, the wider community - with a diverse range of political views - must decide whether it accepts unlawful sabotage and destruction of public property over the rule of law that applies to everyone.

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Wishing Greenpeace an unhappy birthday

- Ben Pile, Spiked, Sept 12, 2011

Printer For 40 years, big green NGOs have helped to denigrate democracy and stand in the way of progress.

The growth of environmental non-governmental organisations (NGOs) over the past 50 years has been extraordinary. Starting from humble beginnings and means, organisations like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, which are both celebrating their fortieth anniversaries this year, and the Worldwide Fund for Nature (WWF), which opened its first office 50 years ago, now command budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.

But while the organic champagne may be flowing in the green camp, what does the rest of the world have to celebrate about the rise and rise of the Big Green NGO?

Read on

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