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Date:

April 10, 2000

Subject:

Three contributions

 

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

Three more contributions ...


Date: Apr 10 2000 18:08:40 EDT
From: Wayne Parrott
Subject: Sisters of St. Joseph vs GMOs and Kellogg


The Sisters of St Joseph are trying to get Kellogg's stock holders to vote against the use of
transgenic crops at the upcoming stockholders meeting on the 28th of this month. The text of the
proposal may be found in the 1999 Annual Report, on the Kellogg's web page. I am reproducing
it below. Kellogg management is urging stock holders to vote against the proposal (ie,
management wants to continue using transgenic products):

Proposal 5.

SHARE OWNER PROPOSAL

The Sisters of St. Joseph, P.O. Box 34, Nazareth, MI 49074, the holders of
8,000 shares of Kellogg Company common stock, and the Retirement Plans For
the Employees of the Sisters of Mercy Regional Community of Detroit, 34605
Twelve Mile Road, Farmington Hills, MI 48331, the holders of 1,100 shares of
Kellogg Company common stock, have informed the Company that they intend
to present the following proposal at the Annual Meeting of Share Owners.

Adoption of the proposal will require the affirmative vote of holders of a
majority of the shares of common stock represented in person or by proxy at the
meeting. Securities and Exchange Commission rules require that we reprint the
proposal and supporting statement as it was submitted to us. The proposal, as
submitted, is as follows:

GENETIC ENGINEERING IN FOOD PRODUCTS

WHEREAS:

International markets for genetically engineered (GE) foods are threatened
by extensive resistance to gene protection technology, transgenic technology and
genetically altered foods;

o Several of Europe's largest food retailers, including Tesco, Sainsbury Group,
Carrefour, and Rewe, have committed to removing GE ingredients from their store-brand
products;

o In the UK, three fast-food giants - McDonald's, Burger King, and Kentucky Fried
Chicken - are eliminating GE soya and corn ingredients from their menus;

o Gerber Products Co. announced in July 1999 that they would not allow GE corn or
soybeans in any of their baby foods;

o Archer Daniels Midland asked its grain suppliers in August 1999 to segregate their
genetically engineered crops from conventional crops;

There is increasing scientific concern that genetically engineered agricultural products may be
harmful to humans, animals, or the environment;

o The U.S. Department of Agriculture has acknowledged (July 13, 1999) the need to
develop a comprehensive approach to evaluating long-term and secondary effects of GE
products;

o Some GE crops have been engineered to have higher levels of toxins, such as Bacillus
thuringiensis (Bt), to make them insect-resistant;

o In 1998, research showed that Bt crops are building up Bt toxins in the soil;

o In 1999, the European Union proposed the suspension of approval of new genetically
engineered organisms until a new safety law for genetically engineered organisms is implemented in
2002. This followed a new study that showed Bt corn pollen may harm monarch butterflies.

In the U.S., we have a long tradition of citizens' "Right to Know"; an expression of this
includes the current laws requiring nutritional labeling of foods;

o A January 1999 Time/CNN poll indicated that 81% of Americans said that GE food
should be labeled as such;

o GE crops may incorporate genes that are allergens or from animal species. Individuals
can not avoid them for health or religious reasons unless they are labeled;

o The European Union requires labeling of GE foods, and labeling has been proposed by
governmental authorities in Japan, New Zealand, and Australia.

RESOLVED: Shareholders request the Board of Directors to adopt a policy of removing
genetically engineered crops, organisms, or products thereof from all products sold or
manufactured by the company, where feasible, until long-term safety testing has shown that they
are not harmful to humans, animals, and the environment; with the interim step of labeling and
identifying these products that may contain these ingredients, and reporting to the shareholders by
August 2000.

SUPPORTING STATEMENT

We believe that this technology involves significant social, economic, and environmental
risks. Our company should take a leadership position in delaying market adoption of genetically
engineered crops and foods. Failure to do so could leave our company financially liable, should
detrimental effects to public health or the environment appear in the future.
---------------------------------

Date: Apr 10 2000 21:43:43 EDT
From: Intsoil@aol.com
Subject: Toungue and Cheek

Well,

I never thought my rather tongue and cheek proposed ad would raise so many
responses.

My point is quite simple. The pro-biotechnology forces have lacked the
ability to connect with the public. Let me go a bit farther. I believe most
people do not fundamentally understand why scientists are even bothering to
modify and improve crops. Discussing how genetic modification is closely
related to conventional breeding doesn't really address the issue of why.
Nor does merely demonstrating safety. Instead of pure science and relying on
academics and regulatory bodies to support biotech, I think we need to
explain to the public in simple terms what goals we are going to reach
through modified crops:
1) less need for synthetic agrochemical
2) allowing more land to be arable, especially in poorer nations
3) increasing the nutritional value of foods.
ETC ETC>

I imagine an effective ad campaign would be similar to that of International
Paper, that simply explains one benefit provided by biotech crops and then
perhaps highlights how in the near future there will be (insert benefit such
as approximate number of blindness cases reduced by increased vitamin C
content in rice). We need to inspire people by the enormous benefits we are
so close to reaching and show them the people we are helping. Right now we
are discussing whether or not there is a "risk" with what we do without
explaining what the benefits are in simple terms. We need people to relate
to who would suffer most if we pulled back from our biotechnology commitment:
The poor, the hungry, the malnourished . . . Certainly, agribusiness
profits and should. Certainly, farmers increase yields. Certainly, crushers
have a more consistent crop. But what people will best relate to is a farm
in Africa producing a strain of wheat that requires less water or a family
in China now eating a more nutritious strain of rice.

We have the moral high ground. We have the ability to effectively and
properly tug the hearts of the very people who are now skeptical. BUT, we
must start addressing critics with stories of what we can accomplish versus
purely science of how what we are doing is safe.

Those are my thoughts.

Rich

---------------------------------
Date: Apr 11 2000 09:57:33 EDT
From: Ann Oaks
Subject: Re: Agbioview - Combined Posting


We know from previous experiments that weeds can develop resistence to
herbicides. Atrazine is a case in point and there have been many
experiments done to see how atrazine inhibition affects plant metabolism
and what is altered in atrazine resistant weeds. Scientists did try to put
the atrazine resistance into crop plants. The problem was that the new
GMO's took longer to mature than atrazine sensitive plant, and so these
GMO's were never commercialized. If weeds can develop
resistance to atrazine there is no reason to believe that they would not
also develop resistance to antibiotics, other pesticides or herbicides.
Ann Oaks