Home Page Link AgBioWorld Home Page
About AgBioWorld Donations Ag-Biotech News Declaration Supporting Agricultural Biotechnology Ag-biotech Info Experts on Agricultural Biotechnology Contact Links Subscribe to AgBioView Home Page

AgBioView Archives

A daily collection of news and commentaries on

Subscribe AgBioView Subscribe

Search AgBioWorld Search

AgBioView Archives





June 29, 2000


patents, Trewavas, ADSA-ASAS Meeting


Dear Dr. Cross:

Attitudes such as this are widespread, the result of a campaign by Rural
Advancement Foundation International (RAFI), which advocates the notion
that developing countries should have intellectual property rights on
without applying for patents, while developed countries should have
intellectual property rights on nothing, in spite of patents.

Such a bizarre double standard is difficult to comprehend, but it plays
well with some audiences.

From: Beant Ahloowalia

"...So far, the plant breeders have used genes freely from
gene pools, without patents. Why should the developing countries be now
be asked to create new laws to protect and pay for a few novel genes,
when rest of the world have used and are still using plant germplasm
produced in the developing countries!"

Mr. B. has it that plant breeders got their germplasm from
the developing countries.

Date: Jun 30 2000 11:57:55 EDT
From: Andrew Apel
Subject: Re: final reply to Ryan. Phew!

Dear Dr. Trewavas:

I enjoyed the part of your response dealing with the psychological study
which showed scientists were uninformed outside their area of expertise. I
have often wondered why so many anti-biotech scientists were physicists,
geologists, etc.

Still, you would think that as scientists, they would have a more balanced
perspective than a lay person on scientific issues. It may be time to
perform a psychological study on anti-biotech scientists. We might find,
instance, paranoid tendencies and an aversion to authority.

Date: Jun 30 2000 12:19:44 EDT
From: Andrew Apel
Subject: Biotech As Mechanism


The notion of the body as mechanism is at least as old as Newton, and
probably can be dated back to Hippocrates. Most date the mind/body
distinction back to Descartes, a distinction which is now regarded as a
prominent feature of Western culture.

Criticism of this distinction has long raged in various circles, and now
it is being directed against biotechnology; many decry the
"commodification of life," etc., etc. Tom Abate is a respected journalist,
but with this latest, and with the draft of the human genome, we must
consider the possibility that such a criticism is poised to go mainstream,
and brace ourselvelves.

The trouble with railing against the mind/body distinction, or the life
vs. mechanism distinction, is that those who rail against it are required
to resolve it, which they can't. This means, of course, that it is an
ideal basis for a popular controversy.

From Wired News, available online at:

Biotech: The Internet, With Soul
by Kristen Philipkoski

3:00 a.m. Jun. 30, 2000 PDT

Tom Abate, a biotech reporter for the San Francisco Chronicle who
moderated the event, said the "gene era" zeitgeist suggests
that biology will allow us to regard ourselves as machines. While
this could translate into a sensible and economical way to
practice medicine, Abate said viewing our make-up as so much
apparatus is also

"I wonder if we aren't about to lose our soul (or) our
spirit in this mechanistic fashion. I wonder if we have the wisdom to apply
our knowledge -- if we won't become victims of our own pride," he said.

Date: Jun 30 2000 11:22:05 EDT
From: "Ellen Bergfeld"
Subject: ADSA-ASAS Meeting in Baltimore, July 24-28

The upcoming meeting of the American Dairy Science Association
and the American Society of Animal Science (ADSA-ASAS)
will be held July 24-28, 2000 at the Baltimore Convention Center,
Baltimore, MD. The meeting theme "From Research to Innovation"
is a joint celebration of 2000 with the European Association of
JULY 1, 2000.

Of specific interest, on July 24, is the day long symposium on
"Agriculture Biotechnology in the Global Marketplace". We
will have top speakers on the issues of transgenic livestock; crop
modification as it affects meat, milk and eggs; the latest on DNA
and protein detection research; environmental implications; global
trade; European views, and communicating with the public.
The ag biotech workshop is not yet full - but is filling rapidly.
REGISTER at http://www.baltimore2k.org.

Early indicators suggest that this will be a heavily-attended
meeting. The number of abstracts accepted for presentation
numbers upwards of 1300 and more than 30 symposia will be
offered. Interpretive Summaries of invited presentations are now
available online. For more information, contact the web site

Following is additional information highlighting symposia topics:

·Animal Behavior and Well-Being: A full-day symposium,
"Livestock Transport: Industry Issues and Research Challenges" is
planned to focus on: Bringing Livestock Transport into Y2K
Compliance (morning) and Livestock Transportation: Research
Challenges for the New Millennium (afternoon).

·Breeding and Genetics: "A Tribute to A. E. Freeman, Iowa State
University" will be the focus of a series of nine presentations on
genetic improvement of livestock by former PhD students of
Freeman; a meal function will be an extra feature of this all-day
session. Other symposia include: "Inbreeding in Animal
Agriculture" and "Genetics of Carcass Merit."

·Contemporary and Emerging Issues: Two timely symposia are
planned by this committee and co-sponsored by the Federation of
Animal Science Societies (FASS): "The Future of Animal
Agriculture in Supplying Food for the World"; and,"Agricultural
Biotechnology in the Global Marketplace". The GMO pre-meeting
workshop will provide cutting-edge information about how this new
technology is affecting animal agriculture and food production. The
number of attendees at this workshop is limited, so register soon
to reserve your space!

·Emerging food safety issues will be the focus of a symposium
entitled: "Farm-to-Table Food Safety - Knowledge Gaps and
Lessons Learned", which will address current and emerging issues
about food borne diseases, lessons from the BSE story, Johnes'
(Mycobacterium paratuberculosis) disease, HACCP plan
development and implementation in beef feedlots, transmission of
antibiotic resistance, risk assessment and science-based policy of
food borne pathogens, food safety issues in ready-to-eat meats,
pasteurization alternatives, and national surveillance systems.

·Forages and Pastures: Two symposia, "Protein Nutrition in Forage-
Fed Ruminants" and "Energetics and Forage Utilization" will be
sponsored jointly by the Forages and Pastures and Ruminant
Nutrition Committees.

·Growth and Development: The Growth and Development
Committee has formulated a program which will feature a full-day
symposium on "Functional Genomics", and a mini-symposium on
"Mechanisms of Hormone Action". Additionally, a strand of oral
presentations will focus on "Appetite Regulation" and one invited
talk followed by a series of at-large oral presentations. The central
theme, "Impact of Clinical/Subclinical Disease in Animal Growth"
will be the topic of another oral session, anchored by an invited
presentation. Two general poster sessions on growth and
development will round-out this program.

·International Animal Agriculture: A half-day mini-symposium,
"Converting Research to Application in Tropical and Subtropical
Animal Production and Processing Systems" is planned. The other
half-day will be devoted to oral and poster presentations on tropical
and subtropical animal agriculture.

·Milk Synthesis: "Physiology and Economics of Alternate Methods
for the Initiation of Lactation". Short Q & A and a longer discussion
session will enhance assimilation of information on topics of:
induction of lactation in heifers; efficacy and economics of steroid-
induced lactation in cull cows; effects of milking interval on
mammary function and shape of the lactation curve; delayed
breeding in cows receiving bST; and economics of atypical milk

·Physiology: Four mini-symposia will anchor the Physiology
Committee's program this year. In each case, at-large abstract
submissions from the membership for poster and oral
presentations will complement main topics: luteal cell interactions
and function; regional projects associated with reproduction;
regulation of feed intake; and, genomic markers for reproduction
and milk production traits.

·Production and Management: A real-life case study, "The Effects
on Profits of (1) Adding Cows or Herds Versus (2) Adding
Technology to Increase Efficiency and to Increase Production Per
Cow" will be highlighted. Additionally, symposia will focus on:
"Effects of Anabolic Implants on Carcass Yield Grade and Quality"
(co-sponsored with the Beef Species Committee); "Lameness and
the Environment" (jointly sponsored with the Health Committee);
and, "Management of Dairy Herds for 40,000 lb milk/ year".

·Ruminant Nutrition Symposia will focus on: "Starch Utilization by
Ruminants" and "Protein Nutrition in Forage-Fed Ruminants" (co-
sponsored with the Forages and Pastures Committee).
Additionally, invited presentations addressing ionophores in diets of
lactating dairy cows, and the effects of animal grouping on feeding
behavior and feed intake will anchor oral abstract sessions on
these topics.

·Undergraduate and Graduate Education: A half-day symposium on
"Methods to Enhance Systems-Based Thinking in Animal and
Dairy Science Teaching Efforts" is one attraction of this program.
Additionally, a workshop "Equipping Graduate Students for the
Faculty Workplace" will be held on the afternoon prior to the
opening session. A panel and roundtable discussion on
"Development of Teaching Portfolios" presented and lead by
departmental administrators and successful teachers is planned.
Additionally, again this year a fee-based workshop on "Mixed
Models for Experimental Scientists in Animal and Dairy Science"
will be presented by R. J. Tempelman (Michigan State University)
and L. W. Douglass (University of Maryland).

·Women and Minority Issues in Animal Agriculture: The Committee
has planned a program to address the topic "How Do 'We' Fit Into
ASAS and ADSA - Women, Minorities, and Internationals". The
Program will be held in conjunction with a late afternoon social

For more information, consult the meeting website at
http://www.baltimore2k.org; email asas@assochq.org or
adsa@assochq.org; or phone 217-356-3182.

Ellen Bergfeld, Ph.D.
Executive Director
American Society of Animal Science
1111 North Dunlap Ave.
Savoy, IL 61874
217 356-3182 phone
217 398-4119 fax
2000 ASAS Annual Meeting
July 24-28, Baltimore, MD