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July 5, 2000


Inside the American Corn Growers Association


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

This is all simple modern political lobbying, everyone has an
agenda including you.  You choose what is posted on your list and it is
obviously bias.  Any intelligent person recognizes this - after all
you wish to continue your research which no doubt requires the continued
support of your specialty.  We are all bias myself included.  Is it
any surprise that public interest lobbyists have adopted the tricks of the
corporate interest lobbyists.

The real question is why not label genetically engineered (or
modified) agricultural products?  What are you afraid of?  If the
science is so sound then your efforts would be better spent informing the public
of the risk/benefit ratio of using your products, rather than attempting to keep
your products indistinguishable from there
non-biotech alternatives.  Organic farmers have gone to great lengths
to get there products labeled. 

The pharmaceutical industry labels the medications that are
marketed.  This labeling allows people to make informed choices.  Many
consumers prefer to use alternatives to science based conventional western
medicine.  Take Factor Eight for example, the
hemophiliac patients that rely on this medication
prefer the biotechnology (recombinant) product because they are
informed of the risk/benefit ratio.  You might consider a medication
with a less serious risk/benefit ratio: insulin.  Most patient prefer
the recombinant version.  I do not attempt to hide the fact that
these are biotechnology medications.

Prior to the publication of "The Silent Spring" the general
public was unconcerned with the potential for the unknown dangers of
pesticides.  Pesticides were warmly received as a great new
technology.     You must accept that there is great skepticism
about new technology today amongst both the laymen and scientist alike. 
Address the risk/benefit ratio of the technology you promote openly, then let
the free market place decide.  I don't force people to chose FDA approved
medications over alternative practices or herbal supplements.  I accept
that I can only attempt to inform people of the scientific merit of my
position.  Sadly people often make bad choices, but it is a free country
and they should be allowed to make an informed choice.

Sincerely, Paul Ebert RPh.

> -----Original
> From: AgBioView [ href="mailto:AgBioView-owner@listbot.com"
> Sent: Thursday,
July 06, 2000 5:59 AM
> To: AgBioView
> Subject: Inside the American
Corn Growers Association
> AgBioView - href="http://www.agbioworld.org" target=_blank>http://www.agbioworld.org, href="http://agbioview.listbot.com"
> href="http://www.guestchoice.com/051600_acga.htm"
Inside the American Corn Growers Association
> The American Corn
Growers Association (ACGA) caught the media spotlight
> recently when it
submitted comments to the United States Department of
> Agriculture's
Advisory Committee on Agricultural
> Biotechnology. Founded in 1987 as a
self-proclaimed alternative to the far
> larger National Corn Growers
Association, ACGA appears to currently be
> focused on opposing all
genetically engineered (or modified) agricultural
> ACGA's recommendations to the USDA included
government-mandated labels on
> all food items containing genetically
modified ingredients and financial
> incentives for farmers to plant
non-GM crops. ACGA also asked the USDA
>     "Investigate the relationship
between those commodity associations
> receiving corporate financial
support from the biotechnology industry and
> their endorsement of
genetically modified crops."
> Birds of a Feather?
If any commodity group deserves a public inspection of the link between
their political endorsements and their funding sources, it's ACGA. ACGA
> a leading member of the "Bolinas Group," a consortium of
> which includes such anti-biotech opponents as Jeremy
Rifkin, Friends of
> the Earth (FoE), Institute for Agriculture and Trade
Policy (IATP),
> Campaign for Food Safety, Natural Resources Defense
Council, Organic
> Consumers Association, and the Sierra Club. The Bolinas
Group advocates
> mandatory labeling of GM foods and the indefinite
suspension of the
> introduction of further GM products.
ACGA says it provides "farmers with unbiased, honest and objective
information to assist them in making educated decisions" about
> modified crops through its "Farmer Choice-Customer First"
> Interestingly, ACGA's "Farmer Choice" program is funded by
> foundations which have a history of backing anti-GM
> organizations, many of who, in addition to their other
anti-GM activities,
> are members of the Bolinas Group.
ACGA's Farmer Choice program counts among its supporters: John Merck
> which has given grants to FoE and IATP; HKH Foundation
(Greenpeace, the
> Union of Concerned Scientists, and IATP); and
> Bullitt Foundation (FoE, Sierra Club, and Environmental Defense).
> program's ties dissolve any claims ACGA could make regarding its
> of "unbiased, honest and objective" information, especially
> considered in tandem with its sponsorship of the intensely anti-GE
> "CropChoice.com" website.
> ACGA's focus on labeling
and banning GM foods marches them in an exact
> lockstep with the folks
who pay the bills. A reasonable observer looking
> at ACGA's purpose,
funding and policy positions could ask the USDA
>     "Investigate the relationship
between a commodity association
> receiving financial support from
>     anti-biotechnology industry and their
denunciation of genetically
> modified crops."
> At least the many commodity groups who support
biotech advances in
> agriculture can point to sound science, federal
agency oversight, and
> positive sociological, economic, and environmental
impact as the basis of
> their support. On the other hand, even though the
ACGA is small, it lends
> anti-GM advocacy groups a false patina of
legitimacy by playing the
> "farmer card"…. but only for a price.
> Date: May 12
2000 08:43:00 EDT
From:            Andrew
Apel <agbionews@earthlink.net>
Subject:            An
Interesting Wrinkle
> Dear Colleagues,
> The
American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) has long claimed to represent
the economic interests of the American farmer in ways other groups
> because it receives no funds from seed or chemical companies.
Its 14,000
> members are farmers.
> The group claims to be
in favor of modern agricultural techniques, and
> further claims that the
use of GMOs is destroying American export markets,
> making the
cultivation of GMOs unwise.
> ACGA has now affiliated itself with
activist and organic groups, and
> formed CropChoice ( href="http://www.cropchoice.com" target=_blank>http://www.cropchoice.com) to
disseminate "news that
> big companies may not want farmers to hear" about
the economic downside of
> modified crops.
> One of the
sponsors of the effort is Greenpeace... and guess where
> CropChoice is
headquartered? That's right... In the suite right next door
> to the
Greenpeace office in Seattle, Wash.
> Quite interesting, I