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August 9, 2000


Danish Minister bans GM foods because of Monarch study!


Look a the third paragraph and count the inaccuracies. Wow!


Subj: Environment Minister bans GM foods
Date: Thu, 10 Aug 2000 12:38:47 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Barry Hearn"


Environment Minister bans GM foods

Panic over environmentally altered corn may be the reason behind the
Environment Minister's decision to block the introduction of genetically
altered produce.

This last week Environment Minister Svend Auken placed a ban on
genetically altered foods. The ban has effectively forbidden the use of
most kinds of genetically modified foodstuffs including corn, soy beans,
tomatoes, potatoes and turnips. The news is a blow to the Danish Farmers
Union and Danisco A/S who together have just announced the development of
a number of genetically altered vegetables which have been proven to have
no harmful effects on people or the environment.

The block comes after news from the United States, where a recently
developed strain of corn has been linked to problems in the monarch
butterfly population. Developed at Cornell University laboratories, the
corn naturally contains pest-killing bacteria that are harmless to humans,
and were thought to be harmless to most other insects and animals.
However, after the corn had been planted, it was discovered that airborne
pollen from the crop had landed on other vegetation in the area. When
non-pest insects, such as monarch butterflies, landed on the effected
plants, they were killed by the bacteria as well.

The discovery has environmental groups up in arms in both the United
States and the EU, and is thought to be one of the main reasons behind
Auken's decision to block the introduction of any genetically altered

However, the block may be preventing farmers and genetic designers from
improving environmental conditions.

Last year the National Environmental Research Institute announced that
their genetically altered turnips proved to be better for the environment
than the regular variety. In the area around the Jutland town of
Silkeborg, the group's studies have shown that the newly developed turnips
resulted in healthier crops.

Ironically these environmentally friendly turnips have now become the
focus of negative attention from environmental groups, and it is thought
by some observers that Auken is playing up to public sentiment with his
decision rather than following the recommendations of his own advisers.