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September 13, 2000


Threats, GFPs, Greenpeace, NY Law, Nestles


I would like to know why the Febederal Bureau of Investigation in the USA
is not acting on such threats. They are coming from clearly identifyable
organisations and people. Write to your senator and congresspeople (in the
USA) and demand action!

Ray Shillito

At 04:38 PM 9/8/00 -0000, AgBioView wrote:
>AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org; Archived at
>From: "Kershen, Drew L"
>Subject: Threats against farmers
>Dear All on the AgBioView listserv:
>I am copying to the AgBioView listserv a message I received on an
>anti-agrobiotechnology listserv that I read. I copy to this list because
>the tone and threat are frighteningly serious. I felt that the AgBioView
>readers should be aware of this threat. Please remember that I am sending
>this to AgBioView for your information. I am not the author of the message
>copied between the *** lines. Moreover, I am both a supporter of
>agrobiotechnology and opposed to the totalitarian and terroist tone and
>tactics of those who wrote the message.


Date: Sep 13 2000 16:16:19 EDT
From: "Frances B. Smith"
Subject: FYI -- Action Alert+ACE- Do you know what you're eating?

From: National Environmental Trust
Sent: Tuesday, September 12, 2000 5:14 PM
To: NET E-Activists
Subject: Action Alert+ACE- Do you know what you're eating?

The National Environmental Trust is excited to announce that it has
recently begun work on a new campaign. The Genetically Engineered Food
Alert is a coalition of organizations concerned with the protection of
consumer rights, public health and the environment as they relate to the
effects of genetically engineered food. In an effort to better educate the
public, GEFoodAlert has launched a nation-wide campaign about the risks
with genetically engineered foods.

We need your help+ACE- Tell Kellogg's and Campbell's that you want them to
stop using Genetically Engineered ingredients.

Visit http://environet.policy.net/gefoodalert/index.htm

Genetically engineered ingredients can cause allergic reactions, toxic
effects, or antibiotic resistance. In 1996, a major health disaster was
narrowly averted when researchers learned that a Brazil nut gene spliced
into soybeans could potentially cause a fatal allergic reaction in people
allergic to Brazil nuts.

Since the FDA does not require labeling or testing of genetically
engineered ingredients, you or I would have had no way to know that the
product could possibly cause us harm.

Right now, Kellogg's and Campbell's are putting products on our grocery
store shelves that include genetically engineered ingredients - without
mandatory testing or labeling+ACE- And that's compromising our health and

Tell Campbell's and Kellogg's to set the standard in the U.S. -
genetically engineered ingredients shouldn't be used unless they are
tested and labeled. We deserve to know what's in our food, and that it's
safe to eat+ACE-


Let your other friends know about this campaign too+ACE- Forward this
message along to people you know who care about our health and safety+ACE-

Kirsten Suhr
National Environmental Trust

Subj: Green Fluorescent Protein
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 10:59:08 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Martin Blake

I was wondering if someone could advise me on the use of green fluorescent
protein (GFP) as a traceable marker in transformed non-food crops. Are
a viable option to monitor transgene outcrossing to weedy relatives?

Martin Blake
University of Tasmania

Subj: Greenpeace to disrupt Asia Pacific Seed Association meet
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 6:23:10 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Barry Hearn"


Greenpeace to disrupt Asia Pacific Seed Association meet
By Allen J. Mendonca

BANGALORE: Till very recently, it used to be the Karnataka Rajya raitha
Sangha (KRRS) that used to protest vociferously, even violently, against
MNCs entering the agriculture and food sector in India. Remember the
attacks on KFC and Pizza Hut? A few days from now, activists of Greenpeace
International will join hands with the KRRS to demonstrate at Bangalore's
Le Meridien Hotel where the seventh annual conference of the Asia Pacific
Seed Association is scheduled from September 25-28.

Greenpeace International Genetic Engineering Campaigner Michelle Chawla
who is in Bangalore overseeing the planning for D-day, said Greenpeace
would also disrupt the AG Biotech Conference to be held at Delhi's Hyatt
Regency on September 21 and 22.

The Bangalore Conference on the theme `Asian Seed 2000' has attracted over
600 delegates from the Asia-Pacific region who are involved in crop
breeding, seed production, quality assurance and distribution of seeds in
the region. The Seed Association of India and the Association of Seed
Industry are co-hosts for the event. Union Agriculture Minister Nitish
Kumar, Chief Minister S.M. Krishna and the topbrass of the agricultural
sector are participating.

``We have already triggered bio-safety debate on Monsanto's transgenic
trials in India. The Delhi-based Research Foundation for Science,
Technology and Ecology has filed a petition in public interest before the
Supreme Court challenging the planting of Monsanto-MAHYCO's genetically
engineered Bt cotton in 40 locations in India. We have decided to join
hands with organisations like the KRRS to oppose genetic engineering.''

Greenpeace claims that many of the genetically engineered (GE) crops which
are already being grown on a commercial scale, contain genes which are
resistant to antibiotics used for the treatment of diseases in both humans
and animals. These genes are unnecessary to the development of GE plants
themselves and could severely undermine the effective treatment of
diseases if the antibiotic resistance is transferred to bacteria which are
harmful to human and animal health.''

Michelle quotes the views of Camila Montecinos of the Cenro de Educacion
tecnologia, Chile, when asked why the seed conference was being targetted,
``This (GE seeds) is an immoral technique that robs farming communities of
their age-old right to save seed and their role as plant breeders. Farmers
and governments everywhere should declare use of the technology as
contrary to public order and national security.''

Barry Hearn
EVAG Co-ordinator

Economically Viable Alternative Green
Bridging the gap between environmental idealism and reality.

Have you fed a starving person today? Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/
have a sponsor donate food on your behalf - costs you nothing.

Subj: Lawmaker Pushing For Unaltered Crops
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 6:48:23 PM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Barry Hearn"


Lawmaker Pushing For Unaltered Crops
Wants 5-year state ban on genetic modifications

by Samuel Bruchey
Staff Writer

Long Island farms have yet to sprout the kind of genetically enhanced fruit
trees tested in Western Canada that kill insects without pesticides and
produce big juicy apples that stay white hours after being cut.

Nor poplar trees seen in Israel that practically shoots up from the ground
while consuming carbon dioxide to slow global warming.

In fact, farming in Long Island is dying the slow death of a fallow field,
with fewer acres used to harvest crops each year.

But genetic tinkering has resuscitated dreams of commercial viability.

"If we can develop crops people find desirable," said Bill Sanok, Suffolk
County agent for the Cornell Cooperative Extension, "There may be a future
for farming in Long Island." But that may never happen.

In a news conference yesterday amid fluttering stalks of corn behind White
Post Farms in Melville, State Sen. Kenneth LaValle (R-Port Jefferson)
proposed a five-year moratorium on all genetically modified crops in the

"I don't want to deter science or technology," said LaValle, who originally
introduced the bill in March along with Assemb. John J. McEneny (D-Albany).

"But we need to have a dialogue on this issue to make sure these crops are
adequately tested." While there have been no scientific studies indicating
any potential health risks associated with genetically modified crops, not
enough testing has been done to know for sure, LaValle said. LaValle
scheduled a public hearing on the issue at the State University at
Farmingdale at 11 a.m. today.

Although Suffolk produces the greatest amount of farm goods compared with
other state counties in terms of cash value including high-quality vinifera
grapes used in Chardonnay wines-very few Long Island crops are genetically

Even so, several environmental organizations have echoed the senator's

"We just don't know what the risks are," said Bob DiBenedetto, director of
Earthsave, of Huntington. But Howard Johnson, president of the Long Island
Farm Bureau, sees the legislation as a knee-jerk reaction to

"There is no hard evidence that genetic enhancement is unsafe," Johnson
said. "If they take away this tool from us, farmers are going to be at a
competitive disadvantage." Rather than harm farmers, LaValle said the
legislation would open new markets for organically grown crops. If passed,
the legislation would call for an end to genetic research statewide. It
would not prevent farm goods grown in other states from being sold in New
York, LaValle said.

Johnson sees this as an invitation for out-of-state farmers to nudge in on
demand for locally grown crops.

"They say they are trying to preserve farms in Long Island," said Johnson,
"but this is a smack in the face."

Barry Hearn
EVAG Co-ordinator

Economically Viable Alternative Green
Bridging the gap between environmental idealism and reality.

Have you fed a starving person today? Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/
have a sponsor donate food on your behalf - costs you nothing

Subj: Nestle says poor suffer while GM foods debate rages
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 2:45:40 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Barry Hearn"


Nestle says poor suffer while GM foods debate rages

Source: AAP | Published: Wednesday Sep 13, 11:58 AM

Nestle executive vice-president Michael Garrett said prolonged debate on
the risks of biotechnology was inappropriate when millions of deaths could
be prevented by much-needed new products.

Mr Garrett told delegates at the Asia Pacific Economic Summit of the World
Economic Forum in Melbourne, that allowing the controversial genetically
modified "golden rice" to be grown in poor countries could save the sight
and lives of millions affected by vitamin A deficiency.

The rice is high in beta-carotene and related compounds which are
transformed in the human body into vitamin A, but has been criticised as an
environmental risk.

But Mr Garrett said people were dying while well-fed activists in developed
nations debated the finer points of genetically modified food.

"Of course there's risks," he told delegates at the forum.
"But you have to look at the risk and reward - how much risk do you have to
avoid before you start using the technology?

"How far do you have to analyse the risks of golden rice when you know you
can starve tomorrow?"

But Community Aid Abroad Oxfam executive director Jeremy Hobbs said the
developing nations were often so desperate for a solution to their problems
they would accept any solution regardless of possible risks.

"If there isn't informed consent about these issues ... particularly in
countries where there isn't a real democracy, what's to stop the risks that
we've made with pesticides, which have been an absolute disaster?," he said
to reporters.

"(Mr Garrett)'s message is 'we know best' and clearly that's not a paradigm
that works any more.

"Business has a responsibility to go beyond its commercial interest, and it
can't rely on government to regulate, because inherently (businesses) are
competing for advantage, they're not looking for regulation."

He said the challenge for business was to develop products with the
involvement and consent of the community.

Mr Hobbs also said he didn't think WEF delegates were taking
anti-globalisation protesters outside the Crown Casino complex seriously.

"Maybe that's because people in very large corporations aren't comfortable
with ... political activism of that type," he said.

"It is personally confronting, but people do need an opportunity to be able
to voice concerns widely and in a more engaged way and I think the
responsibility is with business to try to understand what is happening out

Barry Hearn
EVAG Co-ordinator

Economically Viable Alternative Green
Bridging the gap between environmental idealism and reality.

Have you fed a starving person today? Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/
have a sponsor donate food on your behalf - costs you nothing.

Subj: Consumers ‘don’t care’ how food is produced
Date: Wed, 13 Sep 2000 5:15:12 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Barry Hearn"


Consumers ‘don’t care’ how food is produced

Tuesday, 12th September 2000
The Scotsman

ONLY about one in ten of consumers is really interested in how their food
is produced, according to a new report from the Institute of Grocery
Distribution (IGD).

The report identifies three broad consumer bands - the 48 per cent of
consumers who are ‘abdicators’ who don’t now and don’t care how their food
is produced; the 42 per cent who are ‘spectators’ who mean to find out but
don’t quite get around to it; and the 11 per cent who are ‘investigators’
and bone up on all the latest information.

The villains of the peace are the media, according to Anna Dawson, IGD’s
consumer research manager. "We found that people’s concerns about food
production were often based on inaccurate perceptions. For example, many
people think the chicken we eat is battery farmed, but the reality is that
none in the UK is produced like this.

"Consumers take views from the newspapers and often these are
sensationalist. If consumers had a more accurate understanding of food
production then we think many of their concerns could disappear. The big
challenge for industry is how to inform consumers when the majority don’t
want to know about food production methods."

This is a problem the farmers’ unions are tackling through the red tractor
logo which they claim offers quality assurance. They see this as part of a
package - along with a number of quality assurance schemes - that the basic
consumer demands are being met.

A spokesman for the English National Farmers Union said: "If you get this
message right for the 11 per cent who want to be informed then this places
British farmers in a commanding position; it puts us one step ahead in a
competitive global market, particularly where it is difficult for us to
compete on price."

The Meat and Livestock Commission, which is spending £2.3 million of pig
producers’ money matched by the same amount from taxpayers on an
campaign to convince consumers that British pig farmers are better than
their overseas competitors, takes some comfort from the figures.

"In addition to the 11 per cent who want to see or hear our message, we
find that the 42 per cent who are said to be potentially interested are
the prime targets for our campaign," said Chris Lukehurst, MLC’s pigmeat
marketing manager.

Barry Hearn
EVAG Co-ordinator

Economically Viable Alternative Green
Bridging the gap between environmental idealism and reality.

Have you fed a starving person today? Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/
have a sponsor donate food on your behalf - costs you nothing.