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October 1, 2000


Lovelock, GM Rice


'Ignorance' of Greens attacked by scientist
By Roger Highfield Science Editor

September 28, 2000, Thursday

AN INDEPENDENT scientist revered by Green groups attacks them today for
their stance on nuclear power and GM food. "Too many Greens are not just
ignorant of science, they hate science," says James Lovelock, 81, who is
best known for his Gaia theory and the many
environmental prizes he has won.

Named after the Greek goddess of Earth by the novelist William Golding,
Gaia theory says that creatures, rocks, air and water interact in subtle
ways to ensure the environment remains stable.

Gaia has exerted great influence on the Green movement, but in Homage to
Gaia: The Life of an Independent Scientist, published today, Lovelock says
that he has "never been wholly on the side of environmentalism". He likens
Greens to "some global over-anxious mother figure who is so concerned
about small risks that she ignores the real dangers".

He wished they "would grow up" and focus on the real problem: "How can we
feed, house and clothe the abundant human race without destroying the
habitats of other creatures?" Unlike most Greens, Lovelock backs nuclear
energy. "Some time in the next century, when the adverse effects of
climate change begin to bite, people will look back in anger at those who
now so foolishly continue to pollute by burning fossil fuel instead of
accepting the beneficence of nuclear power.

"Is our distrust of nuclear power and genetically modified food soundly
based?" he asks, saying that his disenchantment with the Green movement is
similar to that of Patrick Moore, the veteran environmentalist who accused
it of abandoning science. "He was a founder of Greenpeace, but like me has
an Orwellian view of the environmental lobbies as they are today."

One reason why Lovelock regards the Green movement "with mixed vexation
and affection" is its obsession with the chemical industry.

"To many Greens, if a chemical like methyl iodide or carbon disulphide
comes from some dark satanic mill, it is by nature evil, but if it comes
from organically grown or natural seaweed, it must be good and healthy. To
me, as a scientist, it does not matter where it comes from. I am poisoned
if I eat too much of it."


September 29, 2000
Agence France Presse English

PARIS - Controversial transgenic rice has, according to this story,
passed an important field test in China, where delighted scientists report
that it proved highly resistant to local pests and provided bumper yields.

Writing in October's issue of Nature Biotechnology, researchers from
Huazhong Agricultural University at Wuhan and the International Rice
Research Institute (IRRI) in the Philippines were cited as reporting that
they inserted a gene into the two strains of well-known rice, causing the
plants to produce a protein harmful to stem-boring insects.

The Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt) protein is already widely used in
genetically engineered crops in the United States such as corn, cotton and

The modified strains were the Minghui 63 and Shanyou 63, kinds of
high-yield "hybrid" rice that over the past quarter-century have played a
key role in feeding China's burgeoning population.
Bt versions of the plants were then put to a field trial in Wuhan in June
1999 to see how they stood up to two common pests, leaffolder and yellow
stem borer, and to evaluate their yield.

The authors were cited as writing that the transgenic plants "exhibited
excellent protection against extremely high, repeated infestations," while
non-modified plants suffered damage to their leaves and stems.

Rice yields, for which Bt-modified Shanyou 63 was used, were 28.9 percent
higher than non-Bt plants, a highly impressive result gained without the
use of chemicals, they add.

They recommend the Bt technology for use across rice-growing countries in
Asia where insects are a major problem.

Subj: Re: AGBIOVIEW: Commercialism, ISAAA, Harvard
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 4:41:27 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: kathryn marsh

>Douglas T. Nelson is the senior vice president and general counsel of the
>American Crop Protection Association, a nonprofit trade organization
>representing major manufacturers, formulators and distributors of crop
>protection, pest control and biotechnology products. Readers may write to
>him at: American Crop Protection Association, 1156 Fifteenth St. NW, Suite
>400, Washington, D.C. 20005.

I like the idea of a nonprofit trade organization representing major
manufacturers etc

This means he's independent because he's representing the
manufacturers does it?

Kathryn Marsh

Subj: Re: AGBIOVIEW: Shoppers select GM, Vandals, TV, Aventis
Date: Sat, 30 Sep 2000 4:41:38 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: kathryn marsh

>Shoppers select genetically modified food

This responsible researcher actually sprays corn three times with
carbofuran and then feeds it to people? Can't he read labels? The
result is not only not exactly science its the sort of thing that
gives the advocates of GM food a bad name. I thought that crop
scientist had got more responsible recently and then I read something
like this

And he obviously doesn't know what a data point looks like either

Kathryn Marsh