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October 2, 2000


GM in New Zealand, Nutrition, Hawaiian Papaya, Australian PM


Dear Peter,

This seems like a very strange way of working - at least to a scientist
(But perhaps not to someone who does not care about the truth?) First
decide what the conclusion is going to be:- "GE is likely [to have]
effects on NZ's local and rather unique flora and fauna." and then ask for
data to support the conclusion you have already made: "I am looking for
information in the form of reports or references to such work in other

"[I] am unaware of any studies other than those on Monarch butterfly."

I guess this means you will be only reporting negative lab results and
ignoring the data which shows that the monarch populations have increased
in the years since pesticide applications have dropped due to the
introduction of GE crops.

Have you considered the possiblity that there is no studies of adverse
effects published because when scientists have looked for adverse effects
they find none?

Peter Maddison wrote:

>New Zealand's leading conservation organisation. There is a Royal
>Commission on genetic engineering in New Zealand. I am charged
>with convening the submission from Forest & Bird to this Royal
>Our particular concerns are to put in the submission opposition to GE/GM
>because of the likely effects on NZ's local and rather unique flora and
>fauna. I am looking for information in the form of reports or references
>to such work in other countries, but am unaware of any studies other than
>those on Monarch butterfly.
>Peter Maddison
>Field Studies,
>14, Waikumete Road,
>Glen Eden,
>Waitakere City,
>New Zealand
Dr Roger Morton 02 6246 5069 (ph)
CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5000 (fax)
GPO Box 1600roger.morton@pi.csiro.au

Date: Oct 02 2000 23:53:08 EDT
From: Roger Morton
Subject: nutrition

Your wrote:

>In fact, as research is
>almost non-existent into the nutritional impact of genetically modified
>food on human digestion and is unlikely to be a popular area for funders
>or researchers after the Puztai affair, this will continue to be an area
>where no firm conclusions can be drawn.

You seem to be unaware of a vast amount of literature addressing the
question of GM foods and mamalian digestion. Below is a biblography of
such data - 26 references in all. I call your attention to the first item
which is further work from Puztai that you are probably unaware of.

Contrary to your assertion, firm conclusions can be drawn - the GM food
that has been released so far is safe. We can draw firm conclusions
because it has been tested again and again and again.

Pusztai A, Grant G, Bardócz S, Alonso R, Chrispeels MJ, Schroeder HE, Tabe
LM, Higgins TJV (1999) Expression of insecticidal bean a-amylase inhibitor
transgene has minimal detrimental effect on the nutritional value of peas
in the rat at 30% of the diet. J Nutr 129:1597-1603.

The effect of expression of bean alpha-amylase inhibitor (alpha-AI)
transgene on the nutritional value of peas has been evaluated by
pair-feeding rats diets containing transgenic or parent peas at 300 and
650 g/kg, respectively, and at 150 g protein/kg diet, supplemented with
essential amino acids to target requirements. The results were also
compared with the effects of diets containing lactalbumin with or without
0.9 or 2.0 mg bean alpha-AI, levels equivalent to those in transgenic pea
diets. When 300 and 650 g peas/kg diet were fed, the daily intake of
alpha-AI was 11.5 or 26.3 mg alpha-AI, respectively. At the 300 g/kg
level, the nutritional value of the transgenic and parent line peas was
not significantly different. The weight gain and tissue weights of rats
fed either of the two pea diets were not significantly different from each
other or from those of rats given the lactalbumin diet even when this was
supplemented with 0.9 g alpha-AI/kg. The digestibilities of protein and
dry matter of the pea diets were slightly but significantly lower than
those of the lactalbumin diet, probably due to the presence of naturally
occurring antinutrients in peas. The differences between transgenic and
parent pea lines were small, possibly because neither the purified
recombinant alpha-AI nor that in transgenic peas inhibited starch
digestion in the rat small intestine in vivo to the same extent as did
bean alpha-AI. Thus, this short-term study indicated that transgenic peas
expressing bean alpha-AI gene could be used in rat diets at 300 g/kg level
without major harmful effects on their growth, metabolism and health,
raising the possibility that transgenic peas may also be used at this
level in the diet of farm animals

1. Aulrich, K., I. Halle and G. Flachowsky. 1998. Inhaltsstoffe und
Verdaulichkeit von MaiskF6rnen der Sorte Cesar und der gentechnisch
verE4nderten Bt-hybride bei Legenhennen. Proc Einfluss von Erzeugung und
Verarbeitung auf die QualitE4t laudwirtschaftlicher Produkte. 465-468.

2. Brake, J. and D. Vlachos. 1998. Evaluation of event 176 "Bt" corn in
broiler chickens. J. Poultry Sci. 77:648-653.

3. Daenicke, R., D. Gadeken and K. Aulrich. 1999. Einsatz von Silomais
herkF6mmlicher Sorten und der gentechnisch verE4nderten Bt Hybriden in der
Rinderfhtterung - Mastrinder -. 12, Maiskolloquium. 40-42.

4. Faust, M. 1998. Determining feeding related characteristics for Bt
corn. 1998 Dairy Report. Iowa State University, Ames, Iowa.

5. Faust, M. and L. Miller. 1997. Study finds no Bt in milk. IC-478. Fall
Special Livestock Edition. pp 6-7. Iowa State University Extension, Ames,

6. Faust, M. 1999. Research update on Bt corn silage. Four State Applied
Nutrition and Management Conference. MWPS-4SD5. 158-164.

7. Folmer, J.D., G.E. Erickson, C.T. Milton, T.J. Klopfenstein and J.F.
Beck. 2000. Utilization of Bt corn residue and corn silage for growing
beef steers. Abstract 271 presented at the Midwestern Section ASAS and
Midwest Branch ADSA 2000 Meeting, Des Moines, IA.

8. Folmer, J.D., R.J. Grant, C.T. Milton and J.F. Beck. 2000. Effect of Bt
corn silage on short-term lactational performance and ruminal fermentation
in dairy cows. J. Dairy Sci. 83 (5):1182 Abstract 272.

9. Halle, I., K. Aulrich and G. Flachowsky. 1998. Einsatz von MaiskF6rnen
der Sorte Cesar und des gentechnisch verE4nderten Bt-Hybriden in der
Broiler mast. Proc. 5. Tagung, Schweine- und GeflhgelernE4hrung,
01,-03.12.1998, Wittenberg p 265-267.

10. Hammond, B., J. Vicini, G. Hartnell, M.W. Naylor, C.D. Knight, E.
Robinson, R. L. Fuchs, and S.R. Padgetteet al. 1996. The feeding value of
soybeans fed to rats, chickens, catfish and dairy cattle is not altered by
genetic incorporation of glyphosate tolerance. J. Nutr. 126: 717-727.

11. Padgette, S., N. Taylor, D. Nider, et al. 1996. The composition of
glyphosate-tolerant soybean seed is equivalent to that of conventional
soybeans. J. Nutr. 126: 702-716.

12. Russell, J. and T. Peterson. 1999. Bt corn and non-Bt corn crop
residues equal in grazing value. Extension News, June 30, 1999. Iowa
State University Extension, Ames.

13. Russell, J.R., M.J. Hersom, A. Pugh, K. Barrett and D. Farnham. 2000.
Effects of grazingcrop residues from bt-corn hybrids on the performance of
gestating beef cows. Abstract244 presented at the Midwestern Section ASAS
and Midwest Branch ADSA 2000 Meeting, Des Moines, IA.

14. Russell, J.R., D. Farnham, R.K. Berryman, M.J. Hersom, A. Pugh and K.
Barrett. 2000. Nutritive value of the crop residues from bt-corn hybrids
and their effects on performance of grazing beef cows. 2000 Beef Research
Report -Iowa State University. p 56-61.

15. Sidhu, R.S., B.G. Hammond, R.L. Fuchs, J.N. Mutz, L.R. Holden, B.
George and T. Olson. 2000. Glyphosate-Tolerant Corn: The Composition and
Feeding Value of Grain from Glyphosate-Tolerant Corn is Equivalent to That
of Conventional Corn (Zea Mays L.). J. Agric. Food Chem. 48:2305-2312.

Roundup Ready

16. Characterization of phospholipids from glyphosate-tolerant soybeans
List, G. R.; Orthoefer, F.; Taylor, N.; Nelsen, T.; Abidi, S. L. (Food
Quality and Safety Research, NCAUR, USDA, ARS, Peoria, IL, 61604, USA).
J. Am. Oil Chem. Soc., 76(1), 57-60 1999

17. Compositional Analysis of Glyphosate -Tolerant Soybeans Treated with
Glyphosate Taylor, Nancy B.; Fuchs, Roy L.; MacDonald, John; Shariff,
Ahmed R.; Padgette, Stephen R. (Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO, 63198,
USA). J. Agric. Food Chem., 47(10), 4469-4473 1999

18. The expressed protein in glyphosate-tolerant soybean,
5-enolpyruvylshikimate 3-phosphate synthase from Agrobacterium sp. strain
CP4, is rapidly digested in vitro and is not toxic to acutely gavaged
mice Harrison, Leslie A.; Bailey, Michele R.; Naylor, Mark W.; Ream, Joel
E.; Hammond, Bruce G.; Nida, Debbie L.; Burnette, Barry L.; Nickson,
Thomas E.; Mitsky, Timothy A.; et al. (Monsanto Co., St. Louis, MO,
63198, USA).
J. Nutr., 126(3), 728-40 1996

19. The feeding value of soybeans fed to rats, chickens, catfish and
dairy cattle is not altered by genetic incorporation of glyphosate
tolerance. Hammond, Bruce G.; Vicini, John L.; Hartnell, Gary F.; Naylor,
Mark W.; Knight, Christopher D.; Robinson, Edwin H.; Fuchs, Roy L.;
Padgette, Stephen R. (Monsanto Co., St. Louis, MO, 63167, USA). J. Nutr.,
126(3), 717-27 1996.

20. The composition of glyphosate-tolerant soybean seeds is equivalent to
that of conventional soybeans Padgette, Stephen R.; Taylor, Nancy Biest;
Nida, Debbie L.; Bailey, Michele R.; MacDonald, John; Holden, Larry R.;
Fuchs, Roy L. (Monsanto Co., St. Louis, MO, 63198, USA). J. Nutr.,
126(3), 702-16 1996 {3778}

21. Biotechnology and the soybean. Rogers, Stephen G. (Monsanto,
Brussels, Belg.). Am. J. Clin. Nutr., 68(6, Suppl.), 1330S-1332S 1998

22. Assessment of the endogenous allergens in glyphosate -tolerant and
commercial soybean varieties Burks, A. W.; Fuchs, R. L.. Arkansas
Children's Hospital, University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences, Little
Rock, AR 72202, USA.. Journal of Allergy and Clinical Immunology (1995)
Vol. 96, No. 6, 1, pp. 1008-1010

23. Assessment of the allergenic potential of foods derived from
genetically engineered plants: glyphosate tolerant soybean as a case
study Fuchs, R. L.; Eisenbrand, G. [EDITOR]; Aulepp, H. [EDITOR]; Dayan,
A. D. [EDITOR]; Elias, P. S. [EDITOR]; Grinow, W. [EDITOR]; Ring, J.
[EDITOR]; Schlatter, J. [EDITOR]. Ceregen (Monsanto Co.), 700 Chesterfield
Parkway North, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA.. Meeting info.: Food allergies
and intolerances: symposium. Food allergies and intolerances: symposium
(1996 ) pp. 212-221. 38 ref Publisher: VCH Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.
ISBN: 3-527-27409-X

24. Safety evaluation of glyphosate-tolerant soybeans Fuchs, R. L.; Re,
D. B.; Rogers, S. G.; Hammond, B. G.; Padgette, S. R.. The Agricultural
Group, Monsanto Company, St. Louis, MO 63198, USA. Meeting info.: Food
safety evaluation. Proceedings of an OECD-sponsored workshop held on
12-15 September 1994, Oxford, UK. Food safety evaluation. Proceedings of
an OECD-sponsored workshop held on 12-15 September 1994, Oxford, UK (
1996 ) pp. 61-70. 32 ref Publisher: Organisation for Economic Cooperation
and Development (OECD). Paris. ISBN: 92-64-14867-1

Dr Roger Morton 02 6246 5069 (ph)
CSIRO Plant Industry 02 6246 5000 (fax)
GPO Box 1600roger.morton@pi.csiro.au

Date: Oct 02 2000 22:25:21 EDT
From: "Carol V. Gonsalves"
Subject: Fwd: Update on transgenic papayas

October 3, 2000

Dear AgBioView Friends,

Dennis Gonsalves (Professor, Dept. of Plant Pathology, Cornell University)
and I just returned from Hawaii after attending the Papaya Administrative
Committee meeting on September 21, and the 36th Hawaii Papaya Industry
Association meeting on September 22 where we gave talks on our research
and heard other speakers.

Some updates from these meetings:

1. On the Big Island (Hawaii) where the total acreage of papaya
(bearing and non-bearing) is 2,050 acres, the transgenic Rainbow now makes
up 40% of the total acreage; and accounts for 50% of the bearing acreage.
(Reported by Hawaii Agricultural Statistics
Service). This is the island where the Puna area was hit by papaya
ringspot virus in 1992 and the entire area, which made up 96% of the
Hawaii papaya industry at that time became infected within 5 years. The
transgenic papaya became available for commercial production on May 1st,

2. The farmers are happy with the transgenic varieties and are asking
for more seeds. Note: seed production has been ongoing, and although
there is currently a shortage of seeds, there should be an adequate supply
after the new seeds are harvested from fruit that are still maturing on
the trees.

3. The seeds are still distributed FREE to farmers and backyard

4. I reported on data based on interviews of 93 papaya farmers who
farmed in the Puna area: "Initial results on socioeconomic impact of
transgenic papaya in Puna."

5. Dennis reported on his research that was funded by the Papaya
Administrative Committee. His title was: "New Transgenic Kapoho for
Resistance to Multiple Strains of Papaya Ringspot Virus." This report
was well received.

6. Stephen Ferreira, (Research and Extension, University of Hawaii)
reported that the Rainbow cultivar remains stable in the field in its
resistance against papaya ringspot virus.

7. The Papaya Administrative Committee is still working on the
application for permission to export to the Japan market. I sat in on a
meeting to discuss the application for Japan. Responsibilities for
fulfilling these requests were allocated among the scientists who were in

Yours truly,
Carol Gonsalves
Volunteer Researcher
Cornell University
Subj: Changes in European Agriculture
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 3:12:58 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Lin Edo

This report (with tables) is available on:


It would be interesting to have opinions on how this trend has changed
the agricultural biodiversity over the past 20 years.

Edo Lin

Subj: EU plant research funding
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 7:19:18 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: "Gert E. de Vries"

For immediate distribution:PIP Position Paper on European research funding
The Plant Industrial Platform (PIP) was established in 1992 to build
andfoster relationships between academic and industrial researchers in
European plant sciences. The organisation has been instrumental to
stimulate active involvement of its membership in European funded research
projects of successive Framework Programmes. PIP members (all major
European plantbreeders, seed producers and plant biotechnology companies)
have benefited to a great extend from this interaction and hope to do so
in the future.The attached position paper highlights the vision of the
Plant Industrial Platform on the current discussions regarding the
European Research Area. It also details recommendations for the Framework
Programme structure and it defines the immediate and future needs in plant
sciences. The top recommendation is to reinstate a separate budget and
funding area for long term scientific research in plant biotechnology and
agricultural sciences.In case you would need to receive a printed version,
please request your copy from the PIP secretariat

Subj: Re: AGBIOVIEW: New Zealand, Organic food safety
Date: Tue, 3 Oct 2000 8:23:46 AM Eastern Daylight Time
From: Thomas Bjorkman

In public debate it is essential that academic researchers only speak out
on things that they know to be true. Our credibility and institutional
position in society depends on us being a source of trustworthy fact-based
information and critical thought.Therefore, it is important for me let you
know that the points you propose for consideration are false insofar as
they pertain to US organic agriculture. For you to make such false
statements damages my credibility by making research scientists appear
unreliable, and thereby makes it much more difficult to advance legitimate
arguments in favor of implementing genetic engineered crops in the US.

Thomas Bjorkman

>Date: Oct 02 2000 13:14:35 EDT
>From: "Tammisola Jussi"
>Subject: Organic products>

>As a response to the query of J. Mottley and others I propose a few
points>for consideration.>>"Organic" movement is a loose collection of
various anti-technology>beliefs, from e.g. old vitalistic views,
antroposophism, oriental>religions, sowing according to moon stages
(biodynamics), homeopathy,>veganism and "living food" concept, to
"ecological" misanthrophy. In>addition, some people envisage benefits in
conservation. Therefore, when>you point to any drawback, there will always
be a choir affirming that it>is not a problem in their "genuine" movement.
Anyway, on the background>there are amply of odd ambitions
and>requirements not based on science. Many of these notions were not
set>formally as requirements, though not banned either, when EU agreed on
its>regulations on organic agriculture. However, such "more pure" hopes
are>still alive within organic movement and the consequent practices may
well>be in general use somewhere in the community.

Scientific Approach Puts PM Under Fire
Australian Financial Reeview
October 3, 2000
Chelsey Martin

The Prime Minister, Mr John Howard, has come under attack for his handling
of science, with criticism of his decision to award the inaugural Prize
for Science to two genetic engineers and renewed pressure from business to
increase spending on research and development.

The $300,000 science prize has been awarded to the CSIRO's Dr Jim Peacock
and Dr Liz Dennis for their work on genetically modifying plants to
control their flowering cycle.

``Their discovery of the gene that determines when plants begin flowering
has the potential to boost the productivity of the world's crops by
billion of dollars per year and increase the nutritional value of crops,''
Mr Howard said.

According to Dr Peacock and Dr Dennis, manipulation of the gene will
enable farmers to know in advance when crops will be ready for harvest and
protect against adverse weather conditions.

But leading anti-GM campaigner Gene Ethics disputed the scientists' claims
and called on the Federal Government to heed warnings that GM crops were
neither environmentally nor economically sustainable.
Mr Howard entered the debate over genetically engineered foods earlier
this year when he wrote to State and territory leaders to press them to
soften the proposed labelling regime for GM foods.

His proposal drew strong criticism from consumer groups and the Australian
Democrats and was rejected by State and Territory health ministers in
July, when they adopted one of the strictest labelling regimes in the

The Government is also under pressure over its response to the slump in
R&D spending.

Ten peak science, university and business groups including the Business
Council of Australia, the Australian Chamber of Commerce and Industry and
the Australian Industry Group will publish a joint statement today urging
the Government to respond quickly to the science capability review by
chief scientist Dr Robin Batterham and the report from the recent
Innovation Summit.

The statement, organised by the Australian Vice-Chancellors Committee,
comes at a sensitive time for the Government, with Labor linking the
ailing dollar to Australia's lack of incentives for new-economy industries.