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November 26, 2000


Rotenone, Green Revolution, Organics and pesticides,



Likewise, I asked Mr. Meziani in a private e-mail message to give me the
names of synthetic pesticides that affect the same site as rotenone. He
failed to give me an answer, but instead referred me to the Nature
article, as though that answered my question.

On another, facet of this subject, the latest report from the California
Department of Pesticide Regulation (available on-line
at http://www.cdpr.ca.gov/docs/pur/pur99rep/99_pur.htm) does show
application of rotenone on a variety of food crops. However, the
significance of this is questionable, since residue levels are likely to
be very low.

John W. Cross

At 12:11 PM 11/25/2000 +0000, you wrote:
>Subj: Rotenone
>From: Rick Roush
>Dear All:
>Another week has passed in which no one from the Soil Association has
>identified any synthetic pesticide that acts like rotenone (and not just
>somewhere in the mitochondria), inspite of two requests on this list.

Subj: Re:Green revolution
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 12:01:02 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: "Gordon Couger"

The dwarf wheat of the green revolution not only benefited India but the
whole world. I raised it in Oklahoma doubling my yields in wheat and
doubling or tripling the yield in pasture for cattle. Being much shorter
it is less susceptible to damage by hail and wind also.

There is no comparison to the old varieties. I had some planted on both
sides of neighbor who planted one of the old varieties. We had an early
hail storm. He suffered 100% damage and I suffered 50% right next to him
on 2 sides. It was early enough in the season my wheat went on to make 30
bushels to the acre. Which about average for that farm. I was a good year
and without the hail it might have made 40 Bushels.

The reason it was able to come back from that kind of damage was that the
hail storm came before the wheat started to bloom and the heads that did
make it were bigger and the grain filled better.

My neighbor made nothing because every stalk was damaged because it was so
much longer and presented a bigger target to hit.

The green revolution befitted the world not just Asia. And GM will do the
same for the same reasons. We can raise more crop with less inputs.

Gordon Couger gcouger@couger.com
Retired Farmer www.couger.com/gcouger
> `CS': A Tribute
> Observer of Business and Politics,(India) Edit Page. November 24, 2000
> http://www.observerindia.com/news/200011/24/commentary03.htm


Subj: Re: AGBIOVIEW: Non-Thanksgiving Turkey; Dangers in Nature; Shiva
and Sad Rice; Let's Ban Cooking!!
Date: Sun, 26 Nov 2000 10:34:20 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Craig Sams

It's not worth getting in too deep on the reasons why "the levels of
pesticide in organic crops that were banned from using them was nearly the
same as for crops that are allowed to use them" as there is no evidence
for this. All the analyses regularly done by the UK and EU governments
show quite the reverse - any cases of significant residues and all cases
(so far) where residues exceed the MLR
(Maximum Residue Level) are samples of food that has not been produced
under organic conditions. Organic regulations already fully take into
account the risk of 'spray drift' and physical barriers such as hedges,
trees or increased planting distances are required where an organic
producer is exposed to the risk of contamination from a spraying neighbor.

Organic farmers accept that their neighbors will use pesticides and the
regulations allow very small residues to be present to take account of the
fact that pesticide residues turn up everywhere, even in locations above
the ArcticCircle where they have never been sprayed on a crop. However,
organic producers are much less comfortable about cross contamination from
genetically-engineered crops as it can lead to permanent and expanding
levels of
GMOs in their crops if they save seed and replant it. Even worse, they
could end up being sued by Monsanto for being in possession of their
proprietary material, as has happened to Percy Schmeiser in Canada. The
use of pesticides has never generated anything approaching the level of
hostility that now prevails between
the organic and agrichemical sectors and this is because any cross
contamination was minimal and containable.

Craig Sams
President, Whole Earth Ltd,
269 Portobello Road, W11 1LR.

Subj: AW: AGBIOVIEW: EPA Hearing on Starlink
Date: Mon, 27 Nov 2000 7:32:33 AM Eastern Standard Time
From: Horst Backhaus

Response to previous call for a NEEDED ACTION

Do you suppose the EPA to base its decision on a public poll?

Should society favor a public risk perception (or surrogates of it, as
obtained by counting letter statements) as a basis to determine the
magnitude of risk and the investment into risk management? Then - to what
extent is the function of a regulatory agency merely, to serve as a
transmission tool of current public awarenesses?

Or should EPA integrate its scientific analysis and weighting of
particular risks into a framework for balancing risks which is defined and
established by the risk tolerance of the society in more general terms?
Then, decision should result from the weighting of facts and
extrapolations following scientific principles to which the number of
similar notes, comments or sample letters makes no contribution.

Being in favor of the latter position, it appears to me that the long term
credibility of regulatory institutions may depend on the consistency of
their approach to protect public health (and the environment) - and its
effective communication - more, then on their flexibility in implementing
current public awareness into regulatory responses.

A collection of viewpoints, information and arguments may well assist in
achieving consistency and completeness and in avoiding ignorance in risk
assessment and mitigation. As scientists, we should rely on the weight of
facts and argumentation in terms of logic, scientific evidence and common
sense in this process.

Your sample letter in trying to summarise most relevant and partly novel
information, could contribute to a balanced weighting of facts by the
agency, however, independent of the number of similar letters.
So far, the (generally applicable) protection objectives with respect to
allergens in foodstuff or their definition for regulatory purposes does
not appear to be well defined.

Can we hope that the hearing will contribute to a consistent rationalized

I don?t see a need for concerted action.


Horst Backhaus

Prof. Dr. Horst Backhaus
Federal Research Agency for Agriculture and Forestry
Institute for Plant Virology, Microbiology, and Biosafety
Messeweg 11/12, D-38104 Braunschweig

TEL: (49) 531 299 3806
FAX: (49) 531 299 3013
email: h.backhaus@bba.de

-----Ursprungliche Nachricht-----
Von: AgBioView [SMTP:AgBioView-owner@listbot.com]
Gesendet am: Samstag, 11. November 2000 02:36
An: AgBioView
Betreff: AGBIOVIEW: EPA Hearing on Starlink - Human Approval; Starlink
Summit; Horizontal Transfer; Bogus Battle

AgBioView - http://www.agbioworld.org; Archived at

Dear Friends:

As you may know, the U. S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is
accepting public comments to help them determine whether Aventis' Starlink
corn should be granted temporary approval for use in human food. Aventis
recently submitted a Supplemental Safety Assessment requesting a time
limited clearance that would cover any StarLink corn grown in 1999 and