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Date:

February 1, 2001

Subject:

Response to ISIS from JIC; Scare Tactics Cloud Benefits;

 

Following is the response from the Director of John Innes Center, UK to
the ISIS REPORT of Mae-Wan Ho entitled "UK Top Research Centre Admits GM
Failure: ISIS Press Release 26 Jan. 2001" that was posted on our group
http://agbioview.listbot.com/cgi-bin/subscriber?Act=view_message&list_id=agbioview&msg_num=968&start_num=

=========
RESPONSE TO THE ISIS REPORT FROM PROFESSOR CHRIS LAMB, DIRECTOR OF THE
JOHN INNES CENTRE

The ISIS is absolute nonsense and is a rehash of tired old non-issues.
Neither issue, use of the CaMV 35S promoter or stability of transgene
expression in some transgenic lines is at all new. Both have been
extensively discussed and shown to have no merit with respect to safety or
performance of commercial GM crops which have gone through very extensive
evaluation.

Please let me know if you need additional information.

Chris Lamb Director, JIC
---------------------------------
CaMV PROMOTER

RESPONSE FROM ROGER HULL, JI EMERITUS FELLOW, INITIATOR OF CaMV RESEARCH
AT JIC

1. All comparisons of transgenics should be made against the baseline of
the current and predicted short-term future situation.

2. There is nothing new in her comments about the 35S promoter which Phil
Dale, Simon Covey and I answered in our paper in the Swedish journal that
published her original critique of the promoter. Once again, major points
include: most people eat brassicas and consume relatively large quantities
of CaMV; there are many other similar promoters in integrated
pararetrovirus and retrotransposon sequences in plants; there is natural
recombination in plants bringing together various promoters and coding
sequences. I know of no case where this natural situation has been blamed
for health, cancer or any other problem.

3. It would be interesting to have some examples of problems that have
arisen from the generally accepted "natural" breeding programmes including
radiation mutagenesis, embryo rescue and other advanced techniques. These
could be used as examples of what has been accepted in the past.

4. The screening of transgenics is far more intense than that of the
products of conventional breeding. TGs have to go through many more hoops
before they are even considered for field release.

5. The work described in the Annual Report, and in much of the scientific
literature, is on understanding potential problems that may arise from the
new technology so that these problems can be avoided. In this, scientists
are being responsible to society. Any new technology goes through this
phase of understanding the cons as well as the pros, and it is better to
do this before the product is let loose and major problems arise. There
was much done on the 35S promoter before it was used and much of what she
criticises was known and assessed some time ago.

6. One further point on instability of the promoter or transgene - if a
company releases such material to the farmer it is the company that will
suffer - there are some examples of this from conventional breeding.

RESPONSE FROM PAUL CHRISTOU, LEAD SCIENTIST ON THE RECENT JIC CaMV WORK

Mae Wan Ho et al. have earlier misinterpreted our results (Kohli et al.
1999) regarding 'recombination hot-spots within the CaMV35S promoter'(Ho,
et al., 1999). With the recent press release they continue to misinterpret
our results. Extensive information is now available over the Internet
(http://www.gene.ch/cgi-bin/htsearch. search string "A few replies to Ho
and Cummins") and in print, to convince any reader that the reported
recombination hot-spot in the CaMV35S promoter poses no danger to any
crop, animal or person. A number of scientists have not only clarified why
Mae Wan Ho et al are wrong in predicting great dangers about to befall
humanity, but have also explained the technical and scientific issues
which dispel beyond any doubt the remotest possibility of such scenarios.
For the benefit of readers of this rebuttal we would like to once again
state that:

a) The reported recombination event within the CaMV35S promoter actually
destroys the promoter and renders it incapable of driving expression of
any gene. It is therefore totally irrelevant to speculate that the
promoter will recombine through such an event and give rise to harmful new
genes or viruses!

b) The event occurs before the integration of the transgene into the plant
genome. If the recombination hot-spot was functional after stable
integration of the construct into the plant genome then we would observe
different recombined products in the progeny. We have instead observed and
reported stable inheritance of the transgenic locus, (Gahakwa et al.,
2000) however, Mae Wan Ho et al. chose to ignore these reports.

c) The event was most likely facilitated by the fact that there were two
copies of the promoter on the same construct, running in opposite
directions. GM crops do not have such an arrangement.

Instead of using our report to understand the mechanisms of a certain
event Mae-Won Ho et al used it to make misinterpreted sweeping statements
and indulge in scare mongering. A typical example of how Ho et al. pay
little attention to detail is their statement that "Our fiercest critic
was leader of a research group in the JIC that had discovered that the
promoter has a 'recombination hot-spot'". No doubt the views of Ho et al
would be fiercely debated but the scientist who is most capable of
refuting their claims, Professor Roger Hull. In his comments to Ho et al
Professor Hull alluded to his role in the discovery of the CaM virus and
not in the specific hot-spot, recombination at which was being debated.

Expert virologists from around the world have condemned this attitude of
Ho et al. and commented on how and why our report cannot be the basis of
such scary scenarios as painted by Ho et al.
(http://www.gene.ch/cgi-bin/htsearch. search string "A few replies to Ho
and Cummins"). After reading those comments it does not take a genius to
see that the views of Ho et al. (1999), are biased against GM crops and
that they will distort and extrapolate any situation to campaign against
GM crops.

It is exactly this stance which makes them leverage the latest JIC Annual
Report content on page 30 for 'demise of GM crops'. As a result of a
logical extension of our earlier studies, we have used constructs, which
have minimal amount of foreign DNA required for gene expression, thus
reducing the availability of any sequences that can potentially recombine
prior to integration (Fu et al., 2000). This strategy leads to increase in
efficiency of obtaining transgenic plants with intact constructs. Safety
is not at issue here, rather more efficient and stable expression of
transgenes in plants.

Our report does not compromise GM crops on the market because again, these
crops contain stably integrated DNA and not floating DNA. Our report
describes a method to create the next generation of transgenic crops that
is more efficient. One such efficiency factor is to cut down on the
production of plants that result from pre-integration recombination events
and one way to do this is to reduce the potentially recombinogenic
sequences. Again safety arguments are irrelevant as we explained
previously.

Ho et al have used statements taken from page 30 (and not page 29 as again
incorrectly quoted by Ho et al) of the JIC Annual Report to predict the
'Demise of GM crops'. They have again failed to notice that we are
referring to processes involved in the generation of the plants and not to
those after the plants have been generated.

References:

Fu X, Duc LT, Fontana S, Bong B, Sudhakar D, Tinjuangjun P, Christou P,
Kohli A (2000) Particle bombardment-mediated delivery of minimal transgene
cassette leads to generation of transgenic rice with simple integration
patterns. Transgenic Research. 9 (1): 11-19.

Gahakwa D, Maqbool SB, Fu X, Sudhakar D, Christou P, Kohli A (2000)
Transgenic rice as a system to study the stability of transgene
expression: Multiple heterologous transgenes show similar behaviour in
diverse genetic backgrounds. Theoretical and Applied Genetics.101 (3): 388
- 399

Ho, M.-W., Ryan, A. and Cummins, J. (1999). Cauliflower mosaic virus
promoter - a recipe for disaster. Microb. Ecol. Health Dis. 10: 33-59.

Kohli A, Griffiths S, Palacios N, Twyman RM, Vain P, Laurie DA, Christou P
(1999) Molecular characterization of transforming plasmid rearrangements
in transgenic rice reveals a recombination hotspot in the CaMV 35S
promoter and confirms the predominance of microhomology-mediated
recombination. Plant Journal, 17 (6): 591-601

RESPONSE FROM PHIL DALE, (JIC) MEMBER OF AEBC: Roger Hull, Simon Covey and
I published a review which considered some of Mae Wan Ho's comments last
year (R. Hull, S.N. Covey, P. Dale "Genetically modified plants and the
35S promoter: assessing the risks and enhancing the debate" Microbial
Ecology in Health and Disease 2000, 12: 1-5).

Our conclusion was that "any risks are no greater than those encountered
in conventional plant breeding". There are several millions of hectares of
crops containing the 35S promoter across the world and there have not been
any instances that would raise concerns, from its presence in crops that
are currently commercialised.

BARLEY TRASNGENICS: COMMENTS FROM JOHN SNAPE, HEAD OF CROP GENETICS
Contrary to the views expressed in the ISIS article JIC scientists are not
saying that GM crops are no good, quite the contrary. All the evidence
from the field trials of barley transgenics is that the performance is no
different from that observed in a conventional breeding programme.
Although there are slight changes in traits such as flowering time or
plant height (which are shown to be due most likely to the tissue culture
process and not the transformation process, anyway) none of the changes
observed in any character influences the safety of the crop. The plants
are not invasive, it does not affect their reproductive behaviour (there
was no change in yield) and barley doesn't have any UK relatives with
which it could outcross. It is utter rubbish to say that these data have
the potential to create new recombinant bacteria or viruses.

It is well established that the expression of transgenes is not yet
entirely predictable and that more information is needed on transgene
stability so that we can make the technologies more predictable. Thus, we
are investigating the structure of transgenic plants at the molecular
level with a view to developing technologies where plants have a more
predictable level of expression of a transgene. The changes in transgene
expression observed between independent transformation events and over
generations have no implications with respect to changing the
environmental safely of the lines, and essentially, demonstrate the
'substantial equivalence' of barley transgenic lines.

---
Prof. Chris Lamb,
Director. John Innes Centre
Norwich Research Park, Colney, Norwich, NR4 7UH, Norfolk, UK

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From: "terry hopkin"
Subject: Looking at things another way

To date the arguments for or against biogenetics have hung themselves up
in an idea that this is in some way something new it seems that for
thousands of years man has been exploiting genetic changes in animals and
plants that have been to his advantage, though the then mutant was not
identical to the wild or original animal plant. we now seem to be able to
accelerate this process. further no one who is against genetic
manipulation seems willing to face the reality of the increasing risk of
pesticides, growth hormones and the like on the genetic structure of the
so called natural plants and animals that exist today -Terry
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From: Tom DeGregori
RE: Red Porphyry's comments: Sublimity and Golden Rice

>"In my opinion, pro-biotech scientists need to start making some
> attempt to put golden rice in its proper perspective and context for
> the public. If you refrain from doing so, the only logical conclusion
> then is that Goebbels ideas about marketing actually have some merit
> to them."

Reply from Tom DeGregori

Red Porphryy is at it again. Most often, he has the habit of asking
questions and answering them himself as his idea of dialogue. Now, he
raises the specter of Goebbels. Now let see, Goebbels did his PR work for
the following

Hitler - a devout vegetarian and believer in Homeopathic medicine. He
favored holistic healing and opposed reductionism in medicine as did most
of the Nazis. Hitler spoke of ending an era of analysis which would yield
to an era of synthesis.

Hess, Hitler's deputy would only eat biodynamic food and was a follower of
the leading luminary of organic agriculture, Rudolf Steiner whose wife was
an active Nazi. Basically, a proponent of "vitalism" that was an
anti-science reaction against the synthesis of organic compounds going
back to the 1820s.

Himmler - a staunch proponet of homeopathic medicine who promoted the
growing of herbs at Auschwitz and Dachau along with bird santuaries and
the raising of organic honeybees.

Darre - Agriculture Minister from 1933 to 1942 - a staunch "green,"
ecologist and promoter of "organic" agriculture. Does this sound familiar
and somewhat contemporary.

We could go on with a long array of shared characteristics but I do not
wish to embarrass you. The people for whom Goebbels did his PR seem to
have a lot in common with those who patronize the same "health" food
stores that you do. Are they Nazis or are you? Heavens no even though it
does make a good repartee to say that the last time Germany had a green ag
minister who favored organic agriculture (as they do today) was 1933 to
1942.

Make you a deal, Red! You and those who think like you, stop suggesting
that those with whom they disagree are a bunch of Nazis and we will do the
same. Deal! As you said in your last epistle to AgBioView - put up or shut
up. Instead, let us try something different. let us discuss issues on
their own terms without name calling! Sounds exciting to me!

+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+=+ From: tom_hoban@ncsu.edu

Scare Tactics Cloud Biotech Crops' Benefits

By Anne Fawcet; Weekly Columnist January 31, 2001
http://www.dailytarheel.com/columns.html?ID=1575

Just imagine: Using biotechnology, scientists can produce crops that will
grow in drought conditions and therefore help alleviate the world's food
shortages. Labs are developing plants that contain essential vitamins to
prevent childhood blindness in underdeveloped countries.

Yet a minority is trying to scare consumers into boycotting these fruits
of our technology.

"The fear comes from overexaggerating the risks and eliminating the
benefits from the discussion," said Ralph Dewey, a molecular biologist at
N.C. State University. Two recent victims of activist fear-mongering are
StarLink corn, which produces its own natural pesticides, and Vector's
nicotine-free tobacco, which contains reduced levels of nicotine to help
people stop smoking.

N.C. State University sociology Professor Tom Hoban, who has spent more
than a decade studying the subject, said two-thirds of U.S. consumers
claim they're comfortable eating food produced using biotechnology. He
said the foods' few opponents in this country have lost faith in the
system altogether. Their main scare tactics are the modified plants'
potential allergenicity and their ecological effects. Some biotech
opponents fear that by switching genes in a plant, scientists might
introduce an unknown substance that causes allergies into a species that
didn't have it before.

Dewey said this risk shouldn't be ignored, but that scientists model and
test the new plant's molecules to make sure they won't cause allergies.
Allergenicity fears brought down StarLink corn. The corn contains the
bacterium Bt gene, which Dewey said has been added to all sorts of
pest-resistant crops already on the market. Yet because of a small
modification in StarLink's gene, regulatory agencies only approved it for
animal feed until further tests could be completed.

Then the StarLink strain ended up in Kraft Taco Shells. Kraft pulled them
off the market amid international hysteria after about 40 people ate the
shells and reported various physical symptoms. Yet allergen experts say
there's virtually no risk associated with the ingestion of StarLink corn
in this situation. To turn this problem on its head, scientists also can
use gene technology to "silence" or remove genes that naturally produce
allergens and therefore make the food safe for people who could not eat
the unmodified strain.

Activists' other main concern is the environmental impact of crops
produced using biotechnology. The basic fear is that wind or insects could
transfer the pollen from modified plants to wild or unmodified strains to
create unintended hybrids. Possible cross-pollination and the difficulty
of keeping the strains separate have prompted N.C. farmers to pass up
growing Vector's genetically altered tobacco. The growers say their
overseas customers could refuse to buy normal tobacco from North Carolina
if there is a chance it could be contaminated with the genetically altered
crop.

"Because there is so much (anti-biotechnology) sentiment, especially in
Europe, they fear that someone would find a trace of Vector tobacco
because someone was careless in the warehouse," Dewey said. "Then they'll
be stuck with a warehouse full of tobacco no one wants to buy. They're not
going to take that risk." But why are overseas consumers concerned about
genetically modified tobacco? It'll be grown here, so it can't disrupt
their ecology, and they'll be smoking it instead of eating it. The two
major concerns should be eliminated.

Yet N.C. farmers can't forfeit those sales, so Pennsylvania farmers are
thrilled to be growing the new tobacco at nearly twice the going rate for
the standard crop while farmers here are held hostage to the continuing
ignorance of the international community regarding biotechnology.
Americans lead the world in our acceptance of foods produced through
biotechnology. In future controversies of this nature, it is our
responsibility to set a mature, rational example for the rest of the world
to follow.


Columnist Anne Fawcett can be reached at fawcetta@hotmail.com.
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Scary Stories about Canola on the Net and Dispelling the Fears

Dear Friends..... there is a letter being circulated on the Internet which
claims that canola oil is very dangerous. See below for a part of that. I
asked Alan McHughen (author of 'Pandora's Box' ) to comment on that and
see his reply below....Prakash

-------
Canola Netmyth:

>Here are just a few facts everyone should know before buying anything
containing canola. Canola is not the name of a natural plant but a made-up
word, from the words "Canada" and "oil". Canola is a genetically
engineered plant developed in Canada from the Rapeseed Plant, which is
part of the mustard family of plants. According to AgriAlternatives, The
Online Innovation, and Technology Magazine for Farmers, "By nature, these
rapeseed oils, which have long been used to produce oils for industrial
purposes, are... toxic to humans and other animals". (This, by the way, is
one of the websites singing the praises of the new canola industry.)
>
>Rapeseed oil is poisonous to living things and is an excellent insect
repellent. I have been using it (in very diluted form, as per
instructions) to kill the aphids on my roses for the last two years. It
works very well; it suffocates them. Ask for it at your nursery. Rape is
an oil that is used as a lubricant, fuel, soap and synthetic rubber base
and as a illuminate for color pages in magazines. It is an industrial oil.
It is not a food. Rape oil, it seems, causes emphysema, respiratory
distress, anemia, constipation, irritability, and blindness in animals and
humans. Rape oil was widely used in animal feeds in England and Europe
between 1986 and 1991, when it was thrown out. Remember the "Mad Cow
disease" scare, when millions of cattle in the UK were slaughtered in case
of infecting humans? Cattle were being fed on a mixture containing
material from dead sheep, and sheep suffer from a disease called
"scrapie". It was thought this was how "Mad Cow" began and started to
infiltrate the human chain. What is interesting is that when rape oil was
removed from animal feed, 'scrapie' disappeared. We also haven't seen any
further reports of "Mad Cow" since rape oil was removed from the feed.
Perhaps not scientifically proven, but interesting all the same.
-----------
From: Alan McHughen Subject: Re: Netmyth
circulating about canola

This canola story illustrates one of the dangers in 'research via
internet'. The horror (and horrible scholarship) story traces back to one
John Thomas, who was quoted in a Natural Law Party newsletter. I describe
it in my book thus (pg. 173):

=====
(Quotation on)
One newsletter from the Natural Law Party included an article entitled
Blindness, Mad Cow Disease and Canola Oil‚, by John Thomas, warning of the
dangers of rapeseed oil˜ not GM, but conventional rapeseed oil. Rape
(canola) causes emphysema, respiratory distress, anemia, constipation,
irritability and blindness in animals and humans. Rape oil was widely used
in animal feeds in England and Europe between 1986 and 1991 when it was
thrown out. You may remember reading about the cows, pigs and sheep that
went blind, lost their minds, attacking people and had to be shot.‚... the
experts‚ blamed the behavior on a viral disease called scrapie. However,
when rape oil was removed from the animal feed, scrapie‚ disappeared.‚

The subsequent issue carried this understated correction‚, provided by the
editor ...there is no evidence linking canola to scrapie or mad cow
disease.‚ Needless to say, we were all relieved by this update, but we're
still wondering when the other afflictions will strike, as the newsletter
implicitly stands by the remaining claims. (quotation off) ====

Canola is the name given to a class of oil produced by various strains of
the mustard family plants Brassica napus, B. rapa and B. juncea. Canola
varieties, first produced using conventional (but nevertheless brilliant)
plant breeding, lack almost entirely two antinutritional substances,
erucic acid (found in the oil of 'natural' Brassica seeds) and
glucosinolates (found in the meal of 'natural' Brassica seeds). In large
quantities, these two components make 'natural' mustard seed unsuitable
for human consumption (a bit of Dijon on your hot dog is fine, unless you
ordinarily consume hot dogs by the gross, in which case you have more
serious problems).

Canada and many other countries grow both natural rapeseed (for industrial
purposes) and canola type varieties (for human consumption). Problems can
arise when the two are mixed, as the plants (and oils) look similar. As in
the above example, the confusion often originates in the UK, where the
term 'canola' is not used to distinguish the two types of commodity oil.
Most countries avoid the problems by recognizing the canola designation
for food oil, and rapeseed (or oilseed rape) for the industrial product.

And, yes, canola does have the lowest saturated fat content of commonly
available food oils.

Best wishes, Alan
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Mike Fumento also suggests a visit Urban Legends web page on canola
http://www.snopes2.com/toxins/canola.htm which nicely dispels the fears
and I reproduce that response below here............. Prakash:

Origins: What we have here is a bit of truth about a product's family
history worked into a hysterical screed against the product itself. There
is no earthly reason to give any credence to this rumor -- Canola oil is
not the horrifying product this widely-disseminated e-mail makes it out to
be, nor has the FDA turned loose on the American public a health scourge
worthy of being named one of the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.

An appreciation of what this scare is based upon begins with a better
understanding of what canola oil and how it came into being.

The rape plant (Brassica napus) is a member of the mustard family, as
claimed in the e-mail. However, before associations between rape and
mustard gas set in too strongly, it should be noted turnip, cabbage,
watercress, horseradish, and radish are also members of this family of
plants.

Rapeseed oil has been used for cooking for centuries in Europe, India,
China, and Japan. As modern science is finding out, its previous use
wasn't necessarily a guarantee of safety. Cooking at high temperatures
with unrefined rapeseed oil now appears to be related to an increased risk
of lung cancer because at high temperatures cooking oil gives off
chemicals capable of causing mutations in cells. Unrefined rapeseed oil is
particularly notable for this, but other oils also have this association.
Those intent upon doing large amounts of wok cooking with any sort of
cooking oil should therefore lower their frying temperature from the 240°C
to 280°C called for in Chinese cooking to 180°C.

Rapeseed oil naturally contains a high percentage (30-60%) of erucic acid,
a substance associated with heart lesions in laboratory animals. For this
reason rapeseed oil was not used for consumption in the United States
prior to 1974, although it was used in other countries. (Americans chose
to use it as a lubricant to maintain Allied naval and merchant ships
during World War II.)

In 1974, rapeseed varieties with a low erucic content were introduced.
Scientists had found a way to replace almost all of rapeseed's erucic acid
with oleic acid, a type of monounsaturated fatty acid. By 1978, all
Canadian rapeseed produced for food use contained less than 2% erucic
acid. The Canadian seed oil industry rechristened the product "canola oil"
(Canadian oil) in 1978 in an attempt to distance the product from negative
associations with the word "rape." Canola was introduced to American
consumers in 1986. By 1990, erucic acid levels in canola oil ranged from
0.5% to 1.0%, in compliance with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)
standards.

This light, tasteless oil's popularity is due to the structure of its
fats. It is lower in saturated fat (about 6%) than any other oil. Compare
this to the high saturated fat content of peanut oil (about 18%) and palm
oil (at an incredibly high 79%). It also contains more
cholesterol-balancing monounsaturated fat than any oil except olive oil
and has the distinction of containing Omega-3 fatty acids, a
polyunsaturated fat reputed to not only lower both cholesterol and
triglycerides, but also to contribute to brain growth and development.

In other words, it's a healthy oil. One shouldn't feel afraid to use it
because of some Internet scare loosely based on half-truths and outright
lies.

Barbara "oil color(ed)" Mikkelson

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From: Jaques Dupond
Subject: Jose Boves father pro-biotech!!!

Hello,

It say in this article from Le Canard enchaine, Jose Boves father is
previous director of the National Institute for Agronomic Research in
Bordeaux, France -- and he is a super big supporter of biotechnology!!!

He supports the work on a transgenic orange that would resist disease, and
he says this in paragraph 3:

"During the middle ages, the people burned the witches. Today they burn
the transgenic plants."

A reference to his son perhaps?
I include the article here for French speakers.

Cordially, A. Jaques
***************

Le transgénie de la famille

Le Canard enchaîne Par Dominique Durand 31 janvier 2001

Dure journée pour les tannés de la terre, en ce 31 janvier: il faut
rentrer dare-dare du Forum social mondial de Porto Alegre, avec son
ambiance antimondialiste chaleureuse, ses drag-queens et son Chevènement,
son José Bové et deux sous- ministres français, le Vert Guy Hascoët, et
notre secrétaire d‚Etat au Commerce extérieur, François Huwart, qui a été
privé de tribune lors du débat sur le commerce internationale! Dans le
même temps, Jospin avait dépêché Fabius et Moscovici à Davos. A part ça,
le gouvernement n‚a pas „deux discours sur la mondialisation.‰ Allez
comprendre!

A l‚heure pour le scrutin aux chambres d‚agricultures, José Bové est
rentré du Brésil, où les autorités lui ont gentiment accordé vingt-quatre
heures pour déguerpir, après qu‚il eut sacrifié (le 26/1) à la destruction
rituelle de cultures transgéniques dans un labo du groupe Monsanto. Le
ministre de l‚Intérieur brésilien est fort civil: Chevènement, lorsqu‚il
était à Beauvau, aurait expulsé ce sauvageon gauchiste dans l‚heure!

Bové a donc prêté la faux à la destruction de 400 hectares de plants de
maïs et de soja. „Au Moyen Age, les gens brûlaient les sorcières.
Aujourd‚hui, ils brûlent les plantes transgéniques‰, se désole José Bové.
Qui? José Bové le père, 71 ans, l‚ancien directeur de l‚INRA (l‚Institut
National de la Recherche Agronomique) de Bordeaux, qui a reçu un
journaliste américain de „Newsweek‰ (5/2) devant du gigot d‚agneau et du
bordeaux à la cafète de l‚INRA. José Senior est un homme pensif: „Voyez
les bananes*‰ commence-t- il.

Et d‚expliquer que des chercheurs français travaillent à une banane
transgénique capable de prévenir les caries dentaires, ce qui ferait
merveille dans certains pays d‚Afrique où l‚usage de la pâte dentifrice
n‚est pas la norme.

Qu‚y a-t-il entre le père aimant et le fils? Une banane, qui aurait été
mal reçue à Porto Alegre. „Tout son discours a diabolisé les plantes
transgéniques‰, soupire José Senior, qui a à son actif scientifique la
découverte, en 1997, de la cause d‚une maladie affligeant les 300 millions
d‚orangers du Brésil ˆ et même de Porto Alegre. En Chine, on appelle ça la
maladie du dragon jaune, don‚t l‚insecte vecteur snobe les insecticides.
La solution, pour Bové père? „Arriver à un oranger transgénique, résistant
aux maladies.‰ Le repas familial autour du gigot naturel et d‚un bordeaux
bio doit être animé, chez les Bové.

Dernière colère du jeune José à Porto Alegre, lorsqu‚il a appris que ces
coyotes de l‚OMC (Organisation mondial du commerce), après les
débordements antimondialistes du sommet de Seattle, pensaient tenir leur
prochain colloque en Arabie heureuse, en plein désert de Qatar.

Pourtant, dans le désert de Qatar, aucun risque de glisser sur une banane
transgénique!

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Bringing Practicality to the Biotech Debate ; rooster.com


http://www.rooster.com/rooster_public/news/detail.jsp?id=3138&cid=2&newsdate=02/01/2001&Title=Bringing+Practicality+to+the+Biotech+Debate