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Date:

February 14, 2001

Subject:

Carson, Mouse, Pusztai, European law, Golden Rice, Italy,

 

Colleagues,

Chuck Benbrook makes a rather odd claim about Bt-modified plants. Denying
that Rachel Carson would have liked such plants, he says the Bt "toxin is
expressed continuously, maximizing selection pressure..." As I recall,
during the development of Bt plants, scientists sought to have high
expression of the toxin throughout the plant, and throughout the growing
season, in order to avoid the insect resistance induced by "organic"
growers in their use of Bt. Because organic growers expose insects to Bt
only intermittently and at varying doses, they have selectively bred at
least nine species of Bt-resistant insects.

I find it interesting that Mr. Benbrook is concerned about adverse impacts
of Bt-modified plants on "populations of beneficials through direct
toxicity, secondary and tertiary food-chain mechanisms, with as yet
unknown consequences" yet he displays no concern about the use of
sprayable Bt by "organic" growers. To be affected by a Bt plant, the
insect must first attack the plant; making the insect, by definition, a
pest. Sprayable Bt goes on any insect unlucky enough to be in the
"organic" farmer's field, therefore presenting us with far more "unknown
consequences" than Bt plants.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date: Feb 15 2001 08:11:34 EST
From: "Tammisola Jussi"
Subject: Re: Unfair to Rachel Carson

Chuck Benbrook made (Feb. 13) the familiar but incorrect statement that
the use of Bt plants "maximizes selection pressure", because the toxin is
being produced continuously. Apparently he and others think that
production "only when needed" would cause less selection. However,
selection pressure is a population genetical figure (coefficient) which
quantifies the proportion of individuals eliminated (dying) in the
population. With self-protective (Bt-)
varieties selection pressure is lessened, i.e. optimized as regards
prevention of resistance development, by using appropriate refugia.
Furthermore, self-protecting special varieties will be used according to
the needs. When pest populations are at low levels, the choice will turn
towards sowing principally ordinary, presumably cheaper plant varieties.

Slow, induced protective reaction of a cultivated plant brings about
several disadvantages.

1) Damage is created which impairs product quality and disseminates plant
diseases and microbial toxins.

2) Due to damage, several biochemical reaction chains aimed at protection
against the attack will be activated in the plant. Consequently, unwanted
(natural) secondary metabolites with mutagenic, carcinogenic or allergenic
effects for mouse and presumably for man are often formed in the plant.

3) Due to the slowness of the induced reaction, certain pest individuals
may only acquire too slight exposure of the toxin and thus bypass death
(e.g. by always moving to the next plant). Such a suboptimal exposure is
known to especially promote the development of resistance in the pest
against the treatment, according to the experience obtained in
microbiology and medicine.

Such suboptimal exposures also occur quite commonly with control
sprayings, because it is often difficult to get all sides of the plants
equally covered with the controlling agent due to shadows and blind
angles. The pests are often able of choosing just the unexposed areas of
the plants (e.g. within the stalk or ear) for their feeding and remain
alive - with consequent trend for resistance development.

However, the expression of the protective trait only following induction
might sometimes bring benefit by saving the resources of the plant which
could then be allocated to yield. Despite the above mentioned drawbacks,
therefore, induced expression of the trait might still deserve
consideration in certain cases.

Sincerely,
Jussi Tammisola, DrSc(Agr&For)
Helsinki, Finland
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date: Feb 14 2001 17:21:12 EST
From: "Kershen, Drew L"
Subject: Query about the Harvard oncomouse

When Harvard received a patent on the mouse genetically predisposed
to cancer, one useful claim for the mouse was that it would be much more
accurate, than previous animal feeding studies, in testing substances as
carcinogenic or not. As you all know better than I, animal feeding
studies have been criticized in recent years on the basis that excessive
feeding of any substance causes cancer -- i.e. it may be the excessive
feeding, not the substance, that is the source of the cancer.

Has the Harvard mouse shown the feeding studies approach to
carcinogenicity to be reliable or not reliable in light of the criticisms?
What has the use of the Harvard mouse taught us about testing substances
as carcinogenic?

Thanks in advance for responses,

Drew

Drew L. Kershen
Earl Sneed Centennial Professor of Law
University of Oklahoma College of Law
Norman, Oklahoma 73019-5081 U.S.A.
Ph.: 1-405-325-4784
FAX: 1-405-325-0389
dkershen@ou.edu
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date: Feb 15 2001 13:47:19 EST
From: EEntis@aol.com
Subject: Fwd: Fw: Toronto Star: Opinion: BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCHER PAYS
THE PRICE

This article in the Post demands a rebuttal from those more qualified than
myself.

Elliot Entis
Aqua Bounty Farms
-------

BIOTECHNOLOGY RESEARCHER PAYS THE PRICE

The Toronto Star
By Thomas Walkom
February 13, 2001

SCIENCE IS an odd business. Most of us think of it as the preserve of
independent truth-seekers.

But as the curious case of Arpad Pusztai demonstrates, science - like
everything else - exists within a context. A scientist can scrupulously
follow the rules of his discipline. But if his research suggests
conclusions that those in authority do not wish to hear, he risks
excommunication.

Pusztai is a Hungarian-born British biochemist. Over 49 years, he has
published more than 250 scholarly articles and books. All have been peer-
reviewed, which is to say examined by others in his field to ensure that
they are solid enough for publication.

In 1995, Aberdeen's Rowett Institute hired him to oversee research into
the safety of genetically modified (GM) crops. One of the key research
groups was headed by his wife, Susan Bardocz, herself a highly trained and
much- published biochemist.

In Britain, as in Canada, GM crops are not actually tested by government
regulators. Rather, regulators examine the results of tests performed by
the companies which created the crops.

If the companies say everything's fine, government regulators usually
agree.

Pusztai's research into a certain brand of genetically modified potato
was, therefore, unique. Unlike most GM research, it was not financed
corporately and therefore not bound by strict commercial confidentiality
agreements,

Rather, it was funded, to the tune of 1.6 million pounds ($3.5 million) by
the British government.

"We were pretty sure it (the GM potato) was okay," said Bardocz over lunch
yesterday. "We all started as a pro GM group."

"Otherwise, we wouldn't have gotten 1.6 million pounds," added Pusztai. As
the study wore on, however, the team began to notice disturbing results.
The potatoes seemed to affect the immune systems of rats.

In early 1998, Pusztai mentioned this tentative finding on a BBC
television show. No one seemed to care. "There was no response," he said.

However, during the next seven months, GM food became a hot topic. When
Pusztai - with the full approval of his institute - repeated his comments
on another television show the following August, media reaction was
intense.

For two days, he said, the Rowett Institute was thrilled by the publicity.
The British government, however, was not. Neither were the biotech
multinationals. For Pusztai had called into question the whole game.

If the only GM crop ever to be properly and independently tested in
Britain was not safe, what were consumers to make of the genetically
engineered foods they were already eating?

On the third day, Pusztai was suspended and his team disbanded. A gag
order was placed on all scientists at the institute. Bardocz was let go.

Pusztai received some support from colleagues in Britain and abroad. But
in February, 1999, 19 scientists belonging to Britain's prestigious Royal
Society attacked his research as bad science. A month later, another Royal
Society panel, this one anonymous, dismissed his study as "flawed in many
aspects of design, execution and analysis."

It seemed a damning judgment. In some parts of the British press, he was
derided as a quack.

Too soon, it seems. In October, 1999, one of Britain's leading
peer-reviewed medical journals, The Lancet, agreed to publish some of
Pusztai's findings - including his controversial conclusion that rats fed
GM potatoes suffered damage to the immune systems of their digestive
tracts.

What's more, the editor of The Lancet reported that he had been warned by
a senior member of the Royal Society that he could be fired if he went
through with publishing the Puzstai paper.

Several key members of Britain's Royal Society are partisans of GM crops.
Some have been on the payrolls of biotech firms.

The Lancet published the paper anyway.

Pusztai and Bardocz now travel the world lecturing on the science, or lack
thereof, of GM testing. Last week, they were in New Zealand testifying
before a Royal Commission. This week, they are in Canada courtesy of
Greenpeace and the Council of Canadians.

They have been hired to design a Norwegian research project into the
effect of GM food on farmed salmon. They have received offers to teach in
Brazil.

But in much of Europe, they remain on an unofficial blacklist. They were
approached by a Spanish research project.

But, says Bardocz, when the multinational biotech firm behind the project
learned of their involvement, it pulled the plug.

Perhaps most curious, given the reaction to their work from the biotech
establishment, both still support genetic engineering.

"I'm not fundamentally and ideologically against genetic modification,"
says Pusztai. "I'm just against the unscientific, untested first
generation of genetic modification.

"If we could get rid of this first generation of GM crops, it would be
better for us all."

Thomas Walkom's column appears on Tuesday.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

GM Multinationals Are Thrown a Lifeline with New Regulations

The Guardian
Andrew Osborn
By February 15, 2001

US multinationals which have staked their future on the success of
genetically modified food were last night thrown a lifeline after the
European parliament backed new rules for GM products, increasing the
chances that a two-year ban on their use can be lifted soon.
In a historic vote in Strasbourg, Euro-MPs voted overwhelmingly in favour
of tough rules to test and monitor the safety of GM food and crops before
they can be authorised for sale, marketing or even planting in the EU.

No new GM crops have been approved by the EU since April 1998 and a de
facto moratorium on further approvals has been in place since June 1999.

Many countries have argued that it is politically unacceptable to restart
the stalled approvals process until stricter rules governing the use of GM
food can be put in place.

With yesterday's vote a tough new regulatory framework is ready to be
implemented. Strict regulations governing the labelling and traceability
of GM food are also on the way.

David Bowe, the Labour MEP who steered the legislation through, told the
Guardian said: 'This effectively means the end of the moratorium and the
end of a gentle man's agreement. I would anticipate some new GM approvals
before the autumn and this time next year I would expect to see new GM
crops in British fields.'

He added: 'These are the toughest GM licensing laws in the world. With
this vote, consumers can have confidence that GM products licensed for
sale in the EU have met the toughest standards anywhere.'

The government has already struck an informal agreement with GM producers,
however, ensuring that no commercial GM products will be planted in
Britain until the results of current trials are known.
The Labour MP Joan Ruddock confirmed that the government would not move on
the issue until it was sure that the technology had 'no unacceptable
effects on the environment or human health'.

The European commission is desperate to lift the moratorium as soon as
possible because it fears it will be sued by increasingly frustrated US
multinationals such as Monsanto .

Although the legislation will take 18 months to become law, the EC has
made no secret of the fact that it wants it to take immediate effect
provided GM firms give their word that they will abide by the new rules in
the meantime.

Green groups were disappointed with the vote and called for the moratorium
to remain. Adrian Bebb of Friends of the Earth said: 'This new GM
directive will not protect European consumers, farmers or the
environment.'

EuropaBio, a lobby group representing some of the biggest biotech firms,
welcomed the vote as 'a democratic commitment to giving the technology a
future'.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Europe Approves New Genetically Modified Food Control

New York Times
By DONALD G. McNEIL Jr.
February 15, 2001

ARIS, Feb. 14 -- The European Union Parliament passed a measure today that
establishes strict rules on genetically modified organisms, preparing to
end Europe's unofficial moratorium on bioengineered seeds and food.

The overwhelming 338-to-52 vote was cast despite intense suspicions about
genetically modified foods. But the strictness of the new controls
responds to those fears. The rules govern the testing, planting and sale
of crops and food for humans and animals and the testing and sale of
pharmaceuticals.

Under the rules, companies have to apply for licenses that will last 10
years and pass approval processes. All genetically altered products will
be tracked in a central database that will also mark the locations of all
crops.

A separate bill to set tough food labeling and tracing requirements is to
be ready by April, and it is widely expected to pass in some form.

With the changes, the three-year-old moratorium may end soon, perhaps by
next year, replaced by systematic rules. "The earliest you could expect
approval for a product is spring of next year," said David R. Bowe, the
British legislator who wrote the bill. He theorized that varieties that
did not flower or were meant solely for animal consumption could gain
approval sooner than others.

Under European Union law, all 15 member countries are required to make
their laws conform to the new rules in 18 months. Several governments,
including those of France and Denmark, said they would resist approvals.

A spokeswoman for the Parliament said defying the law would open the
countries to a suit in the European Court of Justice in Luxembourg to
force compliance.

"These are the toughest G.M.O. laws in the world," Mr. Bowe said, using
shorthand for genetically modified organisms. "Even the Greens can't say
they're not strict enough."

In much of the world, in fact, the modified substances have been welcomed.

Many members of European Green parties were among the 85 abstentions
today, as they fear the demise of the informal moratorium.

Mr. Bowe foresaw as much, saying this is "the beginning of the end" of the
ban. Fourteen farm products are "waiting on the shelf" for consideration,
including two types of corn, a tomato, a beet, a chicory, a rapeseed for
canola oil and a cotton, he said. And because all have been planted in the
United States for up to a decade, Mr. Bowe added, producing documentation
for regulators should not be difficult.

In America, the use of genetically modified seeds in 65 percent of the
products on supermarket shelves was hardly questioned until last year,
when an animal-feed corn with a potential allergen in it was found in taco
shells and when manufacturers of baby food refused to use genetically
modified ingredients.

But the modified forms are far more demonized here, where they have
effectively been outlawed since April 1998, when the last new crop type
was approved. British newspapers call them "Frankenfoods," and
supermarkets in France post signs saying all their food is "sans O.G.M.,"
without genetically modified organisms.

Critics like José Bové have become popular heroes for tearing up
greenhouses full of test plants. Last week, a prosecutor asked for a
three-month sentence for Mr. Bové for raiding an agronomy center in
Montpellier.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Should We Accept Genetically-Modifed Rice?

Business Day
February 15, 2001

That delicious staple, rice, is one of Thailand's most important
blessings. The country is usually ranked as the world's number one rice
exporter. But maintaining that status may be difficult for the kingdom now
that new rice biotechnology is creating 'magic' new varieties.

Last month, the Philippines-based International Rice Research Institute
(IRRI) announced that its scientists would begin investigating the safety
and viability of "Golden Rice," a new, genetically-modified strain which
contains beta-carotene and other carotenoids that combat Vitamin A
Deficiency (VAD). The condition causes irreversible blindness and strikes
millions of Asian children.
Time magazine for February 12 says "Golden Rice" could save a million kids
a year. It adds - "...but protesters believe such genetically modified
foods are bad for us and our planet. Is the rice worth the risk?"

The inventors of the new super-rice are German Professors Ingo Potrykus
and Professor Peter Beyer, with funding from the Rockefeller Foundation,
the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology, the European Union and the
Swiss Federation Office for Education and Science. The golden rice
technology has been licensed to several agribusiness firms, including
Syngenta of Switzerland and Monsanto Company in the United States.

In the light of the increasingly heated debate since 1998 between the
advocates and critics of agricultural biotechnology , the entry of the
golden rice strain has added more weight to the pro-GM factor - especially
as there is a promise of free-of-charge technology to poor developing
countries with high degrees of VAD.

However, the delivery of the golden rice strain to the IRRI for further
research has already stirred opposition in the Philippines.
In Thailand, the anti-GM faction is limited to academics and some informed
NGOs. The reasons for opposition towards GM crop technology derive mainly
from fears that the technology would harm local traditional species and
that intellectual property rights and seed sale monopolies would be
imposed by multi-national agribusiness corporations.

It is already difficult enough for Thailand to ban the entry of GM foods,
but it is more difficult to maintain the competitiveness of Thai
agricultural products abroad, particularly rice, with the introduction of
new improved GM varieties like the golden rice strain.

Our agricultural research institutes must keep up with new technology. We
should not easily fall prey to aggressive propaganda from global
agribusiness firms. At the same time, we should not blindly follow the
world-wide anti- biotechnology campaigns spearheaded by some international
NGOs.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

http://www.timesofindia.com/today/15hlth20.htm

Vitamin Rich Swiss Rice to Arrive in India Soon

Times of India
15 February 2001

NEW DELHI: An agreement betweeen Indian and Swiss scientists is to be
signed soon for the transfer of technology for Vitamin A-rich Golden rice
to India, co-invetor of Golden rice Dr Ingo Potrykus has said.

The draft agreement was discussed at the Indo-Swiss International
Symposium in Biotechnology', Potrykus told PTI on Tuesday.

During the discussions, some changes were suggested which would be
incorporated in the agreement before it is signed by him reprsenting the
Swiss side and Dr Manju Sharma, secretary, department of biotechnology,
from Indian side, he said.

According to sources in the department of biotechnology (DBT), the
agreement is likey to be signed in a couple of months.

Technology transfer for Golden rice is the part of Indo-Swiss
collaboration in biotechnology. Golden rice gets its name from its golden
colour which is due to the presence of beta carotene, a precursor of
Vitamin A.

Potrykus said he had free licenses to transfer technology for rice rich in
Vitamin A for humanitarian purposes. However, he was not allowed to
transfer technology for other rice lines like those rich in iron and those
rich in both Vitamin A and iron.

After the agreement is signed, seeds of the rice lines rich in beta
carotene would be imported by India from Switzerland. Before that
permission from Indian and Swiss authorities would be needed, Potrykus
said.

Once these seeds are imported, Indian scientists would modify them to suit
Indian conditions before these are introduced for general use. The
scientists would try to introduce gene for Vitamin A in the Indian
varieties of rice, he said.

Potrykus said talks for transfer of technology had begun in 1999. The rice
rich in Vitamin A is important for India considering the fact that 400
million children here suffer from Vitamin A deficiency.

Genetic improvement of crop plants is an important way to fight
micronutrient deficiency in India, he said, adding it was "criminal" to
delay introduciton of nutrient-rich varieties for common use.

For the Golden rice, there are 70 patents which belong to 32 patent
holders including many multinational companies.

Studies on the biosafety and toxicity aspects are still taking place and
they would take at least three years to complete, Potrykus said.

According to DBT sources, under the proposed agreement about 50-60 grams
of the seeds would be imported. Swiss scientists would also give genetic
constructs.

The sources said experiments would be conducted in Delhi University,
Indian Agricultural Research Institute, Central Rice Research Institute in
Cuttack, Tamil Nadu Agricultural University, and Directorate of Rice
Research in Hyderabad.

The experiments would be done so as to introduce the gene for Vitamin A in
Indian variety of rice, oryza indica, using genetic engineering and cross
breeding. Potrykus had introduced the gene for Vitamin A in oryza japonica
variety of rice.

India would have to bear the cost of only conducting these studies as the
material from Swiss side would be provided free of cost, they said.

The DBT sources said entire process would take at least four years. The
experimentation would take into account all the safety guidlines and once
the Indian rice lines rich in Vitamin A are produced, clearance would be
taken from environment ministry for conducting field trials.

After the field trials, the new variety would be registered as seed, they
said.

A mechanism would be then needed to make available this rice to the target
population - poor people and those living in the rice belt in south,
north-east and West Bengal, they said.

The new varieties are likely to be in public domain and protected under
the plant variety laws, they added. They are likely to be provided only to
poor farmers.

Golden rice was developed jointly by German and Swiss scientists. There
have been objections to genetically modified crops from environmentalists.
They say that there are alternatives to Golden rice which can be used to
fight Viatmin A deficiency. Pti sv vnd rks 02141319 d pri espl nat
.Newdelhi des8 science-golden three last

the experiments would be done so as to introduce the gene for vitamin a in
indian variety of rice, oryza indica, using genetic engineering and cross
breeding. Potrykus had introduced the gene for vitamin a in oryza japonica
variety of rice.

India would have to bear the cost of only conducting these studies as the
material from swiss side would be provided free of cost, they said.

The dbt sources said entire process would take at least four years. The
experimentation would take into account all the safety guidlines and once
the indian rice lines rich in vitamin a are produced, clearance would be
taken from environment ministry for conducting field trials.

After the field trials, the new variety would be registered as seed, they
said.

A mechanism would be then needed to make available this rice to the target
population - poor people and those living in the rice belt in south,
north-east and west bengal, they said.

The new varieties are likely to be in public domain and would be protected
under the plant variety laws, they added. They are likely to be provided
only to poor farmers.

Golden rice was developed jointly by german and swiss scientists. There
have been objections to genetically modified crops from environmentalists.
They say that there are alternatives to golden rice which can be used to
fight viatmin a deficiency. (PTI)
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++=

Italy: Health minister stresses benefits of GM research

February 14, 2001

Rome, 14 February: Health Minister Umberto Veronesi spoke out in defence
of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) today, less than 24 hours after
the government gave in to scientists' demands for fewer restrictions on
biotech research.

"There is a slow but progressive recognition that genetically modifying an
organism isn't a form of devilry," said Veronesi on the sidelines of a
medical conference here in Rome.

The minister, a renowned oncologist, said that genetic modification
represented a "new research tool" which was accepted in the human field as
a potential solution for "many genetic illnesses and curing a variety of
tumours". "I don't see why we shouldn't use it on plants to make them
genetically resistant to parasites," he continued.
Veronesi stressed the potential benefits of GMOs for humanity.
"We could make plants which require very little water to grow and use them
to re-populate deserts... [ellipsis as received] We could develop
genetically modified rice containing a dose of vitamins which would
prevent vitamin deficiencies in poor populations," he said.
"We can find intelligent ways of boosting production and improving the
quality of food," the minister concluded.

His comments came in the wake of an unprecedented protest yesterday by
some 1,500 scientists led by Nobel prize winners Rita Levi Montalcini and
Renato Dulbecco who demanded fewer restrictions on biotech research work
and more funding.

The government subsequently met with a delegation of protesters including
Montalcini and agreed to lift a ban on GM crop experimentation.

Premier Giuliano Amato announced that the experimentation would begin once
a panel of experts had been set up to monitor the research and draw up
guidelines on biotech safety.

One of the scientists' main targets for criticism was Agriculture Minister
Alfonso Pecoraro Scanio, a Green Party member and a high-profile critic of
GMOs whose ministry recently blocked GM crop experimentation.

Pecoraro Scanio issued the decree in January banning new open air
experimentation on GM crops and requiring further research to be carried
out in controlled environments, in laboratories and greenhouses.

The minister said today that the members of the new GM supervisory panel
would probably be named tomorrow and should include a foreign expert.

He said that the panel would first look into the risks of open air crop
experimentation to ensure that adjoining areas under normal cultivation
and underground water sources would not be contaminated.
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Farming Methods Risk Global Food Production

Environment News Service
February 14, 2001

WASHINGTON, DC, February 14, 2001 (ENS) - How will the world feed an extra
1.5 billion people over the next two decades when current farming methods
have already jeopardized world food production? That is the question posed
by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI) and the World
Resources Institute (WRI) in a report released today.

http://ens.lycos.com/ens/feb2001/2001L-02-14-11.html
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

FARMER ON GM TRIAL

Birmingham Evening Mail
February 9, 2001

JOSE Bove, a militant sheep farmer who shot to fame for ransacking a
McDonald's restaurant in France, has gone on trial on charges he destroyed
genetically altered rice plants.

Bove and two other defendants are accused of destroying plants at a
facility belonging to CIRAD, an international research centre in
Montpellier.
+++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

Date: Feb 14 2001 12:33:02 EST
From: Chuck Benbrook
Subject: A Not Happy Soybean Farmer

For those advocates of ag biotech who do not get out in the U.S.
countryside much these days, you should know there is a large and growing
number of farmers who are not happy about what has happened the last few
years. The following brief email to the Cropchoice website from a farmer
in North Dakota sums up the growing sentiment.

There will be many efforts this year focused on the availability of GMO
versus conventional versus "pure" corn and soybean seed, and if what this
producer has experienced emerges as a common occurrence, and the U.S.
losses more ground in its international markets -- for both conventional
and organic grains and oilseeds -- there will be many more farmers raising
this, and other questions this time next year.

Chuck Benbrook
---------------

February 14, 2001

Dear Cropchoice:

I have been offered $1.25 a bushel over market for 100% pure non-
GMO soybeans of certain varieties that happen to be popular varieties in
my area.

This contract is being offered through a local grain elevator near
Fargo, ND. I thought it sounded too good to be true. I immediately
went to work to try and purchase at least 1 of these varieties. I then
learned the disappointing news. Not 1 of the seed companies could
guarantee non-GMO purity. In fact, one of the seed dealers actually
laughed at me when I told him I needed the seed to be certified as
100% pure non-GMO. He told that would be impossible and that he
didn't think any seed company selling soybean seed today would
attempt or be able to make such a guarantee. The buyer offering the
contract later told me he realizes this problem. He was simply stating
that this market offering the premium was an Asian market and that was the
price that he could offer me if I could supply the non-GMO crop.

Up here in North Dakota, we have essentially only been growing GMO
soybeans commercially for 2 years and already it appears nearly all
varieties are too contaminated for some markets. As if things weren't
bad enough in farming today, now we have this mess--limited markets
and government bailouts to farmers.

All this so the big biotech seed companies can continue to develop and
sell more seeds that are resistant to their own chemicals. In my
opinion, paying 5 times as much for soybean seed as compared to binrun
(saved) seed, then raising a crop that yields less than non-GMO
varieties and then finally selling that crop at a discount at the
elevator on top of having the whole market depressed due to the GMO
issue doesn't pencil out very good on my farm.

I would think that the taxpayers in this country would not stand for
this much longer.

Sincerely,
Rodney Nelson
Amenia, ND

Charles Benbrook Ag BioTech
InfoNet <http://www.biotech-info.net>
Benbrook Consulting Services CU FQPA site
<http://www.ecologic-ipm.com>
5085 Upper Pack River Road IPM site <http://www.pmac.net>
Sandpoint, Idaho 83864
Voice: (208)-263-5236
Fax: (208)-263-7342
E-mail:
++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++

More nonsense from Greenpeace and The Campaign ...

-- Prakash

News Update From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

Dear Health Freedom Fighters,

There are four types of genetically engineered crops:
1) Herbicide-resistant - such as Round Up Ready Soybeans
2) Built-in pesticide - such as the Bt Corn (StarLink for example)
3) Nutrient fortified - such as Golden Rice with extra vitamin A
4) Built-in vaccination - to deliver drugs through the food

The biotech industry has been promoting their products through a classic
"bait and switch" sales technique. They have been talking about feeding
starving children in third world countries with their vitamin A fortified
Golden Rice and crops with built-in vaccinations. That is the "bait."

The "switch" is that products such as the Golden Rice and the vaccine
containing crops are not yet fully developed. Instead the biotech
companies are selling us herbicide-resistant soybeans and corn with
built-in pesticides. These genetically engineered foods are unlabeled,
untested, and are sold to an unknowing public. There is growing evidence
that these biotech crops could be harmful to both the environment and
human health.

Anyone who would dare to attack the "miracle of biotech foods" has been
painted by the biotech industry as being against feeding starving
children. Nothing could be further from the truth.

It the past few days, British and Canadian news sources have reported that
the Golden Rice is not all it has been promoted to be -- the vitamin A
level is actually quite low. This is a significant disclosure since the
biotech industry has spend millions of dollars promoting the wonders of
Golden Rice.

So far it does not seem that any of the United States media have reported
this story about the misrepresentation of the facts by the biotech
industry.

It turns out that someone eating an average portion of the Golden Rice
would only get about 8% of the required daily intake of vitamin A. So
someone would need to eat about 8 to 10 pounds of this genetically
engineered rice a day to get the required amount of vitamin A.

Even the Rockefeller Foundation, a big promoter of Golden Rice, was
reported as saying that the public relations campaign based on Golden Rice
has "gone too far."

Greenpeace Canada has filed a complaint with Advertising Standards Canada
demanding that misleading biotech industry advertisements be withdrawn
from broadcast.

Greenpeace has also created a document on the "Reality vs. Myths on Golden
Rice." You can access the Adobe Acrobat version of this at:
http://www.greenpeacecanada.org/e/news/rice.pdf

Posted below is a Special Report titled "GM rice promoters 'have gone too
far' " from the British newspaper The Guardian. Also posted is the
Greenpeace Canada press release.

Craig Winters
Executive Director
The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

The Campaign
PO Box 55699
Seattle, WA 98155
Tel: 425-771-4049
Fax: 603-825-5841
E-mail: mailto:label@thecampaign.org
Web Site: http://www.thecampaign.org