GE -misc news
Daniel D. Worley (email@example.com)
Fri, 13 Feb 1998 20:40:48 -0400
>Date: Fri, 13 Feb 1998 00:34:43 -0500
>From: Richard Wolfson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: GE -misc news
> TUESDAY 10th FEBRUARY 1998
> FOE SCORES FOOD VICTORY AS GOVERNMENT PULLS PLUG
> ON GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP
> Friends of the Earth <email@example.com> scored another campaign
>victory today, with news that the Ministry of Agriculture (MAFF) has
>decided to put a stop on the biotech industry's plan to grow the first
>genetically engineered crop in the UK.
> MAFF sources have confirmed to FOE that the ministry will not now
>progress an application for a genetically engineered oilseed rape variety
>developed by Belgium company Plant Genetics Systems (PGS). The variety was
>designed to be resistant to a herbicide made by agro-chemical giant
>Hoescht who own PGS. Use of the genetically engineered plant would allow
>more intensive spraying of the herbicide, which would threaten wildlife
>and could help create herbicide resistant "superweeds". Oilseed rape is a
>major ingredient in staple foods such as margarine and cooking oil.
> MAFF's decision follows a moratorium by the French Government, announced
>on 27th November last year, on herbicide resistant oilseed and sugar beet
>"until scientific studies show there is no risk to the environment and a
>public debate has been conducted". PGS oilseeds require both seed listing
>in the UK and marketing approval before they can be grown commercially in
>the European Union.
> In December the Government's wildlife agencies, including English
>Nature, joined Friends of the Earth in calling for a moratorium on
>herbicide-resistant crops, at least until the Ministry of Agriculture has
>finished its own research in three years time.
> Adrian Bebb, biotechnology campaigner for Friends of the Earth said:
> "This is a serious blow for the biotech industry, who have been rushing
>to get their new inventions into our food chain before anyone noticed.
>There are serious concerns that these new food crops may have irreversible
>environmental consequences and the Government should be congratulated for
>stopping these first crops before the damage is done."
>February 6, 1998 Web posted at: 6:10 p.m. EST (2310 GMT)
>WASHINGTON (AP) -- Amid mounting protests from pro-organic groups,
>Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman said Friday that action on new
>national organic labeling rules would be postponed for 45 days to
>allow for more public comment.
>The Agriculture Department has already received more than 4,000
>comments on the rules, hundreds of them objecting to the possibility
>that irradiation, genetic engineering and sewage sludge fertilizer
>could be involved in organics.
>Glickman, however, noted that the Agriculture Department had taken
>no stand on those issues and wanted to hear from the public about
>them. The new deadline for comment is April 30.
>AUSTRALIAN CASE HIGHLIGHTS DEBATE ON INTELLECTUAL PROPERTY
>Thanks to MichaelP <papadop@PEAK.ORG> for forwarding this:
>Two Australian crop development agencies last week were forced to drop
>patent requests on two chickpea varieties the agencies admit were
>acquired from the International Crops Research Institute for the Semi
>Arid Tropics (ICRISAT) based in India. The two agencies had signed an
>agreement with ICRISAT, saying that they would not commercialize or
>license the varieties obtained for research purposes. While the two
>Australian agencies admitted they were not the original breeders of the
>germplasm, they proceeded to apply for Plant Breeders Rights (PBR) with
>the Australian government. PBRs serve as patent-like intellectual
>property claims on crops.
>Meanwhile, Australia is coming under fire for its role in processing PBR
>claims by Australian breeders who contributed nothing of value to
>germplasm development. "Australia is privatizing seeds that belong to
>our farmers, and they plan to sell them back to us with their own
>self-authorized plant monopoly," said a spokesman for a South Asian
>farmer organization. "No work was done to improve on the Indian variety.
>It was a direct piracy of the genius of farmers here," the spokesman
>"Biopiracy: beg, borrow, or steal," TERRAVIVA (IPS), January 27, 1998.
>"Aussies "pirate" others genius?" RAFI PRESS RELEASE, February 1, 1998.
>Richard Wolfson, PhD
>Consumer Right to Know Campaign,
>for Mandatory Labelling and Long-term
>Testing of all Genetically Engineered Foods,
>500 Wilbrod Street
>Ottawa, ON Canada K1N 6N2
>Our website, http://www.natural-law.ca/genetic/geindex.html
>contains more information on genetic engineering as well as
>previous genetic engineering news items
>Subscription fee to genetic engineering news is $35 for 12 months
>See website for details.
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