>Date: Wed, 15 Jul 1998 06:01:06 -0500
>From: Richard Wolfson <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>Subject: GE News
>Here are a few article from allsorts <email@example.com> news service
>I have just about caught up, and will start sending recent article.
>The Irish Times July 2, 1998,
>Escape of genetically modified organisms 'would be disastrous'
> BYLINE: By MARY CAROLAN
>Any escape of genetically modified organisms into the environment would
>be disastrous for the reputation of Ireland as a State with foodstuffs
>which are not genetically modified, the High Court was told yesterday. Ms
>Clare Watson, of Genetic Concern, said the Environmental Protection
>Agency had failed to satisfy itself there was no risk of such escape from a
>site in Co Carlow, where it has granted consent for the growth of
>genetically modified sugar beet. She made the claims in an affidavit
>read to the court on the second day of her challenge to the EPA's decision,
>of May 1st, 1997, to grant Monsanto Plc permission for field trials of the
>genetically engineered beet on lands owned by Teagasc, at Oak Park, Co
>Ms Watson is seeking orders and declarations against the EPA and Monsanto
>-with an address in Buckinghamshire, England - which would quash the
>permission and direct the EPA to reconsider the application in accordance
>with specific laws.
>The EPA has denied it failed to comply with the relevant laws and
>procedures and says it reached an independent conclusion on Monsanto's
>application. During yesterday's hearing, Mr John Gordon SC, for Ms
>Watson, read some 27 questions put by the EPA to Monsanto about its
>application and the responses from the company.
>He also completed reading Ms Watson's affidavit in which she said she has
>been increasingly concerned about the development of genetically
>engineered plants and animals and in particular the deliberate release of
>genetically modified organisms ( GMO) into the environment.
> Genetic Concern, which seeks to raise public awareness of the dangers of
>the release of such GMOs, was particularly concerned about the
>application by Monsanto for the deliberate release of such organisms from
>the Oak Park site, she said. The procedure adopted by the EPA in dealing
>with the Monsanto application was inherently void and any determination
>based on such procedure was fundamentally invalid.
>The EPA was required by the Genetically Modified Organisms Regulations
>(1994) to be satisfied prior to giving its consent that the deliberate
>release of GMOs would not result in adverse effects on health or the
>environment. Because of the level of information submitted by Monsanto the
>EPA could not have been satisfied in that regard, she said.
>The documents submitted by Monsanto indicated there was a real risk that
>the plants, which were the subject of the deliberate release, may escape
>either as pollen or as seeds and there was no fall-back position or
>adequate proposals to ensure such escape does not occur, she said.
>Ms Watson said it was generally accepted that an escape of GMOs would have
>an adverse effect on the environment. In the context of the Monsanto
>trials, it was particularly significant as the area within which such
>plants were to be grown was one where there were large quantities of
>similar type plants, with which the genetically modified plants could
>interbreed. She said Monsanto proposed that pollen arising from the
>growth of such plants would be prevented by the manual pulling off of
>flower buds at two-week intervals.
>In another affidavit, Dr Catherine Webb, of Monsanto, said she had more
>than seven years' experience in plant breeding. Since 1997 she had worked
>closely with the planning and implementation of glyphosate-tolerant sugar
>beet trials. She said the purpose of Monsanto's Carlow trials was to
>test the effect of Roundup - a glyphosate-based herbicide produced by the
>company - on glyphosate-tolerant sugar beet. The trials were necessary for
>Monsanto to secure approval for the commercial use of Roundup on sugar
>Dr Webb gave a detailed account of meetings with the EPA regarding
>Monsanto's application. She said the EPA was thorough in its conduct of the
>approval process and had imposed conditions not required by the UK
>authorities in relation to similar trials. Information required by the EPA
>was also more detailed than that required in several EU countries and the
>Dr Webb also said there was "no realistic possibility" that any pollen
>might escape from the test site. It was "simply incorrect" to suggest there
>were no precautions to prevent the seed to be planted from escaping on the
>way to the planting site, or from escaping during planting due to the
>impact of birds and animals.
>The hearing before Mr Justice O'Sullivan continues today. [Entered
>Greenbase July 2, 1998 ]
>7) BEES 'WITNESSES' IN ROW OVER GENETIC FOOD BEES and other insects can
>transfer pollen between plants separated by considerable distances. But
>how far will pollen travel on a summer breeze to fertilise a neighbouring
>field of blossom. That question has become the latest twist in the dispute
>in Britain over the safety of genetically -modified crops. It is
>central to a court challenge being mounted by a farmer and environment
>campaigners who are trying to stop an experimental crop of genetically
>-modified maize being planted in Devon.
> The farmer, Guy Watson, is opposed to it being grown next to his farm and
>he is supported in his objection by the environmentalist group Friends of
>the Earth and by the Soil Association, Britain's largest certifier of
>organic produce. The three have joined forces out of concern that the
>maize, which has been modified to be resistant to a herbicide, may
>pollenate a field of organic sweetcorn planted two kilometres away on Mr
>Watson's farm. The Soil Association says it could be forced to withdraw
>Mr Watson's "organic certificate" if the trial goes ahead.
>Financial Times (London) July 11, 1998, Saturday LONDON EDITION 1
> Genetic trials win crucial ruling in court BYLINE: By John Mason, Law
>Courts Correspondent The organic farming lobby yesterday failed in a High
>Court bid to have trials of genetically modified sweetcorn on a farm
>declared illegal. A High Court judge ruled the government had acted
>legally in allowing the trials to go ahead, despite claims by the farmer of
>adjacent land that cross-pollination from the genetically modified produce
>threatened to damage his crop of organic sweetcorn. The Soil
>Association, which regulates organic farming, has said it would withdraw
>organic status from Guy Watson's farm if any cross-pollination of
>genetically modified material occured.
>The case is seen by environmentalists as a crucial test for the future of
>organic farming. Friends of the Earth and the Soil Association, which
>backed Mr Watson's challenge, have argued that widespread growing of
>genetically modified produce could threaten the entire organic farming
>industry in the UK. Under EU regulations, the Soil Association has to
>withdraw organic status if genetically modified cross-pollination has
>The Times July 9, 1998, Thursday
>10) GPs back gene inquiry
> BYLINE: Ian Murray
> BODY: Ian Murray reports from the BMA conference DOCTORS added their
>voice to concerns that genetically modified foodstuff might have long-
>term health effects. Delegates at Cardiff unanimously backed a call to
>examine the scientific evidence and commercial pressures on genetic
>manipulation. The BMA is also to consider setting up a medical watchdog
>to monitor work being done in this area. Earlier this week English Nature,
>the Government's wildlife adviser, called for a five- year ban on the
>commercial growing of some of the genetically modified crops.
>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
>tel. 613-565-8517 fax. 613-565-1596
>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.
--Dan in Sunny Puerto Rico--
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