>Date: Mon, 24 Aug 1998 15:45:59 -0500
>From: Richard Wolfson <email@example.com>
>Subject: GE News
>The Bangkok Post
>front page of 21 August 1998
>UK COLLEGE REFUSES TO RETURN FUNGI
>UNIVERSITY INSISTS IT HAS FULL OWNERSHIP
>by Uamdao Noikorn
>A British university has refused to return 200 strains of marine fungi on
>loan from a Thai research agency.
>Portsmouth University said the shipment was not recorded, the fungi
>cultures were part of its collection and it had the right to keep them.
>The Biothai network of environmental groups has accused the university of
>biopiracy and insists the strains be sent back.
>Nigel Hywel-Jones, head of mycology at the National Centre for Genetic
>Engineering and Biotechnology (Biotec), said the fungi, with potential as a
>cancer cure, were extracted from a trunk found in the Andaman Sea.
>Prof Hywel-Jones said Gareth Jones, a former Biotec researcher and fungi
>expert who had worked at Portsmouth, sent the strains to England in 1993
>because Biotec lacked appropriate storage facilities. No record of transfer
>was made. "It's common in the science community to transfer or exchange
>samples without record. It's based on trust."
>Since 1995, when Biotec opened a lab with its own culture collection, it
>had repeatedly asked Portsmouth to return the strains. On Aug 10, a fax
>under the University of Portsmouth Enterprise Ltd letterhead to Prof
>Hywel-Jones confirmed its decision.
>"The fungi in this collection were collected from a number of locations,
>including Thailand, by staff at this University acting on behalf of the
>University. Consequently, legal title and ownership of all of the
>collection resides with the University," it said.
>Prof Hywel-Jones said he later learned that Portsmouth planned to sell the
>cultures to a drug company.
>Vitoon Lianchamroon, an anti-biopiracy advocate, said there had been many
>cases in which local plants and organisms were exported and later patented
>by drug companies.
>Mr Vitoon faulted Biotec for lax practice and said many international
>groups were more eager to protect Thai bioresources than Thai authorities
>© Copyright The Post Publishing Public Co., Ltd. 1998
>Thanks to firstname.lastname@example.org (jim mcnulty) for posting the following 2
>UK Issues Guidelines On Xenotransplant Trials
>August 21, 1998
>Marketletter via NewsEdge Corporation : The UK took a step toward giving
>the go-ahead for human clinical trials of xenotransplantation - the use of
>animal tissues in human transplant recipients - at the end of July, with
>the publication of a Guidance document by the Xenotransplantation Interim
>Regulatory Authority. The XIRA will take comments on the Guidance until
>The new guidelines have been hailed as a strict but unobstructive attempt
>to build a regulatory framework for this new technology. Novartis
>subsidiary Imutran, one of the companies hoping to bring
>xenotransplantation into the commercial arena, described the development as
>"an important step forward. "
>In January last year, the UK Department of Health issued an interim ban on
>clinical trials of animal tissue transplants on recommendations put forward
>by the Advisory Group on the Ethics of Xenotransplantation (Marketletter
>February 3, 1997). At that time, the report's main conclusion was that it
>is not currently acceptable to move to trials involving humans, "due to the
>lack of knowledge...concerning aspects of physiology, immunology and risk
>VEGETARIAN SOCIETY/ Vegetarian Society symbol to exclude genetically
>August 24, 1998
>M2 PRESSWIRE via NewsEdge Corporation : The Vegetarian Society (UK) has
>announced a new policy concerning genetically modified foods and the
>licensing of its symbol.
>The new policy states that:
>'Genetically Modified products or products containing Genetically Modified
>ingredients are not acceptable to The Vegetarian Society because the
>Society believes it is impossible to guarantee that such products are
>completely in accordance with the Society's vegetarian principles.'
>The Vegetarian Society's symbol, the most trusted guarantee of vegetarian
>suitability, currently appears on over 2,000 food products. From 1st August
>1999 all food products using the symbol will also be GMO free.
>Food companies, using the symbol, will be invited to sign a contract
>specifying that all the ingredients used in the manufacture of the product
>are from a non-genetically modified source. The symbol's existing
>free-range egg criteria, which exceeds current EC standards, guarantees
>that approved products containing egg or egg albumen will use only
>free-range eggs. The criteria also ensure that the product has not been
>tested on animals.
>CONTACT: The Vegetarian Society press office
>Tel: +44 (0)161 928 0793
>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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