Richard Wolfson (by way of Daniel Worley ) wrote:
> [Reposted with permission]
> Subject: Monsanto in Saskatchewan
> posted by: email@example.com (Warren Peterson)
> Candace Holmstrom
> reports for CBC Radio.
> Hi-tech canola causes stir in Sask.
> WebPosted Tue Feb 23 04:27:23 1999
> REGINA - A battle is brewing in Saskatchewan over farm seeds. At stake is
> patent-protected canola.
> Round Up Ready Canola was developed by the multi-national company Monsanto.
> After spending millions of dollars coming up with the product, Monsanto
> wants to make sure its special seeds are protected. And it's willing to go
> to court to make sure that happens.
> The seed has been changed genetically. Once a farmer plants it, instead of
> needing three or four herbicides, the only weed control the crop needs is
> Round Up -- a Monsanto product.
> If farmers want to use Round Up Ready Canola, they have to sign a contract
> with Monsanto.
> "You cannot re-plant this seed a second year. If you're not comfortable
> with the term and condition that we can come and inspect your fields and
> bins for up to three years afterwards -- if that disturbs you -- then
> please do not buy the technology," said Aaron Mitchell, in charge of
> biotechnology in Western Canada for Monsanto.
> So far, 16 farmers in Western Canada have been caught breaking the contract
> or patent rules. They re-planted or grew seed for which they didn't even
> pay. Most are in Saskatchewan.
> Noreen Johns, who farms north of Regina, signed the contract with Monsanto
> -- and follows the rules. But Johns worries how much control farmers are
> losing with this kind of technology and marketing.
> "So now we see the chemical companies not only marketing chemical to us,
> but controlling in the seed market," Johns told CBC News.
> One of the ways Monsanto is catching farmers who break the rules is through
> an anonymous tips telephone line. But people like Johns aren't picking up
> the phone to tattle on neighbours.
> She asks who's the real culprit: the farmer who breaks the rules, or the
> chemical company which sets them.
> The courts will decide.
> The first legal test for Monsanto's patent on canola is expected to begin
> this fall in Saskatchewan.
> The Guardian Weekly Volume 160 Issue 9 for week ending February 28, 1999,
> Coming soon: cow's milk with added hormones
> Thanks to free trade rules, Britain will be powerless to resist imported GM
> food, warns George Monbiot
> LIKE a family in the midst of a massive domestic row, the participants in
> the great genetic war are already having trouble recalling how it began. Dr
> Arpad Pusztai's potatoes and their effect on rats have been all but
> forgotten, while the underlying tensions, ever present, but seldom
> acknowledged, have burst out into the open. At last Tony Blair's sordid
> affair with the corporate seductress and the terrible mess she has made in
> the garden are being discussed.
> The row is threatening to split the Labour household apart. Jack
> Cunningham, the Downing Street "enforcer", has been roaring up and down the
> stairs telling everyone else to shut up. The environment minister, Michael
> Meacher, having hidden in the potting shed, has run back indoors with the
> news that he's seen something nasty in the vegetable patch.
> While Dr Cunningham continues to insist that the new plants carry no
> conceivable risks, Mr Meacher has hinted at the need to delay the
> introduction of commercial planting of GM crops in Britain. His department
> told journalists that there will probably be no approvals for full-scale
> cultivation before 2001. The neighbours are beginning to weigh in on his
> side.The Government's chief scientist, Sir Robert May, has expressed grave
> concerns about the damage that the new crops might do to wildlife --
> herbicide-resistant crops allow farmers to eliminate almost all other
> species from their fields. The environment department has been forced to
> publish a delayed report in which these warnings are echoed. Last week the
> biotechnology company Monsanto was fined for failing to isolate one of its
> test crops from the wider environment.
> And Middle England has begun to realise that when Mr Blair is faced with a
> conflict between its needs and those of his other constituency, big
> business, he sides with the corporations. If the Prime Minister begins, at
> last, to listen to Mr Meacher's anxieties, he will soon run into a new
> problem: that whether or not it wants to act, the Government might be
> unable to do so. Both Tory and Labour governments have been so determined
> to facilitate "free trade" that they have progressively signed away their
> right to intervene.
> If the Government seeks to prevent corporations from forcing us to grow and
> eat their crops, the corporations will appeal, first to the European Union,
> then to the World Trade Organisation. And they will win, because the
> governments of the First World have already determined that, in cases like
> this, private profit outweighs public protection.
> Food scares happen in Britain because people feel they have no control over
> what they eat. Our decisions are made for us by invisible and unaccountable
> corporations. We are just about to discover precisely how powerless we
> are.In just under three months the media will stumble across another issue
> that it has managed to ignore for years. This one is even scarier. Monsanto
> has developed an injectable growth hormone that increases the production of
> cow's milk. Some scientists argue that it also increases the levels of
> something called Insulin Growth Factor 1. IGF-1 can cross the digestive
> tract intact from milk to the bloodstream of consumers. People with
> elevated IGF-1 levels are at greater risk from breast and prostate
> cancer.The EU banned milk and beef from cattle treated with this hormone.
> On behalf of Monsanto, the United States government appealed to the WTO.
> The organisation has given Europe until May 13 to start importing
> hormone-treated beef and milk. Mr Blair will wriggle, Dr Cunningham will
> roar, but, short of provoking a trade war, they can do nothing whatever to
> protect British consumers.
> The European elections will be fought, four weeks later, in the midst of
> this crisis. The Greens could win even more votes than they did in 1989,
> and this time they will carry seats. Labour's backbench guerrillas will
> launch a frontal attack. And Mr Blair, lost as he always is when the
> politics of presentation yields to the politics of substance, will wonder
> how on earth so vigorous a vine grew from a humble potato.
> Thanks to MichaelP <firstname.lastname@example.org> for posting this:
> The [London] Guardian February 26 1999
> Risk of escaped GM food genes
> Sarah Hall
> GENES from genetically modified foods could evade scientists' control,
> "leak out" and infect other organisms, an eminent genetics professor
> warned yesterday.
> Steve Jones, professor of genetics at University College, London, said
> evolution was " predictable" and organisms' genetic make up altered
> naturally as they developed resistance.
> He added: "The genes you put in may actually leak out and get to places
> where we can't control them ... Genes can leap in the most extraordinary
> and alarming way. There's no reason to say the same thing cannot happen in
> genetically modified plants. It only has to happen once. The dangers are
> really quite real."
> Prof Jones was speaking last night at a Guardian debate - GM Foods: Where
> does the truth lie? - at Westminster Central Hall, central London.
> Likening the Green movement to Nazism in its reactionary ignorance and
> emotiveness, he said he [nevertheless] supported a moratorium on growing
> GM crops in Britain.
> "I definitely think we need more knowledge before we make the same
> mistakes with GM foods that we made with penicillin - and I most clearly
> think we should stop doing this until we know more about it," he said.
> Guardian columnist and visiting professor at Green College, Oxford, George
> Monbiot, warned there was a major gulf between the manufacturers' claim
> for GM foods and what they really intended to do: rather than increase
> food production in the next century, they would be "the hunger merchants
> of the new millennium. "
> He said the aim of genetic engineering was to wrest control of "the
> biggest commodity market of all - namely food".
> Biotech firms welcome GMO talks breakdown
> ENDS Daily - 25/02/99 -------------------------
> European and international biotechnology industry groups have welcomed the
> breakdown on Wednesday of talks on an international protocol on trade and
> use of live genetically modified organisms (GMOs). According to the
> European biotechnology industry association EuropaBio, the biosafety
> protocol was so deeply flawed that "it's better to have no protocol".
> Paul Muys of the association said that the biotechnology industry would
> welcome "a protocol that proved we are serious about maintaining
> biodiversity," but that the current proposal would in fact mean "more red
> tape and bureaucracy". EuropaBio and other industry groups particularly
> object to the demands of some countries that the biosafety protocol should
> be given a scope wide enough to cover agricultural commodities, such as
> soya and oilseed rape. For several of these genetically modified varieties
> are beginning to appear on the market. The international Grain and Feed
> Trade Association (Gafta) backed EuropaBio's position on this today, saying
> that it did not want a protocol that "gives unnecessary disruption to
> EuropaBio also attacked a proposal for the biosafety protocol to include a
> requirement for importing countries to be informed by exporters before any
> individual shipment of GMOs covered by the instrument. This would be
> "madness," said Mr Muys. EuropaBio and its sister organisation in the USA
> are also unhappy with a proposed framework of legal liability under
> Contacts: EuropaBio (<http://www.europa-bio.be/>http://www.europa-bio.be),
> tel: +32 2 735 03, Gafta (<http://www.gafta.com/>http://www.gafta.com),
> tel: +44 171 814 9666
> Daily Express 25 Feb 99
> BY JOHN INGHAM
> ENVIRONMENT CORRESPONDENT
> THE floodgates for unrestricted global trade in genetically modified food
> were thrown open last night after Mr Clintonis personal intervention.
> Talks at the UNis Biosafety Protocol in Colombia broke down after a US-led
> coalition of pro-GM countries blocked restrictions on trade. Delegates from
> two EU countries revealed that the President had called their governments
> in a bid to persuade them to agree weak regulations. The talks, attended by
> more than 150 nations, were intended to lay down worldwide rules allowing
> countries to say no to GM crops.
> In Britain, Tony Blairis defence of GM food was in crisis after council
> leaders voted to ban it from schools, care homes and staff canteens. The
> public protection committee of. the Local Government Association voted
> 60-0. Downing Street officials arranged an emergency meeting after the
> Prime Minister ihit the roofi over revelations in The Express that the
> association was set to act.
> "Our message is that all the GM foods on sale are perfectly safe to eat"
> said a No 10 official.
> UK seed merchant confirms huge commercial opportunity for non-gm foods
> Date: Thu, 25 Feb 1999 22:02:31 -0000
> Hampshire seed merchant Robin Appel was interviewed this week by the
> British "Independent" newspaper (20 February 1999) about a new variety of
> non-genetically modified soya his company has developed for growing in the
> UK. Robin Appel confirmed the huge commercial opportunities for UK
> businesses being generated by consumer demand for food sources which are
> not genetically modified.
> NDIAN SUPREME COURT NOTICE GIVEN TO MONSANTO
> OTC 23.02.99 10:37
> NEW DELHI, Feb 23, 1999 (Asia Pulse via COMTEX) -- India's Supreme Court
> (SC) has notified the federal government and life sciences multinational
> Monsanto on the grounds of a violation of environmental laws that regulate
> genetic engineering.
> The SC's notice is in response to a writ petition filed by Delhi-based NGO
> Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology (RFSTE) against
> illegal trials conducted by Monsanto on genetically engineered Bacillus
> Thuringensis (Bt) cotton.
> Monsanto has been under scrutiny since it tied up with Maharashtra Seed
> Company MAHYCO in June last to conduct trials in nine states for
> genetically engineered cotton. The petitioner has requested a moratorium on
> commercial sales and distribution of seeds and crops while strict
> ecological test designs and environmental regulations are formulated. RFSTE
> also asked the Court to declare the August 1998 guidelines framed by the
> Department of Biotechnology as Ultra Vires.
> Monsanto was also sued in England and lost the case, an RFTSE statement
> said. The UK government is said to have announced a two-year ban on
> commercial planting of genetically engineered plants. (PTI)
> Some things in the US that are GE
> These big-name products include genetically modified ingredients:
> Coca-Cola (corn syrup and/or Aspartame), Fritos (corn), Green Giant Harvest
> Burgers (soy), McDonald's french fries (potatoes), Nestle's chocolate
> (soy), Karo corn syrup (corn), NutraSweet (Aspartame), Kraft salad
> dressings (canola oil), Fleishmann's margarine (soy), Similac infant
> formula (soy), Land o' Lakes butter (rBGH), Cabot Creamery Butter (rBGH).
> If you want to avoid genetically modified products entirely, stay away from
> non-organic tomatoes, potatoes, corn, soy, canola and yellow squash. Avoid
> corn syrup and fructose--which are in almost all beverages and sodas (even
> health food brands) and in almost all sweet products, yogurt and aspirin.
> Avoid non-organic corn oil, cornstarch, corn meal, baking soda, baking
> powder, glycose syrup. Avoid soy; soy flour in baked goods, pizza, cookies,
> cakes, pasta; fillers in meat products (for example Big Macs), vegetarian
> meat substitutes (for example tofu, tofu burgers, tofu hot dogs), soy milk,
> infant formula, babyfoods; diet and protein shakes, protein bars; chocolate
> and candy bars; margarine; ice cream; pet food; soy oil in salad dressings
> and snack chips; soy sauce; lecithin and soy lecithin. In all, well over
> 30,000 products.
> Aspartame--the artificial sweetener Equal or NutraSweet--contains a
> genetically engineered enzyme, as do most non-organic cheeses. Amylase
> (used in making bread, flour, whole wheat flour, cereals, starch), Catalase
> (used in making soft drinks, egg whites, liquid whey) and Lactase are all
> genetically altered. Most livestock and commercial seafood are being fed
> genetically modified feed. Commercial pork has been genetically altered
> with DNA from human beings.
> Data from: Phillip Frazer and Annie Berthold-Bond, editors, NEWS ON EARTH,
> December, 1998, pg. 4. NEWS ON EARTH [ISSN 1099-0054] is a high-quality
> environmental newsletter published monthly; write them at 175 Fifth Avenue,
> Ste. 2245, NY, NY 10010; or email@example.com; or phone (212) 741-2365.
> 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
> email: firstname.lastname@example.org
> 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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