Farmers, Parents Turn Against Genetically Modified Crops

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"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patients in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease."
- Thomas Edison

Cancer is a political problem more than it is a medical problem.

"Monsanto should not have to vouchsafe the safety of biotech food," said Phil Angell, Monsanto's director of corporate communications. "Our interest is in selling as much of it as possible. Assuring its safety is the FDA's job." 
- New York Times, October 25, 1998

"What the FDA is doing and what the public thinks it's doing are as different as night and day." - Dr. Herbert Ley, Former FDA Commissioner

"The FDA serves as the pharmaceutical industry's watchdog, which can be called upon to attack and destroy a potential competitor under the guise of protecting the public." - Dr. James P. Carter  

 

Thanks to NLPWessex  for posting the following article:

(Farm Progress, 23 March 2001)
http://www.directag.com/directag/news/article.jhtml?article_id=1000991

".....concern about genetically engineered crops is now coming not only from environmental and consumer groups but from farmers, who have generally supported such crops.....The North Dakota bill has made headway precisely because its main backers are some of the state's own farmers, not the usual biotechnology opponents." New York Times, 24 March, 2000 on a bill to ban the growing of GM wheat in North Dakota.

Increasingly US farmers are getting concerned about being lead down a blind alley with GMOs as the article from today's New York Times below illustrates. Meanwhile here's another revealing comment from a US farmer on how they feel they have been let down by the agricultural advisory services in the US on this subject.

"Why didn't you tell us about all of these potential negatives a long time ago. Where have you been for the last two or three years? I came here this morning feeling pretty good. But now you've got me very concerned about where we're going to sell our GMO-crops in the future. It's not right that you let us all get hooked growing these GMO-crops and now tell us that maybe we should be growing something else." Tom Bechman, Indiana Prairie
Farmer
(Farm Progress, 23 March 2001)
http://www.directag.com/directag/news/article.jhtml?article_id=1000991

.........

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nyt/20010324/ts/farmers_joining_state_efforts_again
st_bioengineered_crops_1.html

Saturday March 24 08:55 AM EST

 Farmers Joining State Efforts Against Bioengineered Crops

 By ANDREW POLLACK The New York Times

North Dakota is weighing a bill that would make it the first state to ban planting of a genetically modified crop, reflecting a surge of concern about such crops in legislatures around  the country.

 The North Dakota bill, which would impose a two-year moratorium on growing genetically modified wheat, is one of more than 40 state bills introduced this year that would regulate  biotech crops or the labeling of foods made using genetic engineering.

 "You have people at the state level trying to get these things passed because the federal government won't do it," said Andy Zimmerman, who works with the Green Party in New York, where a bill has been introduced to ban the planting of genetically modified crops for   five years.

 But the North Dakota bill, which has already passed the state's House of Representatives, signals another trend as well that concern about genetically engineered crops is now coming not only from environmental and consumer groups but from farmers, who have generally supported such crops.

....

MONSANTO PULLS ALTERED POTATOES IN WAKE OF CONSUMER RESISTANCE: COMPANY
SAYS IT IS FOCUSING ON OTHER CROPS
March 23, 2001
Toronto Star
John Spears
Mar. 23, 02:01 EDT

Monsanto pulls altered potatoes in wake of consumer resistance Company says it is focusing on other crops By John Spears

BUSINESS REPORTER

Genetically modified potatoes have been pulled off the market by Monsanto Canada Inc.

The company says its strain of Naturemark potato, genetically modified to resist the Colorado potato beetle, will no longer be sold because the company is concentrating on other crops.

Others in the potato industry say stiff resistance in the marketplace to the altered potato is the real reason for its withdrawal.

....

I'll have a half-caf, double, long espresso, hold the hormones

CBC
WebPosted
Mar 23, 2001

SEATTLE - Organic food activists in the United States are hailing a victory of sorts after getting coffee giant Starbucks to serve hormone-free milk.

The Organic Consumer's Association threatened to do damage to Starbucks' reputation unless the company stopped using milk from cows injected with bovine growth hormone, or rBST.
..

Western Producer
March 15, 2001

Nicholson questions GM wheat

By Ian Bell Brandon bureau

SHOAL LAKE, Man. -- Canadian Wheat Board director Bill Nicholson added his own twist last week to the debate about genetically modified wheat.

A Roundup Ready GM wheat from Monsanto could go for registration in Canada in a couple of years. The wheat board is among those who have vowed they will oppose the registration until there is broad market acceptance or a surefire way to identify and segregate the GM wheat from other varieties in the grain handling system.

While meeting with producers last week in Shoal Lake, Nicholson was asked if there is not some consumer benefit in the GM wheat that could be used to help promote its acceptance. He said consumers perceive no benefit, "so that makes it difficult."

The twist came when Nicholson, a grain and oilseeds producer, offered his thoughts as a wheat grower.

He questioned whether Roundup Ready wheat is something he as a grower would benefit from.

He said he already uses Roundup on a variety of other crops. If he planted Roundup Ready wheat and it came back as a volunteer the following year, whatever crop was growing there would have to be sprayed with something other than Roundup to control the volunteer wheat. That would place a further limit on his options for weed control.

Having another crop with the Roundup Ready trait also would add to the risk of weed resistance to that herbicide, Nicholson said.

Meanwhile, rather than making it easier for GM wheat to become registered, it appears the wheat board wants to make the process more difficult.

Currently, when new wheat varieties in western Canada go for registration, the committee reviewing them looks at things like agronomics, milling quality and disease resistance.

Nicholson said the wheat board wants market acceptance added to the criteria for registering grains.

.....


BEWARE THE GENETIC GENIE
March 16, 2001
Washington Post
Page A20
<http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A12678-2001Mar15.html>

Parke G. Burgess Jr. of Seattle writes to ask why are taxpayers compensating corporations because they got burned using dangerous, mostly untested, technology ["U.S. Will Buy Back Corn Seed," news story, March 8]?

Don't we have a Department of Agriculture, a Food and Drug Administration and an Environmental Protection Agency to protect us against health risks to our food supply and the financial risks of irresponsible uses of technology?

Burgess  says these agencies seem more interested in protecting the powerful biotech and agribusiness industries than protecting citizens. If we had a government truly concerned about health and fiscal prudence, corporations would have to prove their engineered foods are not dangerous before going to market.

.....

Monsanto pulls plug on NatureMark spuds.

'The company would only say it is concentrating its biotechnology efforts on four major crops

BY PETER RESCHKE
Ontario Farmer 6/3/01

Monsanto has decided to get out of the genetically modified business ~ for potatoes.

Starting with the 2001 season, the company will no longer market its NatureMark potato, the one that features a Bt gene to help it ward off Colorado potato beetles.  Adele Pelland, the company's manager of public affairs, says Monsanto will buy back any pre-commercial lead seed that growers have already purchased.  Common seed, which is currently held by a few growers, can still be planted this year since the varieties are still registered, she says.

The announcement came "as kind of a surprise", says OMAFRA potato specialist Eugenia Banks. She says seed growers received letters announcing the decision a couple of weeks ago.

Although the genetically modified varieties Shepordy and Atlantic gave growers new resistance against insects and disease, Banks says sales of the varieties "were not very good." She says the varieties were agronomically good but there was concern about consumer reaction, which was heightened when One major processor, McCain, decided it would no longer buy GMO spuds.

....

CANADA SAYS BANNED GM CORN MISTAKENLY FED TO ANIMALS March 16, 2001
Reuters
OTTAWA -- Canada's agriculture minister,Lyle Vanclief was cited as telling the House of Commons in response to questions from opposition members about how two shipments of the corn entered Canada from the United States this week  that genetically modified corn containing the Starlink gene -- not approved for use in Canada -- was accidentally fed to animals, adding, "Some of it did get into the animal feed system." The story says that Vanclief's admission was a reversal of previous statements that one shipment was removed immediately and the second was traced and withdrawn.

.....

BIOTECH GRAIN IS IN 430 MILLION BUSHELS OF CORN, FIRM SAYS
March 18, 20001
Washington Post/AP/Reuters
Marc Kaufman
A9
<http://washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A20105-2001Mar17.html
According to this story, John Wichtrich, general manager for Aventis CropScience, which developed Starlink corn, will report today that  more than 430 million bushels of corn in storage nationwide contain some of the genetically engineered variety that prompted a massive recall of corn products last fall.

....

MODIFIED POTATO`S WHEREABOUTS A MYSTERY
March 19, 2001
The Globe and Mail
David Roberts
Winnipeg -- Monsanto Corp. denies it has pulled a controversial genetically modified potato from the marketplace, but distributors say, according to this brief, they cannot obtain the popular New Leaf seed potato anywhere. They speculate the company has acquiesced to public concern over genetically modified foods by withdrawing the product. Monsanto spokesman Loren Wassell could not explain why seed suppliers can`t obtain the New Leaf seed potato.

....

BIOTECH CORN IS TEST CASE FOR INDUSTRY:
ENGINEERED FOOD'S FUTURE HINGES ON ALLERGY STUDY
March 19, 2001
Washington Post
Page A01
Marc Kaufman

Read the unedited story at:
<http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/articles/A23092-2001Mar18.html>

Grace Booth had, according to this story, just finished a chicken enchilada lunch with some co-workers when she began to feel hot and itchy. Her lips began to swell, she developed severe diarrhea and soon she was having trouble breathing. Colleagues called an ambulance. The story says that Booth, 35, was rushed from the California youth center where she works to a nearby hospital, apparently suffering from anaphylactic shock. Doctors quickly injected her with anti-allergy medicine, gave her some Benadryl to swallow and put her on an IV. The treatment worked, and after five hours Booth walked out of the hospital. Several days later, Booth learned that taco shells and other corn products had been recalled nationwide because they were found to contain a genetically modified type of corn called StarLink. The corn had been approved only for animal consumption because of concerns that it might trigger dangerous allergic reactions in people. Because there was corn in the tortillas Booth had eaten -- and because tests for all other food allergies had been negative -- she contacted the Food and Drug Administration. She reported that she might have had an allergic reaction to StarLink. The story explains that Booth is among several dozen people nationwide who believe they suffered allergic reactions from eating StarLink corn last fall.
.....

GOVERNMENT CONTEMPLATES LABELING REQUIREMENTS FOR GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD
March 22, 2001
Knight-Ridder Tribune
Anthony Shadid, The Boston Globe

WASHINGTON, D.C.--Labeling requirements in Europe and Japan and growing consumer demand for food that is not genetically engineered could, according to a new report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture cited in this story, require a sweeping overhaul of agricultural sales and marketing in the United States.

......

MONSANTO`S GENETICALLY MODIFIED POTATOES
March 21, 2001
Wall Street Journal/Reuters

Monsanto Co. is, according to these stories, quietly mothballing its six-year-old genetically modified potato, the first bioengineered crop it launched.

Monsanto, a St. Louis agricultural biotechnology and herbicide company 85%-owned by Pharmacia Corp., of Peapack, N.J., was cited as confirming Tuesday that it will stop selling genetically modified seed to U.S. and Canadian potato farmers after this spring.

..

http://biz.yahoo.com/rf/010326/l26413518.html

Monday March 26, 6:03 am Eastern Time

Suspected GM maize seized from Monsanto in Italy

ROME, March 26 (Reuters) - Italian police have seized about 120 tonnes of maize suspected of containing genetically engineered material from U.S. agricultural biotechnology group Monsanto (NYSE:MON - news), a spokesman for the company said on Monday.

....

DORSET ECHO  (Britain)

Fury at GM crops trial
by Martin Lea and Joe Taylor

Monday 26 March 2001

FAMILY FEARS: Left to right, Deborah Barren and her daughter Kayley and Becky Meddick with her mother Ann


PARENTS are threatening to keep their children off school after it was revealed genetically-modified crops are to be grown just 500 metres from classrooms.

Families are furious after discovering GM oilseed rape trials are set for land behind St Andrew's School in Preston, Weymouth. .....

......

3/26/2001
 Attache: U.S. Corn Imports to Japan on Shaky Ground
 by Julianne Johnston

  A lot is riding on April 1. That's the day Japan says they will begin testing a percentage of U.S. food corn imports for StarLink, in addition to the testing currently being done. In addition, that day also begins the country's mandatory GMO labeling program.

 The U.S. ag attache in Japan says depending on how the testing of U.S. corn goes,  Japanese importers could shift from U.S. food corn imports to other countries.

........

http://dailynews.yahoo.com/h/nm/20010326/ts/food_biotech_dc_1.html

Monday March 26 1:18 PM ET
  Most Americans Want to Know if Eating Bio-Foods

  By Julie Vorman

  WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Three-fourths of Americans want to know whether their food contains gene-spliced ingredients, according to a public opinion poll released Monday by the Pew Charitable Trust, a non-profit group ...

....

http://www.thisisdorset.net/dorset/weymouth/news/WEYMOUTH_NEWS_NEWS0.html
Dorset Echo

We don't want your GM crops
by Joe Taylor

Wednesday 28 March 2001

ANXIOUS parents packed a meeting to demand a halt to genetically modified crop trials close to two Weymouth schools.

Many people were forced to stand or sit on the floor at the meeting at St Francis of Assisi Church, Littlemoor.

They heard two reports from experts about possible risks posed to health and the environment by GM crop trials.

Dad Peter Broatch said he might join other parents in keeping his four-year-old son Kester away from St Andrews School, in Preston, if the trials near the school and Westfield Technology College went ahead.

__________________________________
Richard Wolfson, PhD
GE News. Subscription fee $40/yr
email: rwolfson@concentric.net
__________________________________
In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107 this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving it for research and educational purposes.

 
The above information courtesy of Richard Wolfson, PhD, Consumer Right to Know Campaign for Mandatory labeling and long-term testing of genetically engineered food.

 

 


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