Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers
Article by Munlochy GM Vigil - THE POWER IN FOOD: GM Crops A Defining Issue Of Our Time
Power Hungry - six reasons to regulate global food corporations
Syngenta - The genome Giant?
Rust,Resistance,Run Down Soils and Rising Costs - Problems Facing Soybean producers in Argentina
Throwing caution To The Wind
Genome Scrambling - Myth or Reality?
Beware Monsanto's "Vistive Soybeans"
Genetically Engineered Crops and Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Nine Years
The CEC Mexican Maize report
Global Agriculture and Genetically Modified Cotton in Africa
Consumer Willingness To Pay To Reduce GMOs In Food And Increase The Robustness Of GM Labelling
Pharmaceutical Rice in California
GM cotton set to invade West Africa
Monsanto: Behind the Scenes - A Corporate Profile
Omega-3 Oils and Fatty Acids
Canadian Supreme Court Ruling on the Monsanto Canada Incorporated versus Percy Schmeiser
Seeds of Deception
Report on Inquiry into GM crops
Failure of GMOs in India
Farm Scale Evaluations for spring-sown gm crops in the UK
GM Nation? Public Debate Report
"Field Work: Weighing up the Costs and Benefits of GM crops"
GM Science Review, First Report
Some Munlochy GM Vigil responses and submissions to reports and government
GM pharma Rice
To those presently responsible for the Government of Brazil
GM crops for global justice?
Crops of Uncertain Nature - Controversies and Knowledge Gaps Concerning GM Crops
"Neoliberal Globalization: Cancun and Beyond"
Models show gene flow from crops threatens wild plants
"GMOs, Pesticide Use, and Alternatives Lessons from the U.S. Experience"
'Don't Worry, It's Safe to Eat'
'Genetically Modified Crops and Sustainable Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Assessment of Current Evidence'
Public Say No to GMOs
'GM CROPS UNRELIABLE AND A DISASTER'
'Genetically Modified Foods: Potential Human Health Effects'
Action Aid report on GM
Seeds of Doubt
Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): The significance of gene flow through pollen transfer
Monitoring Large Scale Releases Of Genetically Modified Crops
Friends of the Earth, Farm Scale Evaluation report
The Greenpeace report on Monsanto
The Currie Report, Farming and Food: a Sustainable Future
Gene stacking in herbicide tolerant oilseed rape: lessons from the North American experience
Crops on Trial
Genetic instability in GMOs
Report on NK 603 GM maize produced by Monsanto company - June 2007 - Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering
Download the report here as a pdf file (64kb)
Food and Feed Imports at Risk from GM Contamination - GM Pharma Crops Add to Threat
GM Freeze Report, 8th June 2007 - download here as a pdf file (60kb)
Committee for Independent Research and Information on Genetic Engineering - www.criigen.org
Press Release CRIIGEN - May 2007
Effects of the herbicide Roundup on human embryonic cells
Professor Seralini's group (1), in the University of Caen, France, just published a study on the previously unknown toxic effects of Roundup on human embryonic cells. Roundup is the major herbicide in use worldwide, including on GMOs for food and feed. The embryonic cells are from a line cultivated in the laboratory and their use does not necessitate embryo destruction. The group wanted to confirm and detail the understanding of the effects already observed on placental cells, as published by Seralini's group in 2005.
Following comparison, it appears that embryonic cells are far more sensitive. The deleterious results of Roundup are noticed at very week doses (the product sold in stores is diluted up to 10,000 times). Sensitivity is confirmed in particular for the disruption of sexual hormones at non toxic levels, especially on fresh placental extracts. The maximal
active dilutions correspond to less than the residues in discussion to be authorized in GMO feed in the United States. It is evidenced that the herbicide Roundup, as sold on the market, is far more toxic than the product which is known and approved to be its active ingredient: glyphosate. The gaps in European legislation to study the effects of mixtures and hormonal disruptions are underlined.
This work may be of help in better understating the problems of miscarriages, premature births or sexual malformations of babies, in particular in agricultural workers families. The paper published on line first (1) on the website of the journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology directed by Dr. Doerge from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in USA, will appear in the July 2007 issue. This work is funded by the Human Earth Foundation, the Denis Guichard Foundation, the CRIIGEN and the Regional Council of Basse-Normandie.
Contact : Pr Gilles-Eric Séralini, Biochemistry, Institute of Biology, University of Caen, Esplanade de la Paix, 14032 Caen, France. Telephone: 33(0)2-31-56-56-84. Fax: 33(0)2-31-
56-53-20. Corinne Lepage President of CRIIGEN. E-mail: email@example.com
(1) Time and Dose-Dependent Effects of Roundup on Human Embryonic and Placental Cells by Nora Benachour, Herbert Sipahutar, Safa Moslemi, Celine Gasnier, Carine Travert, Gilles-Eric Seralini. (http://www.springerlink.com/content/d13171q7k863l446/fulltext.html)
Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology - http://www.springerlink.com/content/d13171q7k863l446/fulltext.html
Time- and Dose-Dependent Effects of Roundup on Human Embryonic and Placental Cells - N. Benachour1, H. Sipahutar2, S. Moslemi3, C. Gasnier1, C. Travert1 and G. E. Seralini1, 4
(1) Laboratoire Estrogenes et Reproduction, USC-INRA, IBFA, Universite de Caen, Caen, France
(2) Department of Biology, State University of Medan, Medan, Indonesia
(3) Laboratoire de Biochimie du Tissu Conjonctif, EA3214, CHU Cote de Nacre, Caen, France
(4) Laboratoire de Biochimie, EA2608-USC INRA, IBFA, Universite de Caen, Esplanade de Paix, 14032 Caen, France
G. E. Seralini
Roundup® is the major herbicide used worldwide, in particular on genetically modified plants that have been designed to tolerate it. We have tested the toxicity and endocrine disruption potential of Roundup (Bioforce®) on human embryonic 293 and placental-derived JEG3 cells, but also on normal human placenta and equine testis. The cell lines have proven to be suitable to estimate hormonal activity and toxicity of pollutants. The median lethal dose (LD50) of Roundup with embryonic cells is 0.3% within 1 h in serum-free medium, and it decreases to reach 0.06% (containing among other compounds 1.27 mM glyphosate) after 72 h in the presence of serum. In these conditions, the embryonic cells appear to be 2-4 times more sensitive than the placental ones. In all instances, Roundup (generally used in agriculture at 1?2%, i.e., with 21-42 mM glyphosate) is more efficient than its active ingredient, glyphosate, suggesting a synergistic effect provoked by the adjuvants present in Roundup. We demonstrated that serum-free cultures, even on a short-term basis (1 h), reveal the xenobiotic impacts that are visible 1-2 days later in serum. We also document at lower non-overtly toxic doses, from 0.01% (with 210 &956;M glyphosate) in 24 h, that Roundup is an aromatase disruptor. The direct inhibition is temperature-dependent and is confirmed in different tissues and species (cell lines from placenta or embryonic kidney, equine testicular, or human fresh placental extracts). Furthermore, glyphosate acts directly as a partial inactivator on microsomal aromatase, independently of its acidity, and in a dose-dependent manner. The cytotoxic, and potentially endocrine-disrupting effects of Roundup are thus amplified with time. Taken together, these data suggest that Roundup exposure may affect human reproduction and fetal development in case of contamination. Chemical mixtures in formulations appear to be underestimated regarding their toxic or hormonal impact.
How much Bt toxin do genetically engineered MON810 maize plants actually produce? - Antje Lorch and Christoph Then - via Genet, 11 May 2007
Executive Summary - http://www.gene.ch/genet/2007/May/msg00060.html
Original as a pdf file: http://www.greenpeace.de/fileadmin/gpd/user_upload/themen/gentechnik/greenpeace_bt_maize_engl.pdf
A SERIOUS CONCERN: AUTHORIZED GM MAIZE IS UNFIT FOR CONSUMPTION - The case of Bt GM maize MON 863 - March 2007
The article, entitled New analysis of a rat feeding study with a genetically modified maize reveals signs of hepatorenal toxicity is by Gilles-Eric Séralini, Dominique Cellier, and Joël Spiroux de Vendomois. It is published on line http://dx.doi.org/10.1007/s00244-006-0149-5 by the American journal Archives of Environmental Contamination and Toxicology. It will be printed in May. The editor is Dr. Doerge from the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).
New research says green farming more competitive
The EU's Biotech Strategy: Mid-term review or mid-life crisis? A scoping study on how European agricultural biotechnology will fail the Lisbon objectives and on the socio-economic benefits of ecologically compatible farming - Friends of the Earth Europe, March 2007
Executive summary: http://www.foeeurope.org/publications/2007/FoEE_biotech_MTR_midlifecrisis_March07_execsum.pdf
Full report: http://www.foeeurope.org/publications/2007/FoEE_biotech_MTR_midlifecrisis_March07.pdf
Brussels, March 12th 2007 - Environmentally-friendly farming will create more jobs and make the EU more competitive than if it grows genetically modified (GM) crops, shows new research published today by Friends of the Earth Europe. The research coincides with the expected withdrawal later today of a European Parliament Resolution that promotes GM crops. MEPs are requesting that the text be rewritten because it attacks the precautionary principle and ignores research showing that GM food and farming has not lived up to expectations.
OPENING PANDORA'S BOX: GMOS, FUELISH PARADIGMS AND SOUTH AFRICA's BIOFUELS STRATEGY - By Mariam Mayet - African Centre for Biosafety, February 2007
Download here as a pdf file(84kb)
GMO’s and the Environmental Liability Directive: the case for special treatment - February 2007 - Download here as a pdf file (340kb)
Dear friends and colleagues
The African Centre for Biosafety offers this briefing paper to you, titled "Monsanto's Seed of Hope Campaign in South Africa".
In the briefing, we offer information about Monsanto's Seed of Hope Campaign in the Eastern Cape-the poorest of South Africa's nine provinces, where Monsanto's project was subsidised with huge chunks of public funds, which enabled it to penetrate extremely impoverished communities - first by introducing a Green Revolution type package as an important precursor to the introduction of its GM maize seeds, ably assisted by Bayer Cropscience, amongst other players.
During September 2006, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Rockefeller Foundation announced a donation of $150 million to contribute to a "Second Green Revolution" in Africa to alleviate poverty and hunger. The money will be used, amongst other things, to promote technology packages for small-scale farmers containing fertilizer and new seeds. The aims of this new Green Revolution for Africa is very similar to Monsanto’s Seeds of hope campaign and is likely to benefit the seed and fertilizer industries, while having negligible impacts on total food production and further marginalizing African rural areas.
The South African government has a close and intimiate relationship with Monsanto and other mulitnational corporations. However, we continue to struggle against injustice in South Africa. In April, South African NGO, Biowatch SA's appeal against Monsanto will be heard when Biowatch will try to overturn a court ruling that it must pay Monsanto's legal costs - "punishment because it won a legal case forcing the South African government to grant them access to information about GMO decision making in SA. We urge you to support our work in SA- to stop the onslaught of GMOs, the march of the Green Revolution in Africa, and the Biowatch court case.
African Centre for Biosafety - www.biosafetyafrica.net
Download the briefing paper here as a pdf file (88 kb)
Global reaction against Genetic Engineering in 2006, Greenpeace International, January 2007
For further information please contact:
Namrata Chowdhary, Greenpeace International Communications: +31 646 1973 27, firstname.lastname@example.org
Jeremy Tager, GE Campaigner Greenpeace International: + 31 646 2211 85, Jeremy.email@example.com
Who benefits from GM crops? An analysis of the global performance of GM crops (1996-2006)
Executive Summary - Friends of the Earth International, January 2007 - download here as a pdf file (512kb)
Download here as a pdf file (112kb)
World wide the GM agriculture and food industry has been ploughed into nomansland with fewer and fewer extenuating circumstances able to pull it out. The opportunities that made the thief have become promises muddied on a daily basis. Anticipating the movements of such a floundering giant of an industry, heavy and weighed down as these are, may have become easier to predict but are of no less importance. The size and movement of this industry still requires close attention. The struggle for food, the importance of which has never once been eclipsed in human history even by the affluent who may pretend for them it is solved, is as intense as ever. Qualitatively and quantitatively food is the basis of the economy, yesterday, today and tomorrow.
This article has been published by Lawrence and Wishart in the periodical Soundings (Number 34, Ecowars).
http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/soundings/current.html - http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/journals/soundings/editorial.html - http://www.lwbooks.co.uk/
The new 'Future of Rice' report can be downloaded here: http://www.greenpeace.org/international/press/reports/future-of-rice
Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research: Still No Answers to Ageing Questions - Terje Traavik and Jack Heinemann
Some of the most crucial scientific questions concerning the health effects of genetic engineering (GE) and genetically engineered organisms (GEOs) were raised up to twenty years ago . Most of them have still not been answered at all, or have found unsatisfactory answers. We believe, as Mayer and Stirling said, "in the end it is often the case that those who choose the questions determine the answers". Will another twenty years pass before societies realize the urgent need for public funding of genuinely independent risk- and hazard-related research? The time for such investment is now, so that a new scientific culture with working hypotheses rooted in the Precautionary Principle (PP) can discover other, possibly even more important questions of safety.
In the present paper we will mainly confine ourselves to putative health hazards related to GE plants (GEPs) used as food or feed, with some brief notes on GE vaccines as well as the novel RNAi- and nanobio-technologies. Our focus is not because we do not recognize the paramount, indirect threats to public health posed by social, cultural, ethical and economic issues, as well as the complexities posed by the relevant legal and regulatory environments, but for reasons of space.
In the specific context of food or feed safety assessment, "hazard" may be defined as a biological, chemical or physical agent in, or condition of, food with the potential to cause an adverse health effect. The hypothetical hazards of whole GM foods, i.e. those hazards that have been realized so far, fall into a few broad categories...............
The paper can also be found at TWN's Biosafety Information Centre, at http://www.biosafety-info.net/file_dir/719762120455431f1a3942.pdf
NB. An earlier, draft version of this paper may have been inadvertently circulated. This is the final and correct version.
Lim Li Ching, Third World Network, 131 Jalan Macalister, 10400 Penang, Malaysia - Email: firstname.lastname@example.org - Website: www.biosafety-info.net and www.twnside.org.sg
Report of the Independent Expert Committee on Bt Brinjal - download here as a pdf file (100kb)
Comments to USDA/APHIS on a Petition to Deregulate Bayer Rice LL601 Docket No. APHIS-2006-0140 - download here as a pdf file (204 kb).
The Centre For Food Safety - http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org
Background Brief - Genetically Manipulated Cotton in Northern Australia - To assist the community, media, Indigenous and other groups to understand conservation opposition to the release of genetically manipulated cotton into northern Australia.
In this brief:
· GM means genetically manipulated.
· Bt means Bacillius thuringiensis, soil bacterium used in some GM cottons.
· OGTR is the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator.
· APVMA is the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority.
· RARMP is a Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan prepared by the OGTR.
1. What are the different types of GM cotton?
Different types of GM cotton do different things. Herbicide resistant cotton such as Liberty Link and Roundup Ready can be sprayed with particular herbicides without dying. This allows farmers to spray herbicides to kill weeds without harming the GM cotton plant.
The insecticide resistant GM cotton, Bollgard II, contains two genes inside that kills particular insects. In this case the Cotton Bollworm and the Native Budworm will die when they eat Bollgard GM cotton. Other insects however are not affected by the GM cotton.
The genes that are inside Bollgard II have been taken from a soil bacterium called Bacillus thuringiensis or Bt for short. The Bt gene specifically kills lepidopteran insects such as Bollworms and Budworms. An earlier version of the GM cotton, Ingard, only contained one Bt gene. As Bollgard II contains two Bt genes it is often referred to as double Bt gene cotton.
2. Where has GM cotton been grown?
On and off over the last ten years there have been various trials of GM cotton in northern Australia including the Kimberley (in the Ord and near Broome), the Northern Territory (at Katherine) and North Queensland (in the Burdekin and at Richmond). These trials have been undertaken with different types of GM cotton, on different sized sites.
In southern Australia GM cotton specifically Bollgard II/Roundup Ready has been grown commercially since 2003. The single Bt gene cotton, Ingard was grown in southern Australia from 1996-2003.
3. What's wrong with GM cotton?
Resistance in pests and plants
If you use the same chemicals over and over again the weeds that are being exposed may develop a resistance or immunity to that chemical. For example, if the herbicide Roundup Ready is used on Roundup Ready GM cotton to kill weeds some time down the track it is likely that the weeds will become immune to the herbicide and therefore new and different herbicides will be needed to kill the resistant weeds.
With Bollgard II GM cotton the Bollworm and Budworm that die when they eat the GM cotton may develop a resistance to the insecticide inside the GM cotton over generations. As these insects can reproduce rapidly it is easier for them to develop a resistance to the Bt gene.
In southern Australia Bollgard II GM cotton is grown. In an effort to slow down these insects developing resistance to Bollgard II GM cotton, refuge crops of other plants such as chickpeas or lablab have to be grown. These 'refuge crops' support Bollworm and Budworm populations that are not eating the GM cotton. This way there will be some insects that are not resistant to the GM cotton that are breeding with those insects that are resistant, thereby slowing down resistance building in all Bollworm and Budworm populations. However, it is only a matter of time before resistance to Bollgard II will occur and growers are not happy about having to grow and tend a refuge crop that doesn't provide any financial benefits.
Unknown long term effects - not enough research
Not enough is known about GM cotton in northern Australia to be sure what its impacts are on the environment and human health. There has been no research in northern Australia on the impact of GM cotton on native species such as goannas and frogs that feed on insects that might in turn feed on GM Cotton. There has also been limited research in northern Australia on soil micro-organisms and how the GM cotton might affect soil fungus and other diseases.
Impact on 'good' insects
In agriculture there are 'good' insects that are called 'beneficials' because they eat other insects that cause problems for crops. The main cotton crop pests, Cotton Bollworm and Native Budworm, can be controlled by using Bollgard II GM Cotton, however there are a host of other insects including spider mites, thrips and aphids that are not affected by Bt gene and still need to be managed. One way of managing 'pest' insects is for beneficial insects to eat them. To keep healthy populations of beneficial insects you have to reduce your sprays of chemicals such as pesticides. If pest populations do increase beyond the capacity of beneficial insects to keep them in check, chemicals will be used to kill the pests. This will wipe out beneficial insect populations and increase the need to continue to spray to keep pest insect populations low.
A lot of chemicals will still need to be used with GM cotton ? to spray for weeds and to kill insects. Other chemicals are likely to be used to control soil fungus problems and for fertiliser. These chemicals can get into the water and the soil and may poison animals and water sources. These chemicals can also harm humans. Chemicals are also used prior to harvest of GM cotton to strip the leaves off, these are called defoliants. Also if there are any wet season crops grown to reduce soil erosion and improve soil health, they will be sprayed with a herbicide before the GM cotton is planted. Chemicals are fundamental to growing GM cotton in northern Australia.
GM Cotton production also requires lots of water which should stay in the rivers and in underground reservoirs. Water will be taken from ground and river sources during the dry season. This can affect breeding of animals like the Pig Nosed Turtle, harm traditional activities, affect fishing and reduce natural flows.
Lots of land that supports healthy native bush will need to be cleared to grow GM cotton crops. Land clearing destroys wildlife and habitats, stops traditional use, can lead to erosion, allows the spread of weeds and contributes to global warming.
There are lots of issues with growing GM cotton that haven't been sorted yet, including a leaf disease called Alternaria and a soil fungus which kills the plants, called Fusarium wilt. There are also problems with new insects becoming pests such as Cluster Caterpillars and Aphids. The Silverleaf Whitefly, which is a pest and can also carry viruses, has been found in the Northern Territory and near the Burdekin River in Queensland.
4. What is happening right now with GM cotton in northern Australia?
Bayer CropScience has been granted a licence to grow Liberty Link, a herbicide resistant GM cotton by the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (see Question 6). Monsanto wants to grow BollgardII/ Roundup Ready Flex, an insecticide and herbicide resistant GM cotton. Monsanto's application for commercial release approval is currently with the Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (see Question 6).
5. What does 'commercial release' mean?
When a GM crop has approval to be 'commercially released' it can be grown anywhere. There are no other approvals it needs as a GM crop.
Currently in northern Australia GM cotton has only been grown in trials. Companies are now trying to obtain approval for 'commercial release' so this cotton can be grown in large quantities anywhere in northern Australia including the Kimberley, Cape York, the Gulf and the Top End.
6. Who approves the use of GM crops?
The Office of the Gene Technology Regulator (OGTR) is a Commonwealth Government agency within the Department of Health and Ageing. The OGTR is responsible for assessing and approving the use of GM cotton for trials and for commercial release. The Gene Technology Act 2000 (Cth) directs the OGTR in how it assesses applications to grow GM cotton and other crops. The Regulator must consider the risk to human health and safety and to the environment if the GM crop were released. For more information go to www.ogtr.gov.au
If chemicals such as herbicides are to be used on the GM cotton crop they are assessed and approved by another Commonwealth Government agency, the Australian Pesticides and Veterinary Medicines Authority (APVMA) which is part of the Department for Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries.
For more information go to www.apvma.gov.au
Check out the OGTR website for further information on the specific applications by Monsanto and Bayer CropScience to grow GM cotton in northern Australia. Their licence applications are identified as DIR062/2005 for Bayer CropScience and DIR066/2006 for Monsanto.
7. How can I get involved in this process?
When a Company, Government Department or other organization or person wishes to grow GM cotton they must have an approval from the OGTR. A licence application is lodged and the Gene Technology Regulator puts a notice of the application on the website. There is a two step process where public comments may be made on the licence application and/or on the Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan. The Risk Assessment and Risk Management Plan (RARMP) is a document prepared by the Gene Technology Regulator in response to the licence application which details the risks and the management of those risks. Both of these documents are usually long, rather technical and confusing! We recommend that you contact the OGTR with any questions or call your nearest conservation group for assistance.
The processes for assessing and approving chemicals to be used on a GM crop are managed by the APVMA and there are limited opportunities for you to have your say. There may be a Public Release Summary where the APVMA has assessed the environmental impacts and risks of a particular chemical and is calling for public submissions. There is no explicit requirement for the APVMA to consider regional variations when assessing the potential impact and risks of a chemical, such as the use of the chemical in northern Australian conditions. The APVMA also has to assess whether the use of a particular chemical might affect Australia's trade with another country. In these cases public submissions are called in response to a Trade Release Notice. Comments must only be on the possible impact on Australia's trade of using this chemical.
In relation to GM Cotton, the APVMA has already assessed the environmental impact of Bollgard II insecticide, Roundup Ready Flex herbicide resistance and Liberty Link herbicide resistance within GM Cotton and issued approvals. There are Trade Release Notices for Roundup Ready Flex herbicide for use on Roundup Ready Flex® GM Cotton and on the Liberty 150 Herbicide, to be used on Liberty Link GM Cotton. Please check out the public notices section at www.ogtr.gov.au and www.apvma.gov.au for further information.
8. What's wrong with broadscale irrigated agriculture?
Broad scale irrigated agriculture means extensive land clearing, high consumption of water and massive chemical use. It is not a sustainable economic activity for northern Australia.
9. What do conservation groups want?
We want sustainable economic development in northern Australia based on keeping country healthy. This means no broad acre irrigated agriculture and therefore no GM cotton.
10. What else can I do to oppose GM cotton?
If you have concerns about GM cotton you can:
1. Get involved in the government processes for assessing and approving GM Cotton (the OGTR or APVMA);
2. Make your concerns known by writing to:
· the Environment Minister and Agriculture Minister in your own State or Territory
· the Federal Minister for Health and Ageing, Minister for Agriculture, Fisheries and Forestry and Minister for Environment and Heritage
· your local government body
· your local paper;
· the companies seeking to grow GM Cotton in northern Australia, such as Monsanto and Bayer CropScience;
3. share information with others in your community
4. contact one of the conservation groups below to join in actions and keep informed.
If you want to know more about GM cotton:
· contact the OGTR or your State or Territory Department of Agriculture
· contact the nearest conservation group listed below
· check out www.geneethics.org, www.i-sis.org.uk
MUNLOCHY GM VIGILRESPONSE TO CONSULTATION:
APPLICATION FOR A PART B CONSENT FROM BASF PLANT SCIENCE TO RELEASE GENETICALLY MODIFIED POTATOES WITH IMPROVED
RESISTANCE TO Phytophthora Infestans - APPLICATION REFERENCE: 06/R42/01
Download here as a pdf file (80kb).
Can the Poor Help GM Crops? Technology, Representation & Cotton in the Makhathini Flats, South Africa - Harald Witt, Rajeev Patel & Matthew Schnurr
Review of African Political Economy - Vol. 33, No. 109 (Sept. 2006): 497-513 - http://www.roape.org/cgi-bin/roape/show/00109.html
ISSN 0305-6244 Print/1740-1720 - Online/06/030497-17 - DOI: 10.1080/03056240601000945Can the Poor Help GM Crops?
Full paper now available for: Can the Poor Help GM Crops? Technology, Representation & Cotton in the Makhathini Flats, South Africa
Source:Review of African Political Economy - Author:Harald Witt et al. http://www.grain.org/research_files/Witt_Patel_Schnurr.pdf
Updated Report Says Industry Still Not Ready for Biotech Wheat Farm Futures - September 6 2006
http://www.farmfutures.com/ME2/dirmod.asp?sid=CD26BEDECA4A4946A1283CC7786AEB 5A&nm=News&type=news&mod=News&mid=9A02E3B96F2A415AB C72CB5F516B4C10&tier=3&nid=84F11CCF12DA4027890CAE51646B9BB4
The report was prepared by Wisner for the Western Organization of Resources Councils and the Dakota Resource Council. Read the report online at Potential Market Impacts from Commercializing Roundup Ready Wheat, September 2006 Update - http://www.worc.org/pdfs/Market%20Risks%20Update%20Final%208-06.pdf
Report on a List of Abstracts On GM Crop Safety - Dr Judy Carman
Institute of Health and Environmental Research Inc. PO Box 155, Kensington Park, SA, 5068, Australia - July 2006
A list of 60 abstracts has appeared on a pro-GM website and is being used by supporters of GM crops as evidence that GM crops are safe to eat. A review of these abstracts found that most were animal production studies rather than studies applicable to human health. In fact, only nine abstracts could be considered to contain measures applicable to human health. The majority of these (6 abstracts; 67%) found adverse effects from eating GM crops. The list of abstracts therefore does not support claims that GM crops are safe to eat. On the contrary, it provides evidence that GM crops may be harmful to health.
Download here as a pdf file (132 kb).
Bt maize effects on Papilio machaon - The effects of pollen consumption of transgenic Bt maize on the common swallowtail, Papilio machaon L. (Lepidoptera, Papilionidae)
Andreas Lang (Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute of Plant Protection, Lange Point 10, D-85354 Freising, Germany), Eva Vojtech ( Bavarian State Research Centre for Agriculture, Institute of Plant Protection, Lange Point 10, D-85354 Freising, Germany and Institute of Environmental Sciences, University Zurich, Winterthurerstr. 190, CH-8057 Zurich, Switzerland)
Received 10 March 2005; accepted 31 October 2005
Effects of exposure to maize pollen of event Bt176 (cultivar "Navares") on the larvae of the European common swallowtail (Papilio machaon L.) were studied in the laboratory. First instar larvae were exposed to different pollen densities applied to leaf disks of Pastinaca sativa L. for 48 h. Pollen densities applied in this study were in the range recorded from the field. Larvae which were exposed to higher Bt maize pollen densities consumed more pollen and had a lower survival rate. The LD50 with regard to larvae surviving to adulthood was 13.72 pollen grains consumed by first-instar larva. Uptake of Bt maize pollen led to a reduced plant consumption, to a lower body weight, and to a longer development time of larvae. Effects on pupal weight and duration of the pupal period were present but less pronounced and smaller than effects on larvae. Larvae having consumed Bt-maize pollen as first instars had a lower body weight as adult females and smaller forewings as adult males. We conclude that possible effects of Bt maize on European butterflies and moths must be evaluated more rigorously before Bt maize should be cultivated over large areas.
Feedback on Bt Brinjal biosafety & beyond - download here as a pdf file (812kb)
United Nations Conference on Trade and Development TRACKING THE TREND TOWARDS MARKET CONCENTRATION: THE CASE OF THE AGRICULTURAL INPUT INDUSTRY Study prepared by the UNCTAD secretariat, 20 April 2006 - download here as a pdf file (780kb)
Deficiencies in Federal Regulatory Oversight of Genetically Engineered Crops is available at http://www.gefreemaine.org/staticpages/index.php?page=20060626145840467. The pdf version can also be downloaded from http://www.environmentalcommons.org/RegulatoryDeficiencies.html.
THE FAILURE OF GE PAPAYA IN HAWAII - Greenpeace International, May 2006
RESPONSE TO ACRE REPORT MANAGING THE FOOTPRINT OF AGRICULTURE - Munlochy GM Vigil, 8th June 2006 - download here as a pdf file (32kb)
Here is the link for original UK government announcement http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/2006/060317a.htm and for the actual ACRE document MANAGING THE FOOTPRINT OF AGRICULTURE, www.defra.gov.uk/environment/acre/fsewiderissues/index.htm
Contaminating the Wild? Gene Flow from Experimental Field Trials of Genetically Engineered Crops to Related Wild Plants - Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D. - Center for Food Safety, Washington, D.C. 2006. Download here as a pdf file (524kb).
Bt BRINJAL HUMAN HEALTH HAZARDS AND BEYOND - download here as a pdf file (104kb)
Genetically modified animal feed - Briefing paper - Friends of the Earth - download here as a pdf file (180kb)
Briefing Paper on Bt Brinjal - The Centre for Sustainable Development in Andhra Pradesh - download here as a pdf file (84kb)
Hawaiian Papaya: GMO Contaminated - By Melanie Bondera & Mark Query - Hawaii SEED 2006 - www.gmofreehawaii.org
Click here for the full 19 page report in Adobe PDF format http://www.gmofreemaui.com/press_releases/Contamination_Report.pdf
Biotech Crops and Foods: The Risks and Alternatives - By Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero - The Oakland Institute - http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/?q=node/view/336
Download this report in PDF - http://www.oaklandinstitute.org/RTC2006/BIOTECH_CROPS_AND_FOODS.pdf
Moch, Katja (Ed.) (2006) "Epigenetics, Transgenic Plants & Risk Assessment" Proceedings of the Conference at December 1st 2005, Literaturhaus, Frankfurt am Main, Germany © 2006, Öko-Institut. Available at the Internet at: http://www.oeko.de or download here as a pdf file (1MB)
Overview of WTO-EC Biotech Case - Centre for International Environmental Law (download here as a pdf file - 327kb).
Impossible Coexistence - Seven Years Of GMOs Have Contaminated Organic And Conventional Maize: An Examination Of The Cases Of Catalunya And Aragon
Jordi Cipriano, Assemblea Pagesa de Catalunya, Juan-Felipe Carrasco, Greenpeace, Marc Arbos, Assemblea Pagesa de Catalunya
Download here as a pdf file (868 kb)
Paraguay Sojero - Soy Expansion and its Violent Attack on Local and Indigenous Communities in Paraguay - Repression and Resistance - Stella Semino, Lillian Joensen and Javiera Rulli, Grupo de Reflexion Rural (GGR) - download here as a pdf file (1.8MB) or go to http://www.grr.org.ar
Could GM foods cause allergies? - FoE Briefing - February 2006
A critique of current allergenicity testing in the light of new research on transgenic peas - download here as pdf (188kb)
GM CANOLA FACT SHEET - A PROFIT OR A LOSS? - http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/documents/factsheet.doc
GM canola is the least popular of the GM crops with only 18% global adoption rate and almost all of that is grown in Canada. While both Canadian and Australian canola yields experienced a gradual increase in yields as farm practises improved, statistics show that Canadian yields did not increase as GM canola was introduced. Australian and Canadian canola yields are very similar and there is no evidence of the 10-40% yield claimed.
Over 20% of Canadian farmers grow a non-GM variety called Clearfield and yet that same variety is available, but not popular in Australia. There is also now very clear evidence of a price penalty associated with GM or GM contaminated produce. Attempts to segregate in Canada failed and almost all canola is sold as GM. Canada lost their premium over Australian canola of $US32.68/tonne and are now faced with price penalties up to $US30/tonne and are experiencing large carryover stocks despite their major market being US which is not GM sensitive.
With little benefit, higher costs and lower commodity prices and an inability to segregate, there is a risk, not a benefit associated with GM canola.
DOWNLOAD FACTSHEET AT: http://www.non-gm-farmers.com/documents/factsheet.doc
MONSANTO AIMS FOR EUROPEAN DOMINATION - 10 years of biotech crops fail to deliver benefits for consumers and environment
The executive summary of a new FOE Europe report, WHO BENEFITS FROM GM CROPS? MONSANTO AND ITS CORPORATE DRIVEN GENETICALLY MODIFIED CROP REVOLUTION, published on 10th January 2006 is now available online at:
www.foeeurope.org/publications/2006/who_benefits_from_gm_crops_Jan_2006.pdf The full report is available upon request from email@example.com
A fact sheet is available here as a pdf file (64kb)
MAIZE - BT 11 MAIZE - C/F/96.05.10 - NOTIFICATION FOR CULTIVATION. Report prepared on behalf of Greenpeace International by Antje Lorch - download here as pdf (360kb).
Terminator Technology and Genetic Contamination - Ban Terminator Campaign, October 2005 - www.banterminator.org - Download the report as a pdf file here (236kb).
Against the grain - September 2005 (Whither Biosafety? In these days of Monsanto Laws,hope for real biosafety lies at the grassroots) - is a series of short opinion pieces on recent trends and developments in the areas of biodiversity management and control. It is published by GRAIN on an irregular basis, and is available from our website: http://www.grain.org/atg/. Print copies can be requested from GRAIN, Girona 25, E-08010 Barcelona, Spain. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Or download here as a pdf file (228kb).
Lutman PJW et al , 2005. Persistence of seeds from crops of conventional and herbicide tolerant oilseed rape (Brassica napus). Proc.R.Soc B (2005) 272, 1909-1915 22nd September 2005. Download here as a pdf file (176kb).
New Study Says Costs of Roundup Ready Wheat Are Greater Than Benefits: Industry Could Lose Up To $272 Million Roundup Ready Wheat
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: Tuesday, August 30, 2005
CONTACT: Dr. Charles Benbrook, 701-371-1564, Tuesday only; Dena Hoff, 406-687-3645; Todd Leake, 701-594-4275; or Kevin Dowling, WORC staff, 406-252-9672
FARGO, N.D. - Introduction of genetically modified wheat would lower income for wheat growers and the wheat industry, according to a report released today. Published by WORC (Western Organization of Resource Councils), Harvest at Risk - Impacts of Roundup Ready Wheat in the Northern Great Plains examines the likely consequences of Roundup Ready wheat adoption and projects economic impacts on wheat growers and the wheat industry.
"This is a technology for which there is really no compelling need," said Dr. Charles Benbrook, author of the study. "Existing weed management systems are stable, the price of weed management is not increasing, and farmers are managing resistance to currently used herbicides." If Roundup Ready wheat is introduced, increased seed and herbicide costs and reduced wheat prices would outweigh the operating cost savings from Roundup Ready wheat's simplified weed management by as much as $37 per acre, the report concludes. Farmers who do not plant Roundup Ready wheat would also face increased costs and lower income, ranging from $5.60 to $18 per acre.
"Overall, the wheat industry could lose $94 million to $272 million," Benbrook said. Benbrook said the wheat industry needs an in-depth and independent study of the factors and impacts of GM wheat so that the technology does not reduce farm income in the long run. "I don't see any advantage to the farmer in the introduction of Roundup Ready wheat," said Todd Leake, a North Dakota wheat grower and spokesperson for the Dakota Resource Council.
The report projects costs per bushel and per acre for farmers adopting Roundup Ready wheat and for non-adopters under a best-case scenario and a worst-case scenario. In either case, farmers would lose money from introduction and use of Roundup Ready wheat. The report finds mostly negative affects from nine factors affecting the costs and benefits of growing Roundup Ready wheat: emergence of resistance, gene flow, disease pressure and related problems, impacts on seed plus herbicide expenditures, market rejection, dockage, yields, grain quality, and wheat prices.
Harvest at Risk is the latest WORC report analyzing the probable effects of commercial introduction of Roundup Ready, genetically modified wheat. An earlier report by WORC found that introduction of genetically modified wheat in the U.S. risks the loss of one-fourth to one-half of U.S. hard red spring and durum wheat export markets and up to a one-third drop in price. WORC commissioned the study to answer questions about gene flow and contamination, weed resistance, disease problems and cost and returns, said Dena Hoff, WORC Chair, farmer, and member of the Northern Plains Resource Council. "There are other unanswered questions about the impacts on soil and water and human and animal health that should be studied," Hoff said. "We're going to have to work together so that we don't put our harvest at risk." Monsanto indefinitely postponed development of Roundup Ready wheat in May 2004.
Dr. Benbrook runs Benbrook Consultant Services, based in Sandpoint, Idaho. He has a Ph.D. in agricultural economics from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and an undergraduate degree from Harvard University. He has served on the President's Council on Environmental Quality, in staff positions in Congress, and as Executive Director of the National Academy of Science Board on Agriculture.
WORC is a regional network representing farmers and ranchers in Colorado, Idaho, Montana, North Dakota, Oregon, South Dakota, and Wyoming. The Dakota Resource Council and Northern Plains Resource Council are members of WORC.
Western Organization of Resource Councils, 2401 Montana Avenue, #301, Billings, Montana 59101 - 406.252.9672 - email@example.com
Development, yield, grain moisture and nitrogen uptake of Bt corn hybrids and their conventional near-isolines. - October 14, 2005
Field Crops Research 93: 199.211 - B.L. Ma and K.D. Subedi
There are concerns over the economic benefits of corn (Zea mays L.) hybrids with the Bt trait transferred from Bacillus thuringiensis. A field experiment including three to seven pairs of commercial hybrids and their transgenic Bt near-isolines were grown side-by-side for three consecutive years in Ottawa, Canada (458170N, 758450W; 93 m above sea level) to determine (i) which hybrid had the highest yielding potential, (ii) if there was a differential response of Bt and non-Bt hybrids to N application, and (iii) under natural infestation of European corn borer (ECB), whether there was a yield advantage of Bt over non-Bt hybrids to justify their cost.
We found that some of the Bt hybrids took 2-3 additional days to reach silking and maturity, and produced a similar or up to 12% lower grain yields with 3.5% higher grain moisture at maturity, in comparison with their non-Bt counterpart.
Although N application increased grain yield and N uptake in 2 of the 3 years, there was no N-by-hybrid interaction on yield or other agronomic traits. Most Bt hybrids had similar to or lower total N content in grain with higher N in stover than their respective non-Bt near-isolines. Under extreme weather conditions (e.g. cool air temperature at planting and severe drought during the development), some of the hybrids (both Bt and non-Bt) required up to 400 additional crop heat units (CHU) to reach physiological maturity than indicated by the supplying companies. Our data suggest that within the same maturity group, it was the superior hybrids (non-Bt trait) that led to the greatest N accumulation, and the highest grain yield. Under the conditions tested, there was no yield advantage of Bt hybrids in comparison with their conventional counterparts when stalk lodging and breakage of the non-Bt counterpart by ECB was low to moderate. (Download the report as a pdf file here - 244kb)
Advice on the implications of the farm-scale evaluations of genetically modified herbicidetolerant winter oilseed rape
ADVISORY COMMITTEE ON RELEASES TO THE ENVIRONMENT - 18 July 2005 - Download here as a pdf file (176kb).
THE POTENTIAL FOR DISPERSAL OF HERBICIDE TOLERANCE GENES FROM GENETICALLY-MODIFIED, HERBICIDE-TOLERANT OILSEED RAPE CROPS TO WILD RELATIVES - Contract reference EPG 1/5/151 - Roger Daniels, Caroline Boffey, Rebecca Mogg, Joanna Bond & Ralph Clarke, CEH Dorset. - Final report to DEFRA - http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/pdf/epg_1-5-151.pdf
Genetically Modified Crops: A challenge for Africa - March 2005, Lagos, Nigeria - A report by Environmental Rights Action/Friends of the Earth Nigeria - download here as a pdf file(208kb)
A PROFILE OF MONSANTO IN SOUTH AFRICA - An information document produced by African Centre for Biosafety - April 2005 - download here as a pdf file (128kb)
GMO Statutory Liability Regimes: An International Review - December 2004 - (Download here as pdf - 132kb)
Canadian Institute for Environmental Law and Policy - 130 Spadina Av. Suite 305, Toronto, ON M5V 2L4 - firstname.lastname@example.org
MAKING THE WORLD HUNGRY FOR GM CROPS
The United States government is forcing genetically modified (GM) crops onto countries around the world. A new report  by GRAIN shows how the US agency for international development (USAID) is a central part of its multi-pronged strategy.
The report demonstrates how the US government uses financial incentives and agricultural support to steer governments into opening their countries to GM crops. And USAID in particular has been using a number of different strategies to ensure that this happens as quickly as possible. Within target countries, GM projects are quickly set up with the support of a barrage of workshops. "USAID is not the neutral international aid agency looking to help countries assess the implications of GM crops. Instead, they're out to spread GM crops for the benefit of US corporations - pure and simple," said GRAIN.
And when the incentives don't work, the US government uses sticks to ensure that countries toe the US line. USAID "assistance" is always backed up by aggressive bilateral and multilateral dealings. For example, the US suddenly pulled out of bilateral negotiations with Egypt on a free trade deal when the country crossed the US in its GM policy. "I can relate all of these problems to Egypt's decision to withdraw its support for the US challenge on the ban of imports of genetically modified foods to the EU," said Mostafa Zaki, of the Egyptian Federation of Chambers of Commerce
The relationship between USAID, US corporations and pro-GM institutions is very close, often seamless. The report investigates some of these relationships and discovers a tangled web of a powerful network with the sole aim of pushing GM crops on the four corners of the world. "Ultimately this is all about smoothing the way for US GM corporations to import their own GM crops" said GRAIN.
 GRAIN, 2005, USAID: Making the world hungry for GM crops, GRAIN Briefing, 30pp http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=191.
This briefing examines how the US government uses USAID to actively promote GM agriculture. The focus is on USAID's major programmes for agricultural biotechnology (such as ABSP and PBS) and the regions where these programmes are most active in parts of Africa and Asia. These USAID programmes are part of a multi-pronged strategy to advance US interests with GM crops. Increasingly the US government uses multilateral and bilateral free trade agreements and high-level diplomatic pressure to push countries towardsthe adoption of many key bits of corporate-friendly regulations related to GM crops. And this external pressure has been effectively complimented by lobbybing and funding from national and regional USAID biotech networks.
View and download from: http://www.grain.org/go/usaid
GM Watch, website focusing on the use of hype, propaganda and spin to promote GM, and on exposing the role played by corporate-friendly scientists, industry front groups, PR companies, lobbyists, and political groups: http://www.gmwatch.org/
Caroline Brenner, "Telling Transgenic Technology Tales: Lessons from the Agricultural Biotechnology Support Project (ABSP) Experience," ISAAA Briefs No. 31. ISAAA: Ithaca, NY. 2004: http://www.isaaa.org/kc
Mariam Mayet, "Africa: the new frontier for the GE Industry," Third World Resurgence, Issue NO. 159-160, Feb 2004: http://www.biosafetyafrica.net/briefing_papers.htm
Herbert Docena, "Silent Battalions of 'Democracy'," Middle East Report 232, Fall 2004: http://www.merip.org/mer/mer232/mer232.html
Greenpeace, "USAID and GM Food Aid," October 2002, http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/MultimediaFiles/Live/FullReport/5243.pdf
Noah Zerbe, "Feeding the Famine? American Food Aid and the GMO Debate in Southern Africa," The GE Information Bulletin, No. 31, March 2005: http://www.geinfo.org.nz/032005/03.html
A Report on a Deliberative Public Engagement Exercise concerning the use of Biotechnology in Non-food Agriculture for the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission - Prepared by Corr Willbourn Research and Development - 150 Waterloo Road London SE1 8SB - 15 March 2005. Download here as a pdf file (380kb)
WINTER FSE RESULTS;
Effects on weed and invertebrate abundance and diversity of herbicide management in genetically modified herbicide-tolerant winter-sown oilseed rape
by DA Bohan, CWH Boffey, DR Brooks, SJ Clark, AM Dewar, LG Firbank, AJ Haughton, C Hawes, MS Heard, MJ May, JL Osborne, JN Perry, P Rothery, DB Roy, RJ Scott, GR Squire, IP Woiwod and GT Champion - Proceedings of the Royal Society, B: Biological Sciences, (2005) 272, 463474, March 2005
http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/proc_bio_content/pdf/rspb20043049.pdf - electronic appendix:http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/proc_bio_content/pdf/rspb20043049supp.pdf
SUBMISSION TO ACRE; WINTER OILSEED RAPE FSE RESULTS - from MUNLOCHY GM VIGIL, May 2005 - download here as pdf file (52kb)
The BRIGHT REPORT (Botanical and Rotational Implications of Genetically modified Herbicide Tolerance) Turner, R.J., Bond, W. & Pearce, B.D. (2005) An analysis of the findings of the BRIGHT trials with GM herbicide tolerant crops in relation to environmental impact. A report for GeneWatch UK, the Five Year Freeze and Friends of the Earth, !5th march 2005. Available at: http://www.genewatch.org or download here in pdf (348kb)
The BRIGHT project was set up to investigate the growing of GM oilseed rape and sugar beet in a rotation with winter cereal crops from 1998 to 2003. It was funded jointly by the government and the industry. The report was published on 29th November 2004: Sweet J, Simpson E, Law J, Lutman P, Berry K, Payne R, Champion G, May M, Walker K, Wightman P, Lainsbury M (2004). Botanical and rotational implications of genetically modified herbicide tolerance in winter oilseed rape and sugar beet (BRIGHT Project). Project Report No. 353. HGCA. Available on http://www.hgca.com
Argentina: A Case Study on the Impact of Genetically Engineered Soya - Lilian Joensen (Grupo de Reflexión Rural) Argentina, Stella Semino, (Grupo de Reflexión Rural) Argentina. Helena Paul (EcoNexus for the Gaia Foundation) - The Gaia Foundation, 6 Heathgate Place, Agincourt Road, London. NW3 2NU UK - http://www.gaiafoundation.org - March 2005. Download in pdf (448kb).
Monsanto & Genetic Risks for Investors - Analysis of company performance on intangible investment risk factors and value drivers - Innovest Strategic Value Advisers - January 2005. Download this a pdf file (700kb).
Monsanto vs. U.S. Farmers - Centre For Food Safety - 2005. Download as pdf file (3.6MB).
Power Hungry - six reasons to regulate global food corporations - Action Aid International - January 2005. Download report as a pdf file (1.2MB).
Syngenta - The genome Giant? - ETC Group - January/February 2005. Download report as a pdf file (264kb).
Rust,Resistance,Run Down Soils and Rising Costs - Problems Facing Soybean producers in Argentina - Charles M. Benbrook, Benbrook Consulting Services, AgBioTech InfoNet, Technical Paper Number 8, January 2005. Download report as pdf file (1.3MB).
Throwing caution To The Wind - A Review of the European Food Standards Agency and Its Work on Genetically Modified Crops - Friends of the Earth Europe - November 2004. Download report as a pdf file (120kb).
Genome Scrambling - Myth or Reality? Transformation-Induced Mutations in Transgenic Crop Plants - Alison Wilson PhD, Jonathan Latham PhD, Ricarda Steinbrecher PhD - Econexus technical report - October 2004. Download as a pdf file (628kb). and also available as a pdf file from Econexus at http:// www.econexus.info
ISIS Press Release 25/11/04
Beware Monsanto's "Vistive Soybeans"
Prof. Joe Cummins lifts the lid on a new wave of genetically engineered products that claim to offer "healthier foods" and "direct consumer benefits".
A fully referenced version of this article is posted on ISIS members' website http://www.i-sis.org.uk/full/BMVSFull.php.
Details here http://www.i-sis.org.uk/membership.php.
In September 2004, Monsanto announced a "Vistive soybean" with reduced linolenic (low linolenic or LL) acid content that will be available for planting in the 2005 season. Although promoted as "produced through conventional breeding" because it includes natural genes reducing the oil content of linolenic acid, Vistive also has transgenes conferring the Roundup Ready trait. Vistive soybean does not appear to have been approved under the usual procedure for transgenic crops because the reduced linolenic acid content was achieved using traditional selection and breeding. Instead, government regulators assumed that the Roundup Ready trait acts independently of the LL trait and for that reason the two kinds of traits could be joined by crossing two strains. Certainly, there is no precedent for reviewing and approving novel crops produced by conventional breeding, but if the LL trait interacts with the Roundup Ready (glyphosate tolerance) trait, Vistive soybeans should be re-evaluated as an alteration to the original Roundup Ready trait. There is a clear indication that the use of glyphosate on the soybean crop will result in an impact on fatty acid metabolism through the breakdown products of the herbicide (see later).
Vistive soybeans with the Roundup Ready trait are claimed to contain less than 3% linolenic oil, in contrast to the 8% linolenic content for conventional soy oil. Low linolenic oil is more stable, with a better flavour and requires less hydrogenation. Trans fatty acids are produced in the
hydrogenation process; and trans fatty acids are linked to heart disease because they lower HDL (good) cholesterol while raising LDL (bad) cholesterol. Ironically, trans-fats labelling is to begin in 2006 in the United States, even though industry and regulators in the United States resist labelling of products containing transgenes.
In plants, fatty acids are produced in the chloroplasts. Two molecules are crucial for fatty acid synthesis: acetyl-CoA and malonly-CoA (acetyl-CoA with an added carbon dioxide molecule). The number of carbon atoms in the long fatty acid chain is always even, and the carbon molecules are added two at a time. The newly synthesized fatty acids may be altered in mitochondria, or the endoplasmic reticulum, or stored in membrane bound lipid vesicles. Catabolism of the fats is undertaken in organelles called glyoxysomes where the fatty acids are degraded two carbon atoms at a time, by a process called beta-oxidation. Fatty acids are modified in organelles and the endoplasmic reticulum by the lipoxygenase pathway to produce plant defence and signalling compounds such as jasmonates. Glyoxysomes carry out the glyoxylate cycle - a modification of the tricarboxylic acid cycle found in plants and microbes - as well as beta-oxidation. Fatty acid metabolism is crucial to energy transformation in plants, but also contributes to cell structure and to signalling and defence.
The transgenic parent of Vistive soybean is the soybean line GTS40-3-2 (event MON-04032-6), tolerant to glyphosate. The strain was released commercially in the United States in 1994, then Canada (1995), Japan (1996), Argentina (1996), Uruguay (1997), Mexico (1998), Brazil (1998) and South Africa (2001). The transgenic construct includes a synthetic approximation of the EPSPS gene from Agrobacterium for tolerance to glyphosate, adjusted for the codon preference of the crop. The EPSPS gene was driven by the enhanced 35s cauliflower mosaic virus promoter, and the sequence included a chloroplast transit protein from petunia and a nopaline synthesis terminator from Agrobacterium .
Six years after Roundup Ready soy was released to the environment, Monsanto acknowledged that an "inactive" 75 base pair fragment and a 250 base pair fragment of the EPSPS gene were inserted outside the open reading frame of the EPSPS protein (those inserts were over 20% the size of the EPSPS gene). The origin of the gene fragments and their possible activity was curtly dismissed without fuller explanation. The evident instability of these and other crop transgenes has been discussed by Mae-Wan Ho, and raises many biosafety concerns.
Possible interactions between the LL and Roundup Ready genes of Vistive soy cannot be dismissed, as the crop will certainly be sprayed with glyphosate. The herbicide will accumulate to levels toxic to animals and humans if it is not broken down in the plant cell. In plants, glyphosate is normally broken down by glyphosate oxidase (GOX) enzyme (presumably an enzyme present to digest natural products). GOX enzyme accelerates the breakdown of the herbicide glyphosate into two compounds, aminomethylphosphonic acid (AMPA) and glyoxylate. Glyoxylate is commonly found in plant cells and is further broken down by the glyoxylic pathway for lipid metabolism. The increased concentration of glyoxylate due to glyphosate breakdown would certainly disturb the metabolism of fatty acids.
Glyphosate exposure of herbicide tolerant groundnut was observed to increase glyoxylase enzyme. Presently, it is not possible to predict the nature and extent of disturbance of fatty acid metabolism, nor the impact on LL function. The point is that there is a clear link between Roundup Ready and LL traits, which should be explored fully before the Vistive crop reaches general distribution. Every transgenic crop should be reassessed after it has been crossed with a variety derived from conventional selection, especially one that has a clear metabolic association with the transgene, before any release of the crop. There should be a rule to ensure that careful reassessment is done. The burden of proving that releases such as Vistive are safe rests with the proponent. Experiments must be done to ensure that the Roundup Ready genes and the LL genes are independent of each other, and that any interactions are fully risk assessed. In addition, Roundup Ready soybean itself should be reassessed in light of new scientific evidence raising questions about transgenic instability.
This article can be found on the I-SIS website at - http://www.i-sis.org.uk/
If you like this original article from the Institute of Science in Society, and would like to continue receiving articles of this calibre, please consider making a donation or purchase on the ISIS website http://www.i-sis.org.uk/donations.
Genetically Engineered Crops and Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Nine Years - Dr. Charles M. Benbrook , Northwest Science and Environmental Policy Center, Sandpoint Idaho - October 25, 2004
Abstract - http://www.biotech-info.net/technicalpaper7.html
The 53-page report - http://www.biotech-info.net/Full_version_first_nine.pdf
Genetically Engineered Crops Now Increasing Pesticide Use in the United States - November 25, 2003 Contact Dr. Benbrook at 208-263-5236 or via e-mail email@example.com
The planting of 550 million acres of genetically engineered (GE) corn, soybeans and cotton in the United States since 1996 has increased pesticide use by about 50 million pounds, according to a report released today by the Northwest Science and Environmental Policy Center. The report is the first comprehensive study of the impacts of all major commercial GE crops on pesticide use in the United States over the first eight years of commercial use, 1996-2003. It draws on official U.S. Department of Agriculture data on pesticide use by crop and state. The report is entitled Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Eight Years, and is the sixth in a series of Technical Papers prepared for Ag BioTech InfoNet.
It is being published today via the Internet (hard copies will not be provided, but can be printed for free from the website). The report calculates the difference between the average pounds of pesticides applied on acres planted to GE crops compared to the pounds applied to otherwise similar conventional crops. In their first three years of commercial sales (1996-1998), GE crops reduced pesticide use by about 25.4 million pounds, but in the last three years (2001-2003), over 73 million more pounds of pesticides were applied on GE acres. Substantial increases in herbicide use on Herbicide Tolerant (HT) crops, especially soybeans, accounted for the increase in pesticide use on GE acres compared to acres planted to conventional plant varieties. Many farmers have had to spray incrementally more herbicides on GE acres in order to keep up with shifts in weeds toward tougher-to-control species, coupled with the emergence of genetic resistance in certain weed populations. "For years weed scientists have warned that heavy reliance on herbicide tolerant crops would trigger ecological changes in farm fields that would incrementally erode the technology's effectiveness. It now appears that this process began in 2001 in the United States in the case of herbicide tolerant crops,"according to Benbrook. The report concludes that the other major category of GE crops, corn and cotton engineered to produce the natural insecticide Bacillus thuringiensis ( Bt) in plant cells, continues to reduce insecticide use by 2 million to 2.5 million pounds annually. The increase in herbicide use on HT crop acres, however, far exceeds the modest reductions in insecticide use on acres planted to Bt crops, especially since 2001.
The 46-page report is posted on Ag BioTech InfoNet at - http://wwww.biotech-info.net/technicalpaper6.html
Monsanto and the US Government have been telling the world that genetically modified crops pose no contamination threat to natural indigenous species. But Greenpeace has learned from a leaked report that NAFTA disagrees and is recommending steps to avoid a genetic threat to natural maize in Mexico. Surprise, surprise: the Bush Administration is attempting to suppress the report.
The report, written by the Commission for Environmental Cooperation (CEC) of the North American Free Trade Agreement (US, Canada and Mexico) recommends that all genetically engineered (GE) maize imports be labelled as such and that all US maize entering Mexico should be milled upon entry, to prevent living seeds from being planted intentionally or accidentally.
Conclusions from the CEC Mexican Maize report (unoffical English translation) http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/multimedia/download/1/618472/0/final_cec.pdf
CEC website - http://www.cec.org/maize/index.cfm?varlan=english
The CEC report on GE maize contamination in Mexico (Spanish) http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/multimedia/download/1/618468/0/cec_maize_report_sp.pdf
Maize Under Threat - GE Maize Contamination in Mexico http://www.greenpeace.org/international_en/multimedia/download/1/302811/0/maizeunderthreat.pdf
"The Venoms Of Scorpions And Spiders........." Global Agriculture and Genetically Modified Cotton in Africa - Stephen Greenberg for the African Centre for Biosafety - October 2004 - http://www.biosafetyafrica.net - or ask Shenaz Moola - firstname.lastname@example.org
Buried in the UK Government's Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs website is a recently commissioned report detailing the proof that people will pay to avoid GM foods, backing up the findings of GM Nation? (see below) and the UK's Consumer Association report GM Dilemmas (also see below):
Consumer Willingness To Pay To Reduce GMOs In Food And Increase The Robustness Of GM Labelling - Report to the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs - D. Rigby, T. Young (Centre for Agricultural. Food and Resource Economics, School of Economic Studies, University of Manchester, M13 9PL), M. Burton (Agricultural and Resource Economics, University of Western Australia, Perth, Australia) - May 2004 - download as a pdf file here.
Pharmaceutical Rice in California - Potential Risks to Consumers, the Environment and the California Rice Industry - July 2004
Bill Freese, Research Analyst, Friends of the Earth; Dr. Michael Hansen, Ph.D, Senior Research Associate, Consumers Union; Dr. Doug Gurian-Sherman, Ph.D, Senior Scientist, Center for Food Safety. (Submited to : California Department of Health Services, California Environmental Protection Services and California Department of Food and Agriculture) http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/pubs/CARiceReport7.2004.pdf
New report from Grain on cotton in West Africa - GM cotton set to invade West Africa - Time to act! (GRAIN, June 2004): pdf here
For a new report on Monsanto see Monsanto: Behind the Scenes - A Corporate Profile, prepared by Kimiko Inouye for the Polaris Institute, February 2004 here
And before the agro-biotech boyos start the PR charm-spin about Omega-3 oils, about how they're going to enhance oilseed rape (canola) with these wondrous all-cure essential fatty acids, (these brassicas have them already), not to mention Salmon (another good non-GM source of Omega-3), wipe the yawns away, eat plenty of non-GM spinach and start to read up on Omega-3 Oils and Fatty Acids (two primers to prepare the way for Hugh Grant and co's next bid at enchantment through enhancement).
Read the Canadian Supreme Court Ruling on the Monsanto Canada Incorporated versus Percy Schmeiser here
Seeds of Deception - Exposing Industry and Government Lies About the Safety of the Genetically Engineered Foods You're Eating -
Jeffrey M Smith - 2003 (published by Yes! Books in the USA and soon to be published in the UK by Green Books)
The Scottish Parliament's Health and Community Care Committee's 1st Report, 2003 - Report on Inquiry into GM crops -amounted to a grave censure of the Scottish and UK system of GM crop trials in the open environment, as well calling for far more rigorous risk assessment procedures and health testing along the lines of pharmaceutical product testing:
See also the Munlochy GM Vigil written submission to the Health and Community Care Committee.
The British Medical Association's submission to the Scottish Parliament's Health and Community Care Committee's inquiry into GM crops. (see www.scottish.parliament.uk/S1/official_report/cttee/health-02/he02-3001.htm and www.scottish.parliament.uk/S1/official_report/cttee/health-02/hep02-30.pdf for a full report of the committee session and link to BMA written submission)
The British Medical Association policy document. (see www.bma.org.uk)
Failure of GMOs in India by Dr. Vandana Shiva and Afsar H. Jafri, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Ecology Synthesis/Regeneration 33 (Winter 2004) http://www.greens.org/s-r/33/shiva.pdf
For the published results of the Farm Scale Evaluations for spring-sown gm crops in the UK go to http://www.defra.gov.uk/news/latest/2003/gmreports.htm (This will give the necessary links to the Royal Society's pages (http://www.pubs.royalsoc.ac.uk/FSEresult), as well as links to four recents studies on geneflow published by DEFRA a few days before the FSE results, showing that bees and other pollen carrying insects can travel 25 kilometers. The DEFRA page also carries a summary and commentary link on the FSEs.)
For ACRE's advice to the UK government on these (13/1/04): http://www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/index.htm
For the Munlochy GM Vigil submission to ACRE on the FSEs click here. See also the vigil submission to the UK Parliament's Environmetal Audit Select Committee who conducted an inquiry into the FSEs at the end of 2003.
An official report on the results of 600 meetings held in June and July around the country reflects widespread doubts about the benefits of GM technology. The GM Nation? report says the public mood on GM "ranged from caution and doubt, through suspicion and scepticism, to hostility and rejection". Only 2% said they would be happy to eat GM foods. The government has promised to consider the 40,000 public responses before deciding whether to go ahead with commercial GM crops. The chairman of the GM Debate Steering Board, Professor Malcolm Grant, told the BBC the overwhelming response to GM was one of "concern and scepticism". He said it would be risky to forge ahead with giving the green light to modified foods in the face of "profound mistrust". The report also suggests that those people who came to the debate with little prior knowledge tended to become more sceptical about GM technology as they learned about it.
From Munlochy GM Vigil
The results of the 'GM Nation?' public debate, believed to be the largest exercise of its kind carried out involving 40,000 people, show overwhelming public opposition to GM crops and foods. The numbers opposed to GM outweigh those who may support it by a massive 5 to 1. Anthony Jackson from the Vigil said: "These results speak for themselves and send an unequivocal message to the government, the GM multinationals and farmers. If the government is at all accountable to its electorate it now only has one option: to refuse to allow the growing of GM crops in the UK. Its own economic advisors couldn't find any reason to grow GM, the government's Science Review pointed out the vast gaps in scientific knowledge, and the public consistently rejected GM crops and foods for wide-ranging and increasingly valid reasons. The question now is who has the biggest influence on government - Bush and Monsanto or the UK public?"
See the Munlochy GM Vigil written submission to the UK Parliament's Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee who conducted an inquiry into GM Nation? during the autumn of 2003.
"Field Work: Weighing up the Costs and Benefits of GM crops". You can view and down load the UK government's Strategy Unit's report into the economic costs and benefits of GM crops (one of the the three strands of the public deabate) at their website http://www.number10.gov.uk/output/Page3673.asp (Please also note the deadline in October for responses to this).
See the Munlochy GM Vigil written submission to the Strategy Unit.
The government's other strand in the debate, the science review , has published a report - GM Science Review, First Report - which can be viewed and downloaded at http://www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk/report/default.htm (Again, there is an opportunity to respond to this as well)
See the Munlochy GM Vigil written submission to the GM Science Review.
For other submissions, responses and letters issued by the Munlochy GM Vigil see the following:
Response from Munlochy GM Vigil to India's draft "National Biotechnology Development Strategy" - 10th May 2005 - pdf (88kb)
RESEARCH AGENDAS IN AGRICULTURAL BIOTECHNOLOGY - submission to AEBC's Research Agenda's project. Download here as a pdf file (12kb) and go to http://www.dti.gov.uk for the final AEBC publication - What shapes the research agenda in agricultural biotechnology? A report by the Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission (AEBC), April 2005, Department of Trade and Industry (DTI/Pub 7811/0.7K/04/05/NP. URN 05/1078).
MUNLOCHY GM VIGIL RESPONSE TO THE DRAFT REPORT FOR COMMENT - JUNE 2003
(The Use of Genetically Modified Crops in Developing Countries Nuffield Council on Bioethics A follow-up discussion paper to the 1999 report Genetically modified crops: the ethical and social issues.)
Much of the draft shows a lack of evident input from underdeveloped countries. The question that must be asked of this follow-up discussion paper is, must its relevance to a developing discourse be found in solely aspirational scenarios for GM crops which are projections of wishful thinking based entirely on first world perspectives? The report reads very much as if it were predicated on the supposition that GM crops will be good for underdeveloped countries. Attempts to cover all the angles of anticipated counter-arguments to this hypothesis are little more than conciliatory balancing acts of a half-hearted rationality. For the full response to the piece of apologetics by the Nuffield Council on Bioethics click here
Contamination Thresholds for GM Seeds - 28th March 2004
Submission on GM coexistence and liability to the European Parliament Agriculture Committee meeting on GM coexistence liability, 11th September, 2003.
GM pharma Rice
To those presently responsible for the Government of Brazil
ENGINEERING NUTRITION: GM crops for global justice? (A new report by the Food Ethics Council) http://www.foodethicscouncil.org/reportspdf/gmnutrition/gmnutrition.pdf
Helen Browning, who chairs the Food Ethics Council, says it is time governments got honest. "GM crops have made food security a big issue for US and EU policy-makers, but for the wrong reasons. If our governments are sincere, they must tackle the unfair subsidies and trade rules that really make people poor and hungry."
Crops of Uncertain Nature - Controversies and Knowledge Gaps Concerning GM Crops Dr. A.J.C. (Ries) De Visser
"My report was the outcome of a literature inventory commissioned by Greenpeace NL. As a scientist (plant genetics biologist) I approached one of their biologists, Miriam van Gool (now with WWF-NL) with a research idea related to my worries about 'unknown effects of crossing species barriers by GM'. Greenpeace, however, was mostly interested in scientific controversies and knowledge gaps on GM and came up with the idea for the literature review. It was at the time of publication (Aug. 2000) a highly controversial subject within our research institute (PRI; for general info: web (http://www.plant.wag-ur.nl), and I did not have full freedom to present my results publicly, because of commercial reasons and a potential conflict with our Ministry of Agriculture. Nevertheless I received over 500 requests from all over the world, which is quite exceptional for a scientific report in my experience. I hope the report reflects the stunning lack of knowledge concerning the potential effects of GM crops, and that it shows how primitive and unprecise the techniques of GM are (much like a shot of hail at a beautifully designed flower). I must apologize for the poor readability. It was written for a scientific audience (agreed by Greenpeace) and a version for the general public was never asked for. It would be a very difficult task, due to the complexity of the subject and the (in my view really poor) information given to the public by the scientists and industries involved in GM of crops."
Hard copies of the report are available from the the Research Centre for 25 Euros. Contact: Dr. A.J.C. (Ries) De Visser, Business Unit Crop and Production Ecology, Plant Research International Ltd, Wageningen University and Research Centre, P.O.Box 16, 6700 AA Wageningen.
Aziz Choudry email@example.com (21 Aug 2003) has produced a 24-page report for US organization, Action for Social and Ecological Justice (ASEJ) entitled "Neoliberal Globalization: Cancun and Beyond". It's now available as a downloadable pdf file from www.asej.org
Models show gene flow from crops threatens wild plants. More evidence of transgene escape. The end result, say the researchers, could be major changes in the genetic make-up of wild plants, decreases in their population size and the permanent loss of natural traits that could improve crop health. http://www.news.wisc.edu/view.html?get=8776
"GMOs, Pesticide Use, and Alternatives Lessons from the U.S. Experience" Presented at the Conference on GMOs and Agriculture by Dr. Charles M. Benbrook, Paris, France, June 20, 2003. Full text and slides available from: http://www.biotech-info.net/lessons_learned.html
Andy Rowell's new book, 'Don't Worry, It's Safe to Eat'. http://www.andyrowell.com/dont_worry_PR.htm
'Genetically Modified Crops and Sustainable Poverty Alleviation in Sub-Saharan Africa: An Assessment of Current Evidence'
A detailed new report by Aaron deGrassi at the Institute of Development Studies, University of Sussex, UK, concludes GM crops do not address the real causes of poverty and hunger in Africa. The full report can be downloaded as a pdf from here: http://allafrica.com/sustainable/resources/00010161.html It draws its conclusions from a careful analysis of the evidence from the biotech industry's flagship projects in Africa: Monsanto's GM cotton in the Makhitini Flats in South Africa, the Syngenta Foundation's GM maize project in Kenya, and another Kenyan project with GM sweet potatoes involving Monsanto, the World Bank and USAID.
ISIS Report - Public Say No to GMOs Sam Burcher summarises polls worldwide, which consistently show rejection of GMOs. This report can be found on the Institute of Science in Society website: www.i-sis.org.uk
'GM CROPS UNRELIABLE AND A DISASTER'
Genetically modified crops fail to produce significant reductions in pesticides and are "a disaster waiting to happen," a report by an international panel of scientists says. The panel says that GM crops were also unreliable and unstable. By far the better route would be sustainable farming based on organic principles, says the report. The report, compiled for the Institute of Science in Society, reviewed 200 scientific papers studying the effectiveness and use of GM crops. The report is signed by a number of notable scientists including TV botanist David Bellamy. It finds that GM crops have cost the US an estimated 7.3billion amid "worldwide rejection". The panel says: "Massive crop failures of up to 100 per cent" of GM crops have been reported in India." - London Evening Standard, 3 June 2003. See The Independent Science Panel on GM: Final Report http://www.i-sis.org.uk/ispr-summary.php
Dr Arpad Pusztai has a 26-page chapter, providing a review of all the research to date on the safety of GM food (entitled 'Genetically Modified Foods: Potential Human Health Effects'), in the recently published book: Food Safety: Contaminants and Toxins. Editor: J P F D'Mello, Scottish Agricultural College, Edinburgh, UK Publication Date: April 2003. Number of Pages: 480 Pages. Binding: Hardback ISBN: 0851996078 Price: 80.00 (US$145.00)
The chapter incl. illustrations can be downloaded as a pdf here http://www.cabi-publishing.org/Bookshop/ReadingRoom/0851996078.asp
READ ACTION AID'S NEW REPORT ON GM: http://www.actionaid.org/resources/pdfs/gatg.pdf
The Consumer Association report GM Dilemmas. (seewww.which.net/campaigns/food/gm/index.html)
The Soil Association report Seeds of Doubt.) www.soilassociation.org
The European Environmental Agency report, Genetically modified organisms (GMOs): The significance of gene flow through pollen transfer, provides a current review and interpretation on the impact of GM plants in agriculture and critical insight into the risks of contamination for non-GM systems: (see www.eea.eu.int)
The UK Government's Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (DEFRA) report on gene flow, Monitoring Large Scale Releases Of Genetically Modified Crops (EPG 1/5/84), Incorporating Report On Project EPG 1/5/30: Monitoring Releases Of Genetically Modified Crop Plants, commissioned from the National Institute of Agricultural Botany (NIAB), challenges the governments own identification of risks of cross-pollination and contamination for non-GM agriculture: (see www.defra.gov.uk/environment/gm/research/epg-1-5-84.htm)
Friends of the Earth, Farm Scale Evaluation report. (see www.foe.co.uk)
The Greenpeace report on Monsanto. (see www.greenpeace.org/monsantoinvestor)
The Currie Report, Farming and Food: a Sustainable Future. (see www.cabinet-office.gov.uk/farming)
English nature report, Gene stacking in herbicide tolerant oilseed rape: lessons from the North American experience - no.443 - English Nature Research Reports. (see www.english-nature.org.uk)
Agriculture, Environment and Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) report, Crops on Trial. (see www.aebc.gov.uk)
A study commissioned by the European Commission and undertaken by the Blaise Pascal University and the Max Planck Institute exploring genetic instability in GMOs. ( see http://europa.eu.int/comm/research/quality-of-life/gmo/01-plants/01-14-project.html)
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