ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  10 December 2000

BAN/INSPECT/PICKET/LABEL/ GMOs go around the globe

1.    India: Ban on import of oil from GM oilseeds likely
2.    Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan want inspections of animal feed
4.    Canada: Grocers refuse to stock food labelled GM-free!!
       CANADIAN  GM  &  GM  FREE  FOOD  LIST url

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1.    India: Ban on import of oil from GM oilseeds likely

Looks like Monsanto’s new GM mustard-seed oil strategy for India is not going to lead to any sudden reversal of its fortunes there.

Ban on import of oil from GM oilseeds likely
Financial Express - 9 December 2000 [shortened]

New Delhi : The Union Agriculture Minister, Nitish Kumar said that the government is considering to ban imports of edible oils made from genetically modified (GM) soyabeans and other seeds.
He said that this measure will stall dumping by some producer countries that has adversely affected the Indian farmers.

He said these countries resort to dumping by taking undue advantage of the low WTO bound-rate duty of 45 per cent for imported soyabean and rapeseed oils. All other oils attracted a higher import duty of up to 300 per cent. The minister said much of the soyabean oil coming from abroad was from genetically modified seeds.

Copyright © 2000 Indian Express Newspapers (Bombay) Ltd.

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2.    Japan, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan want inspections of animal feed

U.S. ministry to check animal feed for GM corn
Kyodo News TOKYO Dec. 8

Kyodo - The U.S. government has agreed to check Japan-bound shipments of animal feed for the presence of a genetically modified variety of corn that Tokyo has banned, the Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Ministry said Friday.

The ministry and the U.S. Department of Agriculture hope to decide on procedures to check for StarLink corn by the end of this month, ministry officials said.

StarLink corn contains a gene that creates a germ-killing substance said to cause allergic reactions in some humans. The United States is the only country to produce StarLink and the only one to approve it for use in animal feed.

The corn was found in food products on Japanese supermarket shelves in October.  Japan’s Health and Welfare Ministry and the U.S. farm department have already agreed that all corn used for food products will be checked in the U.S. before shipment to Japan.

The U.S. farm department was initially reluctant to check animal feed as well since StarLink is approved for use in animal feed in the U.S.

According to the Japanese farm ministry, Mexico, South Korea and Taiwan have also asked the U.S. to conduct pre-shipment inspections of animal feed for the presence of StarLink.

Of the roughly 16.5 million tons of corn that Japan imports each year, 12 million tons are used for animal feed, of which 95% comes from the U.S.

2000 Kyodo News © Established 1945. All Rights Reserved

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Dec 8, 2000
Council of Canadians to picket Loblaws/Superstores over GM foods [shortened]

Members of the Council of Canadians will picket Loblaws/Superstores in 31 communities across Canada this weekend, to pressure the company to eliminate genetically engineered(GE) ingredients from their products.

“Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and unpredictable experiment with the safety of our food.
We don’t want to buy it and we don’t think Loblaws should sell it,” said Nad™™ge Adam, Health Protection Campaigner for the Council of Canadians.  “At the very least these products should be labelled so we can choose not to buy them, Loblaws won’t even do that. We have to ask, do they really respect us as customers when they don’t respect our right to know?”

The action comes days after a recent announcement that Loblaws is launching an organic line of products, which the company says will be free of genetically modified ingredients.

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4.    List of GM-free foods issued - Grocers renew their ban on GM-free labels
by Stuart Laidlaw, Business Reporter

Activists and grocers continue to move in opposite directions on genetically modified foods with the release yesterday by Greenpeace of a list of foods containing such ingredients.
The grocers, meanwhile, have renewed an earlier decision to not allow any food to be labelled free of genetically modified, or GM, ingredients.

Some stores have been placing stickers over such labels since last spring, and will now require that food not be labelled GM-free at all if suppliers want to get it on grocers’ shelves.

Jeanne Cruickshank, a spokesperson for the Canadian Council of Grocery Distributors, said the stickers were a temporary measure while suppliers changed their packaging to meet the grocers’ demands, which were reconfirmed at a recent meeting of the organization.

She said grocers want a federal standards board to decide on the proper wording for such labels and to define what is meant by claims to be GM-free before allowing any food on shelves to be labelled as such.

“We can’t be sure of the accuracy of that statement,” she said, adding that labels are often covered with stickers when labelling standards are in question or are in a period of transition.
“It’s not that unusual,” said Cruickshank, a member of the standards board committee looking into GM labelling.

Still, not all grocers went along with the decision to cover up the labels, and have continued to stock food labelled as GM-free.

Greenpeace spokesperson Cim Nunn said consumers should be allowed to know what food is GM-free, and what is not, so they can avoid buying food with GM ingredients if they wish to do so.

That’s why the group released a list of 1,000 food products yesterday, spelling out which ones are GM-free, which are not and which are made by companies trying to find non-GM  ingredients.
“There have been literally thousands of requests from consumers for this information,” said Nunn, whose environmental group has been the most vocal on the issue.

Greenpeace has put out similar lists in the United States and Britain.  Nunn said the list helped build pressure on companies to remove GM food from their products.

The Canadian list is available at on the Internet.

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