ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

30 November 2002

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THE WEEKLY WATCH NUMBER 8
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from the Guest Editor, Jonathan Matthews
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Welcome to WW8 from the NGIN/GMWATCH team, bringing you all the latest news in brief on the GM issue.

As WEEKLY WATCH editor, Andy Rees, is off taking an airing from the NGIN room, this week's WEEKLY WATCH is considerably briefer than usual - but just follow the links for the full story.

Jonathan <ngin@gmwatch.org>
www.ngin.org.uk

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WEEKLY WATCH  number 7 - CONTENTS
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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK: labelling/pharma named/Africa/superweeds...
TOPIC OF THE WEEK: UK Government's Science Review
CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK: no patents on life!
APPEAL OF THE WEEK: support alternatives to GM in Zambia
HEADLINES OF THE WEEK: from the archive
SUBSCRIPTIONS

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HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK
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GM labelling: EU and Canada
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EU farm ministers agreed on Thursday to require food and feed containing 0.9 percent or more GM grain to be labeled as such, starting next year. This is the first time rules have been introduced in the EU requiring the labelling of GMO-based animal feed. Labelling will also be required for food and feed produced from GM crops, even if GMOs cannot be identified in the final product, for example in soybean or oilseed oil. Accidental traces of unauthorized GM grain will be allowed up to a 0.5 percent level for the first three years.
EU deal on GM labelling
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102c.htm
More on EU GM food and feed labelling - multiple articles
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102d.htm
New GM Thresholds in EU Worry Canadian Exporters
Industry sources in Canada are saying they will find it difficult to meet the new tolerance levels proposed for GM grain in the European Union
http://story.news.yahoo.com/news?tmpl=story&u=/nm/20021129/wl_canada_nm/canada_food_biotechnology_col_1
Canada afraid to upset US on GM labelling
American hostility to the idea, and Canada's fear of falling out of step with the United States, are why Canada should not itself adopt mandatory labelling of genetically modified food, says the federal government.  http://ngin.tripod.com/251102b.htm
GM labelling in Canada "just a matter of time"
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102c.htm
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The World Food and Farming Congress
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Hi-tech crops 'will not save poor' - The Guardian
With plenty of food available to feed the hungry of the world, claiming that GM crops or free trade is needed to solve the problem is a deliberate distortion, distinguished Indian food and trade expert, Devinder Sharma, told the World Conference on Food and Farming in London
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102a.htm
Avery at the World Food and Farming Congress - Hugh Warwick told NGIN, "I have heard so much about him - thought it must be an exaggeration .... but the reality was startling". Avery's presentation included insane claims of links between GM 'activists' and suicide bombers and outright lies on the food aid crisis such as, "The US has no non-biotech corn to offer" and "The US does not segregate biotech corn" (50% of the corn elevators in the US segregate GM and non-GM corn). Remember, this is the man the US put in charge of a discussion on GM food aid at the US embassy in London last Monday (25th), leading to a boycott of the meeting.
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102b.htm
BACKGROUNDER: Avery over London - Londoners take cover!
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102a.htm
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Patented GM seed campaign/Mississippi farmer fined $780,000
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About 1.4 million people in the world depend on farm-saved seeds for their livelihoods. Farmers who grow patented GM crops have to sign contracts and pay royalties to the patent holder to use their seeds and just 6 multinational corporations control 70 per cent of patents on the five main food crops of rice, wheat, maize, soya and sorghum.  For poor farmers patents can jeopardize their livelihoods by restricting their traditional right to save, use, exchange and sell their seeds. Even in the richer world, many farmers in the United States and Canada have already been sued for using farm-patented seeds. The latest, a Mississippi farmer has been ordered to pay Monsanto $780,000 for "patent infringement" http://ngin.tripod.com/271102c.htm
But 180,000 Canadians say ‘No!’ to patented seeds. The development agency for the Catholic Church in Canada has sent 180,000 petition postcards to International Trade Minister Pierre Pettigrew calling on the government to ban the patenting of life forms, especially seeds. 63 boxes of petitions were delivered to Parliament Hill  by the Canadian Catholic Organization for Development and Peace.
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102b.htm
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Superweeds, Cancer-causing genes, Creating new life forms
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GM crops can irreversibly pass on their genes to wild plants giving them the same level of toxicity to insects, a study by researchers at the University of North Carolina shows.
More superweeds fears
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102e.htm
GM mutants as toxic as parent plants
http://www.cnn.com/2002/TECH/science/11/29/mutant.crops.reut/index.html
Other stories:
Cancer-causing genes in animals and plants
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102e.htm
GeneWatch UK warns on GM experiments to create new life forms
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102d.htm
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Corn 'pharma' named
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Pocahontas neighbors suspected something
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102a.htm
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GM crops in Africa
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UK Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, said this week that "it's wicked when there is such an excess of non-GM food aid available for GM to be forced on countries for reasons of GM politics". Speaking at a briefing of British parliamentarians, Meacher continued "if there is an area where anger needs to be harnessed it is here". "We have the means to assist, but we are playing politics over GM"
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102d.htm
"Wicked" USAID
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102a.htm
Governments have right to choose, admits WFP
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102c.htm
No one dying because of GM rejection - Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102b.htm
Alternatives to GM in Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102c.htm
Appeal to alleviate hunger in some parts of Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102c.htm
Germany donates non-GM foods
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102b.htm
Agencies Pushing Zambia to Accept GM Foods Turned Down Invitation to
Talk to African consumer groups
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102c.htm
African consumer leaders adopt a critical position with respect to GMOs
http://ngin.tripod.com/261102b.htm
African consumers demand South Africa label GM foods
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102b.htm
Biowatch in court/Zambia/Zimbabwe
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102a.htm
for a primer on what's going on in southern Africa:
http://ngin.tripod.com/forcefeed.htm
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Human genetics
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Abort the disabled says geneticist
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm
Human-Mouse Hybrid on the cards
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm
Bioweapons
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm

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TOPIC OF THE WEEK - UK Government's Science Review
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The UK Government as part of its consideration of the issue of GM crop commercialisation in the UK has set up a Science Review Panel to conduct "a full and open independent scientific review to examine the extent of current scientific knowledge behind GM, with particular focus on crops".
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
The review will report ahead of publication of the UK's GM farmscale trials which were previously hyped as "essential" to the scientific understanding of the impact of GM crops in the UK. But now the Government's Chirf Scientific Advisor, Professor King has "characterised the trials as a minor, barely significant element in global GM research."
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102a.htm
The review panel includes scientists from Monsanto and Syngenta. 2 NGO nominees are supposed to balance out the industry figures while the rest are presented as independents. But many of the independents on the panel are tainted by a history of distorting science for pro-GM propaganda purposes.
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
There is also a massive level of vested interest represented on the panel. Take, for instance, Science Review panelist, Prof Mike Gale FRS of the John Innes Centre who is on record as admitting that any serious slow down or halt in the development of GM crops "would be very, very serious for us."
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
The government's press package contained supportive comments assembled for the Government by the Science Media Centre. As usual, the range of scientific opinion provided is narrow - uniformly supportive on both GM and the Government's Review, with even the comments of Stephen Smith of Syngenta being included among those of "scientists". But  what can you expect from a Centre that was given birth to by Lord Sainsbury, has Dupont amongst its funders and whose director has written articles denying the Rwandan genocide!!
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
Lord Sainsbury was this week at the centre of further biotech cash
conflicts of interest claims
http://ngin.tripod.com/261102a.htm
GM crops debate goes online
http://www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_718636.html?menu=
GM Science Review: Open Meetings
http://www.gmsciencedebate.org.uk/meetings/default.htm
Science Review details - articles and panel
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102a.htm
More on UK REVIEW OF GM SCIENCE
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
Government's press release
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
Science Media Centre press release c/o HM Government
key issues from the website
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm

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CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK - No patents on seeds
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Find out more about the campaign to stop patents on life
http://www.devp.org/testA/current.htm

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APPEAL OF THE WEEK (format c/o Akiko Frid)
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http://www.buynothingday.co.uk/home.html
November 30th 2002 is Buy Nothing Day (UK)

"Donate the money to Zambia instead!"

Last week, the Consumers International held a conference on GMO and food security in Lusaka, Zambia, where people in the southern area is experiencing a serious food shortage.

Read CI's press release on:
http://www.consumersinternational.org/News/display.asp?id=175&regionid=135&tag=X&type=news&langid=1
PRESS RELEASE: African consumer leaders adopt a critical position with respect to GMOs and their implications for food security in the region  Publication date: 26/11/2002

You can watch a video from Zambia on FOE's site:
http://www.foe.org/camps/comm/safefood/gefood/foodaid/cassava.ram
Video: Zambian groups show cassava, an abundant non-GMO African staple crop, as one alternative to corn (you need RealPlayer to view this) - Nov. 15, 2002

The government of Zambia has been clearly refusing the GM maize as food aid, and saying that there are food in the country that is not GMO. EU and Canada, Japan have sent cash donation for purchasing food locally.

Cash is what Zambia need right now, not GMO!

http://www.foe.org/new/releases/1102zam.html
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 15, 2002
Zambian NGO News Release: APPEAL TO ALLEVIATE HUNGER IN SOME PARTS OF ZAMBIA

The food crisis in our country is real. There are brothers, sisters and friends within our country who are in dire need of food and yet there are areas in Zambia with surplus alternative food crops to maize.

Having rejected the consumption of genetically modified (GM) maize as a country, the challenge we have is to mobilise local alternative food crops from areas of surplus to those in need. There is still some locally, produced maize available in some parts of the country, just as there is surplus cassava in the northern parts of the country.

In response to the food crisis in our country, international donor agencies have generously donated finances through the World Food Programme (WFP) and other organisations for the purchase of food for Zambia. We now appeal that the funds mobilised should be utilised to source non-GM food locally available.

We the undersigned are also appealing to all Zambians, individuals and institutions, as well as well wishers to donate generously in cash or in kind to this cause. At this critical stage we should stop looking only at Donor agencies elsewhere. Instead, we have to take responsibility of our situation as Zambians and mobilise the local surpluses as our frontline response strategy. We are convinced that we (Zambians and our friends living in Zambia) are generous people. We have demonstrated this in the past by responding to various disaster situations that affected our neighbourhood and beyond and including the most recent Mozambican floods.

Please make contributions through Citibank Lusaka Branch where all the listed Bank Accounts below are based.

Christian Council of Zambia (CCZ)
Church House, Cairo road
P.O. Box 30315, Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone: 229551 and 224622
Fax: 224308.
E- mail: ccz@zamnet.zm
Bank account numbers:
Kwacha account 251057028
Foreign account: 251057036

Evangelical Fellowship of Zambia (EFZ)
Plot number 8665
KAMLoops Road,
P.O. Box 33862. Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone:292489 and 292663
E- mail: evafeza@zamnet.zm
Bank account numbers:
Kwacha account: 251260001
Foreign account: 251260028

Zambia Episcopal Conference (ZEC)
Kapingila House, Kabulonga,
P.O. Box 31965 Lusaka, Zambia
Telephone:260980 and 261789
Fax:260950
E- mail: zecdev@zamnet.zm
zecccio@zamnet.zm
Bank account name:
SOA24/2002 Emergency Food Operations
Bank account numbers:
251000484 (Foreign)

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HEADLINES OF THE WEEK: from the NGIN archive
http://ngin.tripod.com/nov02.htm
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29 November 2002
Avery's "comic" highlights from the World Food and Farming Congress
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102b.htm
GM labelling in Canada "just a matter of time"
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102c.htm
EU deal on GM labelling
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102c.htm
More on EU GM food and feed labelling from The Campaign
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102d.htm
Science Review details - articles and panel
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102a.htm
More on UK REVIEW OF GM SCIENCE
Government's press release
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
Science Media Centre press release c/o HM Government
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
Key issues from the Government website
http://ngin.tripod.com/291102e.htm
28 November 2002
"Wicked" USAID
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102a.htm
Biowatch in court/Zambia/Zimbabwe
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102a.htm
Abort the disabled
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm
Human-Mouse Hybrid
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm
Bioweapons
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102b.htm
Alternatives to GM in Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102c.htm
Appeal to alleviate hunger in some parts of Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/281102c.htm
27 November 2002
How long until Monsanto own the corn seed stocks in the US?
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102a.htm
Corn 'pharma' named - Pocahontas neighbors suspected something
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102a.htm
Farm News from Cropchoice
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102a.htm
US farm quotes
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102a.htm
Germany donates non-GM foods
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102b.htm
African consumers demand South Africa label GM foods
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102b.htm
Mississippi farmer to pay Monsanto $780,000 for "patent  infringement"
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102c.htm
UK Minister slams GM food aid
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102d.htm
More superweeds fears
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102e.htm
cancer-causing genes in animals and plants
http://ngin.tripod.com/271102e.htm
26 November 2002
Lord Sainsbury biotech cash conflict of interest
http://ngin.tripod.com/261102a.htm
African consumer leaders adopt a critical position with respect to GMOs
http://ngin.tripod.com/261102b.htm
25 November 2002
Hi-tech crops 'will not save poor' - The Guardian
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102a.htm
Avery over London - Londoners take cover!
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102a.htm
Canada afraid to upset US
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102b.htm
180,000 Canadians say ŚNo!‚ to patented seeds
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102b.htm
Governments have right to choose, admits WFP
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102c.htm
GeneWatch UK warns on GM experiments to create new life forms
http://ngin.tripod.com/251102d.htm
23 November 2002
THE WEEKLY WATCH NUMBER 7
http://ngin.tripod.com/231102a.htm
22 November 2002
Open Letter to Professor Tom Humphrey of the Food Standards Agency
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102a.htm
FSA confirms opposition to GM derivatives labels
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102a.htm
No one dying because of GM rejection - Zambia
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102b.htm
Agencies Pushing Zambia to Accept GM Foods Turned Down Invitation to
Talk to African consumer groups
http://ngin.tripod.com/221102c.htm

FOR THE COMPLETE NGIN ARCHIVE: http://ngin.tripod.com/nginlist.htm

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