ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

9 September 2002


items 2 & 3 via Agnet:
1. 2 Autumn crop trials for Scotland


1. 2 Autumn crop trials for Scotland

Trials approved for
Grid Reference Nearest village Location
NJ 751 305 Daviot Aberdeenshire
NO 429 252 Newport-on-Tay Fife



September 9, 2002
New York Times

Michael Hansen, research associate, Consumers Union, writes regarding, "Ranking Risks of Gene-Altered Animals" (editorial, Sept. 4) which says that food safety risks are "no great problem" and that the risk of allergic reactions may have "to be accepted if the nation wants genetically improved foods."

Allergic reactions can be fatal. There is no need to accept any increased risk of allergic reaction introduced into genetically engineered foods. The Food and Drug Administration could largely prevent such reactions if it required genetically engineered foods to be tested and approved before they go on the market, the way it does food additives.

There is even a protocol for the agency to follow: last year a panel convened by the Word Health Organization and led by the National Institutes of Health's top food allergy expert spelled out an appropriate testing regimen.



September 9, 2002
Food and Agriculture Organisation

Earlier this year the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) ran an electronic conference on gene flow - an issue of considerable consequence in New Zealand and Australia at the moment. The conference was entitled "Gene flow from GM to non-GM populations in the crop, forestry, animal and fishery sectors" and ran from 31 May to 5 July 2002. The following message was recieved from the Conference organisers. It was certainly one of the most successful of the seven conferences held so far. Firstly, because of the quality of the messages. Secondly because, although running for a shorter time period (5 weeks) than the other conferences (which lasted, on average, 9 weeks), more people joined (382) and sent messages (61) than in any other conference. One third of the messages were from participants in developing countries. The aim of the document is to provide a summary of the main arguments and concerns discussed during the conference, based on the messages posted by the participants. Discussions in the conference focused primarily on the issues concerning gene flow in the crop sector with only a small minority of messages dedicated solely to these issues in forest trees, fish or animals. The main topic of discussion was the real or potential ecological impact of GM gene flow (in addition to assessment of ecological risk of gene flow). Three other topics were given good coverage
i) economic aspects of GM gene flow,
ii) strategies to limit gene flow and
iii) whether GMOs are fundamentally different from coventionally bred organisms (thus entailing new gene flow hazards).
Finally, three topics given minor attention were
i) philisophical/ethical aspects of GM gene flow,
ii) gene flow in centres of origin and
iii) GM gene flow to organic agriculture.
The document has been put on the Forum website at All messages posted during
the conference are available on the Forum website at  Any comments on the document are welcome.
A special thanks to those who participated.
A shorter version of the Summary Document will be prepared later.
Forum Administrator e-mail:
FAO website
Forum website
FAO Biotechnology website
p.s. The Summary Document, together with the Background Document to the conference, will be put together into a single Information Document for people attending the 9th Regular Session of the Commission on Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture, to be held 14-18 October 2002 at FAO Headquarters, Rome. The Information Document will be put on their website at
p.p.s. It is planned to run Conference 8 of the Forum in November 2002. The conference will consider the role that biotechnology (or different biotechnologies) should have in the agricultural research agenda in developing countries. More details will be provided later.

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