ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
Date:  8 December 2000


Three recent items from the Prakash list:
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From: “Gordon Couger” <>
Subject: Re: Greenpeace allegations

 [reply to Jim Thomas over accusation on AgBioView that Greenpeace had been responsible for the murder or manslaughter of a sailor]

Dear Jim,

I was mistaken and had the parties reversed.  I have apologized in the past and do so again. It was faulty memory not an intentional lie.  Greenpeace was the victim of a very evil deed and no matter how much I dislike their stand on issues the killing of a person in that manner is cowardly.

I agree that it particularly insulting to Greenpeace since they were the victim an not the ones that did it. At the time I wrote the post I remembered as I wrote it. My memory of the event was faulty I can offer no outer excuse except the truth.

I am posting this to you and to AgBioView the list that I posted the piece in question. I was wrong and I can say no more than that.

I offer this apology.
Gordon Couger Stillwater, OK
From: Andrew Apel <>


The vandals may have been found guilty, but the trial was poignant. On November 18, the Newcastle Chronicle & Journal reported on page 26 that one of the vandals “collapsed in tears” during the trial. Stephen Gordon, 26, “sobbed and at one point collapsed into his seat in tears, as he explained their defence and justified their actions.”  “’I am running out of things to eat and I’m not at all confident GM products will continue to be labelled sufficiently,” he said.

Gives one a sense of the degree of absolute terror which grips these zealots—or else the extent of acting talent these Brits are famous for.
*  *  *
From: Craig Sams <>

A Plea to Set Aside Paranoia

As an organic food manufacturer of thirty years standing and an interested observer in the AgBioView forum I feel that I must set out my concern at the paranoia and rage about the ‘Organic Food Industry’ and its imagined sneaky plotting in support of Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace to get them to do our dirty work for us and boost sales of our products.

There is no doubt that environmental organisations have been effective, thanks to their broad membership base, in slowing down the onslaught of genetically engineered foods. Hendrik Verfaille, the President of Monsanto, has acknowledged that Monsanto rushed into the introduction of genetically-engineered food within sufficient concern for the impact on consumers, non GM farmers and organic farmers. At a meeting in London last year he and his team expressed concern at how much alarm and commercial damage Monsanto’s actions had caused. CEO Robert Shapiro misjudged the market badly and put all his shareholders’ eggs in the GM basket.
Monsanto was only saved from collapse by a takeover.

Remember, it is the “Organic Food Industry” that has had to bear the burden of cost of analysis and testing to ensure that the integrity of its products could be maintained in the face of cross contamination and cross contact with GM foods.  Nobody has offered any compensation for the
massive disruption to the organic market that GM foods has brought. The market has been growing at an average 40% per annum for more than a decade, long before GM foods were introduced. Sure,some new organic consumers have arisen from the desire to avoid GM foods, but these are typically people who are also concerned about pesticide residues, artificial colorings,
flavorings, preservatives, hydrogenated fat, aspartame, phosphoric acid, monosodium glutamate and suchlike, so they were going organicanyway to avoid these ingredients.

The “Organic Food Industry” nowadays includes Nestle, General Mills, Heinz, Safeway, major UK retailers own brands (Tesco alone has over 300 private labelorganic lines), Unilever and Mars, to name just a few of the leading lights of the industry.

These companies have reviewed the arguments, considered the market research, looked at the demographics of the organic consumer and the way the wind is blowing and either bought or created organic brands to reach this market. They have invested heavily to reach premium consumers who are generally no richer than the average consumer, but weight their purchasing
decisions more heavily towards food and preventive health than towards cars, clothes, travel or other consumer areas. These companies do not want to see their investment undermined by careless planting and handling of genetically engineered crops and, like the average consumer, don’t see what’s in it for them.

The fact is that many large manufacturers and retailers are distinctly uncomfortable at the prospect of a handful of biotech companies having a stranglehold on the basic elements in the food
supply chain and their primary duty is to their own shareholders, not to Monsanto’s or Syngenta’s shareholders.

Craig Sams, President Whole Earth Foods Ltd

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