ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

28 September 2002


1. The Real Board of Directors
2.  Loony toons: ‘twas Charlie what done it


1. The Real Board of Directors

The Real Board of Directors:

The Construction of Biotechnology Policy in Canada, 1980-2002

This is a study by Devlin Kuyek which, in meticulous detail, describes who has actually been making the decisions about biotechnology--indeed, about health policy, science policy, and much more--for more than two decades. The picture he draws is devastating.

The report is available here as a PDF file. You will need a PDF reader like the free Acrobat Reader, available from Adobe. Modem users: this is a large file that will require patience to download.

Download the report.
Size: 1.7 MB

The whole document (88 pages, 200+ footnotes) can be ordered by mail
($10 plus $3 postage) from

The Ram's Horn
S-6, C-27, RR #1
Sorrento, BC V0E 2W0


2.  Loony toons: 'twas Charlie what done it

It's loony toons time again. A couple of weeks ago a biotech proponent claimed it was NGIN's campaigning that had "poisoned the waters" for genetic engineering. According to Julian Kinderlerer, however, it's all down to the Prince of Wales.

It was Charles, apparently, who sparked the whole outcry against GMOs and shot down a "top seller" GM tomato paste (you'd be hard put to find anyone in the UK who's ever even heard of this "top seller"). How? By an article on his website.

Such claims, as we noted before, ludicrously distort the impact of a global movement of opposition that has been remarkable for its strength, endurance and above all diversity. We also quoted comments based on a review of 100 country reports from US embassies around the world:

"If you think that genetically modified organisms (GMOs) aren't on every country's hot list, think again. From Poland to Korea to Australia to Mexico, GMOs are getting hit with consumer demonstrations, academic studies, government food labeling orders and outright bans." []

According to the article below, "Kinderlerer said Britain's biotechnology community has done a poor job combating the negative press."

Hardly surprising when GE proponents have such trouble engaging with reality!


Royalty hurts GM cause

September 27, 2002
Western Producer
Sean Pratt

Julian Kinderlerer, assistant director of Britain's Sheffield Institute of Biotechnology, was cited as telling the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference 2002, held in Saskatoon last week that Charles, Prince of Wales, was the catalyst that sparked the outcry against genetically modified organisms in the United Kingdom with an article he published on his website in 1998 which stated, "Mixing genetic material from species that cannot breed naturally takes us into areas that should be left to God. We should not be meddling with the building blocks of life in this way."

He followed that up with a 1999 article published in the Daily Mail, one of the country's largest tabloid newspapers, in which he said the United Kingdom doesn't need GM food at all.

The prince also said that people who wish to be sure that they are eating or growing "real food" will be denied that choice if conventional or organic crops become contaminated by GM crops grown nearby.

Kinderlerer said the Prince's words sparked a media frenzy.

The professor said there is a growing rift between the Americas where there is "broad acceptance" of agricultural biotechnology, and Europe where there is "broad rejection" of genetically modified crops.

The stories and opinion pieces in the British press had a crushing effect on sales of GM products in that country, best exemplified by what happened to Zeneca's GM tomato paste, which was a top seller in Britain prior to the prince's comments.

"Within two months sales fell to zero."

Kinderlerer said Britain's biotechnology community has done a poor job combating the negative press.

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