from Andy Rees, the WEEKLY WATCH editor
Dear all

Welcome to WW34 bringing you all the latest news in brief in the week that saw the publication of the report of the Government's GM Science Review Panel (SRP).

Former Environment Minister Michael Meacher called the report a "public scandal".  "This is just a rehash of existing reports and includes no data of systematic trials to test GM food safety.  This is Iraq Mark 2: there is no supporting evidence for action, the public don't like it and the Government seems determined to over-rule all opposition."

The lead author on the report's risk assessment chapter was an employee of Monsanto.  A scientist who quit the SRP in disgust dismissed it as, "Naive, narrow and biased". (TOPIC OF THE WEEK 1)

Unsurprisingly, a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association shows that industry-sponsored studies are nearly four times more likely to reach pro-industry conclusions than are studies by scientists who are not industry-sponsored. (FACTS OF THE WEEK)

Hope you enjoy WW34, and please circulate widely!

Andy <This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.>

TOPIC OF THE WEEK 1 - GM science review a 'public scandal'
OTHER HIGHLIGHTS OF THE WEEK - GM animal death toll / glyphosate study
ARTICLE OF THE WEEK - Pusztai interview: The Gene Genie
REPORT OF THE WEEK 1 - Biotech money-in-politics
TOPIC OF THE WEEK 2 - EU: green light for GM, red for democracy?

TOPIC OF THE WEEK 1 - GM science review a 'public scandal'
The Science Review Panel's report can be download here:

Even before its publication last Monday, the UK Government's long awaited GM science review was mired in controversy. But no one was quite prepared for the bombshells that started exploding as the Science Review Panel reported.

Here are some headlines of the week:

GM inquiry exposed as top scientist quits

Inquiry call over threat to scientist,9061,1006219,00.html

The GM plot: Scientist tried to sabotage work of top academic

Dissenting adviser quits GM panel,9061,1002057,00.html

Naive, narrow and biased...
Carlo Leifert explains why he resigned from the GM science review panel,12981,1004400,00.html

Back in March, The Observer was already reporting escalating concerns over the review "amid accusations it has sidestepped topics such as potential health effects". It also noted the high number of those on the panel with "strong pro-GM views". These included "consultants to Lord Sainsbury's biotech investment company Diatech Ltd, employees of Monsanto and Syngenta, and those who have attacked organic food - the nemesis of the GM lobby - as poisonous."
[Fury over spin on GM crops, The Observer, March 9, 2003,2763,910628,00.html]

Out of the 25 scientists on the science review panel (SRP), only 2 - Prof Carlo Leifert and Dr Andrew Stirling - were nominated by groups critical of GM crops. This makes a marked contrast with the more balanced composition of the Government's Agricultural and Environmental Biotechnology Commission (AEBC) or of the Independent Steering Board appointed to oversee the Public Debate.

In the March article one of the review panelists was quoted as saying, "The general feeling - including some of those people who are pro-GM - is that the review is clearly designed to achieve something other than an objective assessment of the issues.",2763,910628,00.html

The methods used to achieve that goal have turned out not just to include weighting  the panel in a staunchly pro-GM direction. Of the two sceptical panelists one, Prof Carlo Leifert, subsequently resigned in disgust at the biased and superficial way the review was being conducted and for fear that the funding for his research would be jeopardised if he failed to tow the party line.

Then, within days of the publication of the report, it became plain that Leifert wasn't the only one who'd felt under pressure. The publication of minutes of a panel meeting in late June revealed how an attempt had been made by a leading pro-GM scientist associated with the review - an individual said to be in a privileged academic and/or regulatory position - to undermine Dr Stirling's reputation and future funding.

Even more startling than the atmosphere of fear and intimidation that seems to have prevailed during the review is the role played by the biotech industry's representatives on the panel.

According to one source, "Whenever the information being examined appeared critical of GM, it was just rubbished. The panel had made up its mind before it sat down... Carlo complained about biotech companies being on the science panel because of the risk they would intimidate the others. They have dominated the panel."
[GM enquiry exposed as top scientist quits]

The clearest example of that domination is that the safety assessment section of the review was given to Dr Andrew Cockburn, an employee of Monsanto, to write.,9061,1002057,00.html,12981,1004400,00.html

For Leifert this was, "the last straw... It seemed incredibly naive to me to have someone whose interest is in selling GM to do the risk assessment chapter."

Cockburn, as one might expect, is a staunch defender of the current safety assessments of GM crops and food: "genetically modified crops are as safe and nutritious as those derived from traditional crops." In a published review he claimed, "The lack of any adverse effects resulting from the production and consumption of GM crops grown on more than 300 million cumulative acres over the last 5 years supports these safety conclusions."

The safety section of the science review exactly follows these lines of argument. Leifert notes, "The report mentions that Americans have eaten GM food for about seven years now and they haven't suffered. But nobody has actually investigated the effect of GM consumption on public health in the US. The argument doesn't make sense, and to have it coming from a scientific panel is really quite sad."

Leifert's overall conclusion on the review: "I feel that the bias came from the strong lobby of pro-GM scientists and biotechnology representatives on the panel. They seem to be much more prepared to take little or no evidence as meaning no problem... One of the conclusions of the report is that we have to look at GM crops on a case-by-case basis. I wouldn't agree with that. Right now we still have to check that there isn't some inherent problem with the technology."
[Naive, narrow and biased...,12981,1004400,00.html]

As the week drew to a close, Patrick Holden of the Soil Association wrote an open letter to the Prime Minister urging Tony Blair to launch a formal investigation into the threats made against Dr Andrew Stirling.

Holden writes, "This appalling incident throws into doubt the integrity of the Science Review Panel's report, which was already in question after the resignation from the Panel of Professor Carlo Leifert (of Newcastle University) because of his concerns about the Panel's pro-GM bias. None of this helps advance the pro-GM case, and the main loser is the integrity of British Science."


The report argues that there is no evidence that eating GM foods poses a threat to health and concludes that GM crops are 'very unlikely to invade our countryside or become problematic plants'. However, the panel stopped short of giving blanket approval to the growing of GM crops in the UK, concluding that plans to grow GM plants should be approached on a case-by-case basis.

The report was immediately welcomed by the biotech industry, but condemned by former Environment Minister Michael Meacher who described it as a "public scandal". "They say that they have found no evidence that eating GM food causes a health risk but what I think is a public scandal is that no-one has actually looked for the evidence, it is just assumed."

Greenpeace chief scientist Dr Doug Parr said: "This committee was deliberately stacked with GM flag-wavers, but its so-called findings still come nowhere near justifying the risks. The report makes it clear there are areas of huge uncertainty.",9061,1002057,00.html

Gundula Azeez, of the Soil Association, commented, "Without more independent studies, all we have at the moment is an unproven hypothesis that GM foods are safe. Globally, there've been only 10 published studies of the health effects of GM food and feed.  Five, done in collaboration with biotechnology companies, found no negative effects on body organs. The other five were independent, and four of those found potentially negative changes which have not been explained."


On wildlife the report is not so cavalier, the widespread planting of GM crops in Britain could severely damage wildlife such as birds and insects. Some GM crops being considered for Britain, such as sugar beet and oilseed rape, are designed to survive the use of so-called "broad spectrum" herbicides that wipe out other weeds and plants. But that would threaten wildlife, such as skylarks which feed on the "fat-hen" weed growing in sugar beet fields, creating the "green deserts" feared by many naturalists. "This is perhaps the most serious potential harm," the report says.

The report also suggests that a new generation of weedkiller-resistant superweeds [which has been widely reported from Canada and the US] could be created in the future unless the Government and farming regulators are extremely careful about where and when different GM crops are used.  This risk is based on the fear that GM genes which are resistant to different weedkillers could "stack up" in weeds.


The Soil Association also welcomed the fact that the review recognised the huge uncertainties, and major areas that have simply not been investigated, in connection with GM crops and food.

On possible health effects, the SA notes that the report admits that "there has been no epidemiological monitoring of those consuming GM food, and that as far as post-marketing surveillance to detect potential human health effects of food...there is nothing yet available for GM foods in any country".

On the most crucial question for organic farmers, contamination of non-GM crops, the report says that while for some crops it may be possible to control gene flow "in other cases it may be difficult, if not impossible, to grow certain crops or use some existing farming practices".

Finally, it contradicts the claim by GM companies that GM crops are being grown on a large scale in dozens of countries around the world.  The report stresses that GM crops "occupy a relatively small proportion of the world's agricultural acreage" and that "Almost all (99%) of this was grown in only 4 countries". The report states that in fact 96% of all GM crops were grown in the USA, Argentina and Canada. Of GM crops grown worldwide 95% consist of just 3 crops, soybean, maize and cotton.

For a press summary of the report, see: Unexplored threat to health, wildlife and biodiversity (The Guardian, Tuesday July 22, 2003):

Although the Australian government has given the green light for the commercial release of genetically modified canola (oil seed rape), intense opposition has resulted in all but one state government imposing moratoriums on the planting of this crop.  In the last six months, the state governments of South Australia, Victoria, Western Australia and New South Wales have all announced moratoriums on the commercial release of canola.

While Queensland is the only state not to have announced a moratorium, Bayer's GM canola is not appropriate for the Queensland climate. Driving the state governments' change in policy is opposition to GM canola by farming interests including the Australian Wheat Board, the Australian Barley Board, Pulse Australia and even the grower of genetically engineered cotton, the Tynams Agricultural group.

Their opposition reflects the insistence by customers that their grain meet strict standards. Saudi Arabia, the world's largest importer of barley, has indicated that they may refuse to trade barley with Australia if it produces any commercial GM grain crop.

Meanwhile the South Australian Farmers' Federation (SAFF) is the only state-farming organisation to have surveyed its members about GM crops; it found 80% of farmers still had concerns about GM release. Alan Schinkel, a vegetable seed producer from Naracoorte, when asked if he thought farmers had been listened to, said, "No, not at all.  I think it's been driven from the top and the questions have been asked of the wrong people."

Starting from July 21 all GM foods will be labelled in markets in Beijing. The labelling news out of China comes on top of the recent news that 32 food companies, representing 53 brands in China, the world's biggest food market, have said they will not sell GM foods in the country.  Famous international brands are among those represented.  And according to a December 2002 survey, 87% of Chinese consumers demand labelling of GM products and 56% would choose non-GM food over GM if given the choice.

According to new mathematical models, developed by scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and the University of Minnesota-St. Paul, wild populations of agricultural crops could be obliterated by their genetically altered descendants in an evolutionary blink of an eye - a matter of just a few generations, possibly in less than a decade.

"There has been a lot of hand waving about the effects" of genetically modified organisms on wild populations of plants, said Don Waller, professor of botany and environmental studies at UW-Madison. "But this is solid evidence using a rigorous model" to show that these fears are founded.

Conserving the genetic integrity of wild plants, explains Dr Haygood, is important for protecting the survival of the plants themselves and maintaining their repository of advantageous traits, which can be used to improve crop health: "The fact is that most genes for crop improvement have come from wild relatives of those same crops."

"The potential ramifications are huge and diverse."  The researchers found that crop genes can rapidly take over wild populations and, sometimes, just a small increase in the rate of pollen flow [there are some indications GM can increase this] can make a big difference in the spread of a crop gene. When this happens, says Ives, "There's no going back. It's irreversible."

"Crop genes, even fairly deleterious ones, can easily become common in wild populations within 10 to 20 generations," says Haywood.

Although the research was published in a journal of the UK's Royal Society, it has received next to no publicity in the UK. This contrasts with the Broom's Barn research that the RS hyped heavily on publication back in January as demonstrating that GM crops could save the skylark!

British farmers who have previously grown GM oil seed rape as part of the Government's farm scale evaluations have been told that they mustn't grow conventional oil seed rape on the same land this autumn.  The move follows fears that this might result in the non-GM rape suffering from significant levels of GM contamination.

The Confédération Paysanne is intensifying its anti-GM actions. After the crop-pulling, on 19 July, at Brax of a first experimental field of GM maize belonging to Bayer Crop Science, the peasants union has also "neutralised" an insecticidal maize, tested by GEVES. A further action followed, on 22 July, with the help of ATTAC, the collective "GM Danger" and the support of the Green member for Europe, Hélène Flautre. Seven people arrested on Tuesday were still being held as of Thursday 24 July.

"We want to show that our determination is as great as ever in acting in the battle against GM. The imprisonment of José Bové will not make us stand down", says Bruno Galloo, head of the the Confédération Paysanne for Picardie. "In Corsica, one sees today fire leaping over 2 kilometres, with the wind. And they want us to believe that pollen, lighter than these cinders, will not spread."

After years of behind-the-scenes negotiations, Canadian industry may finally be ready to adopt food labels identifying products containing GMOs.  However, consumer groups say the process is hopelessly flawed because industry's been in the driver's seat. They point to polls saying a majority of Canadians want mandatory labelling, while this initiative will be voluntary.  According to a recent survey by the Consumers Council of Canada, 68% of Canadians are unsure that GM food is safe.

Economic disaster: US, Canadian farmers issue warning vs. GM crops
Don't be fooled warn Canadian farmers
- Stewart Wells said: "UK farmers should not be fooled."
- Lyle Wright, a Canadian NFU member who accompanied him, said: "The promises come first and only later come the realities of contamination and genetic pollution, higher seed costs, market loss and superweeds."
Canadian and U.S. farm groups unite on transgenic wheat ban
Canadian NFU calls for compensation for "genetic pollution"
Canadian Farmers viewpoint
National Farmers Union - Canada

Extensive study into glyphosate welcomed
Glyphosate - the active ingredient in roundup the chemical used with Monsanto's GM herbicide resistant crops - is to be the subject of an extensive study by a parliamentary committee in New Zealand. UK NFU president Stewart Wells has pointed to studies linking glyphosate-based herbicides to an increase in fusarium, a black fungus.  Laboratory feeding studies on rats, with a mycotoxin produced by the fungus Fusarium moniliforme caused acute liver injury, chronic liver injury progressing to cirrhosis, and sometimes terminating in hepatocellular carcinoma or cholangiocarcinoma. A Danish study has also reported that glyphosate has contaminated drinking water up to five times above the acceptable level.  This refutes the assumption that glyphosate is bound in soil and questions the safety of glyphosate use as a herbicide. New research shows glyphosate applied preharvest induces shikimic acid accumulation in hard red spring wheat (Triticum aestivum).  Shikimic acid content was 3-fold greater in flour and 2-fold greater in the bread derived from treated wheat than non-treated wheat.
GM animal death toll continues its dramatic rise
Government statistics show GM animals are now deployed in a quarter of all experiments, although no information is available to the public on where and why animals are being genetically modified and cloned in the UK. 

Home Office figures published in 2000 showed a 14% rise in scientific procedures involving genetically modified animals between 1998 and 1999, up by 63,000 to 511,000.  Last year GeneWatch warned that a failure to tighten regulations could mean up to 700,000 animals a year in the UK would be genetically altered for research.  Now figures for 2002 show that just GM mice and rats alone were involved in well over 700,000 experiments, representing an 11% increase on the previous year, while there were over 2.73 million regulated procedures involving GM animals, an increase of 110,000 over 2001 figures.

Mice, rats and other rodents account for 84% of the 2002 total, and fish and birds for much of the remainder, but there were also GM experiments involving hundreds of dogs, cats, horses and primates.

In fact, the figures understate the problem as they take no account of "wasted" animals - animals bred for their tissues and then discarded or animals rejected because their genetic modifications did not work.

Experimentation with the cloning and genetic modification of animals has risen by well over 800 per cent in the past decade.,6903,722448,00.html
Cloning's death sentence
ISIS reports how Ian Wilmut, father of Dolly the cloned sheep, passed the death sentence on cloning when he admitted cloning is "very inefficient", due to "inappropriate expression of many genes" and "failure of 'reprogramming'". Only 0-4% of embryos reconstructed using adult or foetal somatic cells develop to become live young.

Although cloning animals is no longer considered a commercially viable option, many researchers are still arguing for 'therapeutic' human cloning, involving cloned human embryos that are sacrificed to produce embryonic stem cells for tissue replacement, a procedure that most people find objectionable on ethical grounds. The abnormalities in gene expression and 'reprogramming' that dog animal cloning still affect the embryonic stem cells, raising serious safety concerns. But these concerns are generally being ignored.
A cautionary tale in Science
It's interesting to contrast the treatment of scientists whose work has thrown up questions about genetic engineering with the treatment of scientists whose behaviour is genuinely reprehensible but which poses no threat to the corporate science agenda.

Max Withers writes, "...a cautionary tale in [the journal] Science on the demise of "chimeraplasty", a gene therapy technique reported in said magazine and PNAS in 1996.  It was alleged to work 50% of the time. More than 30 labs have since failed to replicate the results.

So much for peer-reviewed publication. It hasn't stopped the NIH from giving Eric Kmiec, the man responsible, more than $2 million, in taxpayers dollars, in the intervening period.  All this despite a flurry of letters to Science after the initial publication, explaining why the results were rubbish.  Not to mention the checkered past of Mr Kmiec.

Is it irrational to assume that no one was too worried about an obviously fake technique by an obvious charlatan because it told a nice story about how the march of science was going to save the children (the alleged work was even done on sickle-cell anemia) and make everyone a load of money, generating a convenient VC sinkhole for 90's investors? No one retracted it, disawoved its publication, or suggested -- nay, demanded -- that Kmiec be fired. All of which befell Quist and Chapela for publishing a demonstrably true (if possibly methodologically flawed) story about scientific hubris..."

ARTICLE OF THE WEEK:  Pusztai interview - The Gene Genie
Excerpts from an interview with Dr Arpad Pusztai in the Sunday Herald:

Pusztai points out that the changes his research team found in the guts of rats, during his research on GM potatoes, could trigger cancers.  He worries reproductive potential could be damaged and thinks his work on potatoes could have implications for other GM crops.

"The technology which they use to create GM soya and GM corn and GM tomatoes was exactly the same as we used for creating the GM potatoes. And our results actually pointed in the direction that it was the technology which was at fault," he says.

Dr Pusztai remains convinced the introduction of GM food would be a big mistake.  "The downside is fantastically dangerous," he says.  "The present generation of GM is certainly rubbish.  The sooner we can get rid of it, the better.  We do not know the outcome, and we are playing with fire.  And when we do know the outcome, it may be too late to reverse it."

Pusztai is very critical of the current arrangements for checking on the safety of GM foods in Britain.  "The Advisory Committee on Novel Foods and Processes as the regulatory authority has no laboratory of its own. So, therefore, they have to rely on the data they get from the GM companies...  Can you really imagine that a GM company, or any company for that matter, will disclose data which will question the safety of their product?  It's preposterous.  The whole thing is a sham."


REPORT OF THE WEEK:  Biotech money-in-politics
Capital Eye is a money-in-politics newsletter published by the Center for Responsive Politics. Its latest report on the biotech industry is full of fascinating detail. Here are some excerpts:

BASF, Bayer, Dow Chemical's Dow AgroSciences, DuPont, Monsanto and Syngenta  have spent big bucks to influence the regulations governing their industry.  From 1998-2002, the companies spent more than $53 million to lobby the federal government.  Since 1989, the companies have contributed more than $12 million in individual, PAC and soft money donations, 77% to Republicans.

Dow Chemical:  The biotech industry's No. 1 election campaign contributor donating more than $4.5 million in individual, PAC and soft money donations since 1989, 80% to Republicans. Dow Chemical produces a medley of GM foods through its subsidiaries Dow AgroSciences and Mycogen Seeds

Monsanto:  Monsanto has spent $21 million on lobbying since 1998, more than any other biotech company.  In 2002, the company contributed more than $1 million to a campaign to block Oregon's proposed GM food labeling law.  One of Monsanto's former lobbyists, Linda Fisher, is now the No. 2 official at the Environmental Protection Agency and a candidate to become the agency's new chief.

Biotech pharmaceutical companies and BIO have contributed another $13 million in donations since 1989.  Between 1998 and 2002, they spent an additional $89 million lobbying Congress, the FDA and the White House - $14 million of this from BIO, the trade group which the industry created in 1993 to represent its interests in Washington.  Biotech has had a hand in shaping issues including patent protection and homeland security.

During the 2002 election cycle, food processing companies gave $11.5 million in individual, PAC and soft money donations. That's three times the $3.4 million the biotech companies gave during the same period. And major food companies including General Mills, Nestle and Pepsico contributed to the $5 million campaign to defeat Oregon's Measure 27 requiring the labeling of GM foods.

Back in 1999, when the Food and Drug Administration first began to pay serious attention to the issue, more than three dozen food and agriculture trade associations formed the Alliance for Better Foods to promote biotech crops to Congress and the American public.  A spokesman for the Grocery Manufacturers of America (GMA) told a Senate panel, "Acting together, food companies, lawmakers, scientists, farmers and regulators must work to ensure that activists with a political agenda do not kill the promise of biotech foods."  But more recently after first Stalink and then the Prodigene GM pharma contamination incidents the GMA has started to approach the activities of the biotech industry more critically.

TOPIC OF THE WEEK 2 - EU: green light for GM, red for democracy?
The EU has completed its legislative framework governing GMOs with the adoption on Tuesday of two European Commission proposals. One establishes a system to trace and label GM products, and another regulates the marketing and labeling of GM food and feed products.

The rules, passed by the European Parliament early this month, will apply 20 days after their publication in the EU's official journal. Diplomats said this would be in September. Theoretically this could lead to a lifting of the EU moratorium.

France, one of the original six EU countries that demanded strict EU legislation on labelling and traceability before it could contemplate cultivating new GM varieties, said, "The question of whether or not to lift the ban will be raised once the rules apply".

Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the European Environmental Bureau condemned the European Commission's recommendation this week on co-existence between GM and non-GM crops.   The Commission says that GM contamination of organic crops should be allowed.  It says that new GM labelling rules should apply to "conventional and organic farming alike".

Friends of the Earth Europe's GM campaigner Clare Oxborrow said: "Moves to allow organic  crops to be contaminated with GM pollution are totally unacceptable, and could lead to the  death of organic food and farming.

The European Commission's recommendation will not be legally binding.  EU member states therefore have the right to take more far reaching measures to protect organic and conventional crops from GM contamination.  The Commission recommended that "measures of a regional dimension could be considered" to prevent GM contamination.  This may open the door to regional bans on GM crops although the Commission denies that either national governments or regional or local authorities have the right to introduce such bands.

Friends of the Earth point out that on Wednesday, Somerset County Council voted to go GM-free, and Cumbria County Council followed suit on Thursday.  The Welsh National Assembly, Devon, Dorset, Lancashire, Cornwall, Warwickshire, Shropshire, South Gloucestershire and the Lake District National Park have already backed GM-free policies.

"The right to eat GM-free food will be severely compromised if GM crops are grown on a large scale.  The Commission must accept that no one wants GM foods and that public authorities have every right to protect their consumers and environment."

There are calls for Member States to reject the recommendations and bring in tough legislation to prevent genetic contamination and ensure real consumer choice.

"If whoever's buying our products doesn't want GMO products, why in hell would we want to try and grow them?" - Alan Schinkel, a vegetable seed producer from South Australia

"[The] regulatory authority has... to rely on the data they get from the GM companies... Can you really imagine that a GM company, or any company for that matter, will disclose data which will question the safety of their product? It's preposterous. The whole thing is a sham." - Dr Arpad Pusztai on the current arrangements for checking on the safety of GM foods in Britain

"There is no doubt inside the corridors of power that the agenda is effectively being driven by [Lord] Sainsbury and the biotech corporations. It is being aided and abetted by the FSA, where [the agency's chair] Sir John Krebs is now unaffectionately known as 'GM Joe'" - Labour Member of Parliament, Alan Simpson

"One of the conclusions of the report is that we have to look at GM crops on a case-by-case basis. I wouldn't agree with that. Right now we still have to check that there isn't some inherent problem with the technology." - Prof Carlo Leifert of Newcastle University,12981,1004400,00.html

According to a survey of senior scientists in Germany (Nature 424, 117; 2003), 80% feel that misconduct is a major problem in clinical research. This outcome is consistent with a recent study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA), which reveals a significant association between industry sponsorship and pro-industry results (J. E. Bekelman, Y. Li & C. P. Gross, J. Am. Med. Assoc. 289, 454-465; 2003). The JAMA analysis concludes that industry-sponsored studies are nearly four times more likely to reach pro-industry conclusions than are studies that are not industry-sponsored.
Nature 424, 369 (24 July 2003); doi:10.1038/424369c

A study conducted by Rabo India show that the global market for organic food is expected to touch $23-25 billion by 2003 and $29-31 billion by 2005.  About 65% of India's cropped area is unirrigated, where the farming practices are still largely 'organic by default' and yet they produce sufficient food. Use of chemical fertilisers are comparatively low in eastern and northeastern parts of the country and yet there is sufficient food production. This explodes the myth that our output would fall if we go back to organic farming.

"Interesting Dr Borlaug told me, 'Rachel Carlson is an evil force,' adding, 'these are the people who do not want hunger to be eliminated.' Ironically, approximately 25 years after Rachel Carlson's book was first published, Dr Borlaug seems to have finally bowed to public opinion. He is now advocating the use of genetic engineering to reduce the use of harmful pesticides! Pesticides were safe as long as the industry's commercial interests needed protection. Since the same industry has now moved to life sciences, and has a huge stake in promoting GM foods and crops, scientists too have jumped onto the more lucrative biotech bandwagon." - Devinder Sharma, 'GM foods: the art of public deception'

"The rally ended at the 'speaker's corner'... Among the speakers, the highlight was Barun Mitra, director of the Liberty Institute in Delhi, India (yes, the subcontinent has its own neocon think-tank). He was there, surrounded by South Africa's urban poor, to award a 'bullshit award' to the opponents of biotechnology. The award was a real beauty: two huge lumps of what appeared to be the real deal. While he spoke, I tried to make conversation with three women wearing brand-new t-shirts with pro-biotech slogans. They smiled shyly; none of them could speak or read English. As bullshit awards go, it was a golden moment." James MacKinnon, 'Astroturf uncovered in grassroots protest'

More GM Fields Destroyed In France
Public suspicion forces GM rethink
GM science review answers few questions
A cautionary tale in Science
EU Commission to ban bans on GMOs
Monsanto's Science Director wrote UK's safety assessment
Dissenting adviser quits GM panel
Pusztai interview - The Gene Genie
GM animals push lab test stats up - a quarter of all experiments
GM foods - Art of Deception/India's Future Lies In Organic Farming
More on Science Review
Science review - 'the truth'?
Astroturf uncovered in grassroots protest
Biotech money-in-politics - a new report
EU ministers approve GM label rules
GM Freedom Fighters?
GM inquiry exposed as top scientist quits
Unexplored threat to health, wildlife and biodiversity
EU Commission backs farmers who want to grow GM crops
Extensive study into glyphosate welcomed by GM Free NZ
Another Science Review Panelist complains of pressure and intimidation
Europe Completes Laws Governing Transgenic Food and Feed
GM labels for China and Canada/GM-free news from South Australia
Models show gene flow from GM crops threatens wild plants
Debate, what debate?
Deplorable Attack on GM Critic
GM opponents angry over canola approval
Modified crops could erase wild counterparts, study says
UK has no option but to allow GM crops commercialisation - DuPont man
Blair urged to identify Government scientific advisor who threatened
anti-GM scientist

If you think the UK government should ban the genetic modification and cloning of animals, here's what you can do:
For more on this issue see GeneWatch's report: Genetically Modified and Cloned Animals. All in a Good Cause?

To subscribe to the 'GMW daily' list
send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the message:
'subscribe GMW daily'
You'll receive up to 30 mails a week

To subscribe to the 'WEEKLY WATCH'
send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the message:
'subscribe WEEKLY WATCH'
You'll receive 1 mail a week with a news roundup
Those subscribed to the daily list will receive the WEEKLY WATCH

To subscribe to 'GMWATCH' (monthly)
send an e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. with the message:
'subscribe GMWATCH'
You'll receive 1 mail a month with a news roundup
Those subscribed to the daily bulletins and WEEKLY WATCH will receive GMWATCH automatically

To unsubscribe to any of the these lists:
just mail us saying 'unsubscribe' and specifying which list

archived at:

GMWATCH website:

Donations made out to 'NGIN':
NGIN, 26 Pottergate, Norwich, NR2 1DX, United Kingdom
or e-mail for details: This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.