"Biohazards: The Next Generation? - Genetically Engineering Crop Plants that Manufacture Industrial and Pharmaceutical Proteins (Revised version, 2001) written and researched by Brian Tokar (Institute for Social Ecology) for the Edmonds Institute http://www.biotech-info.net/biohazards.html
"US scientist’s GM call" - "A LEADING American scientist yesterday welcomed the debate about genetically modified crops, but said that the scientific arguments in their favour must be put more forcefully. Describing much of the debate about genetic engineering and GM crops in the UK as "rubbish" and "trivialised", according to Professor Richard Flavell, chief scientific officer with the global grain business Ceres" [also former director of JIC and on board of ISAAA] (The Scotsman)
"Twist in GM corn debate" - "Fears that genetically engineered corn can harm butterflies were furthered on Monday, with the release of six environmental studies in the United States and Canada. Long-awaited results of field trials indicate that a type of genetically engineered corn is toxic to black swallowtail caterpillars." (BBC Online)
"Scientists find type of GM corn harms butterflies" - "There is new concern about a type of GM corn after field trials showed it harms butterflies... The problems are with a [Syngenta] variety called Knockout corn which has a particularly high level of the toxin in its pollen."
"Modified Corn Studies" - "The Environmental Protection Agency's recent review of studies of genetically engineered corn (Business Day, Sept. 8) is hardly reassuring. After five years of allowing the environmental release of the crop, scientists found that a variety of gene-altered corn could be toxic to monarch and black swallowtail butterflies. But Greenpeace and dozens of farm and environmental organizations warned the E.P.A. in our 1997 legal petition about studies showing that genetically engineered crops could pose a hazard to non-target organisms like beneficial insects. The E.P.A.'s regulatory philosophy seems to be to first allow these crops to threaten the environment and then study the risks. This approach puts biotechnology industry interests ahead of environmental protection." (Charles Margulis, New York Times)
"Greenpeace Condemns European Patent for GM Fish" - "PARIS - Ecologist group Greenpeace condemned on Monday the granting of a European patent for a genetic tweak that can make salmon grow eight times larger than normal. Greenpeace France said the Munich-based European Patent Office (EPO) granted Canadian company Seabright Corporation a patent for a genetically modifiedAtlantic salmon and all other fish species carrying an additional gene for faster growth." (Reuters)
"French GM critics urge Jospin to ban GM crops" - "PARIS - French radical farmers asked Prime Minister Lionel Jospin to ban open-field testing of genetically modified (GM) crops and called a meeting on the weekend to hack down yet another GM test field in France." (Reuters)
"Conflict of Interest: Sponsorship, Authorship, and Accountability" - Until recently, academic, independent clinical investigators were key players in design, patient recruitment, and data interpretation in clinical trials... The academic enterprise has been a critical part of the process... But, as economic pressures mount, this may be a thing of the past. Many clinical trials are performed to facilitate regulatory approval of a device or drug rather than to test a specific novel scientific hypothesis." (comments from an editorial released simultaneously by members of the International Committee of Medical Journal Editors/ New England Journal of Medicine, v.345, n.11 13sep01)
"Finnie to press on with GM crop trials" - Ross Finnie, the rural development minister, yesterday vowed to press on with controversial GM crop trials, despite criticism from a government body over lack of public consultation. The Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology Commission attacked the location of some of the field evaluation sites, the absence of consultation with local people and the very short notification given. The commission said this made it seem the trials "have been conceived and designed in a secretive way, with key players not fully engaged". Mr Finnie said yesterday... "These trials themselves were far too far down the road before the public were properly engaged. Five or six or seven years ago, when the GM seeds being used in these trials were being developed, it was very clear that there ought to have been a very much wider debate about what was being developed." (The Scotsman)
"Councils issued with GMO information kits" - "Councils across Australia are being sent information kits on gene technology and biotechnology to help them make more informed decisions. A survey by Commonwealth Government agency Biotechnology Australia showed 80 per cent of councils felt they did not have enough information about Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs),particularly when making decisions about whether to become GMO free." (Australian Broadcasting Corp.)
"Philippine farmers ravage GM corn test site" - "SINGAPORE - Philippine farmers ravaged a test field for genetically modified (GM) corn in Mindanao in the first attack of its kind in Asia, an official from U.S. biotechnology giant Monsanto Co said last week. Charles Martin, corporate communications official from Monsanto, told Reuters ... farmers from outside the region of Pampakan were paid for the attack last week by non-governmental organisations of communist farmers and labour unions... (Reuters)
"In defense of the precautionary principle" - "Lack of democratic process has been a primary source of contention surrounding GM crops and food. Under the precautionary principle, not only is this ethically unacceptable, it is an impoverished procedure for making decisions about a technology that now affects (voluntarily or not) millions of people and many other species throughout the world." (Correspondence in Nature Biotechnology, Vol. 19, No. 9, pages 811-812, September 2001)
HANDFUL OF CORPORATIONS DOMINATES COMMERCIAL AGRICULTURE - "In the past decade, the worldwide value of corporate mergers and acquisitions increased from US$462 billion in 1990 to over US$3.5 trillion in 2000, roughly 12% of total world economic output. This concentration of corporate power has affected most sectors of the global economy at the same time as disparities between the rich and poor have grown sharply: according to the United Nations Development Programme, the richest 1% of the world's population receives as much income as the poorest 57%. The agriculture industry has been affected by such concentration: the top 10 seed firms now control 30% of the US$24.4 billion commercial seed market and the top 10 agrochemical corporations control 84% of the US$30 billion agrochemical market." (PANUPS)
"Europe invites biotech debate" - "PARIS - Desperate to catch up with the United States on the cutting edge of biotech discovery, European governments face one major hurdle that has nothing to do with science or money: their voters. Europeans are increasinglyskeptical about genetic engineering, whether it be the genetic modification of crops such as corn, or the cloning of human cells. And their doubts have had an impact: the European Union has approved no new genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for the past three years." (Christian Science Monitor)
"Straight Talk About Biotechnology" - a new educational website, sponsored by DuPont. Straight Talk provides information about biotechnology in an environment that encourages open discussion. Straight Talk includes a newsroom that is updated each day, as well as up-to-date and apparently complete 'Links and Resources'.