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Front Page or Contents
Environmental News & Issues (Decemberber 1999)
Environmental News & Issues (November 1999)
Environmental News & Issues (October 1999)
Envrionmental News & Issues Historicals (previous dates from Sept. 1999)
Monsanto News and Views
GM FOOD BANNED IN MONSANTO
The Times of India, via News Plus
December 22, 1999
London - Genetically modified food has been banned from the staff
cafeteria at Monsanto Co.'s UK headquarters by the company's own
caterer, GM food giant Monsanto confirmed on Tuesday.
Granada Food Services, whose customers include Monsanto's High Wycombe
office near London, recently told clients it would not supply food
containing GM soya and GM maize due to customer concerns.
In a statement to clients, Granada said the move was designed "to
ensure that you, the customer, can feel confident in the food we serve." (AP)
By Dr. Vandana Shiva
CorporationWatch August 1999
Over the past few years, Monsanto, a chemical company, has positioned
itself as an agricultural company through control over seed the first link in the food chain.
Monsanto now wants to control water, the very basis of life.
In 1996, Monsanto bought the biotechnology assets of Agracetus, a
subsidiary of W.R. GRACE, for $150 million and Calagene, a California
based plant biotechnology company for $340 million. In 1997, Monsanto
acquired Holden seeds, the Brazilian seed company Sementes Agrocerus and Asgrow. In 1998,
Monsanto purchased Cargill's seed operations for $1.4 billion. It bought Delta and Pine land for
$1.82 billion and Dekalb for $2.3 billion. It bought Unilever's European wheat breeding business
for $525 million. In India Monsanto has bought Mahyco, Maharashtra Hybrid Company, E.I.D.
Parry and Rallis. Mr.Jack Kennedy of Monsanto has stated "We propose to penetrate the
Indian Agricultural sector in a big way. MAHYCO is a good vehicle." According to Robert
Farley of Monsanto "what you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it is
really a consolidation of the entire food chain. Since water is an central to food production as
seed is, and without water life is not possible.
Monsanto is now trying to establish its control over water. During 1999 Monsanto plans to
launch a new water business, starting with India and Mexico since both these countries are
facing water shortages.
Monsanto is seeing a new business opportunity in water because of the
emerging water crisis and the funding available to make this vital
resource available to people. As it states in its strategy paper, "first we believe that
discontinuities (either major policy changes or major trendline breaks in resource quality or
quantity) are likely, particularly in the area of water and we will be well positioned via these
business to profit even more significantly when these discontinuities occur. Second, we are
exploring the potential of non-conventional financing (NGO's, World Bank, USDA etc.) that
may lower our investment or provide local country business building resources." Thus, the crisis
of pollution and depletion of water resources is viewed by Monsanto as a business opportunity.
For Monsanto "Sustainable Development" means the conversion of an ecological crisis into a
market of scarce resources. "The business logic of sustainable development is that population
growth and economic development will apply increasing pressure on natural resource markets.
These pressures and the world's desire to prevent the consequences of these pressures if
unabated, will create vast economic opportunity when we look at the world through the lens of
sustainability we are in a position to see current and foresee impending resource market trends
and imbalances that create market needs. We have further focussed this lens on the resource
market of water and land.
These are the markets that are most relevant to us as a life sciences
company committed to delivering "food, health and hope" to the world, and there are markets in
which there are predictable sustainability challenges and therefore opportunities to create
business value." Monsanto plans to earn revenues of $420 million and net income of $63 million
by 2008 from its water business in India and Mexico. By the year 2010 about 2.5 billion people
in the world are projected to lack access to safe drinking water. At least 30% of the population
in China, India, Mexico and US is expected to face severe water stress.
By the year 2025 the supply of water in India will be 700 cubic kilometers per year while the
demand is expected to rise to 1050 units. Control over this scarce and vital resource will of
course be a source of guaranteed profits. As John Bastin of the European Bank of
Reconstruction and Development has stated "Water is the last
infrastructure frontier for Private investors." Monsanto estimates that providing safe water is a
several billion dollar market. It is growing at 25 - 30% in rural communities and is estimated to
be $300 million by the year 2000 in India and Mexico. This is the amount currently spent by
NGO's for water development projects and local government water supply schemes and
Monsanto hopes to tap these public finances for providing water to rural communities and
convert water supply into market. The Indian Government spent over $ 1.2 billion between
1992-97 for various water projects whicle the World Bank spent $900 million. Monsanto would
like to divert this public money from public supply of water to establishing Monsanto's water
monopoly. Since in rural areas the poor cannot pay, in Monsanto's view "Capturing a piece of
the value created for this segment will require the creation of a non-traditional mechanism
targeted at building relationships with local government and NGO's as well as through
innovative financing mechanisms, such as microcredit.
Monsanto also plans to penetrate the Indian market for safe water by establishing a joint
venture with Eureka Forbes / TATA, which controls 70% of the UV Technologies. To enter
the water business Monsanto has acquired an equity stake in Water Health International (WHI)
with an option to buy the rest of the business. Monsanto will also buy a Japanese company
which has developed electrolysis technology. The joint venture with TATA / Eureka Forbes is
supposed to provide market access, and fabricate, distribute, service water systems, Monsanto
will leverage their brand equity in the Indian Market. The joint venture route has been chosen
so that "Monsanto can achieve management control over local operations but not have legal
consequences due to local issues."
Another new business that Monsanto is starting in 1999 in Asia in
aquaculture. The aquaculture business will build on the foundation of
Monsanto's agricultural biotechnology and capabilities for fish feed and fish breeding. By 2008
Monsanto expects to earn revenues of $1.6 billion and net income of $266 million from its
aquaculture business. While Monsanto's entry into aquaculture is through its Sustainable
Development activity, industrial aquaculture has been established to be highly non sustainable.
The Supreme Court of India had banned industrial shrimp farming because of it's catastrophic
However, the government, under pressure of the aquaculture industry, is attempting to change
the laws, to undo the Supreme Court order. At the same time, attempts are being made by the
World Bank to privatise water resources and establish trade in water rights. These trends will
suit Monsanto well in establishing its new Water Business and Aquaculture business. The
World Bank has already offered to help. As the Monsanto strategy paper states "We are
particularly enthusiastic about the potential of partnering with the International Finance
Corporation (IFC) of the World Bank to joint venture projects in developing markets. The IFC
is eager to work with Monsanto to commercialise sustainability opportunities and would bring
both investment capital and on the ground capabilities to our efforts."
December 05, 1999
Farmers sticking with biotech crops
Copyright © 1999 Nando Media
Copyright © 1999 Associated Press
By PHILIP BRASHER
WASHINGTON (December 4, 1999 8:03 p.m. EST
http://www.nandotimes.com) - Minnesota farmer Mark Ufer was ready to
swear off genetically engineered crops two months ago. He figured the
growing controversy over biotech food would make it easier to sell
conventional corn and soybeans next year.
Now that it is time to order next year's seed, he has changed his mind.
"The genetically enhanced movement is so widespread that I don't think a
person can realistically not be a part of it," he said.
Farmers have been switching in droves to genetically engineered corn and
soybeans over the past three years. There is growing evidence that they
plan to stick with the crops next year despite backlashes against
biotechnology in Europe and Japan and producers' lingering worries about
the industry's future.
Two-thirds of the corn seed and three-quarters of the soybean seed that
farmers have ordered from Novartis Seeds Inc. for next year are genetically
engineered, a slight increase over this time a year ago.
Novartis is among the nation's largest seed suppliers. About 70 percent of
the corn seed and half the soybean seed that Novartis expects to sell for
the 2000 crop had been ordered as of Dec. 1.
The demand for biotech seed "is as strong as it's been at any time since
we introduced it," said Jack Bernens, the company's vice president of
The government estimates that 57 percent of the soybeans that farmers
grew this year contains a gene that allows it to tolerate use of the popular
Roundup weed killer. Another 30 percent of the corn grown this year was
biotech, engineered to make it toxic to the European corn borer, a chronic
problem for farmers.
In a Nov. 22 letter to investment analysts, Monsanto Co. acknowledged that
there was more indecision than usual among farmers as to their planting
intentions for next year. But Monsanto's market research indicates the
demand for biotech seed will be "on par with the 1999 season," the letter
Monsanto has a lot at stake. Along with holding patents in the technology,
Monsanto sells seed though its Asgrow and DeKalb subsidiaries, and also
makes the Roundup herbicide.
The American Soybean Association, which is holding a series of seminars
in the Midwest to sound out farmers and address their misgivings about
biotechnology, also is not expecting any wholesale shift to conventional
"We have no reason to believe that the adoption of the technology will not
continue," spokesman Bob Callanan said. "We still think there's strong
interest from the growers. ... The growers like and have embraced the
A series of developments caught farmers by surprise this summer and
early this fall, which led to fears they would have trouble selling their
crops. That in turn would make it difficult to recover the seeds' higher
Amid the growing controversy over biotech crops, baby-food makers
Gerber and Heinz announced they no longer would use genetically
A major U.S. grain processor announced plans to pay a premium for
conventional crops, while a second company advised its suppliers to start
separately storing conventional and biotech grain.
Analysts feared the moves would lead to price cuts on biotech grain, if not
this fall then next year, and a shortage of conventional seed varieties next
As it turns out, relatively few grain elevators have been requiring farmers
separate their crops, surveys have found. The feared price cuts for biotech
grain have not materialized, either.
One major grain buyer, Cargill Inc., is even paying an extra 5 cents a
for soybeans that contain low amounts of dust and other foreign matter,
which typically means the biotech variety, said Callanan.
Ufer, who farms near Truman, Minn., sells much of his corn to an ethanol
cooperative, whose board voted not to accept genetically modified crops
as of next year. The problem for the cooperative is that it sells a
distillers' grain, for export as livestock feed.
The cooperative has since reversed its decision. That has eased some of
But he, like other farmers, still has a variety of concerns they are
as they order seed. The genetically engineered corn, for example, will cost
farmers money if infestations of the European corn borer are low. Also, the
herbicide-tolerant soybeans sometimes yield less than conventional
varieties, farmers have found.
Producers face "real tough management calls that are going to be made
on a farm-to-farm basis and in some cases on a field-by-field basis," said
Ross Korves, an economist for the American Farm Bureau Federation.
The American Corn Growers Association, the smaller of two organizations
representing corn farmers and a critic of biotechnology, predicts a 20
percent to 25 percent reduction in genetically engineered corn next year.
"If the consumer unrest continues, we think that this issue is not going
away," said Gary Goldberg, a spokesman for the group.
Anomalous Images and UFO Files
November 26, 1999
MONSANTO'S 'Terminator' victory a small step in long war
While agricultural scientists work on developing genetically engineered potato plants, activists say it's the profit motive that is driving the development of terminator seed technologies.
A firestorm of criticism - and well-organized campaigns by opponents - over the development of plants that are genetically engineered to produce infertile seeds caused Monsanto to announce Monday that it would not pursue the commercial development of so-called terminator technology. Biotech critics say that it's one battle in a long war, though.
Monsanto's decision was revealed in a letter written by Chairman Robert Shapiro to the Rockefeller Foundation, saying the company had decided not to develop the gene after seeking comment from the foundation and other groups.
Public outcry over the production of plants genetically engineered to produce sterile seeds is just the latest in the battle over genetically engineered foods. The agribusiness industry has been battered over the last year by protests, particularly in Europe, over the planting genetically modified crops. There have also been calls for labeling of all products containing genetically modified foods and for stringent government regulations.
A farm advocacy organization in Canada was one of the first and most vocal opponents of the terminator technology. According to Hope Shand, director of research for the Rural Advancement Foundation International, it's not the technology, it's who controls it that is the problem.
Many of the technologies being developed will require that chemicals supplied by the seed companies be sprayed in order to get the desired trait - resistance to a pests or disease, for instance, to work. Opponents see this as an indication that multinational companies will dominate food production.
One battle in a long war
"Monsanto's decision is at least a recognition that it has heard the public outcry and that the public has a role in how the technology develops," says Dr. Jane Rissler, a scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists. Rissler has been working on the issues revolving around genetic engineering for more than 11 years. "The biotech industry up to now has been ignoring pubic opinion. It also gives us an opportunity to tell the USDA that their priorities are wrong and that the federal government should not be funding this kind of research."
Rissler feels this is one of the first times in the biotech battle that the wolf in sheep's clothing has been exposed. The industry says it's out to save - or at least feed - the world by modifying plant traits to provide higher yields, greater resistance to pests and disease and increased nutritional value. The reality, says Rissler, is that it's the profit motive that is driving the development of the technologies.
"The fact that terminator technology will work to the disadvantage of the subsistence farmer who depends on harvesting seeds for the next year's crops illustrates the intent of the companies, which is to get the maximum return on their investment," says Rissler. It's not that that's necessarily bad in a capitalistic society, she continues, but it's not saving the world.
Long-term relevance of decision
Concern over the corporatization of agriculture runs through the discussions of genetically modified foods, and the long-term relevance of Monsanto's announcement leaves room for skepticism.
The terminator technology was developed through a cooperative research grant between the U.S. Department of Agriculture and Delta and Pine Land Co. The patent for the technology was approved in 1998.
Monsanto is attempting to acquire Delta, although the deal is being reviewed by the Justice Department. Delta says it will continue to work on terminator technology - it would be years before the seeds came to market - and in fact the research is subsidized by the USDA.
Even Monsanto's spokesperson Scarlett L. Foster said Monsanto might use seed-sterility technology internally.
"Monsanto will continue to pursue applications that will give them greater control over how crops are grown, and to get more out of the seeds," says Rissler.
"We are skeptical of the benefits, worried about the risks, feel the technology needs to be more regulated and the public needs to have a voice in the process," Rissler concludes.
Copyright 1999, Environmental News Network, All Rights Reserved
November 26, 1999
Future farming: Government to market 'terminator' seeds
Bob Hodge and his son Jason, take a bag of seed corn off their stock pile in preparation for spring planting on their 3,000 acre farm near Janesville, Wisconsin.
WASHINGTON (AP) -- Missouri farmer Bill Christison cuts $20,000 off the annual cost of growing soybeans by saving seed from one year's crop so he can plant it the following spring.
So he does not like the idea that seed companies could stop him from doing that by genetically engineering seeds so they cannot reproduce. Worse, to Christison, the federal government invented a "terminator" process for rendering seeds sterile and now actively is trying to get it to market.
"Our hope is that the U.S. government will wake up and look at what they are facilitating here," Christison said.
Agriculture Department researchers say the terminator process is misunderstood and has applications that could benefit farmers all over the world. The same technique that renders seeds sterile -- by turning certain genetic traits on and off -- also could be used to make plants resistant to drought or pests, for example.
But opponents of genetic engineering in the United States and especially in Europe have made the terminator issue into a symbol of what they see as the evils of biotechnology. To them it is immoral for the U.S. government to promote and profit from such an invention, even if private companies are developing terminator processes of their own.
The department developed the terminator technology at a laboratory in Texas and secured a joint patent last year with Scott, Mississippi-based Delta & Pine Land Co., the world's largest cotton seed company, which co-sponsored the research.
The process is officially known as the "technology protection system." The terminator nickname is a reference to the on-screen robotic killer played by Arnold Schwarzenegger.
The Monsanto Co., which is seeking Justice Department approval to acquire Delta & Pine Land, recently announced it would not use terminator technology.
But the government is continuing research and is close to finishing negotiations on a marketing license with Delta & Pine Land for commercializing the technology, Agriculture Department officials say.
'Stranglehold on the food supply'
If Monsanto refuses to use the technology, the department would have the right to find another company that would. Officials will not say what they will do.
"First we have to see if Monsanto's purchase goes through. It's too hypothetical to be talking about," said department spokesman Andy Solomon.
The department has no plans to relinquish the patent, he said.
"As co-holders of the patent we are in the room and in discussions with D&PL about whether or if or how there would be any commercialization. We think it's important that we be there to represent the public interest," Solomon said.
One critic of genetic engineering, Hope Shand, research director of Rural Advancement Foundation International, said: "The specter of genetic seed sterilization is particularly alarming given the rapid rate of consolidation of the global seed industry. Seed is the first link in the food chain. Whoever controls the seed has a stranglehold on the food supply."
The department's terminator research "is a misallocation of precious ... research dollars and will benefit only a handful of big corporations," said Adam Goldberg, a spokesman for Consumers Union.
Technology is years away
In developing countries, it is common for farmers to save seed from year to year. Christison, who is president of the National Family Farm Coalition, estimates that 25 percent of U.S. producers do it.
Genetically engineered crops, which are making up an increasing share of U.S. production, cannot be reproduced legally. Farmers also buy new seeds each year for corn and hybrid versions of other crops because they lose their special characteristics after the first generation.
In the United States, an estimated 57 percent of the soybeans, 38 percent of the cotton and 30 percent of the corn planted this year was genetically engineered, either to resist pests or herbicides.
The department believes seed companies must be allowed to protect their investment in new varieties of seeds if they are to continue developing new crops that are hardier, more nutritious and require fewer applications of pesticides.
Moreover, the terminator process is still several years away from being commercially available, said Sandy Miller Hayes, a spokeswoman for department's Agricultural Research Service.
To date, it has been shown to work only in tobacco, which is used as a model plant species in agricultural research, and in cotton. The first applications likely would be in cotton.
It only would be used in crops that do not cross-pollinate, such as cotton, soybeans and wheat, she said. In cross-pollinating plants like corn, fields of non-terminator varieties could be made sterile.
Copyright 1999 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.
Green Group Warns on GM Tree
Nov. 10, 1999
BRUSSELS (Reuters) - An international environmental group said on Tuesday a
growing number of genetically modified (GM) trees were being cultivated
without reliable safeguards and called for a global moratorium on their
The World Wide Fund for Nature said in a study that commercial GM tree
production could begin in the next two years, probably in Chile, China and
Indonesia, despite what it said were inadequate regulations and insufficient
research into the environmental impact of trees modified by biotechnology.
``WWF is calling on governments worldwide to declare a global moratorium on
the commercial release of GM trees until enough research has been conducted
and proper safeguards have been put in place,'' Jean-Paul Jeanrenaud, head
of WWF's Forests for Life Program, said in a statement.
``It is far too early to judge whether biotechnology can make a safe and
effective contribution to the forest sector.''
WWF said there could be a risk of genetic pollution, the development of
``superweeds'' and unwanted effects on non-target species from trees
engineered to be resistant to pests and agricultural chemicals.
The group said that in the last 11 years, there had been 116 confirmed GM
tree trials in 17 countries using 24 different tree species, of which three
quarters were timber-producing. Most tests are in North America. France
leads the way in Europe.
The WWF report -- ``GM technology in the forest sector'' -- coincides with
growing public concern, particularly in Europe, about the safety of GM foods.
Lawmakers and the biotechnology industry are seeking ways to make the
technology more acceptable.
WWF accused life science companies of pushing the technology in regions
where regulations governing trials were less strict than in the developed world.
Trees can be genetically engineered to increase growth rates, modify wood
structure, alter reproductive cycles, improve tolerance to herbicides and
perhaps even store more of the gases that are responsible for climate
change, the report said.
November 09, 1999
Monsanto and Milk
By Robert Cohen Executive Director
I have written a book (MILK-The Deadly Poison) and founded the Dairy Education
Board because of a secret I learned in 1994. That secret: Laboratory animals got
cancer from a new additive that is now in our milk, cheese and ice cream. FDA knew
the truth but they hid it. MONSANTO knew the truth but they also did everything in their
power to pull a veil over FDA's regulatory review process for POSILAC,the trade name
for the genetically engineered version of a cow's natural growth hormone. That genetically
engineered hormone is commonly referred to as either BST or BGH (bovine somatotropin
or bovine growth hormone).
The study in question was performed in 1989 by three scientists, Richard, Odaglia and
Deslex. I obtained portions of that study and learned that FDA never reviewed it, despite
the fact that it was the KEY to the entire controversy.
On August 24, 1990, FDA published a review of the BST research.That study was
authored by Judy Jeskevich and Greg Guyer and published in SCIENCEmagazine.
I have written about that study and Chapter Three of my book includes the complete
study with my comments. I have decided to publish that entire CHAPTER 3 on my webpage.
WARNING: IT IS QUITE TECHNICAL... AND QUITE REVEALING!
After learning that laboratory animals got cancer from this hormone, I filed a Freedom
of Information Act (FOIA) request for the raw data. I wished to review the weights of
spleens and kidneys and ovaries and thirty-one different tissues and organs from the 360
animals in this study. I lost that request to have the study released.
I then filed a suit in Federal Court. During my suit, our government passed a law which
would have had me imprisoned had I released the study.
Today's column lists 12 "coincidences" that others might call conspiracy. I leave you
first with a timeline of my suit to release the animal data.
Please keep in mind that the Canadian government has also been reviewing this study
because MONSANTO seeks approval for their drug in Canada. A few weeks ago
Canadian scientists announced what our government has been denying and I have been
saying for four years:
This POISON caused cancer in laboratory animals.
OCTOBER 3, 1994 Cohen files a FOIA request for the rat study data
DECEMBER 24, 1994 FOIA request denied by FDA
DECEMBER 24, 1994 Appeal filed with Department of Health (HHS)
APRIL 4, 1995 Appeal Denied
DECEMBER 5, 1995 Suit filed in Federal Court
APRIL 12, 1996 MONSANTO joins suit, represented by KING & SPALDING
JULY 29, 1996 My final brief, arguing TRADE SECRETS invalid
SEPTEMBER 9, 1996 JUDGE'S decion due
OCTOBER 11, 1996 PUBLIC LAW # 104-294 signed by William Clinton
DECEMBER 6, 1996 JUDGE rules in favor of MONSANTO
Public Law # 104-294 was the ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE act. That law was delivered
in the middle of my trial and sent a clear message to me. If I revealed a TRADE SECRET
I would have been subject to a $10 million dollar fine and 15 years incarceration in a
In his denial, the Honorable Judge Wells wrote to me:
"Disclosure of the rat's study raw data would allow competitors to develop or refine
their products... and would reveal a TRADE SECRET... defendants have adequately
demonstrated the likelihood of competitive substantial harm if the study is released."
CONSPIRACY? TO BE, OR NOT TO BE?
1) When Monsanto first started doing research on rbST/rbGH (Posilac), they
realized its potential to change all of the foods in oursupermarket. They would
one day control the seeds for all of our fruits and veggies through genetic
engineering and biotechnology. They needed a friend on the Supreme Court. It
was then that they began to groom their attorney (from the firm of KING &
SPALDING), a young African American with a future.
Should these issues ever reach the SUPREME COURT, MONSANTO will have a
friend in Clarence Thomas.
2) Congress passed a law in 1958 called the Delaney Amendment to the Food
and Drug Act which said that if a food additive caused cancer it was not to be
approved. When MONSANTO realized that their rbST caused cancer they
had their new attorney (from KING & SPALDING), Michael Taylor, write a
paper: "A Deminimus Interpretation of the Delaney Amendment".Lawyers
usually get published in law review journals. This paper was published in the
Journal of the American College of Toxicology.
3) Michael Taylor, Esq. left his high paying job at KING & SPALDING and
was hired by...are you ready for this? The FDA! He became the second most
powerful man at FDA and wrote the food labeling laws that governed rbST and
all genetically engineered products to come.
4) At the same time that Taylor left Monsanto for FDA the scientists left
MONSANTO too. MONSANTO's top dairy scientist, Margaret Miller, left
the pharmaceutical giant and went to work for...are you ready for this? FDA!
Her job was to review her own research. I filed a Freedom of Information Act
request for her actual job application and found out that she developed a test
for detecting rbST, even though FDA later relieved MONSANTO of that
5) Congress had a committee that studied the labeling issues. Therewere
four members of the DAIRY, LIVESTOCK AND POULTRY Committee.
These men had a bill that would have required that dairy products containing
rbST be labeled as such. These 12 men stalled the bill for six months and
NEVER voted upon it. The bill did not make it to the floor of Congress for a
vote. When the 1994 session of Congress expired, the bill DIED. I
investigated these men and learned that they accepted donations (PAC $$$)
from companies with agriculture interests totalling $711,000. Four of the
Congressmen accepted money directly from Monsanto while they stalled that
bill. They included Volkmer ($2,000), Dooley ($1,000), Gunderson ($1,000)
and Pombo ($500).
6) Somebody had to have gotten Monsanto's scientist and attorney hired by
FDA. I interviewed ex-FDA commissioners and ex-bosses of these employees
and all deny doing the actual hiring. I can only imagine a phone call, calling in
a favor here and there. I have no proof who did the hiring, only proof that the
DECK was stacked in the review process. I include enormous documentation
in my book which would take me a week of EMAILS to document. I will not do
that on EMAIL but my book is available, for those so interested.
7) MONSANTO hired the very respected C. EVERETT KOOP to attack
critics of rbST. KOOP said the BST-treated milk was indistinguishable from
wholesome untreated milk. This was not true. LEVELS OF IGF-I ALWAYS
INCREASE IN bst-TREATED MILK.
8) MONSANTO hired the outgoing FDA Commissioner, Arthur Hull Hayes.
He went to work for their public relations firm. There was a revolving door
policy at FDA. In addition, Michael Taylor left FDA and became an
UNDERSECRETARY at UDSA when Espy resigned. He was there to see
that genetic engineering reached its potential without regulatory interference.
He became the author of the regulations. Taylor is now back at KING &
SPALDING represent his CLIENT.
9) Margaret Miller, MONSANTO'S scientist-turned-FDA regulator, was
aware that cows were getting mastitis in clinical trials. She ARBITRARILY
changed the antibiotic protocol and increased the amounts ofpermissible
antibiotic residues in milk. Before she got to FDA, the standard allowed one
part per hundred million. After Miller's change, it was increased by 100 times
to one part per million. CONSUMERS UNION tested milk in the New York
area and found the presence of 52 different antibiotics in milk sample. The
Wall Street Journal did their own tests and confirmed CONSUMERSresults.
10) When Bob Dole ran for president his Chief of Staff was Donald
Rumsfeld, ex-president of SEARLE, a company acquired by MONSANTO.
To place things in perspective...the 1989 smoking gun study was performed by
SEARLE scientists for MONSANTO. For all practical purposes, those firms
were and are one and the same.
11) When Clinton praised MONSANTO in his State-of-the-Union address
two years ago how many people noticed? I sure did. Michale Taylor, the
MONSANTO attorney turned FDA and USDA employee is a first cousin to Al
Gore's wife, Tipper. Look for President Gore's cabinet to include Mr.
Taylor...just a prediction on my part.
12) I have saved the best for last. My favorite. In order to prove rbST safe
MONSANTO did a study in Guelph, Canada that led to approval. FDA cited
the study in their SCIENCE paper but incorrectly cited the reference. They
gave credit to Jerome Moore. When I pulled Moore's paper there was no
mention of this reference. I pulled dozens of other papers and found the
SMOKING GUN. Had I written a paper like this for high school biology I
would have failed. Here was a paper in the most important journal in the world
on the most controversial study in FDA history and they made this mistake
(and many other errors documented in Chapter 3 of my book).
HERE IS WHAT HAPPENED:
The Canadian scientist (still an undergrad working with three MONSANTO scientists)
pasteruized milk at the normal temperature and time to prove that it destroyed the BST. It
did not. He then pasteurized milk for thirty minutes at 162 degrees Fahrenheit, a temp.
reserved for 15 seconds. That only destroyed nineteen percent of the BST.
WHEN THAT DID NOT WORK, he sprinkled powdered BST into the milk and pasteruized
that. This time the EXPERIMENT worked. They destroyed 90 percent of the "SPIKED
That was THEIR word, SPIKED! Read the study and you will be astounded.
FDA concluded that milk was safe to drink because pasteurization destroyed the BST.
When FDA wrote the SCIENCE paper they included 75 references. Number 75 was
Suzanne Sechen, another Monsanto scientist who was hired by FDA to review her own
research. Number one reference is usually reserved as an honorary place for a key
scientist. Reference number one was given to DALE BAUMAN who is a Cornell
researcher and professor. Dale Bauman's papers continue to repeat the MYTH that
pasteurization destroyed the BST. Bauman refuses to debate me but he continues to teach
this MYTH to his students.
As a result of the MYTH FDA did three things.
I. MONSANTO was relieved of doing any further toxicology studies
II. MONSANTO was relieved of the responsibility of developing a TEST to
detect the presence of BST in milk.
III. A "ZERO DAY WITHDRAWAL" was determined which was an FDA
designation meaning that a substance was perfectly safe for human consumption.
Lots of coincidences, huh? I call this a conspiracy of ignorance. Put all of these things
together and, at the very least, it calls for a review of the RICHARD, ODAGLIA and
DESLEX paper, don't you think? If Cohen is WRONG... then there is no big deal.
If Cohen is right... we've got a problem, Houston!
Robert Cohen (1-201-871-5871)
Dairy Education Board
November 09, 1999
Monsanto and GM hormones
By Robert Cohen Executive Director
JULY 19, 1998
President Bill Clinton signed a bill into law on October 11th, 1996,
called the ECONOMIC ESPIONAGE ACT (Public Law 104-294), which was
enacted in order to protect economic trade secrets. This piece of
legislation insured that any individual revealing a trade secret could
be prosecuted and go to jail for 15 years and receive a $1 million
dollar fine. Organizations revealing trade secrets are subject to fines
of no more than $5 million dollars. (The Dairy Education Board does not
have that kind of money in the bank . . .yet!)
This bill worries me because I have a trade secret that I would like to
reveal. The secret belongs to MONSANTO, manufacturer of the genetically
engineered bovine growth hormone. In 1992 the Honorable Inspector
General of the United States Richard Kusserow wrote that if and when
MONSANTO'S genetically engineered bovine growth hormone was approved,
pertinent research data would be released. I have filed Freedom of
Information Act requests for the data from those studies and seeked
release of key data in Federal Court. I've lost on all accounts.
What do the data show? Laboratory animals treated with the new hormone
in our milk and cheese and butter actually got cancer. I can tell you
that much because FDA leaked that info in the August 24, 1990 issue of
the journal Science.
When I met with FDA scientists on April 21, 1995, these scientists
admitted to me that the key bit of research revealing problems with
MONSANTO'S bioengineered FRANKINFOOD was never rigorously reviewed.
MONSANTO was clever enough to have had their top dairy scientists,
Margaret Miller and Suzanne Sechen, hired by FDA to review their own
research. When MONSANTO was aware that laboratory animals got cancer
from this new hormone they somehow got their attorney Michael Taylor
hired by FDA to write the labeling laws governing the use of this new
hormone. Congress had passed a law in 1958 prohibiting any food
additive that caused cancer in lab animals to be approved for our
consumption. That law was called the Delaney Amendment (to the Pure Food
and Drug Act). Before coming to FDA Taylor wrote a paper that was
published in the Journal of American Toxicology (November 4, 1988)
called "A Deminimus Interpretation of the Delaney Amendment." This
paper minimized the way FDA viewed cancer. "Everything causes cancer,"
they reasoned. Cancer in lab animals from this new hormone was ignored.
When Congress considered passing a law to label milk and dairy products
containing this hormone a committee debated the bill (Dairy, Livestock
and Poultry) and the bill expired before it ever reached a vote by the
House of Representatives. I investigated the twelve members of this
committee and discovered that four of the members took bribes (they call
it PAC money) directly from MONSANTO. Imagine . . . they voted on a
bill concerning MONSANTO while accepting money from the firm!
The incriminating trade secrets are contained in an unpublished study
authored by Richard, Odaglia and Deslex performed for Searle
Pharmaceuticals in 1989. Searle was working closely with MONSANTO and
shortly after this study was performed Searle was purchased by MONSANTO.
Is a trade secret and economic espionage as important as preventing
cancer in our children? The average spleen increase of animals treated
with MONSANTO'S genetically engineered poison was 46%. FDA concluded
that there were no biological effects.
I tell this story in great detail in "MILK-The Deadly Poison." I tiptoe
on the fine line between what is legal and what is not, knowing that I
place my future and the future of my family in jeopardy by revealing
Do I actually have the trade secrets which, if released, would send me
The weight of one male rat's heart was 3 1/2 grams which FDA scientists
dismissed as "an impossible value." While 360 laboratory animals were
studied, FDA claims that there were too many questionable weights for
sexual organs of these animals to provide "a reliable analyses of these
organs." What I have just written has never been officially released to
the public. (Will I get a knock on my door in the middle of the night?)
Eat cheese or butter or ice cream and drink milk containing this hormone
and place the health of yourself and your children at great risk. Why
do you think that FDA and our government continues to protect MONSANTO?
Do you think that MONSANTO'S $500 million dollar investment might be
imperiled if this little trade secret were to be revealed?
I say... RELEASE the study! Call upon your congressman or
congresswoman to get this study released. If I am wrong I will admit
so. If I am right, we are all in jeopardy. Guess what? I've seen the
study. I am not wrong. We have a problem so serious and we continue to
offer the protective veil of trade protection for MONSANTO to hide
behind. We have passed a law to protect MONSANTO. Is money and profit
so important so as to sacrifice the health and safety of our children?
Dairy Education Board
October 26, 1999 10:32 AM
WTO & Monsanto email addresses;
Whose Trade Organization?
Here are the personal email addresses of several important men in the
globalization process. Merci de faire circuler et de diffuser largement.
The World Trade Organization is the star attraction in the "Millennium Trade
Round" in Seattle Nov. 30th.
Mike Moore is the new Secretary-General of the WTO. (OMC)
His address is email@example.com That simple. (he answers his email)
Perhaps you'd like to wish him "Bon Voyage" to Seattle!
MONSANTO BOARD'S EMAIL ADDRESSES: Write Monsanto!
Monsanto is the leader in "life sciences" technology, we're sure you have a
strong opinion on the subject.
The following are the personal, corporate email addresses of the chairman of
the board of Monsanto etc. so if you wish, you can now tell THEM
exactly how YOU feel. BE POLITE!
Robert B. Shapiro, is the chairman of the board and chief executive officer of Monsanto.
His address is: firstname.lastname@example.org (he answers his email)
Richard U. De Schutter is the chief administrative officer of Monsanto
His address is: email@example.com (he answers his email )
Jacobus F,.M. Peters is a member of the board's finance, dividend and public
His address is: firstname.lastname@example.org (he answers his email)
WEEDKILLER `WIPES OUT BENEFICIAL INSECTS'
Thu, 14 Oct 1999 14:21:08 -0500 (CDT)
From: Grassroots Media Network <email@example.com
U.K. The Independent 11.10.99
Thank you to Paul Davis, Paul & Katrin Davis,firstname.lastname@example.org, for this
MONSANTO WEEDKILLER `WIPES OUT BENEFICIAL INSECTS'
THE WORLD'S biggest-selling weedkiller, the chemical glyphosate, is
facing a European ban after a confidential European Union report showed
that it also kills beneficial insects and spiders.
A ban would be a blow to the US group Monsanto, which produces most of
the world's supply, usually under the name Roundup. It is central to the
group's production of genetically engineered seeds, as Roundup- ready
seeds are able to withstand the weedkiller.
Research at Orebro hospital in Sweden also suggests a higher risk of a
cancer called non-Hodgkin's lymphoma in those exposed to glyphosate.
In Channel 4 News tonight it is revealed that a confidential EU report says
glyphosate should not be approved for use in Europe. EU advisers believe
more research is needed.
At the moment each European state can decide which weedkillers it
approves, and all have approved glyphosate. But with EU harmonisation on
pesticide and herbicide expected in the next two years, advisers have
begun evaluating which should be prohibited.
The report, one of several that will form the basis of harmonisation,
reviewed evidence and concluded that after glyphosate is used on crops,
"harmful effects" on arthropods "cannot be excluded". It says the chemical
should not be included on a list of approved substances pending more
David Buffin of the Pesticides Trust, which campaigns against pesticide
use, said glyphosate presented a high risk to certain insects and spiders
considered beneficialbecause they kill harmful crop pests. "If you are
knocking off the beneficials, it may result in an increase in the insect pests
and you have to go in with a fairly invasive insecticide," said Mr Buffin.
Monsanto said it would be "improper" to comment, but the company said
that the World Health Organisation had said glyphosate was not
The Grassroots Media Network
Austin, TX 78723
The Wall Street Journal, May 11, 1999
Monsanto Fails Trying to Sell Europe on Bioengineered Food
By SCOTT KILMAN and HELENE COOPER
Staff Reporters of THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
LONDON -- Monsanto Co. has done something quite remarkable for a U.S.
company in Europe. It has gone from obscurity to infamy in just a few
In March, during a debate about the World Trade Organization in the
House of Commons, MP Norman Baker called the U.S. crop-biotechnology
company "Public Enemy No. 1." Prince Charles recently vowed that
Monsanto's biotech food would never pass his royal lips. Former Beatle
Paul McCartney publicly spurned the company after it was reported that
his late wife Linda's line of vegetarian sausages contained soybeans
grown from Monsanto's seeds.
Activists have torn up Monsanto test plots in the United Kingdom.
British newspapers call Monsanto the "Frankenstein food giant" and the
"biotech bully boy" so routinely that some Monsanto employees jokingly
refer to their employer as "MonSatan."
"Many people here really hate Monsanto," says Isabelle Gineste, a member
of the Townswomen's Guilds, a civic group. "The rest of us are just
Monsanto's sin? It genetically modifies agricultural seeds, including
those that produce many of the protein-rich soybeans Britain imports
from America to make a host of food products.
American farmers love Monsanto's seeds; the seeds make soybean, corn and
cotton crops easier to grow. And American consumers have barely noticed.
But a public-relations campaign by Monsanto to win over Europeans has
backfired -- stoking environmental opposition, riling media commentators
and leading many U.K. food retailers, in response, to bar genetically
modified food. The British units of Unilever NV and Nestle SA have
pledged not to use any genetically modified foods in their products in
the future. Politicians from Dublin to Duesseldorf are talking about a
moratorium on such crops, a bleak prospect for American farmers who
already face depressed prices.
Indeed, the fallout is beginning to be felt in the U.S. The European
Union already requires labels on food containing those genetically
modified crops whose import it has approved. And it is so reluctant to
approve the import of more that U.S. farmers have begun avoiding several
new seeds. The U.S. grain industry has nearly stopped shipping corn to
Europe for fear that European laboratory tests might detect kernels from
genetically modified crops not yet cleared by the EU. What was a $200
million annual market for U.S. corn farmers is now all but closed.
The B List
"This year, we've got the three B's with Europe," says U.S. Trade
Representative Charlene Barshefsky. "Bananas, beef and biotechnology."
Already this year, her office has levied or threatened sanctions on the
Europeans over bananas and beef. But those markets are small compared
with agricultural biotechnology. The European markets for genetically
modified crops and seed is potentially worth several billion dollars a
year. Says one official at the WTO in Geneva, where a trade war over the
issue would be fought if one broke out: "Biotech will make bananas look
U.S. farm groups are itching for a fight, but it's one the Clinton
administration dreads, despite having the rules on its side. The
European Union doesn't have any scientific basis for singling out food
containing genetically modified crops; regulators on both sides of the
Atlantic say such crops are safe to eat. But European public attitudes
are a different issue. "It's not going to matter whether we win" at the
WTO, says a Clinton administration official. "These people aren't going
to touch anything that says Monsanto anyway."
One reason Monsanto feels so much heat is simply that it is the furthest
along in a science that inevitably raises questions about man's control
over nature. "We are the bow of a technology that is making a lot of
waves," says Philip Angell, director of corporate communications.
But another reason is Monsanto's brash and open approach. It has ignored
the go-slow advice of European companies that work in agricultural
biotechnology, such as Britain's Zeneca Group PLC and Switzerland's
Novartis AG. "Monsanto has just made things a lot worse," gripes Michael
P. Pragnell, head of the agrochemicals division at Zeneca.
Skepticism about genetically modified food is common not just in Europe,
but also in Japan, Australia and New Zealand, all of which are
considering requiring that labels identify such food. In India, farm
activists, upset about work on a gene that would stop them from keeping
some of their harvest for seed, have destroyed Monsanto cotton fields.
Foes argue that whatever regulators say, such food hasn't been proved
safe. They also worry that a gene such as one that conveys resistance to
herbicide could escape into the wild and make other species resistant,
or that gene splicing might transfer not just the desired trait but, for
instance, another that triggers allergies.
And some are concerned with broader, cultural issues, from America's
growing economic power to the impact of technology on Britain's beloved
countryside. "There is a feeling that interfering with nature on this
scale is unethical and immoral," says Sandra Bell, director of a group
called the Freeze
In America, such concerns are much fainter. Foods ranging from TV
dinners to french fries regularly contain genetically modified produce.
Some potatoes, for instance, contain a gene -- added by Monsanto -- that
repels insects. U.S. regulators haven't seen a need for such alteration
to be mentioned on food labels, since the technology has a clean bill of
health. Partly for that reason, agricultural biotech hasn't caught on as
a hot issue in the
The biggest crop-biotech venture from St. Louis-based Monsanto, which
also produces drugs, involves soybeans. The company has inserted a gene
into soybean seeds that enables the resulting plants to tolerate a
potent herbicide called Roundup -- also sold by Monsanto. This makes it
cheaper and less labor-intensive for soybean farmers to keep weeds out
of their fields. Roughly half of U.S. soybeans grown this year will be
from gene-modified seeds, sold by Monsanto or by seed companies using
The EU cleared such soybeans -- indistinguishable except by laboratory
test from any other soybeans -- for import in March 1996. The first
bushel hit the docks at Liverpool a few months after.
The timing was terrible. Britain was in full panic mode over "mad-cow
disease" after scientists said beef from affected cattle was the likely
source of a fatal brain-wasting disease in some Britons. The
announcement crushed public confidence in regulatory and scientific
communities that had long given assurances that the disease ravaging
British dairy herds wasn't a human threat.
And, because mad-cow was thought to be spread by the practice of using
dead livestock as a protein source for cattle, the whole issue caused
many to wonder about the sanity of modern agricultural methods. "The
mad-cow disease seems to many people to be the result of not observing
the law of nature," says Daniel Vasella, chairman of Novartis.
The credibility of environmental activists soared in Britain because
many had prophesied a deadly link between mad-cow disease and people.
Now they took one look at genetically modified food and went on a
campaign. This time, they had a ready audience: Britain's freewheeling
press. British newspapers had largely ignored the environmentalists
before; they weren't going to do so again.
The fallout spread across the Continent, which had dined on British
beef. Antibiotech attitudes hardened in Germany and France. Austria and
Luxembourg banned genetically modified crops, flouting EU rules.
To counter mad-cow madness, Monsanto tapped Tom McDermott from its
public-relations staff and a senior vice president, Steven Engelberg.
They decided Monsanto would nip the antibiotech movement in the bud. Mr.
McDermott, feeling that "we weren't getting a fair shake in the British
media," lobbied his bosses for a campaign aimed directly at consumers.
Chief Executive Robert Shapiro endorsed the idea and invited his
European counterparts to join in campaigns in Britain and France. Zeneca
and Novartis wanted no part of it. Corporate-backed issue campaigns
aren't the European way, and Europeans tend to be a lot more mistrustful
of big companies than Americans. "In the States, P.R. works," says Julie
Shepherd, director of the Consumers Association, a watchdog group. "Over
here, it's seen as a species of corporate lying."
Mr. Shapiro decided to go it alone. He had successfully ignored
conventional marketing wisdom before. Early in his career, he figured
out how to brand what was thought to be unbrandable, a food ingredient
Number to Call
Monsanto picked ad agency Bartle Bogle Hegarty, a London shop known for
sexy ads for Dockers pants. Bartle's plan: Show Monsanto wasn't afraid
The ads had their debut in British Sunday newspapers last June. "Food
Biotechnology is a matter of opinions," said one. "Monsanto believes you
should hear all of them." Included were phone numbers of critics,
including Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth.
One ad, invoking hungry Third World children, said: "While we'd never
claim to have solved world hunger at a stroke, biotechnology provides
one means to feed the world more effectively."
The ads irked some commentators, who slammed Monsanto for exploiting the
plight of starving children. And they angered environmentalists, who
said publishing their phone numbers was a cynical attempt to
They did raise Monsanto's profile; polls showed that twice as many
Britons knew its name as Novartis's. But the surveys also showed that
people were mainly identifying Monsanto, not Novartis or Zeneca, with
genetically engineered food.
That wasn't good. Before the U.K. ad campaign, 44% of British consumers
surveyed for Monsanto said they had negative feelings about genetically
modified food. By the time the campaign was over last September, that
number had swelled to 51%. Says Neal Verlander, a Friends of the Earth
activist: "Monsanto has helped us enormously with their blundering."
The ad agency didn't return calls seeking comment. Monsanto denies its
initiative made things worse in Britain but concedes it achieved less
than hoped. "There hadn't been much controversy in the United States.
Our problem is we looked at it too much through a U.S. lens," says Mr.
Engelberg, the vice president. Communications Director Mr. Angell says:
"Maybe we weren't aggressive enough... . When you fight a forest fire,
sometimes you have to light another fire."
Monsanto is happier with the results of a simultaneous ad campaign in
France, where the press wasn't as hostile or the public as suspicious.
Its surveys show the French campaign resonated with high-income readers
and opinion leaders; those who saw the ads were almost twice as likely
to say genetically engineered food was acceptable as those who didn't
see them. But among all the French, the number who said they wouldn't
buy food containing genetically modified ingredients rose to 55% after
the campaign from 51% before.
Meet the Press
Monsanto executives also decided to take on the news media directly.
They met with reporters and editors from London's Guardian, which had
run a map of Monsanto test plots. Whether as a result or not, three
plots later were destroyed.
The meeting went badly. "They came in here thumping the table and
accusing us of being bad journalists," says John Vidal, the Guardian's
environmental editor. "We just coalesced against them." Making things
worse, Monsanto filed a complaint against the Guardian with Britain's
Press Complaints Board, and lost.
Some in the media seemed ready to pounce. A biochemist at Scotland's
prestigious Rowett Research Institute told a TV show that his lab rats
had their immune systems damaged by eating genetically modified
potatoes, which some reporters seized on as evidence that genetic
engineering might make a plant toxic. But the institute repudiated his
conclusions after reviewing his work. The potatoes, which were used for
research purposes only, weren't cleared for human consumption. The
government-supported institute dropped the scientist, Arpad Pusztai.
He promptly became a martyr in part of the British press. "I Would Blow
Whistle Again Says Professor," said a headline in the Express.
Dr. Pusztai defends his research but says he doesn't know what in the
potatoes harmed his rats or whether it had anything to do with gene
splicing. "What I'm saying is we need to look at it more," he says.
Monsanto couldn't seem to get a break. In February, it was fined $28,000
in a magistrate's court in the tiny village of Caistor for what the
media called "safety lapses" at a test plot. The reality was slightly
more benign: A subcontractor mistakenly mowed down plants that were part
of a barrier separating the plot.
That was enough to engender a carnival scene outside Caistor's court.
About 100 activists and reporters descended on the hamlet. Among them
was "Frankenstein," a costumed environmentalist also seen outside
groceries warning that "Frankenstein Food" was sold inside.
His warnings worked. Over the past two months, many of Britain's major
food retailers have pledged to stay free of genetically modified foods.
One, J. Sainsbury, says it got 12,000 phone calls in a single month from
Surprisingly, one Monsanto foe does find something to appreciate about
the American company: its candor. "Zeneca and Novartis have just kept
quiet -- that's the European way," says Mr. Vidal, the Guardian
"I far prefer the Monsanto way," he says. "Their up-frontness is a
rather wonderful thing. The fact that their vision might be warped is
another thing, but it creates a public debate, which we need."
MONSANTO Terminator Seeds
Monsanto in Closed Negotiations with the US
Department of Agriculture to
Finalize Control of Terminator Technology
From: "Divinewill ~"
Monsanto is moving swiftly to finalize its control over the Terminator technology. The company may extract an exclusive license from the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) within weeks. RAFI is initiating an urgent Internet-based international campaign to stop the USDA - Monsanto negotiations before it's too late. A special WWW page has been set up at http://www.rafi.org/usda.html to enable anyone with Internet access to send a customized message to the USDA asking it to cease negotiations and bury this anti-farmer, anti-biodiversity technology. Additional contact details are provided below.
A Monsanto subsidiary, Delta & Pine Land (D&PL), is currently negotiating with the USDA to exclusively license the US Government's interest in the controversial Terminator technology patent, a genetic technique that renders farm-saved seed sterile. The seed-sterilizing technology - developed with US taxpayer dollars - will prevent farmers from saving
seed from their harvest, forcing them to return to the commercial seed market every year.
The Terminator patent (US # 5,723,765) is jointly owned by D&PL and the USDA. Under US law, since D&PL worked with USDA to develop the technology, the company has the option to negotiate an exclusive license. Hoping to
find a gullible international public, Monsanto's PR machine in Brussels, New Delhi, Harare, St. Louis, and points in between, are massaging jittery governments and publicly trying to distance the company from the
Terminator technology by referring to it as "conceptual" and "not yet proven." But the company's move to negotiate an exclusive license with USDA confirms that Monsanto is eager to commercialize Terminator seeds.
Despite international controversy boiling over in at least two UN agencies, rather than engage in public dialog, a leaked internal memo by
Deputy Administrator K. Darwin Murrell reveals that USDA hopes to quietly manage controversy over the patent. The memo warns USDA employees that Terminator research is "a sensitive issue that requires an extra level of review" to help "avoid potential political and legal pitfalls." But the
USDA insists that the Terminator is a beneficial technology and confirms that its scientists are themselves interested in developing the seed
sterilizing technique as platform to host a package of "stacked" traits in genetically engineered plants.
SAY NO TO TERMINATOR!
RAFI invites you to join an international e-mail campaign being initiated today to protest the licensing and commercial development of the Terminator technology. RAFI has set up a special web page
(http://www.rafi.org/usda.html) that automatically sends a customized e-mail to US Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman (also see address information below).
We urge you to write to US Department of Agriculture officials to demand that USDA cease licensing negotiations and abandon all international patent applications on a dangerous and immoral technology that should never see the commercial light of day.
RAFI is urging government institutions to hold public inquiries on the alarming rate of seed industry consolidation, and to take steps to safeguard, not eliminate - the fundamental right of farmers to save seed and breed crops.
RAFI is also calling for protest over the fact that public research funds were used to develop a technology that will bring no agronomic benefit to farmers, and no benefits to consumers. The Terminator technology is designed simply to increase seed industry profits by forcing farmers to return to the commercial seed market every year.
The potential impact of the Terminator technology goes far beyond US borders. It is an international issue, with global implications. Delta & Pine Land says that it will target the use of Terminator seeds in the South, where over 1.4 billion people - primarily poor farmers - depend on farm-saved seed as their primary seed source. Monsanto, which recently merged with American Home Products, is the world's second largest seed corporation and the number one agrochemical corporation.
The owners of the Terminator patent have indicated that they will apply for patents in 87 countries worldwide. The patent is pending at the European Patent Office, in Canada, Australia, Japan and South Africa. USDA should be asked to abandon all international patent applications, and to revoke Terminator patents that have already issued, on the basis of public morality as provided in Article 27(2) of GATT TRIPS.
The Terminator technology is the subject of
controversy and debate worldwide.
In May, the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP IV) recommended that the precautionary principle be applied to the Terminator technology. COP IV also directed its scientific body to examine the technology's impact on farmers and biodiversity. In light of the Biodiversity Convention's ongoing assessment, USDA should cease negotiations that will lead to its commercial development.
India's agriculture minister Som Pal told the Indian parliament in August that he has banned the import of seeds containing the terminator gene because of the potential harm to Indian agriculture.
By majority vote, the Dutch Parliament recently moved to oppose the European Patent Directive by appealing to the European Court of Justice.
The Terminator patent is one of the key issues that prompted the Dutch to renew objections to the Patent Directive that was passed by the European Parliament earlier this year.
Negotiations between USDA and Monsanto are now underway, it is important to act now! Stop Monsanto's bid to license and control the dangerous Terminator technology. E-mail messages and/or faxes should be sent to the following USDA officials and members of Congress.
To see sample letters and automatic sending options, go to RAFI's web site:
The Honorable Dan Glickman,
Secretary of Agriculture
United States Department of Agriculture
200-A Whitten Bldg.
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington DC 20250
tel: 202 720-3631 fax: 202 720-2166
Dr. Floyd P. Horn, Administrator
USDA Agricultural Research Service
302-A Whitten Building
1400 Independence Ave., SW
Washington DC 20250
Tel: 202 720-3656 Fax: 202 720-5427
The Honorable Robert F. Smith, Chair
House Agriculture Committee
1126 Longworth Bldg.
Washington DC 20515-3702
Tel: 202 225-6730 Fax: 202 225-0917
The Honorable Richard G. Lugar, Chair
Senate Agriculture Committee
306 Hart Senate Office Bldg.
Washington DC 20510-1401
Tel: 202 224-4814 Fax: 202 224-1725
For more information on the terminator technology, there are several sources, including Gardener's Supply website at www.gardeners.com.
Additional sources cited include the Rural
Advancement Foundation International (they
coined the phrase Terminator technology) at http://www.rafi.org ;
the Union of Concerned Scientists at http://www.ucsusa.org ;
and Greenpeace at http://www.greenpeace.org .