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Genetically modified food aid
Posted: Saturday, August 24, 2002

Farm Group Says USDA Put Bad Corn Into Feed Chain

January 24, 2002

DES MOINES, Iowa (Reuters) - Iowa farmers and an environmental group on Thursday charged the U.S. government with selling a problem supply of genetically engineered corn to a feed company despite complaints that the corn had caused hormonal problems in pigs.

The Iowa Farmers Union (IFU) and Friends of the Earth sent a letter on Thursday to U.S. Department of Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman, asking the USDA to bar use of the corn in human or animal food "as long as the cause of reproductive failure in swine is unresolved." MORE

FDA Policies for Gene-Altered Foods Faulted in Report

by Justin Gillis, Washington Post

Excessive levels of harmful compounds could show up in genetically engineered foods because the government has failed to put strong safeguards in place to catch them, a consumer group says in a report scheduled for release today.

The Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), a Washington group known for a moderate stance on the use of genetic engineering to alter food plants, contends that the Food and Drug Administration, the primary federal agency responsible for food safety, missed "obvious errors" in reviewing some gene-altered crops. Although crops now on the market appear to be safe to eat, the group said the FDA's procedures are so full of holes that continued safety cannot be ensured as companies press to bring many more genetically engineered plants to market. MORE

India rejects food aid over GM content

January 03, 2003
By Edward Luce in New Delhi, Financial Times

India has rejected a large shipment of food aid from the United States because it contained genetically modified food, the Financial Times has learned.

The shipment of maize and soya - part of the US government's annual $100m in food aid to parts of India that suffer from chronic malnutrition - is thought to have contained bio-engineered content, say Indian officials. MORE

UK: GM crops are breeding with plants in the wild

December 29, 2002 : Independent/UK
By Geoffrey Lean

Alarming new results from official trials of GM crops are severely jeopardising Government plans for growing them commercially in Britain.

The results, in a new Government report, show for the first time in Britain that genes from GM crops are interbreeding on a large scale with conventional ones, and also with weeds.

The report is so devastating to the Government's case for GM crops that ministers last week sought to bury it by slipping the first information on it out on the website of the Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) on Christmas Eve, the one day in the year when no newspapers are being prepared. MORE

Alarm as GM pig vaccine taints US crops
Strict new guidelines planned after contamination

Suzanne Goldenberg in Washington
December 24, 2002, The Guardian

US authorities, shaken by a case in which food crops were contaminated with an experimental pig vaccine, are preparing to impose stringent guidelines on a new generation of experimental GM crops.
The department of agriculture and the environmental protection agency are encountering growing disquiet from a coalition of farmers and food manufacturers about the potential dangers of the next phase of GM products - "biopharming", or the implanting of genes in food crops to grow drugs and industrial chemicals. MORE

US calls food aid refusal a crime against humanity

Dec. 05, 2002

BRUSSELS, Dec 5 (Reuters) - African leaders who refuse to accept food aid due to fears of genetically modified products are committing crimes against humanity and should be put on trial, a senior U.S. official said on Thursday.

He said Europe, which has effectively banned the development and import of new genetically modified crops, should do more to help millions of people facing famine in southern Africa and reassure them over the safety of such crops.

"People that deny food to their people, that are in fact starving people to death should be held responsible...for the highest crimes against humanity in the highest courts in the world," Tony Hall, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations food agencies, told reporters.

His words were principally directed at Zambia, which has banned GM food, and to some extent Zimbabwe, where he said red tape was delaying food shipments although it had in principle accepted aid. MORE

Gene-altered grain mishaps spark fears of contamination
Corn, soybeans in two U.S. states ordered destroyed Texas firm takes responsibility for farm incidents
- Nov. 18, 2002

by Justin Gillis
Special to the Star

WASHINGTON - The chief executive of ProdiGene Inc., the company that mishandled gene-altered corn in Iowa and Nebraska, said his scientists will carefully study the possibility of growing such corn only in parts of the country where it could not contaminate the food supply.

That pledge by Anthony Laos, president and chief executive of the College Station, Texas, company, was a break from ProdiGene's past statements claiming that corn altered to make industrial or pharmaceutical proteins could be a boon for family farmers throughout the midwestern Corn Belt. MORE

Drought : Lessons from America
September 2002, by Devinder Sharma

There isn't a time when an educated Indian doesn't search for answers from 'America - the dream land' for the problems that crop up time and again at home. Whether in preventing hunger, promoting sustainable agriculture, kick-starting industrial growth, food habits, music, or adopting successful models of economic growth, India must follow the Americans. No wonder, the intelligentsia, the economists and the scientists are always desperate for opportunities to travel and return with a bag full of answers to our multitude of problems.

The solutions to India's raging drought - some call it the worst in recent memory - which haunts and ravages 12 states, too rest in the way America has managed its crop lands. After all, the United States has put together a drought-mitigation strategy, which has been touted as something that India needs to follow immediately. With hi-tech transformation, American agriculture, we all believe, has become insulated from the vagaries of drought. They apply laser, information technology and huge machines to farm cropland. They use satellite data, electronics and now genetic engineering for what is popularly called 'precision farming'. MORE

The Year of Playing Dangerously
The Great Containment:
Genetic Material Fallout from Mexico to Zambia

Oct. 26, 2002,

Thirteen months ago, the agbiotech industry wakened to a nightmare. Illegal and unwelcome, the presence of genetically-modified (GM) maize was reported smack in the crop's center of genetic origin in Mexico. There's never a good time for a political/ecological calamity, but the beleaguered Gene Giants were already struggling to persuade consumers, following the Taco Debacle (Starlink), that companies could control their inventions and their inventory.

The seed companies were also hoping to arm-twist EU ministers into lifting the ban on GM products in Europe. Suddenly, the headlines were full of the contamination scandal.

To make matters worse, the year ahead was shaping up to be the Year of the Summits--a succession of diplomatic poverty, hunger, and pollution "retros" including the Monterrey Summit on development financing in March; the 10th anniversary of the Biodiversity Convention in April; another World Food Summit (once more with feeling) in June-- all boiling up t! o the "mother of all summits" (World Summit on Sustainable Development) in South Africa in September. For the corporations (and the United States so aggressively supporting them) the issue was: how to run the gauntlet of intergovernmental marathons with GM contamination on their backs? Thirteen months later, the issue for governments, international agencies, and civil society is: how did the Gene Giants duck and dodge their way through all these fora and end the year with Southern African governments--half a world away from the "scene of the crime"--being blamed and vilified for rejecting GM seeds? MORE

Row grows over GM food aid for Africa

By Leonard Doyle, Independent UK, Oct. 19, 2002

A United Nations human rights envoy has been accused of endangering efforts to save 14 million people from starvation after he questioned the safety of genetically modified food destined for southern Africa.

Jean Ziegler, a UN special investigator for food, claimed that big corporations had more to gain from the use of GM food in the developing world than the poor countries that were trying to fight starvation.

"I'm against the theory of the multinational corporations who say if you are against hunger you must be for genetically modified organisms. That's wrong," Mr Ziegler said this week. "There is plenty of natural, normal, good food in the world to nourish the double of humanity."

Mr Ziegler's role is to report on the world food situation to the UN Human Rights Commission in Geneva and the UN General Assembly in New York. But his remarks have caused outrage in the international aid community, which is struggling to feed millions of hungry people in six southern African countries.

Lesotho, Malawi, Swaziland, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique are all affected by spreading famine. Several countries, including Zimbabwe, initially rejected GM food aid but in the face of a pending calamity have reluctantly begun to distribute it. However, in Zambia, where people are now dying of hunger and from eating poisonous wild roots, the government has refused to allow GM food aid from Canada and the United States to be distributed. MORE...

Genetically Engineered Seeds Self-Destruct

by Pianke Nubiyang


One may not believe their eyes after reading this (AFRICANS OF SOUTHERN AFRICA, TROPICAL AFRICA, INDIA, THE WORLD, LISTEN GOOD).

According to the September issue of Scientific American Magazine, seed companies and their scientists are now thinking about developing genetically engineered seeds, from natural foods found in the tropics. These seeds will only be capable of producing foods ONCE, and the genetic engineers will have the power to sell more seeds, while the local seeds would become contaminated and local farmers would have to depend on foreign companies for their seeds.

In California, there is about 11 months of dry weather. In fact much of California is in the high mountains or desert regions, some of it is near the coasts or the far north. Yet, most of California's best land is in regions that were dry lake beds or deserts that are sometimes identical in looks to parts of West Africa Sahel and the regions of Sudan and Southern Africa. In fact after Texas, California has the type of hot climate (110-125 degrees F, that one finds in parts of Africa), yet because of good and efficient irrigation, California's billion-dollar industry is agricultural produce. (hear this African leaders...West Indians others...its agriculture)

Therefore, the idea of taking African seeds and having foreign scientists genetically engineer seeds to produce only once is really committing genocide. How can any nation on earth agree to this scheme of destruction and dependence?

Here is the scheme again. Seed producing companies and scientists are planning to create genetically engineered seeds that will produce crops only once. After that, nations will have to depend on the seed companies to create more seeds, because the crop seeds will not be of any use.


In stead of creating seeds that self-destruct after one planting, so that farmers will be held like slaves to the producers of seeds that originated in tropical lands, farmers around the world should unite and work to stop the attempt to control the production of food by a few people. Let's get farmers and Ministers of Agriculture from Africa, the Caribbean, China, Europe, America, Australia and other lands to unite on this issue.

Farmers are the people who keep the world alive. If there were no farming, civilization would not exist. Farmers, especially Black farmers in the U.S., some White family farmers in the U.S. and Europe, farmers of China, Japan, India, Africa, the Caribbean and around the world are a breed of people who make great sacrifices, and many of us have seen what they have to go through on the news or read it in the paper. Imagine being a farmer in Trinidad and Jamaica, St. Lucia or Haiti and planting a crop, tending it and watching it get near harvest, only to have a hurricane wipe it out. That is heart breaking. Imagine you are a farmer in Europe and floods destroy all your livestock and crops. Imagine a farmer in China having to cut down because its not attracting people, who prefer to move in the cities. Imagine a Midwestern U.S. farmer selling his equipment due to being broke. Imagine peasant farmers in parts of Southern Africa having no land and have to work on the farm of foreigners like semi-slaves for a few dollars, while a few people control the entire system of agriculture.


Farmers and governments in Africa, the Caribbean, Asia, Latin America and elsewhere should be very careful about the trickery of selling their national heritage in the form of seeds, so that companies can control the food supply of the entire world and hold the rest of humanity hostage with their scheme to genetically modify seeds and crops.

UK Report Casts Doubt on North American GM Crops

Published on Wednesday, September 18, 2002 by Reuters
by Veronica Brown

LONDON, Sept 17 - Genetically modified crops in North America have been an economic disaster, which has caused some farm groups there to call for a moratorium on GM wheat, the next proposed crop to be altered, a report released on Tuesday said.

The study by the Soil Association, Britain's leading organic organization, estimated that gene-altered maize, soya and rapeseed may have cost the U.S. economy $12 billion since 1999 in farm subsidies, lower crop prices, loss of major export orders and product recalls.

Scientists have said that the advent of such crops could be the answer to world hunger, but the report said claims of increased yields have not been realized overall -- except for a small increase in some maize yields. MORE

Zimbabwe says No to GM food aid

September 2, 2002
From Wisdom Mdzungairi in JOHANESSBURG

ZIMBABWE will not accept food aid containing genetically modified organisms, Lands, Agriculture and Rural Resettlement Minister Cde Joseph Made said here yesterday. MORE

Zambia must take GM crops or starve

The United States, which grows genetically modified, or GM crops, provides 75 percent of the food WFP distributes to southern Africa.

The Zambian government says it is concerned about the safety of biotech food, and is afraid that GM grains might be planted, thus contaminating its food crop.

Donors are exaggerating food crisis - PRESIDENT Levy Mwanawasa has saild Government's rejection of Genetically Modified maize does not warrant a smear campaign from some donors who are now exaggerating the extent of hunger in the country.

Mr Mwanawasa said contrary to assertions by some donors, it was not true that 2 million Zambians face starvation now that Government had rejected the GM maize.

Speaking in Sinazongwe at the start of his tour of Southern Province yesterday, the President warned that Government may be forced to give matching orders to such donors if reports that 2 million Zambians may die of starvation persist.

"If these people think we have committed a sin to reject the GMOs, then they should go before we give them matching orders," the President said when he addressed Sinazongwe residents yesterday.

Mr Mwanawasa said if the donors had information that some people in areas they know were dying of hunger, they should go to his office where upon he would give them relief food.

"If these people know who is starving because of lack of food, let them come to me and say so and so is starving. We will give them relief food to give those people," Mr Mwanawasa said.

The President said the government's decision to reject the GMOs did not mean that the country undermined the people who offered her food.

He said the decision was made in the interest of the public and he did not have any regrets for taking such a stance.

Mr Mwanawasa stated that no one would die of hunger for as long as the MMD government remained in office.

Mr Mwanawasa underscored Government's decision to provide for the hungry when he announced that 100 metric tonnes of maize had been supplied to Sinazongwe while 150 tonnes were destined for Choma.

The President wondered how else the country could have accepted GMOs when in fact these foods had been rejected in Europe.

"If Europe has rejected the GMOs why should we accept them just because we are poor," Mr Mwanawasa asked.

Mr Mwanawasa said if Zambia produced GMOs, Europe would have been the first to reject the items.

He said Zambia should be proud that her agriculture products were accepted in Europe because they were not genetically modified.

Mr Mwanawasa urged the people of Sinazongwe to work hard and ensure there was food throughout the year to feed themselves.

He said it was a shame that despite having been independent for the past 37 years, Zambia depended on food imports.

Mr Mwanawasa said the winter maize project going on in the area should be supported because it would create employment and ensure food security.

He warned the people not to steal the produce from Agriflora because doing so would frustrate investors who may end up leaving the area.

Mr Mwanawasa said he was impressed with the performance of the winter maize project in Sinazongwe.

And KELVIN CHONGO reports that Agriflora general manager Niel Sledge said their farm was making K400 million per day in agricultural products exported to European markets representing sales of K12 billion per month.

Mr Sledge said the company supported the government's efforts and policy on agriculture.

Speaking when he took President Mwanawasa on a conducted tour of the farm, Mr Sledge said the farm has employed 7,000 workers and at full scale can produce 20,000 metric tonnes of winter maize and a similar quantity of rain-fed maize.

He said from the current winter maize grown, his company would produce 800 metric tonnes of maize.

Agriculture and Cooperatives Minister Mundia Sikatana said he was happy with the project because it had also guaranteed employment throughout the year to the villagers.

U.S. Offers Zambia Food Safety Help

Wednesday August 28, 2002, Guardian UK

LUSAKA, Zambia (AP) - The United States offered Wednesday to help Zambia assess the safety of genetically modified grain, after the Southern African nation rejected donations despite an impending food crisis.

Washington has offered to help Zambia set up its own biotechnology plant so scientists can research genetically modified foods, said Andrew Natsios, the director of the U.S. Agency for International Development.

The United States will also provide Zambia data collected by its own scientists, he said. Natsios made the offer at a meeting with Zambian president Levy Mwanawasa, during a two-day visit to Zambia.

Natsios told reporters shortly before his departure that the United States had also offered to help Zambian scientists travel to the United States to review the safety of the corn produced there.

He maintained that genetically modified food is safe, saying Americans eat it every day. MORE

Zambia Rejects U.N. Appeal
August 25, 2002 RaceandHistory Message Board

NGOs pursue agenda of Western governments

Bush baits Brussels over GM crops August 25, 2002
The US government is to launch a trade war over GM crops in an attempt to force the European Union to back down in its tough stance against GM.

Will GM crops deliver benefits to farmers?

African nations ban biofood aid despite famine
San Francisco Chronicle - (Aug 23, 2002)
Hungry nations balk at gene-altered food
Boston Globe - (Aug 23, 2002)
Panel Urges Caution on Cloned, Engineered Food
Reuters - (Aug 21, 2002)
Better rice, less global warming
BBC - (Aug 20, 2002)
GM crop trials spread pollen
The Guardian (UK). - (Aug 19, 2002)
Zambia Rejects U.S. Genetic Corn
Associated Press - (Aug 17, 2002)
Zambia turns down GM aid
BBC - (Aug 17, 2002)
Zambia to Refuse Modified Food Aid, Diplomat Says
Reuters - (Aug 16, 2002)
Genetically Modified Seed Found
Associated Press - (Aug 15, 2002)
Unauthorized genetically modified seed found in crop trials
Associated Press - (Aug 15, 2002)
Scientists shocked at GM gene transfer
The Guardian (UK). - (Aug 15, 2002)
Biotech firms didn't isolate GM crops properly: U.S. agency
CBC - (Aug 14, 2002)
EPA accuses two biotech companies of failing to properly isolate genetically modified crops
Associated Press - (Aug 14, 2002)
Ore. Measure Aims at Modified Foods
Associated Press - (Aug 12, 2002)


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Compiled by: Trinicenter Staff

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