Broadcast News From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

Dear Health Freedom Fighters,

The article posted below from Friday's New York Times titled "Public Misinformed on Genetically Modified Foods" offers an interesting perspective on these controversial foods. It discusses how the approach the biotech industry took to keep labels off of genetically engineered foods was probably a mistake. The author suggests that a better approach would have been to label them and then promote their benefits.

While this offers an unique approach to the issue of genetically engineered foods, it still does not address several concerns. There is growing interest from the scientific community over possible negative health and environmental effects of genetically engineered crops. As a matter of fact, the letter from Institute of Science in Society signed by scientists worldwide recommending a global moratorium on genetically modified crops has grown from 144 scientists as of the WTO meeting in Seattle to the current 231. The letter is posted after the New York Times article below. Or you may view it from their web site at:

Craig Winters: Executive Director The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

The Campaign
PO Box 55699
Seattle, WA 98155
Tel: 425-771-4049
Fax: 603-825-5841
Web Site:

Mission Statement: "To create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States."

The New York Times December 17, 1999

Public Misinformed on Genetically Modified Foods --by Floyd Norris

Consider the possibilities of a scientific breakthrough that could allow farmers to grow more food while using less pesticide, or to add vitamins to vegetable oils to prevent malnutrition. Maybe some plastic products now made from petroleum could instead be produced from plants.

Would the stock prices of companies developing such products soar to Internet-style heights? Would the scientists be viewed as potential saviors in a world where hunger and malnutrition are realities for many millions, and where pollution from oil refineries remains a problem?

The answer to both questions is no.

Seldom in human history has a technology with such exciting possibilities seemed less popular than genetic modification of foods -- a k a "Frankenstein foods" in the British tabloids -- is today. Wall Street is leery, and now class-action lawyers have leaped in with a double-barreled suit accusing Monsanto, the leading company in the field, of trying to monopolize a business the lawyers say relies on foisting possibly dangerous foods on the public.

The way things are going, Monsanto executives who want to avoid being harassed at cocktail parties and on airplanes may take to lying about what they do. Perhaps they'd do better if they claimed to be from Philip Morris.

How did we get to this point? One answer is that the industry's lobbyists were too successful. They persuaded the Food and Drug Administration that genetic modification -- which involves inserting a gene into a plant -- was not very different from the old way of breeding plants, and that the corn or soybeans were equally nutritious. So there was no need to call attention to it on labels.

But because there was no need to reassure consumers, there was also no need to educate them. The marketing efforts focused on farmers and, as it happened, the early products did more for farmers, with higher crop yields and resistance to pests, than for consumers, in terms of improved nutrition. Farmers embraced the technology.

Then the resistance arose, largely in Europe. Who can be absolutely certain that these products will not have some bad effect on animals, or plants or the environment? Ask the question that way, and the answer is that no one can. Ask whether the evidently small risks offset the potential gains -- in nutrition and in reducing pesticide use, among others -- and you might get a different answer.

Now European fears are being exported to an American public that knows virtually nothing about the subject -- and is hearing about it from people warning of dangers. Farmers are getting nervous about planting the seeds.

Wall Street, meanwhile, is putting pressure on Monsanto to spin off its Searle pharmaceuticals business. James Wilbur, an analyst at Salomon Smith Barney, figures that an independent Searle would be worth about $38 a share. You can buy Searle, with the rest of Monsanto thrown in, for less than $41 a share, which gives you some idea just how happy investors are about agribusiness these days. Since the end of 1997, the Standard & Poor's 500-stock index is up 46 percent, while Monsanto is down 4 percent.

It would have been better if Monsanto and its competitors had insisted on -- rather than resisted -- putting labels on genetically modified products. Perhaps they could have portrayed the labels as indicating a superior product with environmental benefits. Instead, they left the public education to the industry's foes. In persuading regulators that no labels were needed, the lobbyists won a Pyrrhic victory.

Institute of Science in Society
Open Letter from World Scientists to All Governments


We, the undersigned scientists, call for the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of GM crops and products; for patents on life-forms and living processes to be revoked and banned; and for a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all.

Patents on life-forms and living processes threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources, violate basic human rights and dignity, compromise healthcare, impede medical and scientific research and are against the welfare of animals.

Life-forms such as organisms, seeds, cell lines and genes are discoveries and hence not patentable. Current GM techniques which exploit living processes are unreliable, uncontrollable and unpredictable, and do not qualify as inventions. Furthermore, those techniques are inherently hazardous, as are many GM organisms and products.

The latest largescale surveys of GM crops showed they offered no benefits. On the contrary, they yield significantly less and require more herbicides. GM crops intensify corporate monopoly on food which is driving family farmers to destitution, and preventing the essential shift to sustainable agriculture that can guarantee food security and health around the world

The hazards of GM crops and products to biodiversity and human and animal health are now becoming apparent, and some even acknowledged by sources within the UK and US Governments. In particular, the horizontal spread of antibiotic resistance marker genes from GM crops will compromise the treatment of life-threatening infectious diseases which have come back worldwide. New findings show that the horizontal spread of transgenic DNA can occur, not only by ingestion but via breathing in pollen and dust. The cauliflower mosaic viral promoter, widely used in GM crops, may enhance horizontal gene transfer and has the potential to generate new viruses that cause diseases.

We urge all Governments to take account of the scientific evidence in accordance with the precautionary principle, to negotiate a strong and effective International Biosafety Protocol under the CBD, and to ensure that biosafety legislations at the national and international levels take precedence over trade and financial agreements at the WTO. Research into sustainable agricultural methods that do not require GM crops should be widely supported. Many sustainable agricultural systems have already resulted in increased yields and diminished environmental impacts around the world.

* * *

We, the undersigned scientists, call for the immediate suspension of all environmental releases of GM crops and products, both commercially and in open field trials, for at least 5 years; for patents on living processes, organisms, seeds, cell lines and genes to be revoked and banned; and for a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all. (1)

1. Patents on life-forms and living processes threaten food security, sanction biopiracy of indigenous knowledge and genetic resources, violate basic human rights and dignity, compromise healthcare, impede medical and scientific research and are against the welfare of animals. Life-forms such as organisms, seeds, cell lines and genes are discoveries and hence not patentable. Current GM techniques which exploit living processes are unreliable, uncontrollable and unpredictable, and do not qualify as inventions. Furthermore, those techniques are inherently hazardous, as are many GM organisms and products2.

2. It is becoming increasingly clear that current GM crops are neither needed nor beneficial. They are a dangerous diversion from the real task of providing food and health around the world.

3. The promises to genetic engineer crops to fix nitrogen, resist drought, improve yield and to 'feed the world' have been around for at least 30 years. Such promises have built up a multibillion-dollar industry now controlled by a mere handful of corporate giants.

4. The miracle crops have not materialised. Instead, two simple characteristics account for all the GM crops in the world3. More than 70% are tolerant to broad-spectrum herbicides, with companies engineering plants to be tolerant to their own brand of herbicide, while the rest are engineered with bt-toxins to kill insect pests. A total of 65 million acres were planted in 1998 within the US, Argentina and Canada. The latest surveys on GM crops in the US, the largest grower by far, showed no significant benefit. On the contrary, the most widely grown GM crops - herbicide-tolerant soya beans - yielded on average 6.7% less and required two to five times more herbicides than non-GM varieties4.

5. According to the UN food programme, there is enough food to feed the world one and a half times over. World cereal yields have consistently outstripped population growth since 1980, but one billion are hungry5. It is on account of corporate monopoly operating under the globalised economy that the poor are getting poorer and hungrier. Family farmers all over the world have been driven to destitution and suicide, and for the same reasons. Between 1993 and 1997 the number of mid-sized farms in the US dropped by 74,4406, and farmers are now receiving below the average cost of production for their produce7. Four corporations currently control 85% of the world trade in cereals8.

6. The new patents on seeds will intensify corporate monopoly by preventing farmers from saving and replanting seeds, which is what most farmers still do in the Third World. Christian Aid, a major charity working with the Third World, concludes that GM crops will cause unemployment, exacerbate Third World debt, threaten sustainable farming systems and damage the environment. It predicts famine for the poorest countries9.

7. A coalition of family farming groups in the US have issued a comprehensive list of demands, including a ban on ownership of all life-forms; a suspension of sales, environmental releases and further approvals of all GM crops and products pending an independent, comprehensive assessment of the social, environmental, health and economic impacts; and for corporations to be made liable for all damages arising from GM crops and products to livestock, human beings and the environment10. They are also demanding a moratorium on all corporate mergers and acquisitions, a moratorium on farm closures, and an end to policies that serve big agribusiness interests at the expense of family farmers, taxpayers and the environment11.

8. The hazards of GM crops are now becoming apparent, and some of them are even acknowledged by sources within the UK and US Governments. For example, the UK Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food (MAFF) has admitted that the transfer of GM crops and pollen beyond the planted fields is unavoidable12 and this has already resulted in herbicide-tolerant weeds13. Bt-resistant insect pests have evolved in response to the continuous presence of the toxins in GM plants throughout the growing season, and the US Environment Protection Agency is recommending farmers to plant up to 40% non-GM crops in order to create refugia for non-resistant insect pests14. The broad-spectrum herbicides used with herbicide-tolerant GM crops not only decimate wild species indiscriminately, but are toxic to animals. One of them, glufosinate, causes birth defects in mammals15, A Swedish study now links the top-selling herbicide, glyphosate, to non-Hodgkin lymphoma16. GM crops with bt-toxins kill beneficial insects such as bees17 and lacewings18, and pollen from bt-maize is lethal to monarch butterflies19. GM potatoes with snowdrop lectin, previously found to harm ladybirds20, are now confirmed to be toxic to young rats21.

9. Products resulting from genetically modified organisms have also been found to be hazardous. For example, a batch of tryptophan produced by GM microorganisms was associated with at least 37 deaths and 1500 serious illnesses22. Genetically modified Bovine Growth Hormone, injected into cows in order to increase milk yield, not only causes excessive suffering and illnesses for the cows but increases IGF-1 in the milk, which is linked to breast and prostate cancers in humans23. It is vital for the public to be protected from all GM products, and not only those containing transgenic DNA or protein.

10. A potential source of health hazards from GM crops is from the secondary horizontal transfer of transgenic DNA to unrelated species; in principle, to all species interacting with the transgenic plants24. The spread of antibiotic resistance marker genes to pathogens is the most immediate danger as this will further compromise treatment of life-threatening drug and antibiotic resistance diseases which have come back worldwide. However, the random insertion of foreign DNA into genomes associated with horizontal transfer of transgenic DNA can also result in many harmful effects, including cancer in mammalian cells25. The potential for horizontal gene transfer is now also acknowledged by sources within the US and UK Governments.

11. The possibility for naked or free DNA to be taken up by mammalian cells is explicitly mentioned in the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) draft guidance to industry on antibiotic resistance marker genes26. In commenting on the FDA's document, the UK MAFF pointed out that transgenic DNA may be transferred not just by ingestion, but by contact with plant dust and air-borne pollen during farm work and food processing27, and cited several significant new findings bearing on the issue.

12. Thus, plant DNA is not readily degraded during most commercial food processing28. Procedures such as grinding and milling left grain DNA largely intact, as did heat-treatment at 90oC. Plants placed in silage showed little degradation of DNA, and the special UK MAFF report advises against using GM plants or plant waste in animal feed.

13. The letter from UK MAFF to US FDA also mentions new findings that the human mouth contains bacteria capable of taking up and expressing naked DNA containing antibiotic resistance marker genes, and similar transformable bacteria are also present in the respiratory tracts29.

14. What both regulatory authorities have failed to consider is that transgenic pollens, which may have increased allergenicity and toxicity besides, will almost certainly spread far afield to the general public. Similarly, the current unregulated practice of feeding farm animals transgenic grain and plant remains, and transgenic wastes, both ensilaged and otherwise, is endangering the health of farm animals and of human beings in spreading antibiotic resistance marker genes and other transgenic DNA.

15. Serious health concerns are also raised by the cauliflower mosaic viral (CaMV) promoter in transgenic DNA. The CaMV promoter, widely used to boost expression of transgenes, is known to contain a 'recombination hotspot'. One common mechanism of recombination involves the double-stranded DNA breaking and joining with other double-stranded DNA. This has been identified as the mechanism generating many different lines of transgenic rice during a routine experiment. Extensive recombination at the hotspot has taken place in the absence of the viral recombinase enzyme, indicating that the host plant cell can catalyse such recombinations30. Thus, the CaMV promoter has an enhanced capability to transfer horizontally, with potentially dangerous consequences31.

16. CaMV is closely related to human hepatitis B virus, and also has a reverse transcriptase gene related to that in retroviruses such as the AIDS-associated HIV32. Moreover, at least one regulatory sequence for viral replication in CaMV may be interchangeable with that in HIV33. Thus, the CaMV promoter not only enhances horizontal gene transfer, but has the potential to reactivate dormant viruses (which are in all genomes) and to generate new viruses by recombination.

17. The British Medical Association, in their interim report (published May, 1999), called for an indefinite moratorium on the releases of GMOs pending further research on new allergies, the spread of antibiotic resistance genes and the effects of transgenic DNA. This position is fully in accord with the precautionary principle.

18. Contrary to the claims of the UK Government, no useful results can be obtained in the current massive 'farm-scale' trials of transgenic herbicide-tolerant oil-seed rape and maize where the spread of transgenic pollens cannot be controlled, and which make no attempts to monitor for horizontal gene transfer or for impacts on health.

19. We urge all Governments to take proper account of the now substantial scientific evidence of hazards arising from GM technology and many of its products, and to impose an immediate moratorium on further releases in accordance with the precautionary principle. In particular, Governments should negotiate a strong and effective International Biosafety Protocol under the Convention of Biological Diversity, and to insist that biosafety legislations at the national and international levels take precedence over trade and financial agreements of the WTO.

20. Research into sustainable, non-corporate agricultural systems which do not involve GM crops should be widely supported. Many of those systems have already resulted in increased yield and income for family farmers, diminished environmental impacts, and improvements in nutrition and health for all.

World Scientists' Statement

World Scientists' Statement launched in Cartegena, Columbia, (Feb. 1999) during the UN Convention of Biological Diversity Conference on the International Biosafety Protocol, calling on all governments to:

* Impose an immediate moratorium on further environmental releases of transgenic crops, food and animal-feed products for at least 5 years. * Ban patents on living organisms, cell lines and genes. * Support a comprehensive, independent public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all, taking account of the full range of scientific findings as well as socioeconomic and ethical implications.

Signed (231 scientists from 27 countries):

Prof. Adolfo E. Boy, Horticulture and Sustainable Agri. Univ. Moron, Chair
of Inst. of Sustainble Agriculture, Argentina
Dr. Maria G. Neunteufel, Economist, Vienna, Austria
DI Gertrude Kaffenbock. Ph.D. candidate, Agricultural Economist, St. Polton,
Dr. Peter j. McMachon, Plant Physiologist, Genethics, Australia Conservation
Foundation, Australia
Dr. Graeme E. Browne, General Practitioner, Melbourne, PSRAST, Australia
Dr. Horst W. Doelle, Prof. Micobiology, Univ. Queensland retired, Chair of
International Organisation for Biotechnology and Bioengineering, Director,
MIRCEN-Biotechnology, Brisbance and Pacific Regional Network.
Angela Fehringer, Anthropology Student, Sydney, Australia
Margaret Jackson, BSc.Genetics, National Genetics Awareness Alliance,
Dr. Ted Steele, Molecular Immunologist, U. Wollengong, Australia
Stephen Glanville PDC, ECOS Design, Australia
Dr Farhad Mazhar, Ecologist, New Agricultural Movement, Bangladesh
Renata Menasche, Agronomist, Federal Un. of Rio Grand du Sul, Brazil
Paulo Roberto Martins, Research Institute of Technology, Brazil
Dr Thomas R. Preston, Un. of Tropical Agriculture, Cambodia
Prof. David Suzuki, Geneticist, U.B.C., Canada
Prof. Joe Cummins, Geneticist, University of Western Ontario, Canada
Dr Warren Bell, MD, Canad. Assoc. of Physicians for the Environ., Canada
Prof. Abby Lippman, Epidemologist & Geneticist, McGill Un. Canada
Prof. Ronald Labonte, Population Health Research Director, Ontario, Canada
Prof. Emeritus Edwin E. Daniel, FRSC, Health Science, McMaster Univ.
Ontario, Canada
Dr. Ingrid C. Northwood, Biochemist, Simon Fraser Univ., Canada
Laura Mitchell, Earth Scientist, APEGBG, Canada
Steve Robak, Canadian Department of National Defence, Canada
Dr. John C. Worketin, Retired computer scientist, Ontario, Canada
Aaron Jette, Anthrolopogy student, McGill Univ., Montreal, Canada
Prof. Alain Cuerrier, Taxonomy/Botany, Quebec, Univ. of Montreal, Canada
Anna D. Noikov, B.A.B.Ed., Wholistic Practitioner, Edmonton, Canada
Dr. Carolyn A. Simmerman, ND.DC, Docotr., Whole Health Centre, Edmonton,
Denis Cauchon, M.Sc. Ph.D. candidate, Toxicology, Ecole HEC, Montreal,
Dr. Gavin A. Kemp, ret. Researcher, Vegetable Crop Breeding, Lethbridge,
Dr. James A. Nero, D.C., General Practitioner, neuromusculoskeletal
medicine, Coquitlam, Canada
John B. Van Loon, M.Sc., Storage Entomologist, retired, Canadian Grain
Commission, Winnipeg, PSRAST, Canada
Prof. Ralph C. Martin, Plant Science, Nova Scotia Agricultural College,
Truro, Canada
Prof. R.M. Wolfson, Physicist, Maharishi Vedic College, Ottawa, Canada
Virginia F. Flamarique, AMD, Consultant Agrologist, Edmonton, Canada
Yoon C. Chen, B.Sc., DPM Podiatrist, Foot Clinic, Lethbridge, Alberta,
Prof. Marijan Jost, Plant Geneticist, Agricultural College, Krizevci,
Prof. Drasko Seman, Ecologist, Univ. Zagreb Medical School, Croatia,
Croatian Man and Biosphere Committee, UNESCO South Eastern Mediterranean Sea
Project, UNESCO Comm. Ed. & Communication, INCN, European Committee on
Environmental Ed., IUCN, Croatia
Prof Anton Svajger, Un Zagreb Medical School, Croatia
Vesna Samobor, M.Sc. Agricultural College, Krizevci, Croatia
Damir Magdic, M.Sc. Food Scientist, Osijek Un, Croatia
Damjan Bogdanovic, PhD candidate, Un Zagreb, Croatia
Dr. Zora Matrovic, MD, MS, Vice-President, Croatia Natural Law Party,
Dr. Gennadi Kobzar, Senior Scientist, Biomedicine, Institute of Chemistry,
Tallinn Technical Univ. PSRAST, Estonia.
Dr. Tewolde Egziabher, Agronomist, Min. of the Environment, Spokesperson for
African Region, Ethiopia
Dr. Herve Le Meur, Biomathematician, Univ. Paris, France
Dr. George Capouthier, Biologist, Univ. Paris, France
Dr. Jean-Michel Panoff, Univ. of Caen, Caen, France
Dr. Vic Norris, IFR Systems Integres, Univ. Rouen, France
Dr. Jean-Pierre Berlan, Directeur de Recherches INR/CTESI, France
Thieerry Raffin, Sociologue, President de InfOGM, France
Alain Fardif, Certificat of therapist, Paris, France
Dr. Jean Estrangin, MK, General Practice, Grenoble, France
Dr. Luc G. Bulot, Researcher, ESA CNRS 6019- Centre de Sedimentologie-
Paleontologie, Marseille, PSRAST, France
Sylvain Allombert, M.Sc., Ph.D. Student, Ecology, Centre National de la
Recherche Scientificque, Monpellier, PSRAST, France
Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini, Laboratoire de Biochimie& Moleculaire, Univ.
Caen, France
Dr. Christine von Weisaeker, Ecoropa, Germany
Dr. Reinald Doebel, Institute of Sociology, Rural and Development Soc.,
Westfaelische Wilhelms Univ., Germany
Dr. Rebecca C. Wade, Molecular Biology, Heidelberg, Germany
Dr Christiane Boecker, MCommH, Community Health, Haiti
Kevin Li, B.Sc., Hong Kong, Hong Kong
Prof. Ervin Laszlo, President, The Club of Budapest, Hungary
Dr. Vandana Shiva, Research Institute for Science and Ecology, India
Dr. Muhua Achary, Environmentalist, St. Joseph's College, Bangalore, India
Dr. Thomas S. Cox, Research Geneticist, U.S. Dept. of Agriculture,
Manhattan, KS (retired) - present address Hyderabad, India.
Devinder Sharma, Geneticist, Plant Breeder and Writer, Forum for
Biotechnology and Food Security, New Delhi, India
C. Nanjunda Murthy, M.Sc. Plant Scientist, Karnataka, India
Dr. N. Raghauram, Plant Molecular Biology, Univ. Mumbai, India
Dr. Bruno D'Udine, Behaviour Ecologist, University of Udine, Italy
Dr Giorgio Cingolani, Agricultural Economist, Italy
Prof. Leopoldo Silvestroni, Endocrinologist, Univ. of Rome, Italy
Prof. Adriano Decarli, Cancer Epidermiology, INST, Univ. Milan, Italy
Prof. Atuhiro Sibatani, Molecular Biologist, Osaka, Japan
Dr Shiron Sugita, Plant Geneticist, Nagoya U. Japan
Dr Noeoru Tagishita, Plant Geneticist, Jap. Assoc. Agro-Nature, Tokyo, Japan
Dr. Shingo Shibata, Biosafety and Environmental Sociologist, Japan
Dr Machiko Yasukohchi, PLAN - International Japan Public Relations
Jaroen Compeerapap, Environmental Law and Development Center, The
Dr Robert Mann, Ecologist, Auckland, New Zealand
Dr Peter R Wills, Theoretical Biology, Uni. Auckland, New Zealand
Robert Anderson, PSRG, New Zealand
Dr. Shona L. Lamoureaux, Plant Ecology, Christchurch, New Zealand
Sigrid D. Houlette, B.Sc. Solid Waste Manager, Environemtal Engineering,
Local Government, Lower Hutt, New Zealand
Prof. Terje Traavik, Virologist, University of Tromso, Norway
Dr Ingrid Olesen, Senior Research Scientist, Institute of Aquaculture Res.
Ltd, Norway
Dr. Lars Rasmussen, MD, General Practitioner, Univ. Oslo, Mesnali, Norway
Prof. Oscar B. Zamora, Agronomist, U. Philippines, Los Banos, Philippines
Dr. Pamela G. Fernadez, Agronomist, U. Philippines, Los Banos, Philippines
Dr. Romeo F. Quijano, Pesticide Action Network, Pharmacologist/Toxiologist,
Charles T. Olsen, D.C., Chiropractic Clinic, Davao Clinic, PSRAST,
Dr. Margarida Silva, Molecular Biologist, Portuguese Catholic Univ.,
Dr. Franciso J.C. M. Teixeira, Researcher, Geophysics, Geological and Mining
Institute, Lisbon, Portugal
Glenn Ashton, Director, Ekogaia Foundation, and Green Party, South Africa
Dr Gregorio Alvar, Biotechnologist,. Computense U. Madrid, Spain
Dr. Javier Blasco, Aragonese Ctr Rural European Information, Spain
Prof. Ernest Garcia, Ph. D., Sociology, Univ. Valencia, Dept. Sociologia I
Antropologia Social, Valencia, Spain
Prof. F. Pura Duart Soler, Sociology, Univ. Valencia, PSRAST, Spain
Prof. Every N. Gummesson, Management, Stockholm Univ. PSRAST, Sweden
Dr. Katarina Leppanen, History of Ideas, Gothenburg Uni, Sweden,
Dr. Jaan Suurkula, Physician, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible
Assessment of Science and Technology, Stockholm, Sweden.
Said O. Holmin, Lic. Technology, Rector, Computer Science, College of
Creative Computer Science, Stockholm, Sweden
Florianne Koechlin, Biologist, World Wildlife Fund, Switzerland
Verena Soldati, Biotechnologist, Basler Appell, Switzerland.
Dr. Daniel Amman, Cell Biologist, Tech. Switzerland
Dr. Ruth Goseth, Dermatologist, ISDE, Switzerland
Yves Schatzle, Agronomist and Economist, Switzerland
Yvan Maillard, dipl. Sc. Nat. ETH, Environementalist, Ecology, Fribourg,
PSRAST, Switzerland
Prof. Omboom Luanratana, Pharmacologist, Univ. of Mahedol, Bangkok, Thailand
Dr. David Bellamy, Biologist and Broadcaster, London, UK
Prof. Arpad Pusztai, Biochemist, Formerly from Rowett Institute, UK
Dr. Susan Bardocz, Geneticist, Aberdeen, UK
Dr. Colin L.A. Leakey, Plant Geneticist, Cambridge, UK
Dr. Harash Narang, Pathologist, BSE expert, UK
Prof. Richard Lacey, Microbiologist, Leeds, UK
Dr. Michael Antoniou, Molecular Geneticist, Guy's Hospital, UK
Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Geneticist and Biophysicist, Open University, UK
Dr J. M. Kerr, Bioethics, Winchester College: Oxford U. UK
Gerard C. Bodeker, Ed. D., Senior Clinical Lecturer in Public Health, Univ.
Oxford Medical School, UK
Fatima Pelica, Biochemist, PhD Candidate, JII, UK
Manoel Bascoi, Geneticist, PhD Candidate, JII, UK
Dr. Jerry Ravetz, Philosopher of Science, London, UK
Dr Tom Wakeford, Biologist, U. of East London, UK
Peter Preston Jones, MSc, Environomental Campaigner, UK
Prof. Brian Goodwin, Biologist, Schumacher College, UK
Patrick Holden, Director, Soil Association, UK
Dr. Eva Novotny, Astrophysicist, Univ. Cambridge (retired), UK
Prof. Ian Stewart, Biomathematics, U. Warwick, UK
Dr. Vyvyan Howard, Toxipathologist, U. Liverpool, UK
Edward Goldsmith, Editor, The Ecologist, London, UK
Zac Goldsmith, Editor, The Ecologist, London, UK
Lynda Birke , Biologist, Liverpool Uni. Veterinary School, UK
Prof. Peter Saunders, Biomathematician, U. London, UK
Prof. Tim Ingold, Anthropologist, U. Manchester, UK
Dr. Robert C. Poller, Organic Chemist, U. London, UK
Gordon Daly Ph.D student, Gene Therapist, Kennedy Inst. London, UK
Stuart Daly Ph.D student, Transgenic group, Charing Cross Hosp. UK
Dr. John E. Hammond, Engineer, Highfeild, UK
Dr. Philip Kilner, Cardiologist, Royal Brompton & Harefield, UK
Dani Kaye M.Sc. Scientists for Global Responsibility London, UK
David Kaye M.Sc. Scientists for Global Responsibility, London, UK
Angela Ryan, Molecular biologist, Open Univ. UK
Prof. David Packham, Material Scientist, U. Bath, UK
Dr. David J Heaf, Biochemist, Wales, UK
Dr. Alan Currier, Taxonomist, IRBV, UK
Dr. Gesa Staats de Yanes, Veterinarian Toxicologists, U. Liverpool, UK
Barbara Wood-Kaczmar, M.Sc., Science writer, UK
Dr. Gene S. Thomas, Agriculturist, UK
Dr. David A.H. Birley, General Medical Practitioner, Swindon, UK
Dr. Brian Hursey, ex FAO Senior Officer for Vector Borne Diseases, Neath ,
Dr. Michel Pimbert, Agricultural Ecologist, International Institute for
Environment and Develoment, London,UK
Joseph A. Gari, Ph. D. candidate, Ecological Geographer, Univ. Oxford, UK
Dr. M.E. Caparis, Nea Ecologia, Marine Biology, London Univ., UK
Dr. Alassandro Gimona, Research Scientist, Ecology, MLURI, Aberdeen, UK
Darl N. Middleton, Ph. D. Candidate, Environ. Science, Drpt. Civil
Engineering, Univ. Manchester, UK
Dr. Jean A.D. Saunders, BDS, LDS RCS, Dental Surgeon (retired) Faringdon, UK
Dr. Karen Wren, University teacher, Geography, St. Andrews Univ., St.
Andrews, Fife, UK
Dr. Keith H. Halfacree, Univ. Lecturer, Geography, Univ. of Wales Swansea,
Lale Gurel, Bec., Manager, Nature Macmillan Publishers, London, UK
Dr. Margaret J. Tyson, Glossop, PSRAST, UK
Dr. Michael L. Abrahams, (retired) Aeronautics, Bristol, PSRAST, UK
Sophie H. Bown, B.Sc. Ph.D. Candidate, Zoology, Manchester Univ., UK
Prof. Martha Crouch, Biologist, Indiana University, USA
Prof. Ruth Hubbard, Biologist, Harvard University, USA
Prof. Phil Bereano, Council for Responsible Genetics, U. Washington USA
Prof. Martha Herbert , Pediatric Neurologist, Mass. Gen. Hosp. USA
Prof. Jonathan King, Molecular Biology, MIT, Cambridge, Council for
Responsible Genetics, USA
Prof. Liebe F. Cavalieri, Mathematical Ecology, Evolution and Behaviour,
Univ. Minnesota, St. Paul, USA
Prof. David Ehrenfeld, MD, Biology/Ecology, Cook College, Rutgers Univ., New
Jersey, USA
Prof. Philip B. Rudnick, Emeritus, Chemistry, West Chester Univ.,
Pennsylvania, PSRAST, USA
Prof. Philip J. Regal, Dept. Ecology, Evolution and Behavior Univ.
Minnesota, St. Paul, USA.
Prof. Stuart A. Newman, Developmental Biology, New York Medical College,
Valhalla, New York USA
Prof. David Schwartzman, Geochemist, Howard Uni. Washington DC USA
Prof. John Garderineer, Biologist, U. Michigan USA
Dr. Samuel Epstein, School of Public Health, Univ. Illinois, Chicago, USA
Dr John Fagan, Genetics ID, Washington, USA
Dr. Britt Bailey, Senior Researcher, CETOS, Ca, USA
Dr. Marc Lappe, Geneticist and Director CETOS, Ca, USA
Dr Michael W Fox, Veterinarian & Bioethicist, Washington DC, USA
Dr Walter Bortz, Physician, Palo Alto, USA
Anne-Marie Mayer, Ph. D. candidate, Nutrition, Cornell Univ., USA
Dr. Catherine Badley, Biologist, University of Michigan USA
Dr. Gerald Smith, Zoologist, U. Michigan, USA
Vuejuin McKersen M.Sc, Natural Resource Manager U. Michigan, USA
Dr. John Soluri, Historian of Science, Carnegie Mellon U USA
Juiet S Erazo PhD student U. of Michigan USA
Dr. Juette Peufecto, Biologist, U of Michigan USA
U.V. Kutzli Ph.D. Candidate, U of Michigan USA
Kristin Cobelius M.Sc. Student, U. Michigan USA
Lena S Nicolai PhD Student University of Michigan USA
Marial Peelle, Biol./Anthropologist Undergrad. Swarthmors College USA
Dr. Ty Fitzmorris, Ecologist, Hampshire College USA
Dr. Caros R Ramirez, Biologist, St Lawrance University USA
Rosa Vazquez Student in Biology, Ohio State University USA
Rev. Dorothy A. Harper, Biotethics, Washington, USA
Dr. Louis H. Krut, MK, CHB.:MD, St. Louis Univ. Medical School, Missouri,
Sean Lyman Student Gettysbury College USA
Ryan White Student St Lawrence University USA
Dr Jack Kloppenburg, Un. Wisconsin, Rural Sociologist, USA
Dr. Nancy A Schult, Entomologist, U of Wisconsin-Madison USA
Dr. Brian Schultz, Ecologist, Hampshire College USA
Dr. Douglas H Boucher, Ecologist, Hood College USA
Dr. Timothy Mann, Geographer, Hampshire College
Chris Picone M.Sc. Soil Microbiologist, U. Michigan USA
Dr. Peter M. Rosset, Ins. for Food and Development Policy, USA
Dr. Ignacio Chapela, Microbiologist & Ecologist, U.C. Berkeley, USA
Dr. Ingrid C. Northwood, Biochemist, Simon Fraser University, USA
Dr Linda Jean Sheperd, Biochemist, Gaia Blessings, USA
Dr Herve Grenier, Atmospheric Sciences and Climate Change, Univ.
U.V. Kutzli Ph.D. Candidate, U of Michigan USA
Alex Jack, Planetary Medicine, Jushi Institute, Becket, Mass, USA
Philip H Howard, Ph.D candidate, Rural Sociology, Uni. of Missouri, USA
Dr. Arthur Rybeck Jr D.D.S. Dentistry and Organic Farmer, Wheeling, USA
Dr. Arlene M. Kellman, D.O., Physician, Tucson, USA
Dr. Barbara K. Given, Faculty Researcher, George Mason Univ. Fairfax, USA
Dr. Carolyn F.A. Dean, MD ND, Consultant, Integrative Medicine, Holeopathic
Pharmakeia, NY, USA Board of Women for a Safe Future
Cynthia A. Frye, FS/MS Student, Biology, Univ. Texas Medical Branch, USA
Dr. Gary P. Kaplan, Assoc. Prof. Neurology, North Shore Univ. Hosp., NYU
School of Medicine, Mass, USA
Dr. Gayle robin Hamilton, Assoc. Prof. Centre for the Advancement of Public
Health, Fairfax, VA, USA
Heidei A. Kratsch, R.D./Graduate Student, Plant Physiology, Univ. Wisconsin,
Oshkosh USA
Dr. Jay L. Glaser, MK, Medical Director, Maharishi Ayurveda Medical Center,
Lancaster, USA
Dr. John Zamarra, M.D., Cardiology, Fullerton, USA
Lynn V. McIndoo, Student, Environmental Resources Engineering, Humboldt
State Univ., Arcata, USA
Paul C. Helgeson, BSME Senior Engineer, Middleton, WI, USA
Dr. Ronald E. Openshaw, Adjunct Faculty, Geology, Physics, Maharishi
University of Management, Fairfield, USA
Dr. Stephen L. Mikesell, Anthropology and Political Ecology, Univ.
Wisconsin, Madison, USA
Dr, Suzanne m. Wuerthele, Toxicologist, Toxicology& Risk Assessment, federal
regulatory agency, Denver, USA
Thomas J. Saunders, Student, Environmental Science, Humboldt State Univ.,
Arcata, USA
Dr. Usha Mukhtyar, M.D. Consultant, Gynecology & Obstetrics, Bronx, New York
Vijaykumar V.C. Chalasani, MS, Consultant East Brunswick USA


1 See World Scientists' Statement, Institute of Science in Society website

2 See Ho, M.W. and Traavik, T. (1999). Why Patent on Life Forms and Living Processes Should be Rejected from TRIPS - Scientific Briefing on TRIPS Article 27.3(b). TWN Report, Penang.

3 James, C. (1998). Global Status of Transgenic Crops in 1998, ISAAA Briefs, New York.

4 Benbrook, C. (1999). Evidence of the Magnitude and Consequences of the Roundup Ready Soybean Yield Drag from University-Based Varietal Trials in 1998, Ag BioTech InfoNet Technical Paper No. 1, Idaho.

5 See Watkins, K. (1999). Free trade and farm fallacies. Third World Resurgence 100/101, 33-37.

6Farm and Land in Farms, Final Estimates 1993-1997, USDA National Agricultural Statistics S ervice.

7 See Griffin, D. (1999). Agricultural globalization. A threat to food security? Third World Resurgence 100/101, 38-40.

8 Farm Aid fact sheet: The Farm Crisis Deepens, Cambridge, Mass, 1999.

9 Simms, A. (1999). Selling Suicide, farming, false promises and genetic engineering in developing countries, Christian Aid, London.

10 Farmer's Declaration on Genetic Engineering in Agriculture, National Family Farm Coalition, USA,

11 Farmer's rally on Capitol Hill, September 12, 1999.

12 MAFF Fact Sheet: Genetic modification of crops and food, June, 1999.

13 See Ho, M.W. and Tappeser, B. (1997). Potential contributions of horizontal gene transfer to the transboundary movement of living modified organisms resulting from modern biotechnology. Proceedings of Workshop on Transboundary Movement of Living Modified Organisms resulting from Modern biotechnology : Issues and Opportunities for Policy-makers (K.J. Mulongoy, ed.), pp. 171-193, International Academy of the Environment, Geneva.

14 Mellon, M. and Rissler, J. (1998). Now or Never. Serious New Plans to Save a Natural Pest Control, Union of Conerned Scientists, Cambridge, Mass.

15 Garcia,A.,Benavides,F.,Fletcher,T. and Orts,E. (1998). Paternal exposure to pesticides and congenital malformations. Scand J Work Environ Health 24, 473-80.

16 Hardell, H. & Eriksson, M. (1999). A Case-Control Study of Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma and Exposure to Pesticides. Cancer85, 1355-1360.

17 "Cotton used in medicine poses threat: genetically-altered cotton may not be safe" Bangkok Post, November 17, 1997.

18 Hilbeck, A., Baumgartner, M., Fried, P.M. and Bigler, F. (1998). Effects of transgenic Bacillus thuringiensis-corn-fed prey on mortality and development time of immature Chrysoperla carnea (Neuroptera: Chrysopidae). Environmental Entomology 27, 480-96.

19 Losey, J.E., Rayor, L.D. and Carter, M.E. (1999). Transgenic pollen harms monarch larvae. Nature 399, 214.

20 Birch, A.N.E., Geoghegan, I.I., Majerus, M.E.N., Hackett, C. and Allen, J. (1997). Interaction between plant resistance genes, pest aphid-population and beneficial aphid predators. Soft Fruit and Pernial Crops. October, 68-79.

21 Ewen, S.W.B. and Pusztai, A. (1999). Effect of diets containing genetically modified potatoes expressing Galanthus nivalis lectin on rat small intestine. The Lancet 354, 13 53-1354.

22Mayeno, A.N. and Gleich, G.J. (1994). Eosinophilia-myalgia syndrome and tryptophan production : a cautionary tale. Tibtech 12, 346-352.

23 Epstein, E. (1998). Bovine growth hormone and prostate cancer; Bovine growth hormone and breast cancer. The Ecologist 28(5), 268, 269.

24 Reviewed in Ho, M.W. (1998,1999). Genetic Engineering Dream or Nightmare? The Brave New World of Bad Science and Big Business, Gateway Books, Bath; Ho, M.W., Traavik, T., Olsvik, R., Tappeser, B., Howard, V., von Weizsacker, C. and McGavin, G. (1998b). Gene Technology and Gene Ecology of Infectious Diseases. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 10, 33-59; Traavik, T. (1999a). Too early may be too late, Ecological risks associated with the use of naked DNA as a biological tool for research, production and therapy, Research report for Directorate for Nature Management, Norway.

25 Reviewed by Doerfler, W., Schubbert, R., Heller, H., Kämmer, C., Hilger-Eversheim, D., Knoblauch, M. and Remus, R. (1997). Integration of foreign DNA and its consequences in mammalian systems. Tibtech 15, 297-301.

26 Draft Guidance for Industry: Use of Antibiotic Resistance Marker Genes in Transgenic Plants, US FDA, September 4, 1998.

27 See Letter from N. Tomlinson, Joint Food Safety and Standards Group, MAFF, to US FDA, 4 December, 1998.

28 Forbes, J.M., Blair, D.E., Chiter, A., and Perks, S. (1998). Effect of Feed Processing Conditions on DNA Fragmentation Section 5 - Scientific Report, MAFF.

29 Mercer, D.K., Scott, K.P., Bruce-Johnson, W.A. Glover, L.A. and Flint, H.J. (1999). Fate of free DNA and transformation of the oral bacterium Streptococcus gordonii DL1 by plasmid DNA in human saliva. Applied and Environmental Microbiology 65, 6-10.

30 Kohli, A., Griffiths, S., Palacios, N., Twyman, R.M., Vain, P., Laurie, D.A. and Christou, P. (1999). Molecular characterization of transforming plasmid rearrangements in transgenic rice reveals a recombination hotspot in the CaMV 35S promoter and confirms the predominance of microhomology mediated recombination. The Plant Journal 17, 591-601.

31 See Ho, M.W., Ryan, A. and Cummins, J. (1999). The cauliflower mosaic viral promoter - A recipe for disaster? Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease (in press).

32 Xiong, Y. and Eickbush, T.H. (1990). Origin and evolution of retroelements based upon their reverse transcriptase sequences. EMBO J. 9, 3353-3362.

33 Noad, R.J., Viaplana, R., Turner, D.S., Moffat, K. and Covey, S.N. (1999). Analysis of animal retroviral elements utiliing a plant pararetroviral vector. John Innes Centre & Sainsbury Laboratory Annual Report 1998/1999, 62.

34 Firbank, L.G. Dewar, A.M., Hill, M.O., May, M.J., Perry, J.N., Rothery, O.P., Squire, G.R. and Woiwod, I.P. (1999). Farm-scale evaluation of GM crops explained. Nature 399, 727-8.

35 See Pretty, J. (1995). Sustainable Agriculture, Earthscan, London; also Pretty, J. (1998). The Living Land - Agriculture, Food and Community Regeneration in Rural Europe, Earthscan, London.

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