Krebs speaks/Monsanto in $700m pollution settlement/Australia's biggest buyer of canola oil says 'NO!' to GMOs/etc. (21/8/2003)

lots of goodies
Monsanto in $700m pollution settlement
Monsanto last night agreed to pay a share of $700m to settle claims that it contaminated an Alabama town. Monsanto had been accused of pumping the local river with chemicals called PCBs, which were banned by the US government in the 1970s as a possible carcinogen. It had also buried waste in a landfill. Lawyers claimed Monsanto had covered up evidence that the PCBs were harmful, including evidence of fish dying in nearby creeks. Internal memos were produced that insisted they should protect the image of the corporation. One said: "We can't afford to lose one dollar of business."
Krebs speaks at Sci Alli event - 'Science meets politics'
Royal Institution event event in association with the Scientific Alliance: 'Science meets politics'
Thursday 20 November at 6.30pm. Speakers include Sir John Krebs FRS, Chairman, Food Standards Agency. The discussion will be chaired by Baroness Greenfield. Tickets cost £8, £5 for Ri members and concessions.

Welcome to gmjury.org
The DIY Jury Project, based at the University of Newcastle's PEALS Research Institute, is planning, organising and facilitating the UK GM Jury process. The jurors have been hearing from witnesses throughout the summer. The verdict will be announced on 8th September. In the meantime, this site provides more information about GM and links to other juries around the world. The GM jury is funded by Greenpeace, Unilever, the Consumers' Association and the Co-op.

AUSTRALIA: Goodman Fielder says it won't buy GM canola oil
Australian food company Goodman Fielder has become the latest group to add its opinion to the debate over genetically modified crops. Goodman Fielder, Australia's biggest buyer of canola oil, has said it will not buy products made from genetically modified canola, because its consumers are not interesting in buying GM products, reported ABC News.

Gene Flow: What Does It Mean for Biodiversity and Centers of Origin:
Mexico City, September 29-30 [2 of the 3 speakers are:  Peter Raven and Luis Herrera-Estrella. NOT exactly a balanced panel!]

Is Small Beautiful?
A one-day conference looking at new technologies etc. with Tewolde Egziabher, Michael Lipton, Pat Mooney, and Martin Khor amongst others
9.30am - 5pm, 3rd September 2003
Regent's College Conference Centre, Regent's Park, London

Brazil Not Expected To Legalize GMOs For Coming Harvest
Brazil's government will not authorize the planting of genetically modified soybeans for the coming crop season, which starts in October, said Chief of Staff Jose Dirceu. He told a meeting of members from the governing Workers Party that the current law, which allows the sale of GMOs up to February 2004, but not the planting, must be respected. Last week, Federal Judge Selene Maria de Almeida upheld a request by Monsanto Co. to suspend a court ruling blocking the planting and sale of its RoundUp Ready soybeans. However, federal attorneys say the provisional measure to which Dirceu referred overrides this decision.

Vector delays national launch of GM-tobacco cigarettes
Vector Group Ltd. has delayed the national launch of its Quest low- and no-nicotine cigarettes made with genetically modified tobacco. Instead it will sharpen its marketing within the seven-state test market where it rolled out the brand in January. The Miami company will decide later when it will launch Quest. Earlier, Vector had said it planned to go national with Quest this quarter. Quest has already spent about $15 million on the project. Vector Group lost $4.9 million, or 13 cents a share, in the quarter ended June 30, compared with the the second quarter of 2002, when it lost $3.3 million, or 10 cents a share. Revenues were down $9 million.  Although the company says Quest contains only trace amounts of nicotine, it makes no claims that the cigarette reduces carbon monoxide or the chemicals that increase the risk of cancer. Smoking also is linked to heart disease, emphysema and birth defects.

US escalates GM food row with Europe (The Guardian)
Europe's dispute with America over genetically modified food escalated on Monday after Washington asked the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to force the EU to lift its five-year-old ban on new GM food products. In a move which raises the prospect of a fresh trade war just a month before crucial world trade talks in Mexico, America requested the formation of a WTO dispute settlement panel to decide once and for all who is right on GM technology. The call was backed by Argentina and Canada.

Cloning Yields Human-Rabbit Hybrid Embryo
Scientists in China have, for the first time, used cloning techniques to create hybrid embryos that contain a mix of DNA from both humans and rabbits, according to a report in a scientific journal that has reignited the ethics debate over cloning research.

Researchers give clone health warning
Italian scientists have succeeded in creating the world's first horse clone, but researchers in the UK have raised further questions about the future health of such animals.

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