Mothers Lift Tops/Collapse of U.S. wheat market predicted by Japan wheat buyers/Cancun/EPA (11/9/2003)

"The premier export market for American wheat could be destroyed if the United States approved production of a genetically modified variety of the commodity, a Japanese industry official said this week."
*Mothers Lift Tops To Stop Government Lifting GE Moratorium
*First protests begin in Cancun
*Japan wheat buyers warn against biotech wheat in US
Mothers Lift Tops To Stop Government Lifting GE Moratorium

Women from the group MAdGE (Mothers Against GE in Food and the Environment) this afternoon tore off their tops exposing hot pink and black bras and waved GE Free flags to astonished MPs during question time in the house.

The mothers were protesting the lifting of the moratorium on GE release due to happen on October 29th.

68% of New Zealanders are saying no to GE.  MAdGE has become frustrated with the governments disregard for public concern. What does it take for this government to listen?

"We've written submissions, we've marched, signed petitions, made legal challenges and worn the T-shirt. We will no longer be ignored. Lifting the moratorium will expose us to GE contamination - which is simply an unacceptable risk." MAdGE founder Alannah Currie

MAdGE believes this issue is of critical importance, enough for the mothers to take the message right to the halls of power and deliver it in a way that had to be acknowledged. This is an issue that we cannot take lightly, once loose in our backyard GE contamination will be irreversible.

MAdGE has absolutely no faith in NZ regulatory bodies.  NZ bio-security systems are totally inadequate to cope with GE release. Erma is like a condom full of holes, the Food Safety Authority openly admit they can't cope with GE contamination, and there are no liability laws in place.

"Genetic Engineering is a science in its infancy and as mothers we know that infants require great care," said Alannah Currie

"By all means carry on your GE research within the confines of safe and ethical laboratories but do not lift the moratorium."

MAdGE is a rapidly growing network of politically non-aligned women who have decided to actively resist the use of genetically engineered organisms in our food and on our land.

For further information please contact
Maike Nevill  027 247 1375 or Rebecca Wright  021 721 720
First protests begin in Cancun:

Read Tom Hayden on Cancun, 'Cancun Report: As Empire Builder, the U.S. Feels the Heat': "Bush has been spending more in Iraq than on the United Nations' global anti-poverty initiatives. If $60 billion this year is a conservative estimate for Iraq, that's twice what it would take to retire the debt of the developing nations, and three times the cost of eliminating extreme hunger, meeting the AIDS crisis, or stopping soil erosion. In comparison, the U.S. contribution to the UN global anti-poverty program is 0.13 percent of our gross economic product, about one-tenth the percentage spent during the Kennedy Administration in 1962...While waging war in Iraq and Afghanistan, the Administration has managed to lose most of Europe and Latin America. Bush (and Monsanto's) battle to impose genetically-altered crops on Europe has lost American agri-business $1 billion during the past five years. And $190 billion in U.S. farm subsidies has inflamed discontent from Brazil to Mexico."
Japan wheat buyers warn against biotech wheat in US
USA: September 10, 2003

WASHINGTON - The premier export market for American wheat could be destroyed if the United States approved production of a genetically modified variety of the commodity, a Japanese industry official said this week.

"If there is GM (genetically-modified) wheat, there is some potential for the collapse of the U.S. wheat market in Japan," said Tsutomu Shigeta, executive director of Japan's Flour Millers Association.

In the year that ended March 31, Japan bought nearly 2.5 million tonnes of U.S. wheat, slightly more than half of its import needs, according to the U.S. Wheat Associates, which promotes sales of American wheat abroad.

St. Louis-based Monsanto Co. MON.N has asked the U.S. and Canadian governments to approve a herbicide-tolerant biotech wheat hybrid. The company has estimated it could be at least two years before the first biotech wheat might be ready for market. American wheat farmers are deeply split over the idea.

Members of the Japanese Flour Millers Association are beginning a week-long visit to the United States to meet with federal regulators and to assess the quality of the U.S. wheat crop in North Dakota and Oregon. The group accounts for about 90 percent of the wheat milled in Japan.

Speaking through an interpreter, Shigeta told reporters that his association's opposition to biotech wheat is a "business matter" and is not based on an assessment of its safety.

In this case, the association's concern is widespread consumer opposition to biotech wheat.

Shigeta referred to a Japanese government-sponsored survey conducted a few months ago, which he said showed that almost 68 percent of consumers opposed a biotech variety of wheat.

In an attempt to soften opposition, Monsanto has begun meeting with food processors in Japan and Europe, a company official said recently.

In May, a group of South Korean wheat millers visited the United States and delivered a similar message in opposition to genetically modified wheat.


The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is one of the two main regulatory agencies for GM crops in the U.S. Below is the latest news on the revolving door between the EPA and polluting industry. It affects all sectors. As with William D. Ruckelshaus, the  former chief administrator of the EPA who went on to join the board of directors of Monsanto Corporation. More GM revolving door here:

"Two top Environmental Protection Agency officials who were deeply involved in easing an air pollution rule for old power plants just took private-sector jobs with firms that benefit from the changes," Knight Ridder's Seth Boronstein reports.

"Days after the changes in the power-plant pollution rule were announced last week, John Pemberton, the chief of staff in the EPA's air and radiation office, told colleagues he would be joining Southern Co., an Atlanta-based utility that's the nation's No. 2 power-plant polluter and was a driving force in lobbying for the rule changes.
Southern Co., which gave more than $3.4 million in political contributions over the past four years while it sought the changes, hired Pemberton as director of federal affairs."

Also departing EPA is Ed Krenik, associate administrator for congressional affairs. Krenik joined Bracewell & Patterson, a top Houston-based law firm that coordinated lobbying for several utilities on easing the power-plant pollution rule and houses the Electric Reliability Coordinating Council,


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