1.Monsanto Likely Phasing Out GM cattle drug
2.No respite for Sainsbury's over GM milk
3.GM 'cow' protest at supermarket - BBC
1.Monsanto Likely Phasing Out Controversial Bovine Growth Hormone
From Milkweed, Issue #299, June 2004
Are Rats Jumping Off Posilac Ship?
While Monsanto remains quiet about the fate of its genetically engineered cow hormone, Posilac, signs are that more rats are jumping off the ship.
In late January 2004, Monsanto announced a 50% reduction in sales of Posilac to regular customers. That followed a December 19, 2003 announcement of a 15% cutback.
The Milkweed reported of a Posilac sales force meeting in March, at which numerous sales persons were terminated by Monsanto. Other Posilac sales personnel are rumored to be aggressively seeking their next employment opportunity.
In early May, Brian Robert Lowry, Monsanto's dairy mouthpiece, departed dairy responsibilities at the company. Lowry had issued a typographical error-ridden media statement, on April 28, claiming that the March 29, 2004 FDA warning letter to Mosanto's Austrian-based Posilac supplier was merely business as usual. That warning letter blistered the Austrian manufacturer for many bad manufacturing practices and failed quality control oversight.
The latest "rat" to jump Monsanto's ship is the "Milk is Milk" website maintained by the Hudson Institute, a bunch of corporate yahoos. "Milk is Milk" was hatched in recent years to attack critics of milk from Posilac-injected dairy cows. The Hudson Institute uses Dennis Avery and his son Alex as a "hit squad" attacking persons opposing food biotechnology.
Monsanto has been both a member and a major contributor to the Hudson Institute. Since Monsanto is the only corporation selling recombinant bovine growth hormone (Posilac), it's presumed Monsanto has been the source of money for the "milk is milk" website. No More.
Perhaps the single biggest measure of Monsanto's future intentions for Posilac would be activity around and employment in Monsanto's U.S. plant near Augusta, Georgia, which was built to produce Posilac. But zero production of the drug for commercial sale is currently taking place in Georgia.
The Milkweed contends that Monsanto is engaged in conduct that looks like intentionally sinking the ship. Is the company trying to finesse its way around potential liabilities for either human or animal health?
Posilac was the first major biotech food production product approved by the Federal Food and Drug Administration. FDA's approval for recombinant bovine growth hormone remains as the most controversial issue in the agency's history. Posilac was views as a "must succeed" deal, because so much investment in food biotechnology was riding on that cow drug's gaining FDA approval. In the analysis of The Milkweed, FDA's review of human and animal safety for Posilac were criminally flawed.
So 10 years after Posilac was approved for commercial sale, sales are scaled back...and the rats are jumping ship. Dairy farmers must ask themselves if, over the past 10 years, they and their cows have fared better or worse during the "Posilac decade."
2.No respite for Sainsbury's
Supermarket Actions in Sherborne, Plymouth & Swansea hammered the "no gm in the food chain" & "fair price for farmers" messages home ahead of Sainsbury's AGM in London, on Monday.
In Sherborne, Dorset 14 Cows & 5 Milkmen grazed down the high street, but were stopped entering Sainsbury's, except for a couple of calves.
In Swansea, Greenpeace activists dressed as pantomime cows today chained themselves to the dairy aisle of a Welsh supermarket in their latest protest against imports of GM crops, following their blockade of a ship outside Bristol(those who were arrested are in court in Barry, South Wales on Monday).
In Plymouth, farmers joined other activists making sure that the "fair price for farmers" message gets across to Sainsbury's and consumers.
3.GM 'cow' protest at supermarket
BBC, 10 July
[Greenpeace protesters in Swansea are captured on the activists' video]
Environmental campaigners dressed up as cows and chained themselves to the dairy aisle of a Swansea supermarket in a protest over GM milk.
Greenpeace had targeted the Sainsbury's store, claiming that its own-brand milk comes from cows fed on imported GM animal feed.
Sainsbury's said it was "disappointed" by the action and denied that its milk contains GM materials.
Last month Greenpeace activists boarded a ship carrying GM maize off the south Wales coast.
South Wales Police say there were no arrests in the protest which ended later on Saturday at the store in Quay parade.
More than a dozen costume cows had been "released" in the store, while other protesters chained themselves to the dairy aisle.
A spokesman for Greenpeace said the supermarket chain's own-brand milk comes from cows fed on imported GM animal feed.
But this claim was denied by the supermarket.
"We are disappointed that Greenpeace has chosen to target Sainsbury's when this is clearly an issue for the whole food industry," said a company statement.
"Customers can be assured that our milk does not contain GM materials and is sourced from the same farms that supply other supermarkets, like Tesco and Asda, as well as hotels, schools and hospitals.
"To offer our customers choice we have launched a milk from cows fed on animal feed guaranteed to be free from GM."
The statement added that Sainsbury's have met with Greenpeace but said the group did "not seem to appreciate that this issue cannot be tackled by a single retailer in isolation".
It went on that the action "serves only to confuse consumers rather than inform them."
It also said its "selected farm semi skimmed fresh pasteurised milk" is not available in the Swansea store.
The milk is being trialled in 105 stores in London, the south east and south west of England.
Greenpeace said around 500 customers signed letters of protest which were handed to the store manager.
Last month, 13 Greenpeace protesters were remanded after illegally boarding a ship carrying GM crops in the Bristol Channel.
They denied causing a public nuisance and conduct endangering a ship's structures or individuals before magistrates in Barry.
The freighter the MV Etoile was boarded last month in the Bristol Channel to prevent it unloading GM animal feed.
Monsanto Phasing Out GM Cattle Drug? / More GM 'cow' protests
1.Monsanto Likely Phasing Out GM cattle drug