1. Bayer share price down
2. Germany says restaurant food must be labelled as to whether it contains GMOs
3. 3 important ACTION ALERTS for the US
1.U.S. data push European stocks down at end-quarter
Reuters, 03.31.04, 11:55 AM ET
By Pratima Desai
LONDON, March 31 (Reuters) - European stocks ended a volatile first quarter with a fall on Wednesday as U.S. data sparked worries about the health of the U.S. economy, with Germany's Bayer heading the list of losers.
Bayer slipped 1.9 percent on news it planned to shelve plans to sell genetically modified maize to British farmers because of tight government restrictions and on market rumours -- denied by the drugs and chemicals group -- of a convertible bond sale.
Talk that insurer Allianz might cut its stake in Bayer further undermined confidence.
Germany says restaurant food must be marked as GMO
HAMBURG (Reuters) - Restaurant and canteen food containing genetically modified organisms (GMOs) must be clearly marked when new rules on GMO labelling take effect in April, the German government said on Wednesday.
On April 18 new European Union rules mean food on sale in shops will have to be labelled if it contains GMOs. Animal feed sold to farmers will also have to be labelled.
The rules also apply to restaurants, Junior German Agriculture and Consumer Protection Minister Alexander Mueller said in a statement. "If canteens or restaurants use genetically-modified food this must be clearly marked on the menu or in a notice," he said.
The ministry has completed talks with German state authorities, responsible for food inspections, and food industry associations to achieve a smooth implementation of the new regulations, Mueller said. "It is now the responsibility of the private sector to fulfill its labelling responsibilities," he added.
He expected state authorities to increase food inspections from April 18.
3.News Update From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods [shortened]
Dear News Update Subscribers,
This News Update will discuss three important ACTION ALERTS. All three have short windows of opportunity in which to participate.
Unfortunately, we have some bad news to report from California. On Monday, the California Rice Commission voted 6-5 to approve the emergency request of Ventria Bioscience of Sacramento to plant a crop of genetically engineered rice that contains pharmaceutical drugs.
The California Department of Food and Agriculture now has 10 days to approve or deny this request.
Please send an ACTION ALERT e-mail to both the California Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura and Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger opposing the approval. Here is a link to this ACTION ALERT: http://www.thecampaign.org/alert_calif.php
Posted below is the text of the e-mail to Secretary Kawamura. The e-mail to Governor Schwarzenegger is very similar. You may send the ACTION ALERT e-mails as written or modify them if you desire. ...
U.S. TRADE REPRESENTATIVE & WTO
As you are probably aware, last year the United States filed a World Trade Organization (WTO) case against the European Union (EU) over their moratorium on importing genetically engineered crops.
The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative is inviting the public to comment on this case until April 6th.
The Center For Food Safety has drafted comments and has kindly made them available to us to send out as an ACTION ALERT. Here is a link to this ACTION ALERT: http://www.thecampaign.org/alert-WTO.php
USDA ENVIRONMENTAL IMPACT STATEMENT
The USDA has a public comment period open on their proposal to do an Environmental Impact Statement for the introduction of genetically engineered organisms into the environment. The comment period was scheduled to close on March 23rd, but the USDA decided to extend the comment period until April 13th.
If you have not already participated in this ACTION ALERT, please do so before April 13th. You may also want to let your friends know about this opportunity to send in comments. This ACTION ALERT can be found on our Save Organic Food web site at: http://www.saveorganicfood.org/usdaalert.php
Thanks for participating in these ACTION ALERTS! Please use the "Tell A Friend" feature on each ACTION ALERT to inform others.
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."
Text of ACTION ALERT to California Secretary of Food and Agriculture A.G. Kawamura
Say "no" pharmacrops in California
Dear Secretary Kawamura,
I was appalled to learn that the California Rice Commission recently voted, by a narrow 6-5 margin, to endorse the first large-scale planting of a genetically engineered "pharmacrop" in California. If approved, this new pharmaceutical rice could cause California's agricultural exports to evaporate -- badly damaging our economy and putting farmers out of work.
Sacramento-based Ventria Bioscience is asking for emergency state approval to grow rice that produces two human proteins that fight infection. The company wants to begin growing the rice in Californian fields in mid-April. Normally, such a request would bring with it a 30-day public comment period. But because of the emergency request, CDFA will take just 10 days to make a decision on this hugely important issue.
Secretary Kawamura, please do not allow pharma crops to be grown in California.
California's rice crop is worth $372 million annually, and about 43 percent of it is exported, according to the Los Angeles Times. But the state's largest rice exporter, Japan, and other countries appear likely to turn away from Californian rice due to contamination fears.
The U.S. food industry is also largely opposed to engineering food crops to produce pharmaceutical drugs. The Grocery Manufacturers of America and the National Food Processors Association, normally supporters of genetically modified food, have expressed deep concerns about the potential for contamination. The industry suffered losses in the hundreds of millions of dollars after StarLink corn -- unapproved for human consumption -- contaminated the food supply in 2000.
Secretary Kawamura, pharmacrops are, simply put, a bad idea. Please decide not to allow Ventria Bioscience to grow pharmaceutical rice in California.
Your Name Here
BITE BACK: WTO HANDS OFF OUR FOOD!
Bush is using the World Trade Organisation to force-feed you genetically modified food! You can help stop them: Bite Back today and sign the Citizen's Objection to the WTO at http://www.bite-back.org