some items shortened:

1.Weeding out GM myths
2.US Promoting GM Research for Africa
3.GMOs & nukes for India c/o USA
4.Brazil GMO soy sales very slow

1.Weeding out GM myths
The Guardian,,1536613,00.html

As someone who was broadly in favour of GM until reading your report indicating that modified genes have been transferred from GM rape seed to charlock (Weed discovery brings calls for GM ban, July 26), I have to say this is far more worrying than it may seem. Charlock is also known as wild mustard, and food historians and geneticists have demonstrated that most of the green vegetables farmed in the western world (apart from lettuce) were developed from it. This suggests that any GM vegetables in the brassica family are vulnerable and whatever trait may be introduced into one plant may be undesirable or even ruinous in another.

Steve Wilson

2.US Promoting GM Research for Africa
From: Gaia ­This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.­

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Researchers presenting a new report from the International Food Policy Research Institute would have us believe many things: that GM crop development in Africa is driven by public research, not corporate funding; that GM will bring amazing benefits such as drought tolerance, increased nutrition and decreased pesticide use; that farmers are clamouring for GM crops; and that Biosafety concerns are a nuisance, and governments that are precautionary are incompetent because they don't have the technology or understanding of GMOs.

The authors seem to think that the fact that if governments don't have the capacity to deal with GMOs, this should not get in the way of their widespread acceptance.

Joel Cohen, co-author of the report, is not objective and impartial, however. He was part of the USAID/Monsanto team that chose Dr Florence Wambugu to promote Monsanto's GM sweet potato as a Kenya Agricultural Research Institute initative. Even though the GM sweet potato was a complete failure, this project succeeded as a major PR campaign, falsely selling the potential of GM to feed the starving of Africa.

The IFPRI report is part of a recent increasing US push for GM crop acceptance across Africa. American policy institutes and American Universities are writing reports about Africa's desperate need for GM crops, and inevitable failure without them. The richest man in the world, American Bill Gates, has given millions to fund development of GM cassava for Africa, but to an American institution. The Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is also funding a partnership between Wambugu's own organization, Africa Harvest and US biotech corporation DuPont to research GM sorghum, again in DuPont's own laboratory in the US.

This trend exemplifies how the US are pushing Africa to accept GM on American terms. The trend is far removed from calls to focus on agricultural research that deals with priorities identified by African farmers, in ways that do not pose a risk to environment or health, and do not create food and seed dependence on the US.

Best wishes,

1. Research on Engineered Crops Booms
Business Day (South Africa),15/7/2005

2. Africa: Research into GM crops Critical to Ending Hunger - IFPRI, Reuters, 15/7/2005

3. Biotechnology and the African Farmer, Review of paper by Michigan State University

4. Danforth Center Researchers Will Receive $3.3M
PNN Online, 13/7/2005

5. DuPont Donates Technology Valued At $4.8 Million to Africa Nutritionally Enhanced Sorghum Project Press Release from Pioneer Hi-Bred, 1/7/2005

6. Gates Grant to Help Fight Hunger in Africa
Article from the Des Moines Register,29/6/2005

7. GM Crops can Provide Food Security in Africa
Mail and Guardian (South Africa), 19/7/2005

8. Africa Missing Out on Biotech Crops
Scripps News Service, 13/7/2005

3.GMOs & nukes for India c/o USA
India and US pledge research cooperation
T. V. Padma
SciDev.Net , 25 July 2005

[NEW DELHI] India and the United States have pledged to increase scientific cooperation in a wide range of fields including energy, agriculture, health, and space, nanotechnology and information technology.

The discussions were held during a visit by the Indian prime minister Manmohan Singh to the United States last week.

The two countries have agreed to launch a "second generation" of cooperation in agricultural sciences. The first major agriculture collaboration was in the 1960s, when the United States helped India set up agricultural universities and research institutions.

The new initiative will focus on research to meet the challenge of raising agricultural productivity under drought conditions, Singh told a joint session of the US Congress on 19 July. Researchers will also study crop pests and diseases and try to develop technologies to improve food storage to reduce post-harvest waste. The aim is to ensure that research findings reach farmers directly.

The talks on cooperation in diverse fields of science were overshadowed by concerns from some security experts in both India and the United States about one aspect -- the US decision to provide India with nuclear reactors and materials.

The decision to support India's nuclear energy ambitions reversed a 30-year-old US stand brought about by India's first underground nuclear weapons test in 1974.

An umbrella agreement on Indian-US cooperation in science and technology was expected to be signed during Singhs visit, but a senior DST official in Delhi said that has been deferred as more details needed to be worked out.

4.Brazil GMO soy sales start slowly; royalties cited
By Roberto Samora
Reuters, July 26, 2005
[url at end]

SAO PAULO - Sales of genetically modified (GMO) soybean seeds for next harvest, which were legalized earlier this year in Brazil, are very slow, industry sources said on Monday.

Farmers' financial difficulties and royalties charged by U.S. biotech giant Monsanto Co. are seen as the main reasons for the slowness.

"The market isn't moving. GM sales are sluggish and things are generally quiet because farmers don't have cash," said Ivo Carraro, executive director of the Central Cooperative of Agricultural Research (Coodetec, Brazil's biggest producer of GM seeds).

Coodetec has sold less than 10 percent of its seeds, compared with 90 percent at the same time last year, he said... Coodetec, one of Monsanto's partners in Brazil, produced around 2.5 million 40-kg bags of GM seeds for next year's harvest.

Following lengthy negotiations, Monsanto reached a deal with seed growers in mid-July to charge 0.88 real per kilo for use of its Roundup Ready (RR) soybean technology.

As the market considered the charge to be excessive, Monsanto sought to boost sales by offering farmers credit in proportion to the volume of their GM seed purchases.

In addition, seed producers can offer farmers discounts by passing on some of the bonuses they receive from Monsanto for various services.

"These benefits could be given to farmers," said Narciso Barison Neto, interim president of the Brazilian Seed Producers Association (Abrasem).

Monsanto also made an agreement earlier this year with soy producers from Rio Grande do Sul state under which those using illegal Argentine seed must pay a charge equivalent to 2 percent of 2005/06 soy sales.

Coodetec's Carraro said that the situation concerning GM soy sales should become clearer in August and September.