items taken from AGNET OCTOBER 8, 2001
*GM COTTON IN GUJARAT ALARMS REGULATORY BODY
*DEMAND SURGES FOR NON-GMO ANIMAL FEED IN EUROPE
*CHINA FARM TRADE FRETS OVER GMO, NOT U.S. RAIDS
*industrial ag provides materials for terrorism
GM COTTON IN GUJARAT ALARMS REGULATORY BODY
October 8, 2001
Times of India
NEW DELHI: The Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC) in the Indian ministry of environment has, according to this story, been shaken by the revelation that a genetically modified (GM) variety of cotton is growing in some 10,000 hectares of land in Gujarat without its knowledge.
GEAC whose permission is required for commercial growing of GM crops has so far not approved cultivation of any such crop. So the disclosure has made a total mockery of Indian regulations regarding import and use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). GEAC Chairman A M Gokale was not available to comment.
The environment ministry has learnt that cotton farmers of Gujarat had purchased the hybrid seeds from an Ahmedabad-based seed company that has been marketing its as a variety resistant to "bollworms". The GEAC has sent a notice asking the company to appear before the committee on Tuesday, October 9..
DEMAND SURGES FOR NON-GMO ANIMAL FEED IN EUROPE
By Eric Onstad
AMSTERDAM - Cert ID (www.cert-id.com) President Jochen Koester was cited as telling Reuters that European demand for animal feed guaranteed to be free of genetically modified organisms (GMO) has soared, up from 700,000 tonnes in 2000, this year after supermarket chains such as Tesco and Asda agreed to pay more to satisfy worried consumers, with about four million tonnes of non-biotech soymeal, mostly from Brazil, guaranteed this year by certification firm .
Koester was further cited as saying that the amount could more than double next year if buyers were willing to pay the higher prices for certified material, adding, "If the demand would be there, I think we can easily crank up the certified amount from Brazil to 10 million tonnes and more annually."
The story goes on to say that the total demand in the European Union for soymeal certified as non-GMO was unclear, but a report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture earlier this year estimated it at 20-25 percent of the roughly 28 million tonnes used annually.
Since about 70 percent of the U.S. soybean crop is planted with GM Roundup Ready soybeans, Brazil, which bans GMO crops, has become the major source of non-biotech soymeal.
Some industry players have been wary about how many Brazilian farmers have illegally planted GMO crops to boost yields, especially in the south which borders Argentina, where 90-95 percent of soybeans are from genetic crops.
But Koester was cited as saying that the worries were overdone, adding "There is a big myth about that. All of Brazil has on average contamination from illegal GMOs of about 6-8 percent, and that is mostly in the extreme south where some regions have perhaps up to 35 percent."
Even in the southern state of Rio Grande do Sul, where contamination is highest, Cert ID has granted non-GMO certification to some smaller cooperatives. Most certified output is from the central states.
The story goes on to say that a meeting took place on Monday on the GMO issue by a newly formed Quality and Safety group sponsored by Germany's food retailers and producers, and that Denmark, the world's biggest pork exporter, was making major efforts to go in the GM direction. Koester was cited as saying the increase in interest was especially evident at the recent congress of the International Association of Seed Crushers in Sydney, adding, "Major international suppliers who only six to nine months ago would not want to discuss anything about a GMO, are now either seriously looking at it or already selling it (non-GMO soymeal)."
The story says that Cert ID is a joint venture of Genetic ID -- based in Germany, the United States and Japan -- and Britain's Law Laboratories Ltd. Koester is also executive vice president of Genetic ID (www.genetic-id.com).
CHINA FARM TRADE FRETS OVER GMO, NOT U.S. RAIDS
SHANGHAI - Prolonged U.S.-led military retaliation against Afghanistan could, according to this story, lead to higher freight costs and have a minor impact on China's grains trade, including wheat imports and corn exports, but Chinese orders for U.S. soybeans are still at a virtual standstill as the market waits impatiently for details on China's rules on genetically modified organisms (GMO) - the overriding issue for traders. The market was awaiting meetings between U.S. and Chinese officials this week to see if they clarify Beijing's rules on bioengineered food which have strangled China's soybean bookings for the past few months, traders said. The story goes on to say that the key factor that would spur more orders would be announcement of details of China's GMO rules, and that the lack of details has been causing confusion in the soybeans trade and keeping traders on their toes as China is likely to face with a shortage of foreign beans soon . "China will be critically short of soybeans before too long. Even if freight costs do go up a nominal amount, China will still need soybeans," said Phillip Laney, China country director of the American Soybean Association.
[industrial ag provides materials for terrorism - from bombs to chemical warfare]
PESTICIDE SECURITY IS IMPORTANT
September 28, 2001
University of Missouri-Columbia: Integrated Pest & Crop Management Newsletter Vol. 11, No. 23
In the weeks following September 11, agriculture aerial applications were grounded after the FBI discovered that terrorists involved in the hijacking had also visited small, rural airfields to obtain information on crop dusting airplanes and equipment. Security experts were concerned the equipment could be misused for releasing geological or chemical agents, according to news reports. Any suspicious people or activities should be reported to authorities. Taking measures to keep pesticides secure to avoid misuse or vandalism takes on new meaning in light of these events. The following security measures should be taken with pesticides at any time: Pesticides should be stored in a locked building or cabinet that can1t be accessed by children or people not associated with the farm. This also extends to commercial agriculture businesses. Vehicles used to transport or apply pesticides should be kept locked. Sprayer tanks should be empty when left unattended in a field or barnyard area. Vandals may target pesticides left in sprayer tanks overnight in parking lots and open areas. Spraying of pesticides according to the label is not the security issue. The concern is theft or vandalism of pesticides and application equipment. Keeping pesticides secured is important on the farm or in the commercial agriculture business. Also keep in mind that certain fertilizers can be used for bombs. Any large purchases or inquiries about obtaining fertilizer that are suspicious should also be reported to authorities.