15 April 2003
Questions over GM trials/Dr Rylott spilling the seed
1.Questions over GM trials
2.Dr Rylott - spilling the seed
1.Questions over GM trials
The Guardian, Monday April 14, 2003
Sir Robert May has missed the point concerning public opposition to GM crops (Moment of truth for GM crops, April 10). By focusing on the methodology of publication, he fails to acknowledge what the government's advisers pointed out over a year ago: whatever the farm scale trials reveal about the environmental impact of the weed killers used with GM crops (and the trials don't evaluate the GM crops themselves), they won't enable us to make a sound decision about whether GM crops are a "good" or a "bad" thing. Science alone can't answer the questions that GM crops raise: what do we want from agriculture and how can we best get it? The trials are an exercise in self-justification by an industry and government backed into a corner by a justifiably angry citizenry which doesn't like being patronised by a government - or even former government scientists - who persist in acting as advocates for GM crops.
The farm scale results will represent the most comprehensive study of the environmental impact of GM crops. As an industry, we are willing to accept Lord May's challenge to "take note of any negative results" and support his challenge to all in the debate to be equally willing to accept all aspects of these results.
Dr Paul Rylott
Acting chairman, Agricultural Biotechnology Council
2. Dr Rylott - spilling the seed
Here are some of the points Dr Paul Rylott has previously made in his efforts to persuade us that we can rely on the biotech industry.
*Dr Rylott speaks: "I mean I have to take my hat off to them [Greenpeace], they are incredibly well organised and if we were that well organised life would be a lot easier, but unfortunately we're not. We're just a company, I guess.... I guess, what we're also saying is we're only a small team." - Dr Paul Rylott, then Seed Manager, AVENTIS speaking on 'Matter of Fact', broadcast 12 October 2000, BBC2 Eastern Region.
"We have eight thousand employees around the world, 900 in the UK, and we have a turnover of one billion pounds and yes, we're in it for the money." -Des D'Souza, Biotech Communications Manager, 10 July 1999, public meeting at Lyng, Norfolk, where he was speaking on behalf of AgrEvo before its merger with French agrochmemical giant Rhone-Poulenc turned it into a still more massive global corporation - AVENTIS!
*Dr Rylott speaks: "OK, we know that cross-pollination will occur but we've got thirty years of experience to say we know how far pollen will travel. And therefore what we've done is we'll grow a GM crop at a distance away from a non-GM crop, so the people that want non-GM can buy non-GM, and the people that want GM can buy GM. The two will not get mixed up. Everybody will have the right to choose." - Dr Paul Rylott, Seed Manager, Aventis, 12 October 2000
Here are some other quotes and headlines from that same autumn:
'Federal Officials Blame Aventis For Biotech Corn Found in Food', Dow Jones Newswires, October 27, 2000
"US corn in 2000 is being hit by the GM Starlink fiasco: 50% of corn may be impure - Problem could cost 'hundreds of millions'", Des Moines Register, 28 October 2000
"In Iowa, StarLink corn represented 1 percent of the total crop, only 1 percent. It has tainted 50 percent of the harvest." ABC NEWS, November 28, 2000
"Aventis CropScience Wednesday was at a loss to explain why another variety of corn besides its StarLink brand is producing the [StarLink] Cry9C protein." United Press International November 22, 2000, Second corn variety producing Cry9C
"The US Department of Agriculture claims to know where the maize - banned from all food use globally and only recently approved for US exports - is located. Aventis, the French firm which developed the genetically modified maize sold throughout the US maize belt in 1999 and 2000, says it knows, also. So do I: StarLink maize is everywhere." US agricultural journalist Alan Guebert writing in Farmers Weekly, December 8, 2000
*Dr Rylott speaks: "I was across in America and looking at this technology in action and you actually saw some farmers with some real smiles on their faces again because they were actually being able to farm very productively once again....There was certainly one guy - we sort of said, you know, have you got any problems with biotechnology and he said yes, the only problem is I can't get enough seed." - Dr Paul Rylott, Seed Manager, Aventis, 12 October 2000
"...you guys created this monster; you clean it up. I have learned my lesson. No more GMO crops on this farm - ever." US corn farmer and GM seed salesman, Nebraska, quoted in Farmers Weekly, December 8, 2000
All Dr Rylott's quotes are taken from the Aventis' PANTS ON FIRE AWARD
Starlink quotes from: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/farming.htm
For more on Bayer/Aventis: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/agrevodiary.htm