And now:Ish <[EMAIL PROTECTED]> writes:

> Date: Fri, 25 Dec 1998 04:08:34 -0500
> Message-Id: <[EMAIL PROTECTED]>
> From: [EMAIL PROTECTED] (Bob Phelps)
> Subject: (en) GUESS WHAT YOU'VE BEEN EATING (Genetic Engineering)
> 
> WHEN they asked Peter Corish to be a guinea pig for Australia's first 
genetically engineered crop, he jumped at the chance. "In the glasshouse 
it worked brilliantly," says the cotton farmer from Goondiwindi on the 
NSW-Queensland border. "We thought it would be the answer to a lot of 
our problems." 
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> 
> The cotton farmer's biggest bugbear is a caterpillar called 
helicoverpa, the larva of a moth which, left to its own devices, can 
munch its way through an entire crop. The traditional solution has been 
a highly toxic pesticide, sprayed from the air up to a dozen times 
during the growing season, with serious consequences for the 
environment, and claims of "cancer clusters" among nearby farming 
communities. 
> 
> But six years ago a new species of cotton that was claimed to be 
immune to the helicoverpa caterpillar, and any other pest, came out of 
the laboratory and into Australia's paddocks. It had been developed 
jointly by the CSIRO and Monsanto, the giant US corporation. 
> 
> Using what scientists call biolistics, a "gene gun" that fires 
microscopic gold or tungsten cannonballs coated with genetic material 
into living cells, they had managed to create a cotton plant that 
manufactures bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), a micro-organism deadly to 
insects which occurs naturally in the soil and is one of the very few 
pesticides even organic farmers are allowed to use. 
> 
> It is harmless to humans. But, in theory at least, if a helicoverpa
caterpillar bites a chunk out of a leaf of this new cotton variety, it
will curl up and drop dead. No more spraying, a cleaner environment,
bigger profits for the farmers, a more competitive export industry for
Australia, it sounded too good to be true. 

> 
> And it was. In 1996 the Federal Government approved the commercial 
release of the patented Ingard cotton, as it is called, the first and so 
far the only genetically modified (GM) crop grown in Australia. Corish, 
the chairman of Cotton Australia, the organisation that represents the 
1,500 growers, watched eagerly for the results. 
> 
> Like the curate's egg, they were good in parts. Growers were able to
reduce their use of pesticides by up to 65per cent. But yields were also 
down that first season, and Monsanto exploited its monopoly position, 
charging farmers $245 a hectare for a licence to grow Ingard, almost 
double what it charged US farmers. By the time the growers did their 
accounts, many complained that they had lost money with the new miracle 
pest-proof cotton. 
> 
> This year, the third season, only about 16per cent of the 500,000 
hectares under cotton in Queensland and NSW have been sown to Ingard. 
This is partly because of the innate conservatism of farmers, and partly 
the caution of the Federal Government, which has imposed a ceiling of 
20per cent until it better understands the consequences of letting loose 
a transgenic organism into the fragile Australian environment, which 
most would feel has already suffered enough havoc from exotic species, 
introduced, admittedly, with the best of intentions. 
> 
> But this huge experiment is not just a debate about a new crop, 
farmers' incomes or even biological pollution, important as they may be. 
It is a debate that touches all of us in the most intimate and 
fundamental way, it's about who decides what we eat, about the safety 
and the security of our food supply. 
> 
> For two years now, oil crushed from the seeds of that transgenic 
cotton has been sold for human consumption, and the residue fed to 
livestock. The oil is used in fish-and-chip shops, and is blended to 
make products ranging from margarine to mayonnaise and cake-mix. And 
this is just the beginning. 
> 
> That oil is just one of a number of transgenic foods, from beer to 
cheese to baby food, which, with no announcement, no approval from any 
government organisation, no mandatory health or safety checks, and no 
labelling, have been quietly infiltrating Australia's supermarkets. One 
food industry guru estimates that up to 60per cent of the bottles, tins 
and packages on the shelves may already contain genetically engineered 
food, and that most of us will already have unknowingly eaten some. 
> 
> On one side of the debate are the vested interests of the global 
agri/food industry, which stands to make billions of dollars from its 
investment in the new technology. They argue powerfully that the new 
crops represent a second "green revolution", essential if we are to feed 
the billions of extra mouths arriving on the planet in coming decades; 
that the products are safe; and that by increasing yields and 
eliminating the need for weed-and insect-killing poisons they promise a 
cleaner, greener planet. 
> 
> Ranged against them is a noisy coalition of environmental, consumer,
health and religious groups who mistrust the speed and secrecy with 

which the new foods have been foisted on us, who are concerned about 
their possible dangers to consumers, and who fear they may spawn 
"Frankenstein" plants and insects, with catastrophic consequences for 
the environment. 
> 
> Prince Charles, heir to the British throne and a committed "greenie" 
who converses with his vegetables, spoke for them with religious fervour 
earlier this year when he said: "Do we have the right to experiment with 
and commercialise the building blocks of life? I personally have no wish 
to eat anything produced by genetic manipulation, nor do I knowingly 
offer this sort of produce to my family or guests." 
> 
> The extraordinary thing is that, unlike in Europe, where consumer
activists have blockaded ports, stormed the headquarters of food 
companies and attacked genetically engineered crops in the field, 
Australians have barely begun to discuss the most fundamental change to 
our diet since European settlement.  A GLANCE at the Internet Web page 
of the Australian Genetic Manipulation Advisory Committee, 20 scientists 
appointed by the Government to decide which of these GM crops is safe to 
grow, and under what conditions, gives an idea of the range of new 
plants scientists are working on that may eventually finish up on our 
dinner plates. 
> 
> Among 110 ongoing experiments are potatoes that don't go brown when 
you knock them about, and which have an increased starch content so they 
don't absorb as much oil when they are fried. Canola and sugar cane are 
being developed with a built-in resistance to bugs and herbicides, and 
super-nutritious lupins have been "injected" with a sunflower gene that 
is supposed to make sheep grow more wool when they eat them. 
> 
> In Queensland Dr Jose Botella, in conjunction with Golden Circle Ltd, 
is working on a gene he hopes will make whole fields of pineapples all 
ripen at once so they can be harvested more cheaply. Other Australian 
scientists, supported by tens of millions of dollars' worth of 
government grants and tax subsidies, are trying to engineer wheat that 
makes better noodles, citrus with no seeds, peas that kill weevils. 
> 
> Dr Thomas "TJ" Higgins, the scientist who heads the CSIRO's "gene 
team", says there is a potential for the new plants to save Australian
agriculture hundreds of millions of dollars a year. But he acknowledges 
he is disappointed that only one of the new plants (the Ingard cotton) 
that has come out of his laboratory at the foot of Canberra's Black 
Mountain in the past 10 years has yet been commercially grown, and says 
Australia "has been fairly slow to take up the new technology". 
> 
> The reason? Political opposition (Labor went to the last Federal 
election promising strict labelling for all GM food) and growing 
concerns about the safety of the new technology among health, 
environment and consumer groups, which take their cue from Europe. 
> 
> There, in a series of highly publicised incidents, Greenpeace 
activists blocked the entry into port of three cargo ships carrying 
American GM soya beans, destroyed crops and unrolled a large banner from 
the roof of Nestle's headquarters in Vevey, Switzerland, proclaiming, 

"Gene Food Force-Fed by Nestle". The British, in particular, have had 
their faith in official reassurances shaken by the lies they were told 
about the scientific "impossibility" of "mad cow disease" being 
transmitted from beef to humans, more than a dozen people are now 
confirmed dead from it. 
> 
> The crusade has resulted in the European Union promulgating labelling 
laws for genetically engineered foodstuffs, which the industry says are 
unworkably tough, and has led to a number of bans by high-profile 
companies. Unilever, Nestle and the chocolate company Kraft Jacobs 
Suchard have all said they will not use GM products. 
> 
> Some supermarkets in Denmark, Austria, Sweden, the Netherlands and 
Germany have also banned genetically engineered food. In Britain, 
Malcolm Walker, boss of the Iceland chain, which has 750 stores, 
declared: "I'm not frightened to say this isn't right and we won't do 
it. There is no practical reason why we should be genetically modifying 
anything. Genetics is incredibly inexact. We are playing with fire [and] 
I think it's horrendous." 
> 
> Not so in the United States, which pioneered genetic engineering, and 
where 48 different food products have already been approved and hundreds 
more are on the drawing boards. Almost all, however, like the Ingard 
cotton, offer advantages to the seed corporation, the farmer, the 
distributor and the retailer, but nothing to the consumer. 
> 
> Americans are already able to eat sterile radicchio, borer-resistant
popcorn, virus-resistant pawpaw, potatoes deadly to their main pest, the 
Colorado beetle, and six new varieties of tomato genetically altered to 
"enhance fresh market value", whatever that might mean. 
> 
> But Mitchell Hooke, executive director of the Australian Food Council, 
which represents the country's main food manufacturers, proselytises 
about the next generation of designer fruit and vegetables: strawberries 
containing increased levels of ellagic acid, a "natural cancer- fighting 
agent"; garlic with more allicin, said to reduce cholesterol levels; 
fruit with extra vitamins C and E; and canola and soya bean oil with 
more stearate, to produce healthier margarine. 
> 
> Growing in laboratories are even more weird and wonderful creations. 
The Swedes have spliced a gene from a mustard plant into an aspen tree 
to make it grow faster; the Americans are trying to engineer vaccines 
into bananas which would immunise the consumer against tropical 
diseases; the Chinese have "crossed" a flounder with a sugar beet to 
make it more resistant to cold; mouse genes have been spliced into 
tobacco, and a chicken gene into potatoes. Human genes have been added 
to salmon, trout and rice, playing on our darkest dreads. 
> 
> The first transgenic animals, 21 varieties of fish from abalone to 
shrimp and rainbow trout, are already being bred in the US, including a 
supersalmon which has a growth hormone from a Chinook salmon spliced 
into it. So concerned is British Columbia about the unguessable 
consequences of these fish escaping into the wild that it has banned 
their farming in sea pens. 

> 
> In Adelaide, the small research company BresaGen provided a glimpse 
two years ago of what may be the future when it spliced human genetic 
material into a pig to try to produce an animal with less fat and more 
meat. Amid huge controversy about overtones of cannibalism, the company 
was forced to abandon the experiment, write off $12million in 
Commonwealth subsidies and tax-deducted investment, and destroy the 
pigs. 
> 
> "It was a huge frustration, and in the end we opted out," says the
company's managing director, Dr John Smeaton. "We could never get a
definitive answer out of the various regulatory authorities [on whether 
the "new pork' could be sold for human consumption] and a few noisy 
people stirred it up as an emotional issue."  HARD evidence about the 
effects on human health of eating these revolutionary new foods is hard 
to come by, particularly since, unlike a drug, there is no obligation 
anywhere to test their safety on humans, and in some cases there are not 
even any animal trials. "Obviously, if a whole load of bunnies die, it's 
not OK for humans," said an Australian food industry spokeswoman. 
> 
> One concern is that antibiotic-resistant "marker genes" used in the
genetic engineering process may somehow transfer into the human body.
Hooke dismisses this as "about as likely as a supernova hitting the
earth". 
> 
> Another fear, for which there is already some scientific support, is 
the risk of transferring an alien allergen into a previously safe 
foodstuff.  The US Union of Concerned Scientists, a prestigious group 
that includes a number of Nobel laureates, cites a study in which seven 
out of nine volunteers showed allergic reactions to a soya bean that had 
been "crossed"  with a brazil nut. 
> 
> The most serious case of genetic engineering gone wrong reliably
documented in medical literature involves, paradoxically, a health-food 
supplement called L-tryptophan, a "naturally occurring" amino acid, 
which was promoted in the 1980s as a treatment for insomnia and 
depression. In 1989 health authorities in Australia and around the world 
warned people to stop taking it after it was linked to the deaths of 36 
people and the crippling of another 1,500 by a completely new blood 
disease called EMS. 
> 
> Investigators discovered that the cases were caused by contaminants in 
one particular batch of L-tryptophan which had been manufactured in 
Japan by the Showa Denko corporation using a newly modified strain of 
genetically engineered bacteria. The epidemic stopped when the product 
was taken off the market, and the inevitable lawsuits ensued. 
> 
> Evidence of the potential for the new genetically engineered plants to 
damage the delicately balanced biosphere on which we depend is even more 
convincing. Attempts to "improve" the soil with GM bacteria have 
backfired on several occasions, most catastrophically when a bacterium 
designed with the highly desirable quality of "eating" residues of the 
toxic weedicide 2,4-D produced a by-product that killed all the 
essential natural bacteria in the soil. 
> 

> Most of the genetic modifications approved so far involve 
"inoculating"  food plants with alien genes to make them either immune 
to insect attack, or impervious to herbicides which would normally kill 
them. The danger here is that new breeds of poison-resistant insects 
will emerge, and that the plants will cross-pollinate with native 
species to produce unkillable "superweeds". 
> 
> In Australia this would be particularly serious because we are among 
the world's heaviest users of agricultural chemicals. The use of 
glyphosate (a predict developed by Monsanto that it sells here as 
Roundup) has been widely promoted as an "environmentally friendly" 
alternative to ploughing because it kills weeds without the loss of 
topsoil to erosion. 
> 
> Few were surprised when, on a farm near Echuca in Victoria two years 
ago, Professor Jim Pratley, an agronomist at Charles Sturt University, 
identified the world's first glyphosate- resistant weed, a type of 
rye-grass that is a serious pest to farmers. 
> 
> Though Pratley denies that this was a "superweed", the precautions to 
eradicate it were like a scene from Outbreak. Monsanto and the NSW
Agriculture Department flew experts in, the paddock was cordoned off for 
three or four hectares around the patch of mutant grass, the barley that 
was harvested nearby was not allowed off the property for fear it might 
be contaminated with seeds of the rye-grass, the paddock was ploughed 
and the weed eliminated, for now. 
> 
> To guard against the emergence of Bt-tolerant "superbugs", cotton 
farmers must set aside an area of "normal" crops to provide a refuge for 
insects, and constantly collect eggs and larvae for laboratory study. 
> 
> Although none has been detected yet, there is worrying evidence of
another, unexpected, environmental hazard: genetically engineered crops 
may be killing off the beneficial insects that are nature's way of 
controlling pests. A study in Scotland found that the lifespan of
ladybirds, nature's best natural control of aphids, was cut in half, and 
they laid fewer eggs, when they ate aphids which fed on genetically 
engineered potatoes. 
> 
> It is bizarre in the extreme, say its critics, that something we are 
told is safe to eat, oil from the seeds of Ingard cotton, is not 
approved by any government agency as a foodstuff, but the plant is 
registered by the National Registration Authority for Agricultural and 
Veterinary Chemicals as a pesticide. Bon appetit.  THERE is one final 
concern about the new technology that has united farmers and green 
groups, and that is the fear that powerful multinational corporations, 
most of them based in the US, may come to control the food supply by 
patenting the fruits, vegetables and even animals that mankind has 
freely used for thousands of years. 
> 
> Since 1985, when US courts ruled that genetic material could be 
patented, these corporations have been prospecting the world for plants 
and animals they can "improve". This has been described by critics such 
as Greenpeace as a modern-day colonial land grab, with the target not 
the soil but the seeds that are the common heritage of mankind. 

> 
> The agri/food industry has mounted a multimillion-dollar campaign to
promote what it sees as the benefits of this new technology, 
particularly to the developing world. Monsanto's publicity kit features 
grateful African farmers with bigger bunches of bananas, and growers in 
Thailand beaming over virus-free pawpaws. 
> 
> Suman Sahai, the New Delhi convener of Gene Campaign, an
industry-supported lobby, dismisses ethical concerns over genetic
engineering as a luxury only industrialised countries can afford, and 
asks which would be more unethical, interfering with "God's work" or 
allowing the hungry to die. 
> 
> Mitchell Hooke declares that the world will need to increase its food 
supply 75per cent by 2025 if it is to feed an expected increase in 
population from 6billion to more than 8billion. He says that encouraging 
higher-yielding, pest- and disease-resistant crops is the most important 
thing governments can do to protect the environment. 
> 
> Carol Renouf, a policy officer at the 160,000-member Australian 
Consumers' Association who has spent two years studying the issue, 
believes, however, that what is at stake is really control of the global 
food supply: "Five or six multi nationals have invested billions in this 
technology over the past 15 or 20 years and are pushing it for all it's 
worth ... governments everywhere have been caught on the back foot." 
> 
> Monsanto, now the world-dominating Microsoft of genetic engineering, 
is a good case in point. Last year it completed its transition from 
chemical company to "life sciences corporation", having invested more 
than $US2billion ($3.2billion) in genetic engineering, and having taken 
over six other bio-tech companies in a breathless expansion that took 
its market capitalisation from $US6billion to $US35billion in five 
years. 
> 
> With US patent rights to its blockbuster weedkiller glyphosate, one of 
the biggest sellers in the world's $US8billion-a-year market for 
agricultural chemicals, running out in 2000, it faced financial 
disaster. Its new business is seeds, altering and patenting the genetic 
code to the foodstuffs that have sustained mankind since agriculture 
began on the plains of the Fertile Crescent 10,000 years ago. 
> 
> This worries horticulturalists such as Clive Blazey, who runs the 
Diggers' Club seed business from a property on the Mornington Peninsula, 
south of Melbourne. The club has 35,000 members, all committed to 
preserving biodiversity, conserving heritage varieties, and propagating 
"open pollinated" plants whose seed can be saved and grown. 
> 
> Blazey is particularly concerned by Monsanto's recent acquisition of
technology that will enable it to insert a "terminator gene" into 
plants, rendering their seeds sterile. 
> 
> "This new technology gives Monsanto, with support from the US 
Government, its best chance of dominance of world agriculture," he 
thundered in a recent newsletter. "For Third World farmers it could be a 
new form of slavery ... for biodiversity it could be like the Holocaust. 
Instead of thousands of varieties of locally adapted rice or wheat being 
planted worldwide, mass marketing would reduce the strains to a few 

only."  ALTHOUGH GM food products have been on supermarket shelves in 
Australia for two years, the first six to be formally vetted for sale 
are not expected to be approved until later this month, 15 years after a 
country such as Canada introduced regulations. An organisation called 
the Australia and New Zealand Food Authority, a body of scientists and 
bureaucrats with three food industry figures on its board, will decide 
what is safe for us to eat. 
> 
> All six crops are owned by Monsanto, varieties of cotton and corn 
which carry the Bt gene, and soya beans, corn, canola and cotton which 
are immune to glyphosate. They will (retrospectively) be allowed to be 
imported and sold, but none, under rules expected to be endorsed by 
State and national health ministers meeting in Canberra next week, will 
be required to carry a label identifying them as genetically altered. 
> 
> The ANZFA's program manager for food products, Dr Simon Brooke-Taylor, 
concedes: "We sat on the fence or crossed our legs for a while." Critics 
such as Carol Renouf believe that the food industry, which opposes 
labelling, has been able to "capture" the regulator and dictate its own 
terms. 
> 
> Mitchell Hooke dismisses moves for labelling as "a clever campaign 
that is trying to scare the shit out of people". He insists that there 
is no need to label products such as Monsanto's soya or corn because 
they are almost identical to the "natural" products, the esoteric 
doctrine of "substantial equivalence" that will be the basis of the 
Australian legislation that comes into force in May. 
> 
> The real reason, however, seems to stem from a fear that consumers 
would distrust the new and unknown. The food industry is still smarting 
from its failure to persuade people that irradiation was a safe method 
of prolonging the shelf life of fresh food, consumer groups overseas 
forced governments to label such food, then refused to buy it. 
> 
> Unless frantic last-minute lobbying efforts are successful, Renouf 
says, only 1 or 2per cent of the genetically engineered foodstuffs sold 
in Australia would have to be labelled. Soya beans, corn, oils and so on 
would be out, and the only foods required to be labelled would be 
"substantially different" products such as Monsanto's renowned flop, the 
Flavr Savr tomato, now back on the drawing board because consumers 
didn't like the price, or the taste. 
> 
> And that is even though a Federal Government-commissioned poll in 1995 
found that although 61per cent of Australians would be willing to try 
genetically modified food, 89per cent thought they had the right to know 
what they were eating, they wanted all such food to be labelled.  IN the 
absence of any regulations, other than the blanket provisions of the 
various State health acts requiring food offered for sale to be 
wholesome, no-one, including the manufacturer, knows for sure the 
genetic status of any grocery item. Even Hooke admits that "we wouldn't 
have a bloody clue"  which products on sale now already contain GM food, 
and he says that there is no scientific test that can distinguish 
between many products, such as vegetable oils. 

> 
> GM soya beans, for instance, which this year accounted for about 30per 
cent of the North American crop, appear to have first entered Australia 
unannounced two years ago as raw ingredients for processing, and in 
manufactured products. Soya derivatives are used in an extraordinary 
range of edibles, from bread to biscuits, cake-mix to cheese, cooking 
oil to chocolate topping. 
> 
> Even baby food. Earlier this year, Bob Phelps, convener of the 
Australian GeneEthics Network  an alliance of anti-genetic engineering 
groups under the wing of the Australian Conservation Foundation, tested 
infant formulas bought at random from a suburban supermarket in 
Melbourne. Of the eight analysed, two were found to contain Monsanto's 
genetically modified soya beans. 
> 
> The reaction from Heinz, one of the two manufacturers, was mildly
schizophrenic. On the one hand, insists the company's spokesman, Glenda 
Orland: "We stand by the product. It is absolutely safe, otherwise we 
would not be feeding it to babies." 
> 
> But on the other hand, the company has announced that, in Australia 
and in Europe, but not in the US, where consumers appear to be less 
concerned, it will no longer use GM food in any of its products. Heinz 
did not want to offer consumers a choice through labelling, Orland said, 
because "the fear is that if Mrs Jones from Blackburn reads that it is 
genetically modified, she will just freak out and won't buy the product 
any more." 
> 
> Other GM foods already on sale here, unannounced, include 
cottonseed-oil products, beer and bread (which may be made with 
engineered enzymes) and cheese. Choice magazine analysed 20 supermarket 
brands of "cheddar" cheese two years ago and found that five had been 
made with genetically engineered rennet, a coagulating agent 
traditionally extracted from calves' stomachs. 
> 
> Unlike Heinz, Sanitarium, which is proud of its reputation as a 
"health food company", says it is impossible to sort out the "gene 
beans" it imports from the US from the old-fashioned kind, so its 
products may or may not contain any. 
> 
> And to add to the confusion, some manufacturers say that they won't 
touch genetically engineered food with a barge pole. Gil Hassin, 
managing director of the Australian Natural Foods company, which has a
$16million-a-year turnover, is one. Hassin believed his customers were 
so concerned that he became the first manufacturer to use a "GM-free" 
label on a product -- his top-of-the-line "So Natural" brand of soya 
milk, which has become the fastest-growing in the country. 
> 
> "There is absolutely no benefit nutritionally [in GM beans] and we are 
not satisfied it has been properly tested on humans. We are being used 
as guinea pigs," he says. "Look at Thalidomide, they didn't know about 
its dangers until they saw the second and third generation [of birth 
deformities]."  CONSUMERS who don't swallow the industry's assurances 
that GM food is safe have two options. They can shop in "health food" 
stores, or buy produce that has been certified as "organic" or 
"biodynamic" under the rules of the Australian Quarantine and Inspection 

Service (AQIS).
> 
> So far, Australia's supermarkets are lining up behind the food
manufacturers and insisting there is no need for labelling. This is 
unlike in Europe, where some chains have banned GM food and others 
insist on labelling, the famously consumer-conscious British chain 
Sainsburys, for instance, labelled its "own brand" tomato paste and 
found to its surprise that its customers actually preferred the 
genetically engineered paste to the real thing.
> 
> The arguments of the Australian food industry against giving consumers 
this sort of choice will be familiar to those who remember its 
opposition to the introduction of date-stamping, listing ingredients on 
labels, or any other consumer safeguard: you can trust us to make sure 
your food is safe, labelling would just mislead the consumer, it would 
be impossible to police, some packages would not have enough room for 
the extra wording. Seriously.
> 
> None of this persuades Australia's booming health-food retailers, some 
of them large chains, which are estimated to control 5per cent of the 
national food market. All said they had banned genetically modified food 
from their shelves. Paul Bryden, technical manager of the Nutritional 
Foods Association of Australia, went one further, his members, he said, 
would not even stock shampoo and conditioner made with lecithin 
extracted from "gene beans".
> 
> As far as fresh food is concerned, if it's labelled "organic" it can't 
be grown from genetically modified seed, and that's the law. While one 
government agency (the ANZFA) is insisting that there is really no 
difference between GM and non-GM food, another (the AQIS) is telling 
growers and retailers there really is.
> 
> Judith Moore is executive officer of Biological Farmers of Australia, 
the country's largest certification agency, which guarantees the produce 
of many of the 2,000 growers in the organic food industry. She said: 
"The view worldwide is that food should be organic and natural, and 
genetically manipulated product can never be considered that."
> 
> She said that if growers did not abide by the six-year-old AQIS ban, 
it would endanger a small but rapidly growing export industry in organic 
produce such as fresh fruit and vegetables for Singapore, orange juice, 
and bulk grains grown without the use of agricultural chemicals.
> 
> Nor are Sydney's grands chefs planning to experiment with gene 
cuisine. Christine Manfield, of the highly regarded Paramount restaurant 
in Potts Point, reflected the views of many when she said: "We try to 
use organic produce wherever we can. We pay a premium to get away from 
all those nasty elements which have insidiously snuck into the food 
chain, whether it's genetic engineering or those horrible battery 
chickens full of hormones and antibiotics."
> 
> So where does this leave growers such as Peter Corish? He says 
Monsanto has dropped its price a bit and he will persevere with his 
pioneering cotton, though with a bit less enthusiasm.
> 
> 
>  Published in the Sydney Morning Herald, Australia
>                 December 12 1998 under the headline

> 
>                   GUESS WHAT YOU'VE BEEN EATING
> 
> Bob Phelps
> Director
> Australian GeneEthics Network
> c/- ACF 340 Gore Street, Fitzroy. 3065 Australia
> Tel: (03) 9416.2222 Fax: (03) 9416.0767 {Int Code (613)}
> email: [EMAIL PROTECTED]
> WWW: http://www.zero.com.au/agen
> 
> 
> 
>                       ********
>               The A-Infos News Service



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