rn: Farmageddon, Frankenfood & Gov’t of the people by & for corporations


Jan Slakov

Dear RN,

I was really pleased to get a message from someone at New Society Publishers
(below). They publish quite a few really good books and you can see their
catalogue at www.newsociety.com  .

And the Frankenfood leaflet below originates in Aotearoa (New Zealand) but
could be used just about anywhere.

Last but not least, a friend from another list (on oceans issues) sends yet
more evidence that our (Canadian) government is sold out. (Former evidence
of this includes the revelation (CBC Fifth Estate program of Nov. 29, 1994),
that Monsanto tried to bribe Health Canada officials to try to get them to
fast-track approval of BGH.)

all the best, Jan
Date: Mon, 13 Dec 1999 14:58:30 -0800
From: info <•••@••.•••>
Subject: Re: rn: Vandana Shiva: significance of Seattle

Another book [besides Real Food for a Change, cf. rn posting (V. Shiva)
of Dec. 13] on the topic of agriculture that some of you may find of
interest is Farmageddon, Food and The Culture of Biotechnology by Brewster
Kneen. It is a title that we publish here at New Society so I may be a bit
biased, but it really is a good introduction to the topic of genetically
engineered foods and how to resist them. If you want more info. you can
have a look at www.newsociety.com.
This is my first time writing but it is great to read all of your comments.
So much information.
Best Wishes
From: "Janet M Eaton" <•••@••.•••>
Date:   Tue, 14 Dec 1999 02:24:56 +0000
Subject: Consumer Warning. RE: Frankenfoods.+Ans. to Michael S
------- Forwarded Message Follows -------
To:            HRAG Topica <•••@••.•••>
From:          Human Rights Action Group <•••@••.•••>
Subject:       Fwd: Consumer Warning. RE: Frankenfoods.
Date:          Mon, 13 Dec 1999 20:18:02 -0800
Reply-to:      •••@••.•••

CONSUMER WARNING - The Frankenfoods Fifteen(see list at end)



* Lab tests and industry disclosures indicate that 60-75% of all
non-organic supermarket foods now "test positive" for the presence of
genetically engineered (GE) ingredients.

* Despite growing public concern over the safety of milk and dairy products
from cows injected with recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH), as well
as human health and environmental concerns over genetically engineered
corn, soy, canola, and cotton, the US government refuses to require
safety-testing or labeling for genetically engineered foods. As a result
Europe, Japan, and other nations are now refusing to buy many US food

*  Mounting scientific evidence suggests that genetically engineered foods
may present serious hazards for human health and the environment. The
British Medical Association has called for a global ban on GE foods, while
the New England Journal of Medicine has warned that "the allergenic
potential of these newly intoduced microbial proteins is uncertain,
unpredictable, and untestable." Scientists warn that GE foods may set off
allergies, increase cancer risks, produce antibiotic-resistant pathogens,
damage food quality, and produce dangerous toxins.

*  Environmental hazards of genetically engineered crops recently discussed
in scientific journals and the media include: increased use of toxic
pesticides, damage to soil fertility, genetic pollution of adjoining
farmlands, harm to Monarch butterflies and beneficial insects such as
ladybugs, and the creation of "superpests, "superweeds," and virulent new
plant viruses.

*  Consumer polls over the past decade have shown that 80-95% of Americans
want genetically engineered foods to be labeled--mainly so that we can
avoid buying them. Fifty members of Congress recently sent a letter to the
Food and Drug Administration demanding labeling. In addition, a federal
lawsuit has been filed by a broad coalition of scientists, environmental
groups, religious leaders, organic farmers, and consumer organizations
demanding that all genetically engineered foods be taken off the market
until they have been properly safety-tested and labeled.

*  Turn over this leaflet to see what you can do today to protect yourself
and your family from genetically engineered foods.


Ask  your grocery store manager for a written statement on their policy
regarding genetically engineered foods. Request that they identify which
food products are genetically engineered and which are not.

Tell your grocer to offer a full-line selection of certified organic foods.
Organic farmers and producers operate under strict certification rules and
do not use any genetically engineered seeds or ingredients.

Buy certified organic foods from your local co-op, health food store,
farmers market or through a  CSA - (Community Supported Agriculture)

Join the Organic Consumers Association and volunteer to help organize
opposition to genetically engineered foods in your local community.  Keep
informed on genetic engineering and food safety issues by visiting our  web
site at <http://www.purefood.org>

Human Rights Action Group 1999

Note from Jan: I think maybe Don (of Ocean Voice International) copied this
article himself. In any case, despite a few typos, it is important reading.

Date: Sat, 18 Dec 1999 16:43:49 -0500

Subject: Gov't of the people, by and for the corporations

First the goals of the campaign are set behind closed doors, then the
"consultation" takes place, according to an interesting article.

Saturday, December 18th, 1999, page A4


Government seeks advice to counter food fears.

Panel of experts to address growing concern about
genetically modified foods


The federal government is confronting growing consumer fears about
genetically modified food by asking interested parties for independent
advice on whether to change its regulatory system for approving such

The group of scientists, health professionals and consumer advocates
will form an expert panel, it was announced yesterday.

The panel will identify the types of biotech foods arriving at
government agencies for regulatory approval over the next io years. It
will also determine whether federal regulators need additional
guidelines to assess the health and environmental impact of these foods.

William Leiss, president of the Royal Society of Canada, and Arnold
Nairnark, a professor of medicine at the University of Manitoba, will
chair the panel that reports to Health Minister Allan Rock, Agriculture
and Agri-Food Minister Lyle Vanclief and Environment Minister David

["The industry is at a crisis period and is a lightening rod for
concerns about food safety" Government document]

The members of the panel, to be named next month, win be drawn from the
ranks of experts currently advising the government on biotechnology
issues. They are expected to produce a preliminary report by next
summer. Opponents of genetically modified foods say the panel, like
other groups set up to advise the federal government on health and
biotechnology issues, will have no real influence on public policy.

"These panels are window dressing to make it look there's consultation
about food but there really is no independence," said Michael McBane of
the Canadian Health Coalition. "They're there to rubber-stamp policy."

 The announcement comes at a time when consumer worries about
genetically modified food are high, and the credibility of the country's
food-safety system is being called into question.

Last month, 2oo scientists from Health Canada's Health Protection Branch
signed a petition that, among other things, raised alarm at the acute
shortage of scientists for evaluations and risk assessments of
genetically, modified foods. Public-health and environmental activists
also attacked regulators for relying on industry data rather than
original research.

The announcement also coincided with a closed-door strategy session
yesterday between Mr. Vanclief and representatives of the biotech
industry. Among those at the four-hour meeting were senior executives
from Monsanto Life Sciences Canada, AgrEvo Canada, Loblaw, the Consumers
Association of Canada, and groups representing the country's food
manufacturers and grocery distributors.

According to government documents obtained by the Canadian Health
Coalition and released to the Citizen, the session allowed industry to
make recommendations about what government should do in the next six
months to im- prove consumer confidence in genetically modified foods.

It is the second meeting this year. ne first, on April i2, resulted in a
communications strategy aimed at improving consumer knowledge and trust
of genetically modified foods, says the internal government document.
"The industry is at a crisis period and is a lightning rod for concerns
about food safety, the industry is in a period of low trust with
consumers and a consolidated effort is needed to address this."

The group proposed a strategy to win consumer acceptance of genetically
modified foods:

* Target a campaign at women who make the main decisions about food and
nutrition. Women's magazines and early-morning television shows were
seen as good venues to provide information about genetically modified

* Identify recognizable public figures and medical professionals "with
high credibility" to speak for the industry.

* Communicate a consistent set of facts to consumers.

* Focus the message on the improvements that biotechnology will bring to
human health in the pharmaceutical industry since "there are no direct
consumer benefits yet in food."

* Make consumers aware of the safety of Canada's food regulatory system.