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News From The World Of GMOs And Their Oponents

It is even so remarkable, that in a country like the United States which cultivates on 39 millions hectare genetically manipulated crops, more and more the resistance against this technology grows. The Federal State California seems to be on the ways to a GMO - free state:

„ Creating a ge-free northern california - its official: Mendocino County California has approved a ballot initiative that will allow voters to choose whether or not the County should ban genetically modified crops. Mendocino County's agricultural income is strongly rooted in organics, and local farmers are concerned about decreased revenues, due to possible contamination from neighboring GE crops. The vote will be held March 2, 2004 and would make the county the first in the U.S. to pass an anti-GMO resolution" (1).

The situation in other federal states of the United States is different. A mediocre and indifferent administration -- the Lord Mayor of London, Ken Livingstone*, named Bush „The greatest threat to the living on this planet" ( FAZ from 2003 november 19) and his administration "unsupportable" -- and a Biotec-industry, which profits at least in America thereof, that the confidence of the consumer in the authorities never became  so rocked as in Europe, has the population in a kind of stranglehold. „ If a food product lies in the shelf here, then everybody relies an hundred per cent thereupon, that it also is safe ", describes Iowa Agrarian Minister Judge the mentality ( 2). „ "It is well done by industry, taking away the consumer's free choice. In our law relating to food production there is no 'right on knowing'." says Neil Hamilton from Drake University, Des Moines, Iowa/USA. Most American consumers either don’t care, or they have resigned themselves to the fact, that nearly all food products contain GMOs (3).

Are there reasons to vote for the green genetic modification? The most important German daily Newspaper, the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung (FAZ) says no: „ There are very few reasons to accord in the choir of the genetic modification - lobbyists and glorify each product of the green genetic modification, possibly planting even all fields therewith. America, where in the south west one of the most strange and biologic poorest agrarian steppes of the earth extends, delivers a warning example, regarding agriculture as well as the eating culture. That there are detectives and lawyers hiking over the fields to search for farmers, who cultivated illicitly, or unintentionally seeds developed by these Biotech-firm, makes no appetite on genetechnically modified food" (4).

Are there the eternal yesterday's, who still vote for the green genetic modification? Yes, unfortunately. For example the Spanish Minister of Agriculture Miguel Arias Canete. In matters of genetic modification he doesn’t know any fears of contact. As one of the largest adressee countries for subsidies from EU, Spain squanders the money for the subvention of the green genetic modification. „ The interest of our farmers increases. In Spain there is an enormous demand concerning the new genetically changed kinds ", said the Spanish Agriculture Minister on a conferrence in Brussels. Spain is regarding cultivation of transgenic plants outrider in the European Union. About 32.000 hectare would already be cultivated with genetically altered maize, said Canete (5). - In future one needs to be more cautious with agricultural products made in Spain, also the subsidies from Brussels better should be distributed to other, GMO-free countries.

The following firms are waiting for admission of their GE-products: Syngenta (formerly Novartis), Monsanto, plants Genetic System, Amylogene, Bayer CropScience, KWS seed. Test case for the further proceeding in the EU - approval procedure is a sweet maize of the Swiss enterprise Syngenta, which shall be exported as canned goods grown from the associated States to Europe. Maize, Soy, potatoes, sugar beets and cotton shall follow. If the European food authority (Efsa) granted a clearance certificate - as recently done - , or not, is all the same, because you can’t expect too much from that kind of authorities.

More important according the FAZ are the sceptical answers of the environmental and consumer protectors: „ They warn of unrecognized ecological consequences later by the damage of beneficial insects, or of the creation of 'Super weeds ', which some time or other will get out of control. Also the effects on the human health are not completely clarified. Neither allergies can be excluded nor toxical, or carcinogen effects in the long run" (6).
* BBC/UK reports: "Livingstone described the Bush administration as "unsupportable". London Mayor Ken Livingstone has launched an astonishing attack on US President George W. Bush, calling him "corrupt". Ken Livingstone on George W Bush: "He is not the legitimate president"

Notes and literature
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Full version issued in:  Natural Science Vol. 3 Issue 1/2004

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