Fw: BREAKING NEWS: Scientists support GM crop ban

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Sep 6, 2015, 3:48:43 PM9/6/15
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--- On Thu, 3/9/15, Colin Holden <LAB...@smcholden.plus.com> wrote:

> From: Colin Holden <LAB...@smcholden.plus.com>
> Subject: BREAKING NEWS: Scientists support GM crop ban
> To:
> Date: Thursday, 3 September, 2015, 21:45
> Please circulate widely.
> Colin
> ---------- Forwarded message ----------
> From: Eva Novotny <e...@en.eclipse.co.uk>
>
>
> PRESS RELEASE
>
> For immediate release
>
>
> SCIENTISTS SUPPORT SCOTTISH GM CROP BAN
>
> 3 September, 2015
>
> An open letter signed by 30 scientists and other specialists
> (1) has today
> been sent to the Scottish Minister Richard Lochhead in
> support of the
> announced Scottish ban on the cultivation of genetically
> modified (GM)
> crops.
>
> The signatories all hold doctorates, mainly in science or
> medicine.
> Another open letter (2), opposing the ban, had been sent on
> 17 August to
> the same Minister, signed on behalf of 28 univerities,
> institutes, learned
> societies and other institutions, but no individual
> signatures were given.
>
> This new letter cites evidence that professionals who have
> financial or
> career interests in a product are more likely to endorse it
> than are those
> without such interests.  This bias is heightened in the
> case of GM, where
> it is spurred by the billions of corporate and funding
> dollars at stake.
> Examples are quoted of concerted attacks from scientists and
> others
> dependent on the industry (3) upon scientists who have
> demonstrates harm
> from GM crops.
>
> The signatories of today's letter point to increasing use of
> pesticides,
> with no intrinsic increase in crop yield (there is no single
> gene for
> higher yield (4) ).  Thus GM crops are a liability to
> both farmers and
> consumers, while proponents of GM continue to make
> extravagant claims for
> these crops.  The letter also dismisses the claim that
> GM foods are safe
> to eat, a claim based on commercially confidential studies
> performed by
> the GM-seed developers.  On the contrary,
> peer-reviewed, published
> toxicology/ safety studies by independent researchers show
> that lab
> animals suffer damage to health when fed even small
> quantities of GMOs.
>
> Prof Carlo Leifert says:
>
> "I strongly believe that the Scottish government is right in
> banning
> genetically modified crops.  The process of safety
> testing is still a
> completely flawed process and there are potentially
> significant public
> health risks and negative biodiversity and environmental
> impacts, while
> there is likely to be no commercial benefit for farmers from
> the currently
> available GM crops.  On the other hand, there are
> likely to be significant
> commercial benefits from Scotland being clearly recognised
> as a GM-free
> region for producers of major Scottish export crops/crop
> products (e.g.,
> potato, cereals, oil seed rape, soft fruit, whisky)."
>
> "Banning GMOs is a very brave step to take given the
> political power of
> the GM-crop proponents. I hope other governments in Europe
> will be
> encouraged by this and stand up to the interference of
> multinational
> biotech companies and their lobbyists in national
> decision-making
> processes, and will also stand up to lobbying by parts of
> the academic
> community which push GM-crop commercialisation mainly as a
> justification
> for their own fundamental research funding."
>
> The letter urges Scotland to become a leader in the science
> of
> agroecology, which has been proven to be an efficient and
> sustainable way
> of farming that produes healthy soils, plants, animals and
> food.
>
> ENDS
>
>
> Notes for Editors
>
> (1)  The letter is copied below.
>
> (2)  The letter from Sense About Science is posted at
> http://www.senseaboutscience.org/data/files/GM/Letter_to_Mr_Lochhead_17_Aug_2015.pdf
>
> (3)  Examples:
>
>     (a) Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini et al.,
> ‘Smelling a corporate rat’,
> Jonathan Matthews, 12 December 2012, published by Spin Watch
> on the web
> site Scribd: http://www.scribd.com/doc/116473155/Smelling-a-corporate-rat
>
>     (b) Dr Ignacio Chapela: ‘Has GM corn
> “invaded” Mexico?’, Charles C.
> Mann, March 2002, Science, Volune 295, Number 5560, Pages
> 1617-1619:
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/295/5560/1617.short
>
>     (c) Dr Arpad Pusztai: ‘The sinister sacking
> of the world’s leading GM
> expert and the trail that leads to Tony Blair and the White
> House’, Andrew
> Rowell, 7 July 2003, The Daily Mail [UK], reproduced by GM
> Watch:
> http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/42-2003/4305
>
> (4) 'Can genetic engineering produce crops that increase
> food
> production?’, http://www.psrast.org/newgwohu.htm
>
>
> Contact:  Dr Eva Novotny
> Tel.: 01223 351772
> e-mail:  e...@en.eclipse.co.uk
>
> =======================================
>
>
> To: cabs...@scotland.gsi.gov.uk
>
> Mr Richard Lochhead, Cabinet Secretary for Rural Affairs and
> the
> Environment in the Scottish Government
>
>         Re: Keep the Scottish Ban on
> Genetically Modified Crops
>
>                
>                
>    AN OPEN LETTER
>
> Dear Mr Lochhead,
>
> Firstly, as members of the science community, we wish to
> congratulate you
> on your recent announcement of a GM-free status for
> Scotland.
>
> You have received a letter from Sense About Science urging
> you to abandon
> Scotland's ban on genetically modified (GM) crops and asking
> for a meeting
> to persuade you in that direction.  We, the
> undersigned, urge you to
> maintain Scotland’s admirable integrity on this issue and
> not to fall
> victim to the unfounded claims made for GM crops.
>
> Each of us has been involved either with the process of
> genetic
> modification and/or with the debate around genetic
> modification.  Over
> many years, the following facts have become clear to us.
>
> Who supports GM crops?
>
>       It is a documented fact [Ref. 1] that
> professionals with a career or
> financial interest in a controversial product are much more
> likely to
> endorse it than are those who have no such interest. 
> This is very much
> the case with GM. In this instance, however, the stakes for
> a
> multi-billion dollar industry, and the organisations and
> scientists funded
> by it, are so high that opposition extends far beyond
> endorsement.
> 'Unfavourable' research results in company-sponsored studies
> are routinely
> suppressed; and we see, repeatedly, vitriolic attacks and
> defamation of
> independent scientists who report evidence of harm resulting
> from GM
> crops, as in laboratory animal-feeding trials. [Ref. 2]
>
> The GM industry and disinformation
>
>       In spite of the huge body of evidence
> to the contrary that continues
> to accumulate, the GM industry wishes the public and
> politicians to
> believe that GM crops are friendly to the environment and
> safe to consume
> by humans and animals — and, indeed, to be an essential
> tool of modern
> agriculture.  A number of industry-backed 'front'
> organisations have been
> created that employ "stealth PR techniques" to promote the
> interests of
> clients, and Sense About Science is one of these. [Ref 3]
>
> GM pesticide use and yields
>
>       GM crops are designed for intensive,
> chemical agriculture, which has
> already led to the degradation of our soils and the
> micro-organisms that
> promote soil fertility.  Food crops now contain only a
> fraction of the
> mineral content they had a mere 50 years ago.  The
> amount of pesticides
> that are applied to GM crops is increasing year-on-year.
> [Ref 4] A class
> of GM crops that actually have decreased amounts of applied
> insecticide
> (the Bt crops) are engineered to produce their own
> insecticide within
> their cells — and these toxins cannot be washed off but
> must be eaten. The
> total amount of insecticide occurring in and on Bt crops is
> estimated to
> be greater than if an applied insecticide had been used.
> [Ref 5] As weeds
> and insects become resistant to the controlling chemicals,
> additional and
> more highly toxic pesticides are being added.
>
>      Yields of GM crops are similar to,
> or lower than, yields of
> conventional crops [Ref 6]; there is no gene for higher
> yield in any GM
> crop.  If a bigger harvest occurs, it is rather a
> decreased loss to weeds
> or insects than an intrinsically higher yield.  Some
> newer GM crops that
> are claimed to give intrinsically higher yields or other
> desirable trait
> were actually developed by traditional breeding to achieve
> that trait, and
> they were subsequently made GM (and patentable) by
> introducing the usual
> herbicide-tolerance or insect-resistance genes. [Ref 7]
>
> Safety of GM crops for environment and health
>
>       In the United States, where GM crops
> are most widely grown, an
> increasing number of weeds has become resistant to Roundup,
> the
> glyphosate-based herbicide that is used on most
> herbicide-tolerant GM
> crops.  On some farms, old-fashioned weeding by hand
> has become necessary,
> and there are even cases where farms have had to be
> abandoned because the
> weed problem became intractable. [Ref 8] Some varieties of
> weeds are now
> resistant to several herbicides.
>
>       GM seed developers perform their own
> animal-feeding nutritional and
> safety studies.  Usually these are commercially
> confidential and
> unavailable for public scrutiny.  Those that are
> published are short-term
> and dismiss as not "biologically meaningful" the
> statistically significant
> differences they acknowledge to occur between the animals
> fed a GM variety
> and the control animals. [Ref 9] Independent scientists
> almost always find
> harm to health (immune system, kidneys, liver, reproductive
> fertility,
> etc.) when animals are given GM feed. [Ref 10] Many farmers
> have also
> reported health problems from GM feed, and these disappear
> when a non-GM
> diet is re-introduced. [Ref 11]
>
>     In March of this year, the widely used
> herbicide glyphosate was
> declared to be “probably carcinogenic”’ by the experts
> in the
> International Agency for Research on Cancer (IARC), which
> operates under
> the auspices of the World Health Organisation. [Ref. 12]
> Only
> peer-reviewed publications were considered, not unpublished
>
> company-sponsored studies.  Monsanto Company, which
> owns the huge majority
> of patents on GM crops dependent on glyphosate, has
> described this report
> as "junk science" and is now trying to discredit it and to
> have it
> retracted. [Ref 13]
>
>     Genetics remains an imperfectly understood
> science, and genetic
> engineering often induces unexpected and even harmful
> changes that may not
> be recognised during testing.
>
> More information
>
>       An excellent online publication that
> provides summaries and examples
> of all aspects of GM processes and products can be found
> at:
>
> http://earthopensource.us7.list-manage.com/track/click?u=50141f121d7b3fbaa04918d11&id=c4148d8bf4&e=79eba3e9c6
>
> Two of the three authors are geneticists who either are, or
> have been,
> engaged in genetic engineering.
>
> From our perspective as independent scientists, a Scottish
> ban on GMOs is
> entirely justified even on scientific grounds alone. 
> We hope that you and
> your advisors will not be beguiled by the unjustified claims
> and promises
> of an increasingly desperate GM industry.  Scotland
> must maintain its
> high-quality crops and foods, without contamination by
> genetically
> engineered varieties.  Instead of pursuing a route that
> is already causing
> serious environmental and health problems, Scotland should
> become a leader
> in the science of agroecology, which has already proved its
> efficacy and
> sustainability. [Ref 14] Together with non-invasive modern
> innovations
> like Marker Assisted Selection to speed traditional
> breeding, agroecology
> has promise to replace our present conventional and GM
> agriculture and to
> produce healthy soils leading to healthy plants, animals and
> food.
>
>
> Yours sincerely,
>
> (Each signatory has signed as an individual, not on behalf
> of any
> organisation.)
>
> Scientists
>
> Prof. Carlo Leifert (PhD, Dipl. Ing. agr.), School of
> Agriculture, Food
> and Rural Development at Newcastle University; Director,
> Stockbridge
> Technology Centre
>
> Dr Michael Antoniou, King's College London, Head of Gene
> Expression and
> Therapy Group
>
> Prof Susan Bardocz, PhD, formerly at University of Debrecen,
> Hungary;
> formerly at the Rowett Research Institute, Aberdeen
>
> Dr. E. Ann Clark, Associate Professor (retired), Plant
> Agriculture,
> University of Guelph, Ontario, Canada
>
> Prof. Joe Cummins Emeritus Professor of Genetics Western
> University,
> London Ontario, Canada Fellow of Science In Society, London,
> UK; Many
> reports and articles opposing Genetic Engineering beginning
> around 1980
>
> Dr S. W. B. Ewen, M.B.Ch.B., Ph.D.,F.R.C.Path, retired,
> Histopathologist
> at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary
>
>   Dr John Fagan, Director, Earth Open Source
>
> Dr Angelika Hilbeck, Chair, European Network of Scientists
> for Social and
> Environmental Responsibility (ENSSER), Germany
>
> Dr Mae-Wan Ho, Institute of Science in Society, Roster of
> Experts on
> Cartagena Protocol for Biosafety
>
> Dr David Hookes, PhD in molecular biology, Honorary Senior
> Research Fellow
> in Department of Computer Science, Liverpool University
>
> Prof Malcolm Hooper, Professor Emeritus of Medicinal
> Chemistry at the
> University of Sunderland
>
> Dr. Don M. Huber, Professor Emeritus Purdue University; 55
> years research,
> microbial ecologist/plant pathologist
>
> Dr Jonathan Latham, Executive Director, The Bioscience
> Resource Project
>
> Dr Ulrich Loening, Reader in Zoology and Director of the
> Centre for Human
> Ecology (retired), University of Edinburgh
>
> Dr Alexander Kenneth Lough, PhD, DSc, FRSC, FRSE, Formerly
> at the Rowett
> Research Institute.
>
> Dr Eva Novotny, University of Cambridge (retired); formerly
> Co-ordinator
> for GM Issues at Scientists for Global Responsibility
>
> Dr Arpad Pusztai, FRSE, formerly at the Rowett Research
> Institute,
> Aberdeen
>
> Dr Fakhar Qureshi (PhD), formerly at the BBSRC, Institute
> for Animal
> Health, Compton, Newbury
>
> Prof Peter Saunders, Co-director, Institute of Science in
> Society;
> Emeritus Professor of Mathematics, King's College London.
>
> Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji, Institute of Science in Society,
> London, UK
>
> Dr William W.M. Steiner, Ph.D. (Genetics). former Dean of
> the College of
> Agriculture, Forestry and Natural Resource Management,
> University of
> Hawaii, Hilo; former Director of the USGS Pacific Island
> Ecosystems
> Research Center, Honolulu, Hawaii; former researcher at USDA
> Biological
> Control of Insects Research Laboratory, Columbia, Missouri
>
> Professor, Dr. philos. Terje Traavik, Professor of Virology
> and Professor
> Emeritus of Gene Ecology, UiT The Arctic University of
> Norway; Founder and
> Former Scientific Director of the National Competence
> Institute GenÖk-
> Centre of Biosafety; Former member of the governmental
> Norwegian
> Biotechnology Advisory Board.
>
> Dr Hector Valenzuela, Full Professor and Vegetable Crops
> Extension
> Specialist, College of Tropical Agriculture and Human
> Resources,
> University of Hawaii at Manoa
>
> Prof Brian Wynne, Professor Emeritus of Science Studies at
> Lancaster
> University; Former member of science committees of the Royal
> Society and
> European Environment Agency; Former special advisor to the
> House of Lords
> Select Committee on Science and Technology
>
>
> Non-Scientists with Relevant Qualifications
>
> Dr Myrto Ashe MD, M.P.H., Functional Medicine, San Rafael,
> California
>
> Prof Philip L. Bereano, Professor Emeritus of Technology and
> Public
> Policy, University of Washington; Negotiator for the
> Cartagena Biosafety
> Protocol, the Supplemental Protocol on Liability and
> Redress; and Codex
> Alimentarius Guidelines on Food from Modern Biotechnology.
>
> Helen Browning OBE; Director, Soil Association, UK; Former
> member of the
> UK Government’s Agriculture and Environment Biotechnology
> Commission
>
> Dr Brian Higginson MB, BS, LRCP, MRCS, DO, DRCOG, DAB,
> General
> Practitioner (retired) in UK National Health Service
>
> Dr Rosemary Mason, MB, ChB, FRCA; Former Consultant
> Anaesthetist at West
> Glamorgan Health Authority, UK
>
> Dr Michelle Perro MD, Institute for Health and Healing,
> Greenbrae,
> California
>
>
> References
> This list is representative, not comprehensive
>
> 1. 'Association of financial or professional conflict of
> interest to
> research outcomes on health risks or nutritional assessment
> studies of
> genetically modified products’, Johan Diels, Mario Cunha,
> Célia Manaia,
> Bernardo Sabugosa-Madeira, Margarida Silva, Food Policy,
> Volume 36, Issue
>
> 2, April 2011, Pages 197-203: http://www2.grist.org/pdf/gmo_conflict.pdf
>
> 2. (a) (i) Re: Prof. Gilles-Eric Séralini et al.: Letters
> to the Editor, Food and Chemical Toxicology, 2014
>   (the reference also contains supporting letters):
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691512005637
>          (ii) ‘Smelling a
> corporate rat’, Jonathan Matthews, 12 December 2012,
> published by Spin Watch on the web site Scribd:
> http://www.scribd.com/doc/116473155/Smelling-a-corporate-rat
>     (b) Re: Dr Ignacio Chapela: (i) Don’t Worry,
> It’s Safe to Eat, Andrew Rowell, 2003, Earthscan
> Publications Limited, London and Stirling, Virginia, pp.
> 152-153.
>           (ii) ‘Has GM corn
> “invaded” Mexico?’, Charles C. Mann, March 2002,
> Science, Volune 295, Number 5560, Pages 1617-1619:
> http://www.sciencemag.org/content/295/5560/1617.short
>     (c) Re: Dr Arpad Pusztai: (i) ‘The sinister
> sacking of the world’s leading GM expert and the trail
> that leads to Tony Blair and the White House’, Andrew
> Rowell, 7 July 2003, The  Daily Mail [UK], reproduced
> by GM Watch:
> http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/42-2003/4305
>           (ii) Seeds of Deception,.
> Jeffrey Smith, 2003, Yes! Books, Fairfield, Iowa, Pages
> 15-23.
>           (iii) Don’t Worry,
> It’s Safe to Eat, Andrew Rowell, 2003, Earthscan
> Publications Limited, London and Stirling, Virginia; Page 78
> ff.
>
> 3. ‘Spinning Food’, Kari Hamerschlag, Anna Lappé and
> Stacy Malkan, Friends of the Earth Report, June 2015:
> http://www.foe.org/projects/food-and-technology/good-food-healthy-planet/spinning-food
>
> 4. (a) ‘Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on
> Pesticide Use in the United States: The First Thirteen
> Years’, Cherles Benbrook, November 2009, The Organic
> Center, Critical Issue Report:
> https://www.organic-center.org/reportfiles/GE13YearsReport.pdf
>      (b) ‘Impacts of generically
> engineered crops on pesticide use in the U.S. — the first
> sixteen years’, Charles M. Benbrook, 2012, Environmental
> Sciences Europe, Volume 24, Page 24-36:
>  
>    http:/www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/24
>
> 5. ‘Impacts of generically engineered crops on pesticide
> use in the U.S. — the first sixteen years’, Charles M.
> Benbrook, 2012, Environmental Sciences Europe, Volume 24,
> Page 24-36:
>  
>    http:/www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/24
>
> 6. 'Failure to Yield’, Doug Gurian-Sherman, April 2009,
> Union of Concerned Scientists:
> http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/failure-to-yield.pdf
>
> 7. E.g., Syngenta’s Agrisure Artesian drought-tolerant
> maize:
> http://www.soyatech.com/print_news.php?id=21384
>
> 8. ‘Impacts of Genetically Engineered Crops on Pesticide
> Use in the United States: The First Thirteen Years’,
> Cherles Benbrook, November 2009, The Organic Center,
> Critical Issue Report:
> https://www.organic-center.org/reportfiles/GE13YearsReport.pdf
>
> 9.  ‘Results of a 13 week safety assurance study with
> rats fed grain from glyphosate tolerant corn’, B. Hammond,
> R. Dudek, J. Lemen and M. Nemeth, 2004, Food and Chemical
> Toxicology, Volume 42, Pages 1003-1014:
> http://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0278691504000547
>
> 10. Ban GMOs Now, Mae-Wan Ho and Eva Sirinathsinghji, May
> 2013, Institute of Science in Society:
> http://www.i-sis.org.uk/Ban_GMOs_Now.php
>
> 11. "Deformities, sickness & livestock deaths: the real
> cost of glyphosate & GM animal feed?”, Andrew Wasley,
> 28 November 2013: http://www.theecologist.org/News/news_analysis/2176082/deformities_sickness_livestock_deaths_the_real_cost_of_glyphosate_gm_animal_feed.html
>
> 12. ‘Glyphosate’, IARC Monograph 112, July 2015:
> http://monographs.iarc.fr/ENG/Monographs/vol112/mono112-02.pdf
>
> 13. (a) ‘IARC’s Report on Glyphosate’, Monsanto
> Company, July 2015:
> http://www.monsanto.com/iarc-roundup/pages/default.aspx
>        (b) ‘Monsanto says panel
> to review WHO finding on cancer link to herbicide’, Carey
> Gillam, July 2015, Reuters, Yahoo News:
> http://news.yahoo.com/monsanto-says-expert-panel-review-finding-cancer-herbicide-184600564.html?soc_src=mediacontentstory&soc_trk=tw
>
> 14. (a) Food Futures Now, Mae-wan.Ho, Sam Burcher, Lim Li
> Ching and others, Institute of Science in Society and Third
> World Network Report, March 2008:
> http://www.i-sis.org.uk/foodFutures.php
>       (b) ‘The Farming Systems Trial,
> Celebrating 30 Years’, Rodale Institute, 2012:
> http://66.147.244.123/~rodalein/wp-content/uploads/2012/12/FSTbookletFINAL.pdf
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