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[SANET-MG] Bayer, GE, California, Thailand thread
First a very happy Christmas Holiday to you and all on the list.
As you know,Thailand is the world's leading rice exporter followed by
Vietnam.High quality fragrant rice varieties are a major attraction to
the world. Presently rice prices and demand are higher than ever.
Probably Thailand will restrict pharm rice to contained cell culture
production. As far as food crop rice is concerned my guess would be that
Thailand will test and produce the impending Chinese releases. Stacked
or pyramided varieties with combined insect (Bt cry toxin or gna) and
genes for bacterial blight and rice blast are likely first releases. It
is likely that the Chinese releases will be followed by similar releases
in India and the Philippines.
Roundup ready and Liberty link will undoubtedly be pushed but I think
most Asia will follow the Chinese releases if they succeed.
Raquel & Greg wrote:
> Thanks Joe. Do you happen to know what the most imminent GM threat is to
> Thai rice? Bt, RR, pharm, etc.? I'm assuming that Bt or RR would be
> but is there a danger that Ventria or someone like them will move in?
> ----- Original Message ----- From: "jcummins" <jcummins@UWO.CA>
> To: <SANET-MG@LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
> Sent: Thursday, December 23, 2004 4:54 AM
> Subject: Re: [SANET-MG] Bayer, GE, California, Thailand
> Hi Greg,
> The article below from the Nation gives an over view of recent
> regulatory events in Thailand. The scientific literature, as well, shows
> that Thai researchers are very advanced in areas such as producing
> pharmaceuticals in rice cell culture. Hope this helps, joe cummins
> POLICY REVERSAL: Green light for GMOs
> PM authorises planting, trading of modified crops after testing
> Prime Minister Thaksin Shinawatra yesterday bestowed the government's
> tacit blessing on the planting and trading of genetically modified (GM)
> crops by revoking an earlier ban on their commercial use, in defiance of
> wide opposition from farmers, environmentalists and consumer networks.
> In contrast to the current policy that only permits GM crops to be grown
> in laboratories for experimental purposes, the revision will allow for
> open planting and commercialisation of GM crops provided they receive
> approval from the Bio Safety Committee (BSC), the premier said.
> The announcement was made yesterday after Thaksin chaired a meeting of
> the National Biotechnology Policy Board (NBPB) at the Science Ministry.
> "We are not going to promote GM crops, but we will not slam the doors
> shut on their development. We will allow for their plantation and
> commercialisation as we do for other crops," said Sakarindr Bhumiratana,
> NBPB secretary and president of the National Science and Technology
> Development Agency (NSTDA), who relayed the prime minister's speech.
> After outlining Thaksin's three basic options of promoting GM crops,
> allowing them to be planted and commercialised, and imposing an outright
> ban on their commercial use, Sakarindr said: "We choose the second
> "The current policy caused misunderstanding amo.ng researchers and
> private biotech companies that led to a decrease in related research and
> investment," he said.
> "The policy change is needed. Otherwise Thailand will fail to keep
> abreast of the global current in the GM-crop trade," Sakarindr added.
> As a means of kick-starting the policy next Tuesday, the Cabinet will
> revoke the resolution it passed on April 3, 2001 that effectively bans
> any handling of GM crops outside a research environment.
> The Bio Safety Committee has been tasked with issuing suitable safety
> measures within three months in a bid to implement the new policy as
> soon as possible.
> Meanwhile the Natural Resource and Environment Ministry has been
> assigned to draft the Bio Safety bill within one year, while the Science
> Ministry has been granted authority over assessing the safety of GM
> crops and related products.
> The premier's political about-face has inflamed local farmers,
> environmentalists and consumer networks.
> "The policy is putting Thai people at risk," said Witoon Lianchamroon,
> director of the BioThai Network.
> "How can the government place its trust in the Bio Safety Committee when
> it has long been known as a paper tiger? It has no legal power to
> enforce the rules and therefore cannot make private companies adopt its
> guidelines," he said.
> The networks said they believed the decision stemmed from heavy US
> pressure and giant biotech corporation Monsanto, which allegedly aims to
> monopolise the Thai grain and agricultural markets.
> Witoon said he anticipated a national upswell of protest against the
> premier's decision to decriminalise the crops.
> "It is a mammoth mistake, and the premier will undoubtedly suffer the
> consequences," Witoon said. "Thaksin has doubled back on his 'big
> promise' to farmers and environmental groups," Witoon said, referring to
> the April 3, 2001 Cabinet resolution which was the result of protracted
> negotiations between rival lobbying and government groups.
> Witoon said the resolution represented Thaksin's promise to put the
> issue to bed before 2001, when a leak of genetically modified cotton was
> discovered in the northeastern provinces.
> "The policy will put Thailand at risk of further contamination from GM
> crops, which may spread to natural plants. The premier will take us to
> the point of no return," he said, referring to the potentially
> irreparable level of damage some believe GM crops will wreak.
> "The lesson to be learned from the BT cotton episode in Loei province is
> that controlling contamination is impossible and thus there is a large
> inherent danger," he added.
> "Before long an opposition movement will take place. Not only from our
> network but also from other consumer and environmental networks," warned
> Varoonvarn Svangsopakul, a campaigner from Greenpeace Southeast Asia,
> said the policy would make eating GM-contaminated food unavoidable.
> "GM products are banned in most countries, especially our 'expert'
> countries like the EU and Japan. Consumers there reject them to avoid
> possible side-effects," she said.
> "Next week we will hold a special session and invite GMO scientists from
> Britain to update us on the latest GMO safety developments," she added.
> Jacques-chai Chomthongdi, founding member of the Free Trade Agreement
> Watch, said he believed the government had been swayed by lobbying from
> Monsanto Thailand and the US government, which wants to protect its
> biotech trade.
> "The US Trade Representatives expressed quite clearly during my visit to
> Washington DC several months ago that granting intellectual property
> rights [IPR] for GM grain was the staple US policy and it was not
> subject to negotiation regardless of nation," he said.
> "Recently the US government stated in its proposed free-trade agreement
> [FTA] to the Thai government that Thailand had to support the
> implementation of IPRs, agree with the benefits and use of GMO
> technology and make Thai people understand that GM technology was not
> dangerous," he said.
> "There is no other reason why the US had to sign an FTA with Thailand as
> it was already receiving benefits in deals made in other business
> sectors," he added.
> Discussions on penning a Thai-US FTA began this year, with follow-up
> talks scheduled for Hawaii next October and the third round slated for
> soon after that in Bangkok.
> Apart from the new policy on GM crops, yesterday's meeting also saw the
> Bt660-million Bio Park project approved in an endeavour to boost the
> nation's competitiveness in the biotech industry.
> The NSTDA was also granted principal authority in developing a "shrimp
> cluster" to promote the domestic shrimp industry by exploiting new
> Responding to the government's announcement, Monsanto's spokesman
> Khongthas Janchai said the company was "very happy" with the reversal
> and planned to launch field tests for two potential GM crops, the
> Round-up Ready and Bt maizes, in the near future.
> "We believe GM crops can coexist with native plants without any negative
> impact. The government is on the right track," he said.
> Khongthas denied accusations by the farmers' network that Monsanto had
> developed a special relationship with NSTDA's scientists and had applied
> pressure to amend the policy.
> Scores of farmers and environmental networks contacted by The Nation
> yesterday said they were currently discussing ways of responding to the
> new crop policy to register their protest.
> "We cannot reveal how this movement will express itself, but it will
> happen in a big way, and we are hoping for large-scale public support,"
> said one environmental activist contacted by telephone.
> Kamol Sukin
> THE NATION 21 Aug 2004
> Raquel & Greg wrote:
>> It is interesting to me that Bayer is pulling out of various countries
>> around the world, because they are very likely the next battle to be
>> by California rice farmers. They are planning to introduce their GE
>> Link rice this year or next in Arkansas, I believe, and California
>> two or three years from now. My firm position is that it should not be
>> grown anywhere in the United States, as all US rice farmers will pay a
>> in lost markets and lost income. Similarly, Ventria must not be allowed
>> commercialize their drug rice in Missouri or anywhere else.
>> On a similar note, I'll be travelling to Thailand in January to speak to
>> Thai rice farmers about our experiences with Ventria here in California.
>> Anyone have any inside information on the current state of GE rice in
>> Greg Massa
>> ----- Original Message -----
>> From: "Evon Kochey" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
>> To: <SANET-MG@LISTS.IFAS.UFL.EDU>
>> Sent: Wednesday, December 22, 2004 1:08 PM
>> Subject: [SANET-MG] Bayer Backs Out of Genetic Engineering in India By
>> PESTICIDE ACTION NETWORK UPDATE SERVICE
>> Edition Date: Tuesday, December 21, 2004
>> Bayer Backs Out of Genetic Engineering in India By PESTICIDE ACTION
>> While FDA regulations may encourage GE experimentation in the U.S.,
>> the difficulties encountered by biotech companies in other parts of
>> the world appear to be having an effect. Bayer’s retreat from testing
>> GE crops in India is only its most recent demur. In March the company
>> pulled out of GE crop research in the UK, and in June it dropped plans
>> to commercialize GE canola in Australia. Monsanto has also limited its
>> research and testing of GE foods, discontinuing plans for GE wheat in
>> the U.S. and Canada and for GE canola in Australia earlier this year.
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