Transgênicos - Organismos Geneticamente Modificados

Em 20/05/2000

Jornal do Brasil, 20/05/2000

Produtividade de soja GM é menor

 
CLAY CENTER, EUA - O Instituto de Agricultura e Recursos Naturais da University of Nebraska, nos Estados Unidos, divulgou estudo de dois anos sobre a soja transgênica, concluindo que a produtividade por área plantada é menor, embora o preço da semente seja mais caro. A pesquisa foi feita a pedido da comissão estadual da soja para responder às perguntas dos fazendeiros sobre as sementes geneticamente modificadas.

A produtividade da soja GM é 6% inferior à da soja comum e 11% menor do que as variedades com melhor rendimento. Isso significa três alqueires menos por 2,5 hectares, ou 480 alqueires em 4.000 hectares. O preço da semente US$ 7,50 o saco, no entanto, é superior ao da soja comum, informou o agrônomo Roger Elmore, diretor da pesquisa.

No Brasil, a Associação brasileira dos produtores de Soja (Abrasoja) divulgou nota "discordando das informações" de reportagem do The New York Times do dia 16 na qual o presidente para assuntos internacionais da Associação Americana de soja, Dwain Ford, afirma que 30% da soja no Brasil pode ser transgênica.

"Esse número representaria em torno de 9 milhões de toneladas, o que é infundado, já que não houve diminuição significativa na venda de sementes de soja no Brasil", diz a nota

 

PRESSURE GROWS TO DESTROY CROPS BLIGHTED BY GM SEEDS

May 19, 2000 - PA News
 
In Europe, pressured increased for so-called search and destroy missions. The Swedish Board of Agriculture was cited as saying it was likely farmers there who used the affected seed this year would be ordered to destroy their crops.

But a spokeswoman for the Ministry of Agriculture in Britain was cited as saying the Government could only destroy affected crops and seeds if there was a threat to human health or the environment, adding, "This is not the case and therefore the Government is not calling for a destruction of the crops."

A statement from the company was quoted as saying, "On April 3, Advanta learned that some batches of seed of one of its non GM spring oilseed rape varieties imported from Canada for sowing in a number of European countries had tested positive for a very low level presence (less than 1%) of genetically modified (GM) rape. As a precaution, immediate steps were taken to halt sales of Hyola varieties throughout all EU countries to which the seed had been supplied. An independent testing programme was instigated and it has now been confirmed that a few seed lots of these varieties have an extremely low level of GMO impurity despite being produced to standards well

in excess of regulatory requirements."

The company said seed companies were given no guidance on very low levels of GM presence so Advanta or its representatives had alerted government departments in each country.

Its statement added: "We are satisfied that regulations have not been breached, that there are no risks for consumers, consequences for food safety and there is no risk to the environment."

Friends of the Earth food campaigner Adrian Bebb was quoted as saying, "The Swedish government has been open and honest about the extent of the contamination and has moved quickly to ensure that these crops are removed from the ground. The British Government has been secretive, has produced minimum and misleading information and has done nothing to ensure that these crops are removed from the ground. We want the trials programme stopped and above all we want the UK Government to protect the public, not the GM industry."

Greenpeace spokesman Tim Thomas was cited as calling on the Government to order the destruction of affected crops, adding, "The Government has known for a month that this is happening. What they should be doing is prosecuting Advanta, pulling up these crops and acting to prevent contamination that is already there from going further along the food chain. They should also provide compensation to farmers whose GM-free status has been compromised.

The other issue is that this has got into the animal food chain and it seems there has been no action taken there."

Here is some info that might be of interest. It's from the Tokoyo Grain Exchange. They started trading non-gmo soybeans today. Greg Stephens

 
Non-GMO Soybean futures launch
 
The partial amendments of the Business Regulations and Contract Terms for Brokerage that had been approved at the Extraordinary General Meeting of Members held on March 27, 2000, received authorization from the Ministry of Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries on April 21, 2000 and shall come into effect from that day. The main points of the amendments are as follows:

1.       The present listed U.S Soybean futures contract shall be separated into U.S. Soybeans which are GMO soybeans along with a mixture of GMO and non-GMO soybeans (please see U.S. Soybean futures *1) and a new futures contract-Non-GMO Soybeans (please see Non-GMO Soybeans*2).

Specifications of the U.S. Soybean futures contract and the Non-GMO Soybean futures contract

       *1 The amended U.S. Soybean contract shall come in effect on April 26, 2000 from the April 2001 contract month which deliverable grades will include the states of Iowa, Illinois and Wisconsin.

        *2 The new Non-GMO Soybean contract will be launched on May 18, 2000 starting with the Dec. 2000, February 2001 and April 2001 contract months.

2.       To prepare for the launch of the Non-GMO Soybean futures contract, the trading hours for Raw Sugar futures and options will change.

Here is a link to their specifications:

http://www.tge.or.jp/english/Non_GMO.htm#nongmo

Here is the market page: NOTICE THE difference in volume between the non-GMO and regular soybean market volume.

http://www.tge.or.jp/english/marketprices.html

List of traders:
http://www.tge.or.jp/cgi-bin/daily/daily_trade.cgi?e+ds_hiki_ng.dat

http://www.tge.or.jp/cgi-bin/daily/daily_fu_trinf.cgi?e+ds_uchi_ng.dat


-Consideration of the Edible Soybean futures contract

 From April 1, 2001, mandatory labeling of processed soybean products that contain GMO will be introduced, thus the results of deliberations of Tokyo Grain Exchange, Chubu Commodity Exchange (Nagoya), Kansai Commodity Exchange (Osaka) and the Kanmon Commodity Exchange with respect to the edible Soybean futures contract are as follows:

1. Looking at the soybean market, we must consider the launch of non-genetically modified organisms (non-GMOs) as a new futures contract as soon as possible. The non-GMO futures under consideration shall be based on U.S. No 2 Yellow Soybeans for which standards have been established by USDA and shall be officially certified to be handled as identity preserved (IP) products. The time when the contract be launched, the number of delivery months, the standard grade and deliverable grades and other specifications shall be determined at a later date taking in account of the mandatory labeling of processed soybean products from April 1, 2001, the establishment of IP certification system and the production of non-GMO soybeans (Especially the Indiana, Ohio, Michigan produced soybeans) in the United States.

2. Where the situation of edible soybean market is still fluid and the price relationship between the GMO soybeans and the non-GMO soybean is extremely unpredictable, the present IOM contract shall continue to be launched as a GMO soybean contract in addition to a proposed non-GMO soybean contract.

3. We will deliberate if there is a necessity to relaunch the domestically produced soybeans and Chinese soybeans futures contracts. Domestically produced soybeans and Chinese soybeans vary in each producing region thus there are opinions that relaunching these two futures contracts are still too premature so we shall continue to deliberate on these two products.

4. The four exchanges shall proceed to hold meetings to discuss the above matters and receive opinions from their members and shall keep the members updated.

 
Les biologistes moléculaires veulent publier avant tout, comprendre et être utiles
 
Je ne veux pas polémiquer (c'est pourtant ce qui risque d'arriver lorsque deux mondes avec des valeurs différentes et antagonistes entrent en contact), mais lorsque j'entend que les scientifiques veulent publier avant tout, j'ai un peu l'impression qu'en fait il n'y a que la notoriété qui les guide, et le besoin de gagner sa vie, c'est normal, on ne peut pas leur en vouloir. Mais l'ennui est que si cela touche un domaine qui peut devenir vite incontrôlable, ils feraient mieux de ne rien toucher du tout, quitte à travailler dans un autre secteur. Le problème c'est que le génétique c'est un secteur où il y a du pognon en jeu, puisque les multinationnales arrosent la recherche dans ce domaine. J'ai bien l'impression qu'en fait d'être utile, c'est surtout à ces sociétés multinationales que les scientifiques sont utiles. Le problème de la "faim" dans le monde ne sera pas résolu avec les ogm, mais avec des comportements alimenaires différents. Pour ma part je ne mange pas de viande et ne m'en porte pas plus mal. La "culture" de la viande, non seulement est cruelle, mais en plus n'a pas une productivité très bonne (j'ai entendu dire qu'il fallait 10 kg de protéines végétales pour produire 1 kg de protéine animale, je ne sais pas si c'est vrai, en tout cas cela fait un rendement plus faible que si l'homme ingérait directement ces protéines végétales au lieu de manger des cadavres d'animaux).

Pour en revenir à ce que je disais dans l'autre message, voici formulé différement une autre manière de le dire:

Un argument à faire valoir ans la lutte contre les ogm

T`ai vu un film récemment, peu importe son titre, toujours est-il qu'il montrait le fameux thème du mari qui rentrant plus tôt que prévu de son voyage d'affaire, trouve sa femme au lit avec un autre homme. Aussi étrange que cela puisse paraître, cet homme semblait effondré, le fait que sa femme puisse avoir des rapports avec d'autres que lui le dépassait. Pourtant un scientifique, s'il était là, pourrait lui prouver qu'il n'y avait pas de danger, les deux amants ayant utilisé toutes les protections nécessaires lors de leurs ébats. Mais cet homme tellement buté ne voudrait certainement rien savoir, alors qu'il n'y a aucun danger on lui dit, qu'il est donc têtu, et disons le tout net, assez rétrograde. Il n'a jamais entendu parler de l'évolution des moeurs sexuelles ?

S'il me venait l'idée de comparer l'impression de souillure que ressent le mari trompé avec l'impression de souillure que ressent "l'écologiste" face au viol de la Nature par les manipulations génétiques, on me rétorquera que ce n'est pas la même chose, que je raconte n'importe quoi, qu'il faut comparer les choses comparables. Fort bien. Alors pourquoi est-ce que j'ai déjà entendu comparer les OGM avec le train, disant qu'à l'origine l'invention du chemin de fer aussi était mal ressentie par les "rétrogrades" dans mon style, ou par le peuple ignorant, et que depuis tout le monde voit bien qu'il n'y a pas de danger. Pourquoi comparer le train et les OGM, et ne pas accepter la comparaison que je viens de faire entre d'une part la souillure d'un étranger sur ce que le mari a de plus précieux, sa femme, et d'autre part la souillure d'un biotechnicien sur ce que le genre humain a de plus précieux, la Nature ? Le problème avec le débat qui se trame en ce moment est que l'on ne parle que des dangers potentiels. Le consommateur a peur des dangers potentiels. Peut-être qu'il n'y a en fait pas réel danger (ou pas apparent en tout cas), même si personnellement je pense qu'il y en a un, mais là n'est pas la question, car mes faibles connaissancesscientifiques ne me permettent pas d'affirmer cela. (On pourra toujours faire la remarque qu'il suffira de truquer les résultats s'il s'avère que les OGM ne sont pas aussi sains qu'on le prétend, on fera comme s'il n'y avait pas de danger et le consommateur s'endormira là dessus, comme toujours. Et les dérives viendront, encore plus extrêmes, selon la logique du "progrès" qui profite surtout aux multinationales).

Mais est-ce le fond de la question ? Juste parler en terme de risques éventuels d'une part, ou d'efficacité et de progrès d'autre part ? Ce qu'il faut mettre en exergue en ce moment, c'est le droit au consommateur de refuser les OGM tout simplement parce qu'il trouve dans l'évocation de ces aliments souillés et trafiqués un objet dégueulasse et répugnant, un sacrilège que l'on présente comme une évolution. S'il y a un refus, de la part des producteurs d'ogm, de vouloir étiqueter les produits en contenant, c'est tout simplement parce que cette mention, "produit génétiquement modifié", provoque le dégoût le plus profond, indépendamment de savoir si c'est dangereux ou pas.
C'est sur ce point qu'il faut se battre, et c'est cela que les consommateurs doivent savoir, eux qui peuvent décider - s'ils le veulent, s'ils savent réellement ce qu'ils veulent - comment cette guerre de la Nature contre le fric doit finir.
Ils doivent savoir qu'il n'y a pas que les effets physiques qui comptent. L'Âme c'est surtout ce qui ne se voit pas, ce qui peut périr alors que la carcasse vide tient encore debout.

Uphill Struggle for Hawaii's Biotech Papayas

 
(27 April - Cropchoice News)  --  A biotech fruit that developers said "could save the entire Hawaiian papaya industry" is instead running into serious marketing problems.

Two GMO papaya varieties released in 1998, "Rainbow" and "SunUp", have been rejected by foreign buyers.  It's a big deal in Hawaii, whose firm, quality fruit grown on rocky volcanic soil is in demand in export markets like Japan, Canada, and Europe.  Japanese exports alone account for 40% of Hawaii's fresh papaya market.

The papayas were developed the University of Hawaii, Cornell, USDA, and Monsanto to resist ringspot virus, a serious disease that is taking a heavy toll on growers.  The aphid-carried ringspot was bad enough on parts of the Big Island (where most of Hawaii's papaya is grown), that farmers had abandoned fields.  Because of the heavy virus pressure, production had taken a downturn of over 40%.

The biotech plants were first sown commercially in 1998 and, according to industry, were a stunning biotech success.  Hendrik Verfaillie, President and COO of Monsanto, told Congress last year that thanks to Monsanto biotechnolgy "Now, this industry, made-up mostly of small growers and once on the verge of extinction, is flourishing."

But Monsanto may have spoken too soon.  Papayas take 18 months to grow to maturity and full scale marketing of the GMO varieties has only recently started.

So far, farmers don't have many complaints about the field performance of the biotech papayas.  SunUp, the red fruit variety, has had no resistance breakdowns.  Rainbow, an orange fruited hybrid, has good disease resistance, although some young plants and, according to some sources, some adult have shown susceptibility.  Rainbow's developer's, however, dispute the reports of resistance breakdown.

The major problem with the biotech fruit is marketing.  Hawaii went GMO without anticipating the market.  According to Mike Durkan, a grower in Keaau, SunUp has performed well in the field; but terribly at market. "It's better than nothing," says Durkan, "with SunUp I have a stable production."  But he has decided to sacrifice the resistance and move to non-GMO varieties.

Durkan explains "I'm not planting SunUp now.  I'd really like to sell to the Canadian market ... there I'm looking at 3 or 4 times the profit." While biotech papayas run between 20 and 30 cents a pound, Canadian buyers are paying 45 cents for non-GMO varieties.  A few months ago, the price paid by Japanese buyers for non-GMO spiked up to 60 cents a pound.  With costs of production at about a 25 cents, farmers are getting a 300% - 700%
premium on non-GMO fruit.

The issue is a tough one for state officials.  Last year, they convinced the Hawaii Legislature to approve a special appropriation to pay for the costs of patent licensing for SunUp and Rainbow.  Hawaii officials had to make arrangements with several research groups, including a deal with Monsanto, which holds a patent on a key virus gene.

But the with the marketing problems, the State Bureau of Agriculture appears to be doubling back.  James Nakatani, the Bureau's head, told the Hawaii Tribune-Herald that foreign buyers' refusal to accept GMO fruit gave growers "an impetus ... to get the (non genetically-engineered) Kapoho Solo variety back to its place of prominence".

According to Durkan, non-GMO company farms in the Philippines are benefitting from Hawaii's reduced ability to give Japanese and Canadian consumers what they want.  "They're buying from Dole down in Mindanao," says Durkan.  It's tough situation for Hawaiian papaya farmers, who are almost all small producers.  They're now facing tough international competition with a big company that wants to capitalize on the non-GMO market.

Debate in Hawaii is focusing on how to implement a new virus containment program.  Earlier efforts failed.  In order to reduce virus pressure, some officials are proposing to cut down several hundred acres of infected trees.  Farmers want compensation for any losses.  Depending on how the program is implemented, in the short-term, this may create pressure on farmers to plant GMO varieties (or not plant at all), although ultimately, reducing virus pressure will create more promising conditions for varieties like Kapoho Solo.

Farmers are pressing the state to provide good up-front compensation for farmers.  If farmers like Durkan get their way, a containment program will be implemented that will reduce virus pressure while protecting important and profitable export markets.

SOURCES:  Hawaii Tribune-Herald, Cornell University, Monsanto, Mike Durkan.

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