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German cattle died from intestinal problems from  Syngenta Bt 176 maize. This is an unstable GM maize similar to Chardon LL

Research on GM potatoes, commissioned by the UK Government, was carried out at the Rowett Institute by Dr. Arpad Puztai, an experienced, internationally published and respected scientist. Puztai's research, which was peer reviewed by six experts   found intestinal  lesions in rats. However, he was rubbished and silenced by the Government and by industry.

 
PQ Written Answers 30 March 2004
 
http://www.parliament.the-stationery-office.co.uk/pa/cm200304/cmhansrd/cm040330/text/40330w02.htm#40330w02.html_sbhd2
 
Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what action she has taken to ensure that the Reading University cattle feeding studies involving Chardon LL fodder maize will be scientifically robust and independent of (a) Government and (b) GM crop technology companies. [163171]

Mr. Morley: The cattle feeding study carried out by the Reading University was privately funded research. It is therefore not a matter for Government. I understand that the researchers intend to submit their study to a peer reviewed journal for publication so others will be able to assess the data when the peer review process is complete.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what assessment she has made of the Norwegian research on the safety of the CaMV promoter used in Chardon LL transgenic insert. [163205]

Mr. Morley: The reported new scientific evidence from Norway on the cauliflower mosaic virus promoter has yet to be published. When the details of this research do become available, the Advisory Committee on Releases to the Environment (ACRE), which advises the Government on the risks posed by the intentional release of GMOs, will be asked to evaluate these data and advise on their implications for existing consents and future applications.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs when she gave consent for the harvested Chardon LL forage maize from FSE sites to be taken off-site and used in cattle feeding studies at the Reading University Centre for Dairy Research; and what conditions were attached to that consent. [163212]

30 Mar 2004 : Column 1300W

Mr. Morley: The GM maize used in the farm scale evaluations has Europe wide marketing consent for use in animal feed so no consent was required to use the harvested crop in the cattle feeding study carried out at the University of Reading.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs how much Chardon LL cattle feeding studies at Reading University has cost public funds. [163214]

Mr. Morley: There has been no cost to public funds. I understand the study carried out at Reading University was privately funded.

Alan Simpson: To ask the Secretary of State for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs what results she has obtained from the Chardon LL cattle feeding studies completed at the Reading University Centre for Dairy Research in 2002. [163215]

Mr. Morley: I have not seen the results of this cattle feeding study, which was privately funded research undertaken by Reading University. Publication of the results of studies carried out by the university is a matter for them and those funding the work. However, I understand that the researchers intend to submit their study and the results to a peer-reviewed journal for publication.


Extract from letter to Defra from ISIS

    7. We have seen reports of cattle deaths in Germany associated with Syngenta Bt 176 maize (10). This is similar to Chardon LL in that it is unstable as well as nonuniform, and it shares the CaMV 35S promoter responsible for instability. We are also mystified as to the fate of the famous Reading University feeding studies on Chardon LL, years after their results should have been published. (11)
http://www.connectotel.com/gmfood/is190204.txt

From the INDEPENDENT SCIENCE PANEL

19 February 2004

The Rt Hon Margaret Beckett, MP
Department of the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs,
Nobel House, 17 Smith Square, London SW1P 3JR

Dear Mrs Beckett,

We are gravely concerned by the leaked Minutes of the Cabinet Office Ministerial Sub-Committee on Biotechnology, which demonstrate that you are about to give approval for the National Seed Listing of Chardon LL.

We respectfully remind you that if you do that you will be failing to exercise the duty of care that you owe to the public, and also failing to act as required by Article 20 of the Deliberate Release Directive (2001/18/EC). This article requires competent authorities (ie your Department) to bring to the attention of the European Commission and other EU countries any new evidence relating to Chardon LL which might involve a likelihood of harm arising from its use.

This information should be accompanied by a request for a variation in the conditions attached to the original consent which comes to an end in October 2006.

In this case the "lead" competent authority responsible for the original consent is France.

We understand that the FSE research results and the ACRE recommendations have already been submitted to France and the other EU countries, and to the Commission. This is a start, but we urge you as a matter of the highest priority to request a variation in the consent conditions, citing the following crucial scientific evidence:

  1. Chardon LL transgenic insert has changed from the structure reported in the company's original dossier, indicating it is unstable, and hence illegal under the current EC directive on the deliberate release of GMOs. Studies by a French scientist also found that the transgenic insert in Chardon LL is in a transposon, which would further increase its instability.(1)

  2. Its instability is associated with CaMV 35S promoter, mentioned in the minutes of the European Food Safety Authority plenary meeting 10 December 2003. The EFSA also raises other safety issues that have not been addressed by the UK Government. (2)

  3. By common consent, the FSE maize trials did not replicate the likely commercial growing conditions that would apply if Chardon LL is grown in the future. The ACRE assessment of the FSE research results was not a simple "positive assessment."
    The ACRE opinion was a highly qualified one, with a recommendation that Chardon LL should only be grown in the UK if the herbicide regime is EXACTLY AS IT WAS IN THE FSEs. (3)

  4. There was a virtually identical opinion on the FSE research from the GM Science Review Panel chaired by Sir David King, ie that plantings of Chardon LL would be acceptable "IF ALL ELSE REMAINS CONSTANT AND THE CROPS ARE INTRODUCED AND MANAGED IN THE WAY THEY WERE IN THE TRIALS."

  5. There are now major concerns about the toxicity of GA (Liberty) herbicide (5). We understand that Sweden is currently conducting a review of the safety of GA on behalf of the other EU countries. In addition, the Danish authorities have discovered dangerously high levels of the herbicides used with GM crops in groundwater where it it not supposed to persist (6).

  6. There is published and peer-reviewed information from the USA on the ineffectiveness of Liberty when used on its own with GM maize crops after 2 - 3 years.
    The problem manifests itself in the development of herbicide resistance by common weeds (7). Bayer has recognized this itself, and has been recommending a Liberty / atrazine mix to US GM-maize farmers since early 2001. (8) (9)

  7. We have seen reports of cattle deaths in Germany associated with Syngenta Bt 176 maize (10). This is similar to Chardon LL in that it is unstable as well as nonuniform, and it shares the CaMV 35S promoter responsible for instability. We are also mystified as to the fate of the famous Reading University feeding studies on Chardon LL, years after their results should have been published. (11)

  8. Recent reports on cross-pollination involving blue maize and purple maize suggest that there are serious shortcomings in the current DEFRA view that GM maize is unlikely to out-cross significantly beyond a few tens of metres. Cross-pollination and hybridization of conventional maize was identified at a distance of c 5 km from the source crop (12) (13). It is not known at present whether this contamination was above the 0.9% threshold.

There are other scientific concerns also, some of which were analysed in detail during the Chardon LL Hearing. Many of these concerns have not been adequately addressed by ACRE.

Please confirm receipt of this letter, and confirm that you will immediately take the actions required by Article 20 of the Directive.

We look forward to hearing from you.

Yours sincerely,

Dr Brian John and Dr Mae-Wan Ho
Independent Science Panel

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