Palaces For The People
Wednesday, November 05, 2003
Date: Wed, 5 Nov 2003 20:33:45 -0800
From: "Lion Kuntz"
Subject: [SANET-MG] The completely corrupt evil Hudson Institute, Center for Global Food Issues

--- "William B. Thomas" wrote:
> FYI:
> New from the Hudson Institute, Center for Global
> Food Issues:
> Earth Friendly, Farm Friendly...

There is NOTHING friendly about the pathologic liar
Dennis T. Avery, chief liar at the Hudson Institute,
whom has libelled organic sustainable agriculture by
falsifying claims attributed to the CDC (Centers For
Disease Control). Shills Avery and company are paid
disinformation agents, as a survey of the internet
soon discloses.

Here is a brief summary of some pages I collected one
afternoon recently and preserve links to on my weblog:


Part of the Network

The "Network"[1], supported by the International
Policy Network (IPN), claims to be all about "helping
to create free societies around the world"[2]. It is
no surprise, therefore, to discover that it's actually
constituted by an often unsavoury collection of
rightwing libertarian "think tanks" and industry front
organisations keen to support every ugly corporate
excess.[3] One of the IPN's prime movers is Julian
Morris of the Institute of Economic Affairs (IEA)
which has advocated, amongst other interesting ideas,
that African countries should be sold off to
multinational corporations in the interests of "good
government"[4]. Another Network member, India's
Liberty Institute has opposed restrictions on the
tobacco industry, which it promotes as a driver for
economic growth.

Big Tobacco's popularity amongst the Network is hardly
surprising given its financial input into some of the
groups. Australia's Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)
has actually had Philip Morris on its board, while
another organisation in which Julian Morris has had a
hand, the European Science and Environment Foundation,
has claimed to be "a non-aligned group of scientists"
which does "not accept outside funding", despite
well-documented evidence that it was set up primarily
with Big Tobacco money as a front organisation to help
the likes of Philip Morris undermine industry critical
research, and attack restrictions on smoking,
biotechnology etc.[5]

One of the founding members of "International
Consumers for Civil Society"[9] is Dennis Avery of the
Hudson Institute (sponsors include Novartis, Cargill,
DuPont, and Monsanto). Via such bogus claims as
increased E-coli food poisoning risks, Avery has done
more than anyone to smear organic agriculture[10]
which, in its most developed form, is seen by many as
an environmentally sustainable alternative to the use
of GMOs. Prakash has been more than happy to circulate
and repeat Avery's smears[11] despite a total lack of
credible scientific evidence to support them.


People who promote GM food and/or denigrate Organic
Avery, Alex (
Hudson Institute, Center for Global Food Issues
Son of Dennis Avery
Author of : The Organic Food Industry: Smearing The
Competition - A paper published (13 March 2000) on The
Biotechnology Knowledge Center which attempts to
perpetuate the E.Coli contamination myth. For more
information about this myth see The myth of E.coli /
Faecal Contamination in Organic food.

Avery, Dennis (
Hudson Institute, Center for Global Food Issues
Advisor to the American Council on Science and Health
Author of :
Saving the Planet with Pesticides and Plastic - The
Environmental Triumph of High-Yield Farming
The Hidden Dangers in Organic Food - Published (Fall
1998) on the Hudson Institute website which tries to
perpetuate the E.Coli contamination myth.
Another Dubious Link Between Pesticides and Cancer -
Another article which tries to perpetuate the E.Coli
The Silent Killer in Organic Foods - Another article
which tries to perpetuate the E.Coli myth.
Cited in :
Fearing Food: Risk, Health and Environment, by Roger
Bate and Julian Morris


Critics of sustainable agriculture ignore the evidence

Sustainable agriculture is under attack by proponents
of chemical agriculture. Dennis Avery of the Hudson
Institute, a US think tank supported by dollars from
the US agri-chemical industry, is currently the most
vocal critic. His remarks are regularly quoted by the
mainstream agricultural media, and by conventional
agribusiness and policy analysts.

Avery believes that the biggest danger to the world's
natural environment is lowyield agriculture, a moniker
he gives sustainable farming practices. He advocates
the use of advanced and high technology farming
methods, and claims that it is these approaches, not
ecological ones, that will protect the world's
remaining wildlife. Avery provides usually
unsubstantiated evidence that high yield farming and
pesticides actually reduce environmental degradation
because these practices save land that would otherwise
be farmed. He claims that "High yield farming feeds
the world on 5.8 million acres of land .... whereas
low-yield organic farming would require 15-16 million

The underpinning of Avery's argument is that yields in
alternative systems are dramatically lower than what
he describes as high yield systems. His figures on
land requirements mean he either believes organic
yields to be 40% of conventional, or perhaps a bit
higher, but even lower than 40% on the additional land
area brought into production to compensate for yield

His yield figures are wrong. The latest literature
shows that plant yields in organic systems average 10%
below those of conventional systems, with animal
yields 20% below. Only in cases where conventional
production practices are highly intensive (e.g., some
production systems in Europe) is organic production at
most 40% less than conventional yields2. Avery may
also be confusing traditional, low-intensity farming
systems, which do have substantially lower yields,
with organic systems.

The Avery analysis fails to recognize other important
data and doesn't hold up to a critical assessment:


* Rampton,S. Stauber,J. Trust Us, We're Experts!
2001 (248-52, 255, 258, 260-1, 264-5)
Show a social network diagram for this name

* Rampton,S. Stauber,J. Trust Us, We're Experts!
2001 (252)


Saving the Planet With Pestilent Statistics

by Karen Charman

Dennis T. Avery, author of the tract "Saving the
Planet with Pesticides and Plastic," proudly describes
himself as a missionary. His mission: to protect and
promote "high-yield farming to save wildlife."

Besides writing a nationally syndicated weekly column
for the financial newswire Bridge News, Avery is also
the director of the Hudson Institute's Center for
Global Food Issues. He travels the country and the
world preaching his gospel of biotechnology,
pesticides, irradiation, factory farming and free
trade. According to Avery, it is the greenies and
"organic frenzies" who threaten the world with famine
and loss of habitat for their sacred wildlife. Why?
Because farming without synthetic pesticides,
petrochemical fertilizers and biotechnology would
require too much land.

Avery sees no problem with agricultural pollution, be
it groundwater contamination, pesticide and fertilizer
runoff, or even the mountains of stinking manure
produced by the huge cattle, chicken and hog
operations that plague increasing numbers of rural
communities. He denies that there is any link between
pesticides and cancer or other illnesses. In fact, he
says, organic food is what will kill you.

Last Fall Avery began claiming that "people who eat
organic and 'natural' foods are eight times as likely
as the rest of the population to be attacked by a
deadly new strain of E. coli bacteria (0157:H7)." This
happens, he says, because organic food is grown in
animal manure, a known carrier of this nasty microbe.
He says his data comes from Dr. Paul Mead, an
epidemiologist at the U.S. Centers for Disease Control
(CDC), the federal agency that tracks outbreaks of
foodborne illness.

Avery continues delivering this message with op-eds
that bear titles such as "The Silent Killer in Organic
Foods" and "Wallace Institute Got it Wrong: CDC Data
Does Indicate Higher Risk From Organic and Natural
Foods." These editorials are diseminated by Bridge
News to between 300 and 400 newspapers throughout the
country and approximately 500,000 other subscribers
here and abroad including government departments,
central banks and businesses.


Dennis Avery

Dennis Avery has been, since 1989, the director of the
Center for Global Food Issues, part of the Hudson
Institute, for which he also serves as senior fellow.
Avery resides as a "gentleman" horse and cattle
rancher near Swope, Virginia.

Funding: The operations and policy of the Hudson
Institute are funded by foundations including: the
Charles Stewart Mott, John M. Olin, Harry and Lynde
Bradley, Carthage, Sarah Scaife, Starr, Smith
Richardson, JM, General Mills, and Bristol-Myers
Squibb. Funding also comes from the Pew Charitable
Trusts, the Lilly Endowment Inc., Sandoz Corp.,
ConAgra Inc., Archer Daniels Midland, Philip Morris
Companies Inc., IMC Fertilizer Inc., Louis Dreyfus
Corp., British Petroleum Oil Company, Pfizer Inc.,
Amway Corp., Sunkist Growers Inc., E.I. du Pont de
Nemours and Co., Exxon Corp., Procter and Gamble
Company, David H. Koch, Richard Dennis (who funds many
Libertarian causes, including the Drug Policy
Foundation which backs drug legalization), and Jay Van
Andel (of Amway Corp., also a big funder of the
Heritage Foundation).

PR Watch, vol. 7, no. 3: The Usual Suspects

The Usual Suspects:
Industry Hacks Turn Fear on its Head

by Sheldon Rampton and John Stauber

A number of leading figures in the anti-environmental
"sound science" movement have teamed up to launch a
new front group aimed at smearing environmental and
health activists as behind-the-scenes conspirators who
"sow health scares to reap monetary rewards."

In August, the "No More Scares" campaign announced its
formation at a Washington, DC press conference
attacking Fenton Communications, one of the few public
relations firms that represents environmental advocacy
groups. No More Scares spokesman Steven Milloy used
the press conference to release a report titled "The
Fear Profiteers," which described Fenton as the
"spider" at the center of a "tangled web of non-profit
advocacy groups."

...The same cannot be said for the principal figures
in the "No More Scares" campaign. Co-editors of "The
Fear Profiteers" included Milloy, Bonner Cohen, John
Carlisle, Michael Fumento, Michael Gough, Henry
Miller, Kenneth Smith and Elizabeth Whelan. All have a
track record of accepting funding from and defending
industries that make dangerous products and pollute
the environment. Many, including Milloy himself, have
been outspoken apologists for the tobacco industry,
one of the deadliest consumer products.

The Konformist - John Stossel, Junk Journalism

John Stossel, Junk Journalism & the Poison Peddlers

Barbara Keeler and Robert Sterling

"Science is highly politicized .... Beware of science
that feeds political agendas."

John Stossel, 20/20 reporter, "Junk Science: What You
Know That May Not Be So"

The 20/20 hit piece on organics by John Stossel is old
news to readers of alternative publications. Long a
controversial voice in journalism, Stossel became more
so after his February 4, 2000 20/20 report, "The Food
You Eat."

Stossel's main hatchet man on the segment, Dennis
Avery, was not identified on 20/20 as the author of
an employee of the Hudson Institute. Agribusinesses
such as Dow, Monsanto, ConAgra, and Novartis are
leading funders of the Hudson Institute.

Represented on Hudson Institute's board is the biotech
industry's PR firm, Burson-Marsteller, involved in a
massive PR campaign to counteract the escalating
global anti-GE movement in the US and abroad. Those
familiar with Avery and the Hudson Institute were not
surprised that he was eager to smear the organic food
industry on 20/20.

The unanswered question about the segment was why
Stossel chose a mouthpiece for pesticides, biotech,
chemical fertilizers, and agribusiness as 20/20's
expert on organics. Moreover, why would a respected
journalist create a segment calculated to mislead his
audience about organic food?

We cannot say for sure, and maybe the question will
never be answered for certain. We have, however,
connected the dots from Stossel and ABC back to
Monsanto, DuPont, Dow, ConAgra and others with vested
interests in discrediting organic foods.

As the segment was produced, ABC was receiving a
percentage of sales from "Stossel in the Classroom,"
educational materials published by the Palmer R.
Chitester Fund and based on Stossel's ABC reports. The
Chitester Fund is a conservative foundation dependant
on contributions from the likes of the John M. Olin
Foundation. The Olin Foundation was created and is
still controlled by the Olin Corporation, a top
producer of agricultural chemicals.On the Board of
Associates of the Chitester Fund sits Herb London, the
President of the Hudson Institute. London also holds
the John M. Olin Professorship of Humanities at New
York University. The Hudson Institute received grants
from the Olin Foundation of $125,000 in 1993 and
$300,000 in 1994.

All of the above suggests an inbreeding of interests
between two conservative foundations, a conservative
think tank, and a supposedly independent journalist.
Add the funding Hudson receives from chemical and
agribusiness companies and the inbreeding appears
potentially corruptive, even before factoring the
representation of a biotech PR firm on its board.

The interlinks go further. The Olin Corporation was,
along with Occidental Chemical and Dupont, one of the
major firms involved in the Love Canal environmental
scandal in Niagara Falls, NY. Here is Stossel's
comment during a January 9, 1997 special report,
titled "Junk Science: What You Know That May Not Be

"What happens when government policy is based on junk
science? Billions of dollars are misspent, and
people's lives altered forever. Love Canal. Times
Beach. Defoliant Agent Orange. These names arouse fear
because of the chemical dioxin. Dioxin is very
poisonous. We know that from animal tests. Tiny
amounts kill guinea pigs. That's why our government's
spending hundreds of millions of dollars to protect us
from dioxin."

"But is that good science? Just because a chemical
hurts animals, does that mean it's harmful to us?"

Stossel proceeds to argue that dioxin isn't harmful,
and that cases such as Love Canal are based on faulty
science. The Environmental Protection Agency begs to
differ. A draft of a long-overdue EPA report concludes
that dioxin is indeed a dangerous and persistent
"human carcinogen." Along the way, he manages to smear
a variety of other supposed cases of "junk science,"
including breast implant lawsuits, during his report.

The Hudson Institute's Center for Global Food Issues
serves agriculture in much the same way as the "Wise
Use" movement groups do for mining and logging:
propagation of misinformation and myth under the
banner of science. Appropriately, noted agricultural
scholar, activist, and former Vice President Dan
Quayle serves on the Board of Directors at the Hudson

Pro Organics, Canada's Organic Fresh Food Leader

Organic agriculture is no stranger to controversy,
much of which has been in the form of fallacious
statements about the safety and reliability of organic
production methods. This time, the claim is that
organic foods are contaminated with e-coli bacteria,
due to the use of manure in organic agriculture.

The current source for the claim is Dennis Avery of
the Hudson Institute, a right-wing think-tank
vigorously opposed to sustainable systems. Avery makes
hay with the problems faced by organic juice producers
two years ago, and feeds on the fears of consumers
that their food might not be safe. Unfortunately, the
Hudson Institute is considered a reliable source of
information by many in the media, and Avery's claims
were not researched further, resulting in a great deal
of misinformation in publications like the Wall Street
Journal. The Hudson Institute's Board includes James
H. Dowling from the multinational PR firm
Burson-Marsteller, Craig Fuller (who led the PR firm
Hill & Knowlton's Gulf War front group Citizens for a
Free Kuwait), and Kenneth Duberstein (who runs a top
DC lobby firm with a host of corporate clients).
Hudson's generous funders include the Archer Daniels
Midland Corporation. Source: Food Bytes #16

Letter to Dennis Avery
Responding to his statement regarding the Wallace
Institute Press Release dated February 3, 1999

This letter, to be posted on our Web site, is intended
to correct the errors and misrepresentations in the
undated statement on your Web site, "Wallace Institute
got it wrong: CDC data does indicate higher risk from
organic and natural foods." We stand firmly behind our
February 3, 1999 press release, "Contrary to Avery
article, CDC has never conducted study of the risk of
organic food." The CDC reviewed that press release
before we issued it and approved its content as
accurate. Indeed, what we have learned since issuing
our press release affirms our assessment that you have
incorrectly interpreted the CDC data and drawn
inappropriate conclusions about the health risks from
consuming organic foods.

The Self-Proclaimed Enemy of Organic Food
Karen Charman is an investigative journalist
specializing in agriculture, health and the

Editor's Note: In his discredited "20/20" story on
organic food safety, John Stossel featured an
interview with Dennis T. Avery, whose reputation is
called into question in this article.

This an updated version of an article originally
published in PR Watch in December, 1999.

Stossel has a long history of bashing natural products
-- particularly vitamin supplements. On more than one
occasion I have wondered how ABC could allow such a
biased, pro-big business pseudo-journalist to cover
important issues. Unfortunately, in the realm of
prime-time "journalism" sensationalism too often
reigns over good investigative reporting.

As his primary source for the story Stossel relied on
Hudson Institute researcher Dennis Avery. I must admit
that I wasn't impressed with Avery's major claim to
fame prior to Stossel -- his book Saving the Planet
with Pesticides and Plastic: The Environmental Triumph
of High-Yield Farming. For years Avery has bashed
organic farming at every opportunity and made the
ridiculous assertion that organic food is dangerous
because of high levels of e-coli bacteria. Stossel
then backed up Avery's claim by testing organic
produce and finding slightly higher levels of e-coli
in organic sprouts and lettuces.

Yet the investigation was completely flawed. The lab
that did the testing admitted afterward that they
tested for all types of e-coli, rather than just the
types that cause health problems. (E-coli has
pathogenic and non-pathogenic strains. Only the less
common pathogenic strains cause health problems.) So
essentially, their bad reporting slandered organic
food and may have caused millions of viewers to worry
that organic food will cause people sickness or death.

Based on Avery and Stossel's findings, one gets the
impression that thousands of people are dropping dead
of e-coli poisoning after consuming organic food.
Sorry, but that isn't the case. There have been very
few reports of people getting sick from organic food.
That can't be said for conventional foods, however.
Each year thousands of people die from eating
contaminated non-organic food -- particularly chicken
and beef.
It is surprising that anyone uses Avery as a source.
Just last year the New York Times chronicled Avery's
anti-organic bias in the article "Anti-Organic and
Flawed." Author Marian Burros stated, "Dennis Avery
wants organic food to go away. And he doesn't care
what it takes. Four years ago, he said that organic
food could not feed the world without destroying the
environment. Now he says it's lethal."

In the article, Burros pointed out the convoluted
nature of Avery's attack and noted that the Hudson
Institute is funded primarily by big agribusiness
companies like Monsanto and Dow Chemical. Even more
prophetic in Burros' article was its closing sentence:
"The attack on organic food by a well-financed
research organization suggests that although organic
food accounts for only 1 percent of food sales in the
United States, the conventional food industry is

Is it any wonder that conventional food producers are
worried? They bet the farm on using toxic chemicals to
produce the majority of our food. Prior to World War
II, synthetic pesticides were not in wide-scale use,
but in the past fifty years, they have become
widespread. According to Cornell University scientist
David Pimental, 2.5 million tons of pesticides are
used on crops each year causing an estimated 220,000
deaths and worldwide environmental damage that exceeds
$100 billion annually.

Activists Win An Organic Apology

Organic industry leaders were mad when the ABC
newsmagazine "20/20" offered a report in February that
made organic food appear to be unsafe. They were livid
when John Stossel's report was rebroadcast in July.

And while Stossel has apparently delighted in
offending those he reports on, he's never had to
apologize for a report, until now.

During his regular Friday night report "Give me a
break" on Aug. 11, Stossel apologized for claiming
that organic and conventional foods have the same
amount of residual pesticides: none. He also said that
he shouldn't have said organic food is unsafe.

ABC went further, suspending the producer of the
reports for a month without pay. Perhaps most
noteworthy was the coverage of the report. Both times
it aired, the report that organic may be unsafe went
largely unnoticed by the rest of the mainstream media.
The apology, however, was written up by national
newspapers and was covered by other television
networks. Even the media watchdog group Fairness and
Accuracy in Reporting called the report, "the latest
in a troubling series of errors and distortions in
Stossel's reporting."

"I think it's great," said Brenda Church of Fresh Air,
a natural products store in Lynchburg, Va. "I know I
was delighted when I heard he was going to retract the
statement. I think it definitely will affect our

It was apparently a willingness to check out some
original sources that helped the activists force the

The report was familiar to the organic industry even
before it came on the air in February. The main source
for the story was Dennis Avery of the Hudson
Institute, author of the book Saving the Planet with
Pesticides and Plastic. Avery's institute is funded by
such corporations as DuPont and Monsanto. Avery has
claimed for years that organic produce is deadly. His
writings are usually limited to conservative magazines
and Web sites. (See a rebuttal to his main points from
the Organic Trade Association in NFM October and
November, 1999.)

After the first report aired, the Environmental
Working Group decided to check out the claims made by
Stossel. The group contacted scientists who conducted
the tests Stossel said showed no difference between
organic and conventionally grown produce. The
scientists told an investigator for the group that
while chicken was tested for pesticide residue, no
such test was ever done on produce. (The chicken tests
showed pesticide residue in non-organic poultry, and
none in organic. Those results were not mentioned by

Fact Versus Fiction: The Truth About Organics

The following is an edited version of the Organic
Trade Association's response to negative publicity
about organics generated by Dennis T. Avery and the
Hudson Institute. This is the first half of the OTA's
response. Part II will run in the November issue of

Dennis T. Avery, author of Saving the Planet with
Pesticides and Plastics, and his employer, the Hudson
Institute, a conservative research group, have been on
a campaign for years to discredit organic agricultural
production and fuel consumers' fears about food

The Hudson Institute is funded by such companies as
Monsanto, DowElanco and Ag-Chem Equipment Co., all of
which profit from sales of products prohibited from
use in organic agricultural production.

Initially, Avery's histrionic and misleading messages
appeared mainly in the Hudson Institute's own
publications, such as American Outlook, and in small
trade publications. However, an excerpt from his
article, "The Hidden Dangers in Organic Food" was
published in The Wall Street Journal on Dec. 8, 1998.

Since the Wall Street Journal piece, Avery and his
anti-organic message have appeared on USA Today
Online, PBS Technopolitics and in The Tampa Tribune,
Investors Business Daily, and elsewhere. Other media
outlets continue to pick up his message and pass it
on, often without adequate fact-checking. The Organic
Trade Association would like to provide balance to
Avery's often misleading allegations:

Connecting The Dots: John Stossel, ABC And

Barbara Keeler and Robert Sterling

"Science is highly politicized .... Beware of science
that feeds political agendas."—John Stossel, "20/20"
reporter in a segment called, "Junk Science: What You
Know That May Not Be So."

John Stossel himself may exemplify his own statement
about science that feeds political agendas. His
"20/20" hatchet job on organics is old news to readers
of NFM. Long a controversial voice in journalism,
Stossel became more so after his Feb. 4 "20/20"
report, "The Food You Eat."

Stossel's main hatchet man on the segment, Dennis
Avery, was not identified on "20/20" as the author of
Saving The Planet With Pesticides And Plastic, or as
an employee of the Hudson Institute. The audience was
not told that agribusinesses such as Dow, Monsanto,
ConAgra, and Novartis are leading funders of the
Hudson Institute. Represented on Hudson Institute's
board is the biotech industry's PR firm,
Burson-Marsteller, which has been linked to a massive
PR campaign to counteract the escalating global
anti-GMO movement in the U.S. and abroad. Those
familiar with Avery and the Hudson Institute were not
surprised that he was eager to smear the organic food
industry on "20/20"

Monsanto funds anti-organic scientist

15 November 1999

Ian Ewen-Street, Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson

Dr Denis Avery, a visiting United States scientist who
has been quoted in the New Zealand media rubbishing
organic agriculture, is not the unbiased voice he
claims to be.

"This pro-chemical, anti-organics advocate is not an
independent or a scientific authority on agriculture,"
Green Party Agriculture Spokesperson Ian Ewen-Street
said today.

"Research by the Green Party shows he is a paid
propagandist for multinational chemical and
agribusiness companies, including genetic engineering
front-runners Monsanto and Zeneca."

Mr Ewen-Street said that he had confirmed Mr Avery
worked for the Hudson Institute, and that the Hudson
Institute was a right-wing think tank, well known for
lobbying on the Republican and extreme Right side of
the American political spectrum.

The companies which funded the institute, and which in
effect paid Mr Avery to sing an anti-organics tune,
included the giant transnational food trade firms
Cargill, ConAgra, H.J. Heinz, McDonalds and Philip
Morris, the chemical transnationals Ciba-Geigy,
Bristol Myers Squibb, Dow Elanco, Du Pont and Procter
and Gamble, and last but far from least the genetic
engineering leaders Zeneca and Monsanto.

"Once again New Zealanders are being subjected to a
disinformation campaign orchestrated by powerful
global interests, which care only for their profits
and not for our health and well-being," Mr Ewen-Street
said. "The Fourth Estate in New Zealand needs to be
wary of being used by big business in this way."

Guess who's behind this propaganda?
Many think tanks funded by lobbyists
By Mike Casey

WASHINGTON - For years, lobbyists for big polluting
industries have been developing new tools for getting
their way with government officials, many of which
supplement traditional campaign contributions with
efforts to influence public opinion - to which public
officials pay so much attention.

One such vehicle the lobbyists have developed to
convince you that they are right is to set up groups
that sound like neutrally positioned policy "think
tanks" and membership groups, then quietly fund these
groups - which then just happen to agree with and spin
the lobbying agenda of the polluting industries on
talk radio, on television, on the Internet and in
newspaper columns. You, on the other hand, never are
told on whose behalf these paid PR groups are working.

The pesticide companies, for example, know they are
better off having neutral sounding and credible
spokespeople do their talking for them on key
environmental and public health problems. Meet the
increasingly high-profile funded Hudson Institute and
one of its most prominent "scholars," Dennis Avery.

Groups criticized

Late last month, hundreds of thousands

of newspaper readers across the country were presented
with a long column by Avery, a "senior fellow" at the
Hudson Institute. Avery actually is a former
government agricultural policy bureaucrat, not a
scientist. But he's been funded in recent years to be
one of Hudson's 50 "scholars," whose sole job is to
produce and place propaganda that sides with the
industries that fund the Hudson Institute.

... Hudson bills itself as "America's premier source
of applied research on enduring policy challenges."
But nowhere prominent does it tell you that its funded
by pesticide and chemical interests that want you to
hear their side from someone else as well as them. We
think people deserve to know who is doing the talking
- or, at least, who is paying to have the talking

The Atlantic | October 2003 | Will Frankenfood Save
the Planet? | Rauch

: "The great problem, then, is to get through the next
four or five decades with as little environmental
damage as possible. That is where biotechnology comes

One day recently I drove down to southern Virginia to
visit Dennis Avery and his son, Alex. The older Avery,
a man in late middle age with a chinstrap beard,
droopy eyes, and an intent, scholarly manner, lives on
ninety-seven acres that he shares with horses,
chickens, fish, cats, dogs, bluebirds, ducks,
transient geese, and assorted other creatures. He is
the director of global food issues at the Hudson
Institute, a conservative think tank; Alex works with
him, and is trained as a plant physiologist."

Jonathan Rauch is a correspondent for The Atlantic and
a senior writer for National Journal. He is also a
writer in residence at the ****Brookings
Institution*** and the author of several books,
including Government's End: Why Washington Stopped
Working (1999).

Wired News: Sour Grapes Over Milk Labeling
"Producing more milk efficiently allows dairy farmers
to make more money," said Jennifer Garrett, technical
services director for Monsanto's dairy business. "The
farms with the highest-producing cows are those that
are making the most money. Posilac is a product that
allows them to do that."

Many dairy farmers say, however, that not using the
hormone is one way they can get a competitive edge.
Some milk distributors pay a premium for milk from
cows not treated with rBST. Plus, even though studies
show rBST is safe for humans, increasing numbers of
consumers are drawn to "all-natural" products.

Farmers who don't use rBST want to advertise that fact
on their product labels. But Monsanto officials say
labels like "No rBST" or "rBST-free" are misleading,
unfair and deceptive. The company has recently sued
one dairy for its labels.

Oakhurst Dairy in Maine labels its milk: "Our farmer's
pledge: no artificial hormones." Monsanto's lawsuit
says the label implies Oakhurst's milk is somehow
better than milk from cows treated with rBST, and that
unfairly harms Monsanto's business.

A federal judge in Boston has set a trial date for
Jan. 5, 2004, but denied Monsanto's request for a
hearing to argue that Oakhurst should stop its
labeling immediately, pending the trial's outcome.
Monsanto isn't seeking monetary damages; its lawyers
just want Oakhurst to remove the label. Oakhurst
officials say they have no intention of doing so.

"We intend to defend our right to, through our
labeling, let consumers know what is and what is not
used in the production of the milk they drink," said
Oakhurst President Stanley Bennet.

Wired News: Cracking the Frankenfood Code

Wired News:

*** Cracking the Frankenfood Code:,1286,60911,00.html?tw=wn_tophead_4
*** Moms Battle Genetic Engineering Oct. 18, 2003,1286,60883,00.html?tw=wn_story_related
*** Public Wants Biotech Food Tested Sep. 19, 2003,1286,60501,00.html?tw=wn_story_related
*** Survey: No Biotech Meat, Please Sep. 18, 2003,1282,60496,00.html?tw=wn_story_related
*** Sour Grapes Over Milk Labeling Sep. 16, 2003",1286,60132,00.html?tw=wn_story_related
- posted by lion @ 1:33 PM


USDA reports 115 infractions of U.S. biotech rules

WASHINGTON — U.S. biotech companies and research
universities have violated strict federal regulations
on planting experimental genetically modified crops
more than a hundred times in the last decade, the
Agriculture Department said recently.

The USDA said none of the 115 infractions since 1990
resulted in any harm to U.S. agriculture, the food
supply, or the environment.

The department published for the first time the number
of violations the biotech industry has committed when
planting GM corn, soybeans, wheat, and other crops not
yet ready for commercialization.

With more and more biotech companies targeting GM
crops for uses other than feeding humans and animals,
the USDA said it wanted to make its enforcement
actions more transparent to the public. Companies are
experimenting with GM crops as a cheaper way to mass
produce medicines and industrial products.

Environmental groups said they have sought these
documents for more than four years through the Freedom
of Information Act.

"For an industry that has claimed to the public that
... they follow the law and protect the environment,
115 infractions seem large and is disturbing," said
Gregory Jaffe, biotech director for the Center for
Science in the Public Interest.

The USDA said the 115 infractions represent less than
2 percent of the 7,400 field tests authorized since
1990. The USDA considered most of the infractions as
minor violations like dirty farm equipment and not
enough isolation between conventional crops.

Eight of the infractions led to fines ranging from
$500 to $250,000. Biotech powerhouse Monsanto Co.was
involved in four of those eight cases, with fines
ranging from $2,500 to $25,000.

Eric Sachs, Monsanto's director of scientific affairs,
said the company had a total of 44 infractions out of
2,500 field test permits. "The majority of these
infractions were for minor issues," he said.

Although none of the experimental GM crops made it
into commerce, Monsanto said there were some instances
where buffer crops surrounding the test field were
inadvertently harvested and used.

"We take the matter of compliance infractions
seriously and make our related obligations a
priority," the company said in a statement.

Only a $250,000 fine to ProdiGene was previously made
public. The USDA last year accused the Texas biotech
firm of mishandling its experimental corn crop and
contaminating nearby crops, which have since been

Biotech companies welcomed the release of USDA
enforcement actions, saying it would help build more
public confidence in biotechnology. Following USDA's
announcement, Monsanto said it would publish a list of
its infractions on the company Web site.

Environmental groups and consumer advocates said they
believed many infractions have gone unreported due to
the lack of USDA resources and personnel.

"I think there is reason to believe there are many,
many infractions that go unreported," said Richard
Caplan of the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.

The USDA also announced it has established a new
compliance and enforcement office within the USDA's
Biotechnology Regulatory Services. The office, with a
staff of four people, will seek to boost inspections,
auditing, and training.

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Sincerely, Lion Kuntz
Santa Rosa, California, USA
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