Palaces For The People
Thursday, January 08, 2004
SANET-MG Archives -- January 2004 (
From: Lion Kuntz
Subject: Part 3 The Enemy Never Sleeps: AgBioView, Prakash, CEI,
Corporate Serial Murderers, and Trewavas
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Part 3 The Enemy Never Sleeps: AgBioView, Prakash, CEI, Corporate Serial Murderers, and Trewavas
Looking at the Praksh-Trewavas connections... [Next installment: the "Nature Magazine" disgrace]
http://lists.ifas.ufl.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0401&L=sanet-mg&F=&S=&P=27984 The Enemy Never Sleeps: AgBioView, Prakash, CEI, Corporate Serial Murderers, and Trewas
http://lists.ifas.ufl.edu/cgi-bin/wa.exe?A2=ind0401&L=sanet-mg&F=&S=&P=28145 Part 2, The Enemy Never Sleeps: AgBioView, Prakash, CEI, Corporate Serial Murderers, and Trewas
http://ngin.tripod.com/061001b.htm THE TREWAVAS LETTERS - 'DEAR PRAKASH'
no prizes for guessing the latest winner of the Pants on Fire award!
http://ngin.tripod.com/deceit2.html Monsanto's World Wide Web of deceit MONSANTO - UP TO ITS DIRTY OLD TRICKS AGAIN ...Chapela and Quist came under immediate attack in a furious volley of e-mails published on the AgBioView listserv. AgBioView correspondents calling themselves 'Mary Murphy' and 'Andura Smetacek' claimed Chapela and Quist's research was a product of a conspiracy with "fear-mongering activists". The conspirators' aim, apparently, was to attack "biotechnology, free-trade, intellectual property rights and other politically motivated agenda items."
These claims prompted a series of further attacks from others. Prof Anthony Trewavas, for example, denounced scientists like Chapela who had "political axes to grind". Trewavas demanded Chapela be fired unless he handed over his maize samples for checking.
This was not Trewavas's first controversial intervention in the GM debate in response to material put into circulation on AgBioView. Last October, for instance, Trewavas was named in the High Court as the source of an anti-Greenpeace letter at the centre of a libel case. Trewavas subsequently claimed that the letter originated on AgBioView. ...
http://ngin.tripod.com/JM077.htm As well as being a GM zealot, TT has a bee or two in his bonnet about organic farming against which he keeps mounting attacks. For his latest, put out on Prakash’s AgBioWorld pro-GM list: http://agbioview.listbot.com/cgi-bin/subscriber?Act=view_message&list_id=agbioview&msg_num=876&start_num= Trewavas has repeatedly drawn on Dennis Avery’s more than dubious claims.
In an article published in Nature (Nature 402, 231  Much Food, Many Problems) there are multiple citations from Avery’s chapter in the ‘Fearing Food’ [Fearing Food. Risk, Health and Environment, Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1999] edited by Morris and Bate of the extreme right-wing libertarian Institute of Economic Affairs which has co-ordinated many of the attacks on organic farming on this side of the Atlantic (TT also appeared in Roger Bate’s Counterblast TV programme attacking organic food).
However, anyone who actually follows up the references to ‘Fearing Food’ discovers that all Avery’s highly partisan claims about organic agriculture lack specific references. In other words, this particular Trewavas’ trail of supporting evidence leads nowhere but to Avery’s assertions! [For more on IEA etc and organic attacks see: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/organic.htm ]
http://ngin.tripod.com/140802e.htm TREWAVAS'S NATURE ARTICLE DEMOLISHED
As the editors of Nature in their Syngenta funded 'Nature Insight' on the "Food and the Future"[http://www.nature.com/nature/food/index.html] have seen fit to reproduce Trewavas's anti-organic, "Urban Myths of Organic Agriculture," as one of their three Trewavas opinion pieces, published without any balancing comment, we thought we'd reproduce Angela Ryan's brilliant expose of how his propagandist claims are contradicted by the scientific literature.
for more on Trewavas: http://ngin.tripod.com/trewavas.htm
http://ngin.tripod.com/110802a.htm ...Another prominent Chapela-critic was a member of the JIC's governing council. Prof Anthony Trewavas posted an attack on Chapela on the internet, suggesting he was politically motivated and calling for his dismissal from Berkeley if he didn't hand over his samples for independent checking.
To date, however, there has been little exploration of any connection between Nature and Syngenta. The current issue of the journal has now brought that sharply into focus. It contains a special Nature Insight feature on "Food and the Future". This can be accessed free on the web: http://www.nature.com/nature/food/index.html
But you don't have to be aware of this url to come across the feature. Do a Google search on "GM food" and an advertisement linking to Nature's "Food and the Future" will appear with your search results. If you click on the link, then on reaching the "Future of Food" index page, you are greeted with a special message, "Hello Google user, welcome to this free Food and the Future Insight, which we hope you enjoy reading. A special subscription offer for Google users offering an extra free 6 months on top of a personal 12 month subscription is accessible via the banner below". In other words, the "Future of Food" is part of a package that includes not only free web access to all the articles in the special Nature Insight feature, but a big advertising promotion and membership drive for the journal.
Clearly, Nature is splashing out. Except that it isn't only Nature's publishers who are funding the package, as is made clear to anyone who reads right to the end of the "Food and the Future" editorial. The final paragraph notes, "We are pleased to acknowledge the financial support of Syngenta in producing this Insight." [http://www.nature.com/cgi-taf/DynaPage.taf?file=/nature/journal/v418/n6898/full/nature01012_fs.html]
Naturally, the funding acknowledgement is accompanied by the following, "As always, Nature carries sole responsibility for all editorial content and peer review." Opinion pieces, however, not being based on any primary research, are not subject to peer review - just editorial approval. The lead opinion piece for the "Food and the Future" was clearly commissioned to give an overview for this special Insight feature. The piece is all about how GM crops are going to defeat the predictions of Malthus. It's author, Prof Anthony Trewavas. [http://www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/nature01013]
The well-promoted web version of the Syngenta-funded feature doesn't stop there, though. There are two more opinion pieces included as classic commentaries. These are:
Much food, many problems ANTHONY TREWAVAS A new agriculture, combining genetic modification technology with sustainable farming, is our best hope for the future. Nature 402, 231ˆ232 (1999); doi:10.1038/46157 Full Text: http://www.nature.com/uidfinder/10.1038/46157
...These points are all highly contentious [see: http://ngin.tripod.com/trewavas.htm]. Note too the reference given by Trewavas for the three points above, "15. Avery, D. in Fearing Food. Risk, Health and Environment (eds Morris, J. & Bate, R.) 3-18 (Butterworth-Heinemann, Oxford, 1999)". Anyone who follows up this reference discovers that it's simply to another opinion piece, this time by Dennis Avery. The piece lacks any specific references to supporting evidence. In other words, Trewavas' trail of evidence for this series of damaging assertions leads nowhere but to the claims of a highly controversial commentator employed by the biotech industry funded Hudson Institute!
Nature's inclusion in its special feature of *3* opinion pieces, including the "Food and the Future" overview, authored by a highly partisan molecular biologist with no especial scientific expertise relating to organic agriculture or sustainable development, almost beggars belief. Not least, given that Nature and its editor have allowed no space in the feature for any alternative views, eg looking at the successes of alternatives to GMOs in agriculture, the extent of the risks that genetic engineering poses, the diversity of goals in development, etc.
But could Nature in giving such unquestioning prominence to the views of Prof Trewavas have been in any doubt that it was party to a crude propaganda exercise? Evn leaving aside his notorious attack on Ignacio Chapela, that would seem more than surprising given Trewavas's well-known track record as a cras propagandist for genetic engineering.
One might have thought alarm bells might have rung at Nature given that in October 2001, for instance, "Professor Trewavas, Professor of Plant Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh" was named in the High Court in London as the source of a letter making libellous allegations against Lord Melchett and Greenpeace in relation to organic farming and GM foods. [Greenpeace wins damages over professor's 'unfounded' allegations - Education Guardian, Monday October 8, 2001]
http://ngin.tripod.com/041102d.htm SYNGENTA WORKSHOP SETS GUIDELINES FOR BIOTECH REGULATORS
Even by the prevailing standards of 'the corporate take over of everything', this is almost beyond belief.
Not so long ago Syngenta sponsored a special supplement on the future of food in the journal Nature that contained 3 opinion pieces by Prof Anthony Trewavas promoting GM crops and rubbishing organic farming. Now Syngenta has set up a conference in India which has come up with proposals which are "expected to serve as a guideline for biotechnology regulators in developing and developed countries". Syngenta has described its approach to GM crop regulation as one of "latch lifting" - trying to find creative means with which to undermine the resistance to approval of their products. Clearly more than a little "latch lifting" has been going on in India.
Syngenta's workshop also proposed "organic farming" with inputs from modern biotechnology as the best way to help small farmers! The latter idea came from M.S. Swaminathan who unlike, say, Norman Borlaug or CS Prakash, is not a crude propagandist for GM crops but has a far more sophisticated stance, combining biotech with the rhetoric of village india, women's empowerment etc. Swaminathan creates the facade of an unthreatening, ecologically sensitive biotech "domesticated" to local conditions - a far more acceptable face for the introduction of GMOs into the Third World.
However, his record is controversial with his "green revolution" standing accused of neglecting high yielding indigenous rice varieties in favour of chemical dependent varieties, leading to adverse effects on rice productivity (see, for instance, Bharat Dogra's analyis, http://www.tribuneindia.com/2000/20001016/agro.htm#2 ; and also http://www.cseindia.org/html/dte/dte20011015/dte_analy.htm). Swaminathan also claimed to have created a new variety of high-yielding rice that led to accusations of fraud - including by New Scientist - and there were several suicides in his institute as investigations proceeded.
cache of http://www.gmwatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=153 Andura Smetacek
On 5th October 2001 Prof Anthony Trewavas FRS was named in the High Court in London as the source of a letter at the centre of a libel case involving Lord Melchett, Greenpeace and the Glasgow Herald. (Greenpeace wins damages over professor's 'unfounded' allegations, Education Guardian, Monday October 8, 2001)
According to an agreed apology published by the Herald on the 6th October:
'On 3 November 2000 the Herald published a letter it had received from Anthony Trewavas, Professor in Plant Biochemistry at the University of Edinburgh. The letter alleged that Greenpeace campaigns had deliberately spread unfounded fears about GM Foods, so as to further the financial interests of Lord Melchett and Greenpeace, that Greenpeace accepted donations from companies and had inappropriate links with commercial organisations. The Herald acknowledges that there is no foundation in any of these allegations.'
When the letter was originally published in the Herald, it was widely publicised by way of the Internet, eg on Monsanto's Knowledge Centre website.
In response to a critical comment following the case, Prof Trewavas repeatedly denied being the original author of the libel letter. He claimed, 'The letter in question was posted on agbioview and was written by a lady in London.' (Reply by Prof Trewavas) In correspondence with the Ecologist Prof Trewavas further identified the author as an Andura Smetacek.
http://www.organicconsumers.org/Organic/rogues050202.cfm Frankenfoods Propagandists- A Rogue's Gallery Trewavas, Anthony (email@example.com) Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh Author of : Is Organic Food Really Safe? - published on the Monsanto UK website. This article attempts to continue the myths of E.Coli contamination and allegedly higher levels of mycotoxin in Organic food. See also the following articles on gmfoodnews.com for information about the successful libel case brought by Greenpeace against the Glasgow Herald, which published a letter by Anthony Trewavas : 2 November 2001 - More on Anthony Trewavas and the Glasgow Herald (Private Eye) 11 October 2001 - Pro-GM Royal Society Fellow named as source of libel case allegations (ISIS) 6 October 2001 - Greenpeace victory over GM food claims (The Scotsman UK) Trewavas is a fellow of the Royal Society and is recommended as a press contact for stories relating to GM food and GM crops. Tribe, David (firstname.lastname@example.org) University of Melbourne, Department of Microbiology and Immunology Waites, William (William.Waites@nottingham.ac.uk) University of Nottingham Advisor to CropGen
http://18.104.22.168/agnet/2003/5-2003/agnet_may_8.htm ...Prakash said scientists at Britain¹s leading plant science institute, the John Innes Research institute in Norwich, and individuals like molecular geneticist Professor Anthony Trewavas, of the University of Edinburgh¹s Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, had been influential, by continuously engaging anti-GM activists and debunking their claims for health and environmental risks associated with GM crops. Europe remains the biggest stumbling block to global adoption of GM agriculture even though many of its policies standards on GM foods and crops are not based in science, or are glaringly inconsistent. Zambia¹s recent refusal to accept food-aid shipments of unsegregated maize from the US had been directly attributable to Europe¹s attitude towards GM food imports....
ORGANICISED CRIME.(anti-organic farming analysis)(Column) The Ecologist, Feb, 2001, by Andy Rowell ...You can also read Trewavas and Alex Avery's anti-organic views on another pro-biotech web discussion site, run by Dr. Prakash, the Director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research at Tuskegee University in the USA, at www.agbioview.listbot.com.
Understanding Trewavas' and Krebs' attack on organic agriculture is key to the understanding of why apparently independent scientists have taken issue with this form of agriculture. Many of its opponents see the organic movement as standing 'against science', and specifically high tech science, a significant proportion of which is now funded by agrochemical or biotech companies. 'There is a mindset that is wedded to this high tech approach and 'scientism', that science is the answer to everything', says Dr. Ben Mepham, from the Food Ethics Council. For the FSA, this modus operandi is not to be challenged, but to be embraced.
http://www.bcpcbookshop.co.uk/acatalog/downloads/Bawden2001formatted.doc ...What is even more worrying is that yield improvements by conventional breeding appear to be reaching their limits and in recent years there has been a progressive decline in the annual rate of increase in cereal yield, particularly in developing countries, so that at present the annual rate of increase is below the rate of population increase (Trewavas 2001; Prakash 2001)
http://www.gene.ch/gentech/2000/Jul/msg00126.html Play GM QUEST 2000: Find The Missing GM Research
...BRILLIANT SCIENTISTS AND INSTITUTIONS --USA-- American Dietetic Association email@example.com Dr C S Prakash (America's GM Ambassador to Europe) firstname.lastname@example.org American Society for Microbiology. -Janet Shoemaker, Media Information Contact email@example.com
--UK-- The Nuffield Foundation Yvonne Melia firstname.lastname@example.org Professor Conrad Lichtenstein email@example.com Professor Antony Trewavas, FRS firstname.lastname@example.org Meredith Lloyd-Evans email@example.com
**Don't forget to ask anyone else who declares that there has been lots of research and monitoring - they just might know where the data has gone.**
***************************************** I'VE FOUND IT!!!!!!! When you are really really sure you have found the missing data send it to: GMQUEST2000@geneticfoodalert.org.uk with the header "I've Found It!!". If the information you have recovered is likely to encourage world citizens to eat up their genetically enhanced dinner and stop asking awkward questions we will send you your personalised "Saviour of the Planet" Certificate. Good luck - and May The Force Be With You :-)
http://www.soilassociation.org/web/sa/saweb.nsf/0/80256ad800554549802568ef00326a66?OpenDocument Organic farming and biotechnology debate at Cirencester
PRESS RELEASE FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE, 31 MAY 2000
The Royal College of Agriculture, Cirencester, hosts a debate this Friday (2 June) entitled 'Can agricultural biotechnology live with organic farming?'
Professor C S Prakash - Director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research, Tukegee University, Alabama, USA. Member of the USDA Advisory Committee on Agricultural Biotechnology
Patrick Holden - Director of the Soil Association
Professor Anthony Trewavas - Director of the Institute of Cell and Molecular Biology, University of Edinburgh
Mark Griffiths - Chartered surveyor, anti-GM campaigner and environment spokesman for the Natural Law Party
http://www.mindfully.org/GE/GE2/Survey-Scientists-Government.htm Survey of scientists and government ministers exposes complete lack of independent safety testing of GM foods Independent safety tests of Genetically Modified foods have never been carried out ...
...A sample of the scientists, UK government and EU ministers contacted includes (in alphabetical order) :
Dr Channapatna S. Prakash Professor, Plant Molecular Genetics Tuskegee University, Alabama, USA. firstname.lastname@example.org ...
Professor Tony Trewavas Edinburgh University, Department of Cell and Molecular Biology, UK. Trewavas@ed.ac.uk