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Brazilian beans, CODEX, culture wars, agribusiness power, COOL, other news/commentary

(Friday, April 11, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following are some of the news and commentary on CropChoice this week.

1. The Brazilian bean powerhouse...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1579

2. California culture wars
(Thursday, April 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- One valley filled up with multimillionaires and their precious acres of wine grapes. The next valley filled up with bohemians and hippies and their wild flocks of chickens. And so we pause to ask, ďWhat happened next!Ē... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1575

3. CODEX meets on food labeling...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1582

4. Agribusiness takes most seats on USDA biotech panel
(Thursday, April 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Reuters 04/08/03: Agriculture Secretary Ann Veneman on Tuesday gave agribusinesses and farm industry groups most of the seats on a federal advisory committee responsible for examining the future of biotech crops.... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1580

5. 'Agri shield' blocks U.S. farm exports
(Thursday, April 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- AgBioIndia: The United States is finally beginning to feel the pinch. For a country, which has always talked of a level playing field and then grossly abused the trading system for its own economic advantage, serves it right. Several countries have used the 'agriculture shields' to block unfair and unwanted farm imports from the US. At $ 200 million a year in lost agricultural opportunities, the US is worried...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1577

6. So, just who is supporting whom?
by Jim Goodman
(Wednesday, April 9, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- During the weeks preceding the U.S./British invasion of Iraq a sort of patriotic fervor swept across the country. Politicians, the media and often police targeted anyone involved in the peace movement as being "un-American". If you didnít have a flag flying from your car antenna, wear a flag lapel pin or reverently stand for the National Anthem (or in one instance a patriotic Country Western song) you could be accused of "not supporting the troops". ...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1573

7. Market 'risk' once part of process
(Friday, April 11, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Barry Wilson, Western Producer: The Canadian Food Inspection Agency quietly changed the terms of reference for its advisory committee on grain variety registration last year when it discovered that for more than a decade, the committee could include market impact in its deliberations...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1583

8. I need some help
by Terry A. Stevenson
(Monday, April 7, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- I need some help. I want to express my patriotism the best I possibly can. Iíve already boycotted things French. I didnít have much trouble with French fries because thatís not what I called them. My boycott of things French may have the economic impact of a flea on an elephant, but it certainly has made me feel better...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1567

9. New Survey Indicates Strong Grain Elevator Concern Over GE Wheat...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1570

10. Vermont Senate passes GMO seed labeling and registration
(Wednesday, April 9, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- With a strong bipartisan margin of 25-3, the Vermont Senate today passed a landmark bill requiring the labeling and registration of all GMO seeds sold in the state. This is one of two bills passed at the end of March by the Senate Agriculture Committee, with the second addressing the issue of farmer liability for GMO-related damages (see below). Two additional bills, calling for food labeling and a moratorium on GM crops, have been deferred to a legislative summer study committee...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1572

11. Bihar bans Monsanto from selling seeds
Editor's note: A CropChoice reader pointed out an inconsistency in Monsanto's claims made in the following story: "If the poor corn crop was due to unusally cool weather and also affected other hybrids, as the company claims in other articles, then why isn't Bihar banning other companies' seeds? Monsanto, Pioneer, and others have been trying hard to get third world farmers addicted to hybrid corn like we in the United States are. While its hard to tell what went wrong in Bihar, I hope somehow third world farmers can get access to improved open pollinated varieties."

I suspect it has to do with the fact that hybrids typically yield more than open pollinated varieties. So, hybrids are the way to go when you want to turn developing countries with lots and lots of family farmers into export machines that pump out a few monoculture commodity crops, all of which benefit the interests of transnational corporations.

(Tuesday, April 8, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Hindustan Times, 04/05: Monsanto India Ltd, a subsidiary of the US multinational, has been barred from selling seeds in Bihar for allegedly marketing substandard products...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1571

12. Straight from the Heart
By Richard Oswald
(Sunday, April 6, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- Heartfelt words are hard to come by. Many of us promote one thing or another because it seems the right thing to do. Others speak positively only of those things that will benefit themselves...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1561

13. Political game of chicken
(Thursday, April 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Suzanne Nelson, Roll Call, 04/09: Its customers are what some in the industry call deliberate eaters, but its still not every day that shoppers at Whole Foods Market get a legislative action card at the checkout asking them to contact their Member of Congress...http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=1574