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"Breakthrough in wine research" Bio-Sci Fiction

"Breakthrough in wine research" Fiction

Dear Editor

On the 24th of March, 2004, "Bioscience News & Advocate" sent a Press Release to Scoop, containing a number of "daily highlights"

(BioScience News and Advocate Daily Highlights 24/3 Wednesday, 24 March 2004, 5:11 pm Press Release: BioScience News and Advocate)

Item no. 5, grandly entitled: "Breakthrough in wine research" is actually a fictional piece written by Keith Sommnet in the latest issue of the Listener (see p. 42, "FRUIT LOOPS", 27 March 2004 issue) as a spoof on proGE spin & fantasies.

How did "Bioscience News & Advocate" (with its ties to the organisation previously known as the "NZ Life Sciences Network") go from the sly nonsense of "FRUIT LOOPS" to triumphant crowing about an alleged "Breakthrough in wine research"?

Are they that anxious to find some good news about GE to share? It certainly makes Northland primary producers like ourselves question the authenticity of other items they post, like (let's see...6. "Customer satisfaction high, Monsanto says")

There is no "Busby Institute of Biotechnology" in Kerikeri, only one botched GE field trial site (all that remains of HortResearch's problematic GE tamarillo trial that the Royal Commission on Genetic Modification singled out for criticism in its 2001 report, supporting the concerns of the public and stating that the containment was inadequate*).

The "BREAKTHROUGH IN WINE RESEARCH" article is still listed under "Agriculture & Food" on the "Bioscience News & Advocate" site

Zelka Grammer
Chairperson, GE FREE NORTHLAND in Food & Environment

*see Chapter 6, p. 123, RCGM Report July 2001

The Royal Commission into Genetic Modification supported the concerns of local Northlanders, stating that "We heard considerable public doubt about the adequacy of the containment of this trial. The Commission considers that this public concern was justified" and recommended that all transgenic material should be removed from the site.

However, the government failed to fund independent testing and cleanup of the contaminated Kerikeri site (effectively ignoring the concerns of independent scientists and Northlanders, refusing to learn from mistakes, and creating ill will and distrust of GE experiments in the community).

© Scoop Media

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