For Neil Harl, distinguished professor emeritus in agriculture and economics at Iowa State University, a request to appear at a hearing March 12 in Ankeny on antitrust issues in the seed industry was compelling enough to lure him back from his winter retreat in Hawaii.
“It was tempting to stay away,” Harl said from Hawaii Tuesday after the announcement that he would appear on a panel at the day-long session that will examine competition in the seed industry. “But for years I have urged the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to be more aggressive about competitive issues in agriculture.”
“Now,” Harl continued, “we apparently have an administration that is willing to be more aggressive about these issues and I felt that I couldn’t turn down their request.”
The controversy over competition in the seed business exploded into the open last summer with acrimony and lawsuits between Monsanto and Pioneer Hi-Bred, attracting the attentions of the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the Justice Department.
16 Dec, 2009 03:45 PM
AN INTERNATIONAL study of three Monsanto genetically manipulated maize (corn) varieties shows clear evidence of health risks, according to anti-GM lobby group Gene Ethics.
It says that the study analysed data from 90-day rat feeding trials of: insecticide-producing Mon 810 and Mon 863 GM maize; and Roundup herbicide tolerant NK 603 GM maize.
Adverse impacts were found on the kidneys, livers and the dietary detoxifying organs of experimental rats, and also some damage to heart, adrenal glands, spleen and the haematopoietic system.
The research was conducted by French scientists from the universities of Caen and Rouen and is published in the International Journal of Biological Sciences.
According to Gene Ethics, the report shows the GM maize events contained novel pesticide residues that will also be present in human food and animal feed where they may pose grave health risks.