----- Original Message -----
From: Sandra Finley
To: sabest1@sasktel.net
Sent: Saturday, January 07, 2006 11:08 AM
Subject: Do you eat bread? herbicide tolerant wheat NOT DONE YET de

- information consolidated & organized with TABLE OF CONTENTS.
- if you know people in the "FOOD SECURITY" networks, they will be
interested.  Please pass on.
- I am advising people to disregard deadline for input (Jan 7) because it is
- it is EXTREMELY important that we win this battle.  It has many

Some people are new to the information.  I don't expect them to participate
if they don't have solid evidence.  The CONTENTS are provided so you can be
selective in your reading.


Yummy! More of your bread will be designed to be resistant to chemicals if
the chemical company BASF has its way.



(1e) CFIA NOTICE, "ACCEPTING COMMENTS" (CFIA is Cdn Food Inspection Agency)





Yummy! More of your bread will be designed to be resistant to chemicals if
the chemical company BASF has its way.

Herbicide tolerant wheat is back on.  If it goes thru there will be more
agricultural chemicals in the environment, run-off into water supply, etc.
all aside from question of the criteria being used to develop our food
supply (that it be resistant to chemical applications).

People should be aware.  Takes 1 minute to register opposition, see #3  TO
REGISTER YOUR INPUT TO THE GOVERNMENT.  The Government is inviting comment!
You may have colleagues who will be interested.  The medical profession will
be guaranteed escalating numbers of diseased patients if this is allowed to


THERE" (confirmed by the newspaper report (#1o) RECENT MEDIA COVERAGE,
SASKATOON STAR PHOENIX) you might say the public consultation is
meaningless.  But it's also an opportunity:  first to let more people know
what's going on and second, to halt what's going on.  There are enough
people in "the networks" to bring about change.  (It's also a healthy way to
deal with anger!!!)

The deadline (Jan 7) for input to the Govt can be ignored.  They
intentionally schedule these things over the Christmas holidays (did the
same thing to us last year;  the shouts of "foul play" obviously fell on
deaf ears). Also, herbicide tolerant wheat has been licensed for some time.
If they so blatantly engage in abuse-of-process, we will ignore the
deadline.  Give your feedback to the Govt.  See #3, "TO REGISTER YOUR INPUT



-  people used to be able to eat wheat products without allergic reactions.
This is no longer true.  Seeds have been developed according to criteria
that do not take into full account the impacts on health.

-  unequivocally, seeds that are developed to be resistant to chemicals
bring about a substantial increase in the amount of chemicals in the
environment.  There are more acres of wheat in Canada than any other crop.
To make this crop tolerant of chemical applications will lead to a DRAMATIC
increase in the use of, not only more chemicals, but necessarily MORE TOXIC
chemicals.  Using Roundup Resistant Canola as example, glyphosate
applications now have to be followed up by applications of 2,4D.  The
glyphosate-resistant plants become weeds.  We are knowingly setting up a
vicious circle of increased chemical use, of ever more toxic chemicals.

-  IN WHOSE INTERESTS?  Wheat is a basic in our food system.  To develop
wheat by the criterion that it be resistant to chemicals is to ignore the
public interest in favour of, in this case, the chemical company BASF.

-  the OWNERSHIP of seeds.  Seeds are part of the commons.  These companies
are attempting to "own" part of the commons, a very dangerous precedent.



-  anyone who makes cakes or cookies or pie or bread
-  anyone who owns a bread maker
-  nutritionists
-  people who suffer from celiac disease (gluten intolerance), they might
have a word to say
-  anyone who uses flour or who buys bread
-  bakeries and flour mills and restaurants
-  Tim Horton Donut owners and workers
-  farmers and farm organizations
-  anyone who uses wheat in any way
-  who else?



Canadian Food Inspection Agency Accepting Comments on Submission for
Approval and Release of Herbicide Tolerant Wheat

November 8, 2005   Deadline Jan 7, 2006.

Biotechnology Notices of Submission Project - Wheat (ALS1b) which has been
bred for herbicide tolerance



In 2003-04 we and others each put months of volunteer time into the
battle to stop the introduction of herbicide-tolerant wheat (Monsanto's
roundup resistant (RR)wheat).  Thousands of people and many organizations
from Canada and other countries joined hands in the effort.  The Government
of Canada was/is a joint-developer with Monsanto of seeds developed to be
resistant to chemicals.  Under the storm of protest, Monsanto announced that
it was withdrawing its application for licensing.  (Licensing is through the
CFIA, part of Agriculture Canada.) The Government didn't have to take a
stand.  (It is conceivable that the Govt had a role in persuading its
partner to withdraw the application.)

Here it is back again, this time from the chemical company BASF.



BASF is a chemical company that develops seeds.  BASF is smarter than
Monsanto.  Everyone knows Monsanto, its product "Roundup", its transgenic RR
Wheat, attempted ownership of seed, court case against Percy Schmeiser,
attempted bribery of Health Canada officials over bovine growth hormone,
$700 million dollar fine in Alabama over its (knowingly) poisoning of a
community, etc.

BASF keeps its name and product names separated one from the other.  It
effectively avoids publicity.  See #5, "CORPORATE PROFILE".



Brent writes:  "BASF Clearfield wheat is herbicide tolerant to the chemical
Odyssey [imazamox and imazethapyr]. A concoction that sounds good enough to
drink .Haha. Aside from the poison, the public issue of GMO, the issue for
me as a farmer and a pulse crop grower is that we use this chemical
effectivly on a variety of pulse crops. We do not need wheat weeds resistant
to it showing up in our pulse fields."



François Guimont (613 225-2342) is President of the CFIA, (Cdn Food
Inspection Agency) responsible for the licensing of crops that are the basis
of our food supply.  The CFIA is part of Agriculture Canada.

Stephen Yarrow, director of CFIA's plant bio-safety office is quoted in the
newspaper article  (#1o) "RECENT MEDIA...".  He is the same person I had a
lengthy conversation with, in opposition to this BASF wheat.



Sent from website,
on or about Dec 3, 2005:

Sandra Finley
Saskatoon, SK  S7N 0L1

TO:  François Guimont, President of the CFIA

(INSERT:  I have modified somewhat, a slight improvement to eliminate some
of the duplication in original letter.)

By the thousands, Canadians have told you that we do not want our food
supply developed by the criterion that it be resistant to chemicals.  Our
food supply is to be developed according to the criterion:
-   is the seed more nutritious than other varieties (of wheat, in this
example)?  Does it make a positive contribution to the nutritional value of
our food supply?

We fought for months and months to put a stop to
herbicide-resistant wheat developed jointly by Monsanto and the Government
of Canada.  Now here it is back again, only this time from BASF.

The purpose of the Government and its Legislation is to defend THE

Seeds are an essential part of the commons; they form the basis of our food
supply. The CRITERIA NOT USED are more important than the CRITERIA CURRENTLY
IN USE in the development of our food supply.  It is the RESPONSIBILITY of
ANYONE who is tampering with the food supply (seeds or fish) to use
appropriate selection criteria.

You have 4 issues to address:
- GOVERNANCE. In whose interest are these undertakings?

- HEALTH. Our food supply. Health is dependent upon food supply. It is well
documented that the nutritional value of food has significantly declined
over the last 50 years. That does not bode
well for public health. There is a connection between our food supply,
escalating disease rates, allergy rates (health) and medicare costs.  Before
any seed or fish is released into the environment or licensed for use: is
the nutritional value superior to that of hallmark original
varieties? If the seed (food) does not make an improved positive
contribution to the value of the food, therefore to the health of the
citizens, it will not be licensed for use. NUTRITIONAL VALUE, TASTE: Food
that contributes to the healthfulness of the citizens must be appetizing, or
it will be shunned in spite of its nutritive value. SO: What is the taste
performance of the proposed seed: it must at least be as tasty as hallmark
original varieties.

- ENVIRONMENTAL CONSEQUENCES: will it perform like an "introduced or invader
species" such as wild oats, purple loosestrife or zebra mussels? If so, it
will not be licensed. Anyone who releases such organisms into the
environment must pay the "external costs" of eradication.  Introduced
species do not have enemies. They proliferate and become weeds (or
exterminators of indigenous populations).  Common sense, science and
experience ALL reinforce the fact that crops engineered to be resistant to
chemicals bring about an increase in the use of chemicals.  Who pays the
costs?  Do you know how many millions and millions of dollars are spent,
year after year, to try and control wild oats (an introduced species)?  Do
YOU pay for it?

Farmers now apply a round of glyphosate to kill the plants they don't want,
and then turn around and apply 2-4D to kill the plants that are resistant to
the glyphosate. We have 10 years of experience with RR canola which is now a
weed growing in shelter-belts, gardens and in other unwanted places. Roundup
won't kill it.  You, the CFIA, have no credibility here.

- OWNERSHIP OF LIFE FORMS.  The Patent Act was never meant to apply to life
forms.  It was intended to cover mechanical devices.  In at least 4
different places in the Schmeiser decision the Supreme Court of Canada told
the Government that the legislation had to be changed.  Has that been done?
The earlier "Harvard Mouse" decision also pointed out to the Government that
the Patent Act required an update.  Has it been done?  Have YOU, François
Guimont, done anything to insist that the Patent Act be changed?  Whose
interests do you serve?

Transnational corporate interests more and more determine the food that is
grown. They do not develop seed using the selection criteria of nutritional
value.  And they attempt to appropriate that which belongs to the commons.
You, the CFIA, are party to the attempted appropriation.

The Government almost shut down a whole industry (cattle) when it was
suspected that just ONE INDIVIDUAL's food production might be injurious to
the public good (health).  What do you do when it is suspected that crops
developed with the criterion that they be resistant to chemicals, crops that
serve a corporate interest, might not be in the public interest?

The health of the population, and therefore medicare costs, are dependent
upon the nutritional value of our food supply.

According to a Globe and Mail report, the nutrition found in fruits,
vegetables, and other food crops has declined significantly since the
1950's.  That is YOUR responsibility.

The licensing process for new varieties of wheat, barley, oats, etc. uses
criteria such as disease resistance, yield, and now, resistance to chemical

CRITERIA NOT USED: nutritional value, taste, impact on environment,
contribution to the common good.

Plant Breeders do not have Rights.  They have RESPONSIBILITIES.

Visionaries implemented a seed development process in Canada which used
public money for the common good (e.g. Agriculture Canada Research Stations
and scientists). They understood that allowing inferior seed from producers
to enter the food production system undermines the value of the crop for
citizens collectively.

They understood that:
~ the goals of the individual or corporation (minimize costs, maximize
revenues) can be at odds with the interests of the community,
~ use of inferior seed by some individuals promotes use of inferior seed by
everyone because those with higher costs will be driven out of production if
they don't adopt the same lowest-cost production. (The common good (health)
and the environment are the losers.)
~ the role of Government is to serve and protect the public interest.
Historically, Agriculture Canada did that well, up until the 1980's when
Government POLICY changed ("public-private partnerships").

TODAY, the Government is WRONG in its understanding of its role.
If it cannot be demonstrated that the society at large will benefit from the
seed, then it must not be licensed. (The very name of the Act - PLANT
BREEDERS' RIGHTS - states a bad situation, a serious misunderstanding.)

Canada has a long history of exemplary seed development based on community
interest. The evidence is that we HAVE floundered by succumbing to private,
commercial, interest-based seed selection criteria.

From John Kenneth Galbraith's "The Economics of Innocent Fraud - Truth for
our Time", published in 2004 : "... As the corporate interest moves to power
in what was the public sector, it serves, predictably, the corporate
interest. That is its purpose. ...One obvious result has been well-justified
doubt as to the quality of much present regulatory effort. There is no
question but that corporate influence extends to the regulators. . Needed is
independent, honest, professionally competent regulation ... This last must
be recognized and countered. There is no alternative to effective
supervision. ."

Tax-payers provide salaries for Government employees to perform work that is
in the public interest. ANY Government employee whose work is in
collaboration with an industry, ESPECIALLY if the employee's official work
is related to the regulation of that industry, MUST resign their Government

I am very angry that I and others must expend so much time and energy to try
and force people to do their job.

Yours truly,
Sandra Finley
(contact information)


I left 2 messages for François Guimont, the President of the CFIA,
613 225-2342, requesting a phone call from him and eventually had a lengthy
conversation  with one of his officials, Stephen Yarrow, who is quoted in
the media coverage near bottom of this email.

The CFIA web-site says:  "Currently, the CFIA and Health Canada post
decision documents on the
Internet after a product has been approved. They have not previously posted
information about products that are under review, as will be the case in
this pilot project."

Two of our members have investigated the CFIA web-site and advise that the
licensing of these seeds is further advanced than we know.  See #2 "EXTENT
TO WHICH ..." and also #1o, "RECENT MEDIA".  Which makes this public
consultation into a sham.  Never mind.

This application from BASF is a "pilot project" with regard to PROCESS.

A point I did not make in my letter to the CFIA, but which is important: the
idea that the Government can achieve "transparency" by posting each
application on a web-site as it comes up, implies that citizens have nothing
to do but sit and watch the Government web-site and then launch a campaign
every time it steps out of line.  This is not transparency, but policing by
citizens.  If the licensing follows the right principles, and if actions are
principled, citizens might gain some confidence in the system of regulation
and governance.  If the regulations and laws are out-of-date (the Patent
Act), they are the source of the problem and need to be changed.  That
things are being done "according to the law" is not an excuse.  (See my
letter to François.)

This charade of "transparency" will be an attempt to deal with all the flack
heaped upon the Government in the past over round-up resistant(RR) wheat and
other related issues such as Bill C-27, Plant Breeders' Rights Act, C-28
Interim Marketing Authorizations, the Whistle-blowers Legislation, etc.  The
charade needs to be challenged for what it is - it is not transparency.

(Aside: People in our network have been involved in the "Smart Regulations"
"Government Directive on Regulating" (GDR).  You can see the connection:
here the CFIA is running a "pilot project" to be "transparent".  The GDR is
in precisely the same vein - an attempt to deal with all the flack directed
at the Government.  We have used this BASF application as input to the GDR
as part of the illustration of growing non-compliance with the laws and
regulations in Canada and why that is happening.  Please ask me if you would
like a copy of our correspondence with the Privy Council Office (PCO) and
Alex Himelfarb, head of the PCO about "Smart Regulations".)



Curiously, the text reads "the CFIA and Health Canada".  One interpretation
of the Government text is that the reference to "Health" is an effort to
convey the impression that Health is a priority.

The CFIA is part of AGRICULTURE Canada.  The CFIA licenses the seeds that
are tolerant to the herbicides licensed by HEALTH Canada through the PMRA
(Pest Management Regulatory Agency).  The "clients" of both agencies are the
same.  People familiar with the pesticide debate know that the Auditor
General's Dept has stated emphatically in 4 consecutive reports starting in
1988 that the PMRA is not getting the job done.  From experience we know
that conflicts-of-interest abound between the PMRA and the chemical industry
it is supposed to regulate.  It sees the industry as its "clients".  The
CFIA and the PMRA are very much sister organizations; both view the industry
they are supposed to regulate as "clients".  The statement "The CFIA and
Health Canada ..." can be interpreted in this context.


It has been pointed out that this licensing application is not about
"transgenics" or "GMO's" as in the case of Monsanto's RR Wheat.  BASF uses a
different process called "mutagenesis" to develop its herbicide-tolerant
wheat.  This is a red herring argument which can be avoided by focussing on
the CRITERIA being used to "develop" our food supply - see the letter to
François.  The criterion is resistance to chemicals; nutritional value is an
after thought.

Mutagenesis is also addressed in the newspaper article, #1o "RECENT
MEDIA..." .



If you do not know the story of the CFIA, it is well enough told in the
movie THE FUTURE OF FOOD, an American movie with Canadian content.  What is
described about the U.S. situation is true of the Canadian.  For more
information about the film:

"Already playing to packed houses in the U.S., this award-winning
documentary offers an in-depth investigation into the alarming changes
happening in the corporate-controlled food system. With beautiful and
haunting images, it reveals the disturbing truth behind the unlabeled,
patented, genetically engineered foods that have quietly filled grocery
store shelves for the past decade. Released in the States in September, THE
FUTURE OF FOOD opened in Calgary on Nov. 18th, Vancouver on December 1 with
a special benefit screening in Saskatoon on December 2.""THE FUTURE OF FOOD
has inspired food and farming communities all over the world," says
Producer-Director Garcia. "We are very pleased that audiences across Canada
will have the opportunity to see the film and educate themselves about what
is happening to agriculture today.")


Modified wheat taking root
By Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service

Saskatchewan farmer Michael Kirk has a virtually invincible variety of wheat
stashed in his bins ready for planting in spring.

The wheat, known by the name CDC Imagine, stands straight even in high winds
and unlike many varieties is not prone to losing its seeds in bad weather,
says Kirk.

But what really sets it apart is a gene mutation. CDC Imagine has been
genetically altered so it keeps growing when sprayed with herbicides that
normally make wheat shrivel and die. It's a distinction that makes CDC
Imagine the first herbicide tolerant wheat in Canada.

Perhaps even more remarkable, this high-tech wheat has avoided the wrath of
farmers, environmentalists, consumers and marketers who drove Monsanto's
herbicide tolerant wheat out of Canada in 2004. The opposition was based on
fears about possible human health hazards, increased weed resistance and
fears of corporate control over important crops.

CDC Imagine has taken root on the Prairies with little protest. More than
200,000 acres of the wheat were grown in Alberta, Saskatchewan and Manitoba
in 2005. And BASF Canada, which produces CDC Imagine, has now applied to the
Canadian Food Inspection Agency for permission to grow three more types of
herbicide tolerant wheat.

They all have the same "novel trait," says Stephen Yarrow, director of
CFIA's plant bio-safety office. But protests are "not even on the radar
screen," he says.

The reason is that BASF - the world's largest chemical company, based in
Germany - created its wheat using a gene-altering process called
mutagenesis, which is much more palatable to foreign markets and the
Canadian Wheat Board than Monsanto's genetically modified creation.

Genetically modified plants have genes inserted or engineered into them that
have been borrowed from other organisms, such as microbes, animals or other
plants. Monsanto engineered herbicide tolerance into its wheat using a soil

Endorsed by Wheat Board

Mutagenesis entails blasting seeds or cells with radiation or bathing them
in chemicals to cause mutations in a plant's existing genes. Plant breeders
have used the process for decades to create new flower colours or better
barley for beer making. BASF used chemicals to create the mutation that
protects CDC Imagine from herbicides.

Some say it doesn't really matter whether the plants are created through
genetic engineering and mutagenesis. "It does seem to be splitting hairs,"
Kirk said in an interview from his farm in Climax.

"The risks to the environment are exactly the same," Yarrow says.

But the distinction has given BASF free rein to market CDC Imagine as "the
first and only non-genetically modified" herbicide tolerant wheat in Canada.

The wheat has been embraced by the Canadian Wheat Board, which led the
protests against Monsanto wheat out of a fear the GM wheat might end up
co-mingling or contaminating regular wheat, and prompt offshore customers to
boycott all Canadian wheat.

"We have no concern with the BASF wheat, because it's not GM," says Maureen
Fitzhenry, media relations manager at the Canadian Wheat Board.

To create herbicide tolerant wheat, BASF scientists bathe seeds in a
chemical that induces change in gene sequences, says Kent Jennings, manager
of biotechnology and toxicology at BASF Canada. They then grow the wheat and
spray it with herbicide. The survivors have the desired mutation.
A single genetic change or mutation is all it takes to create imidazolinone
tolerance, says Jennings, likening it to a single typo in a sentence. "It's
the smallest genetic change you could possibly get," he says. The typo
prevents the herbicide from binding to an enzyme in the wheat.
"It's a nice slick system," says Kirk, who grew 720 acres of CDC Imagine
last summer.



Excerpt from submission to Privy Council Office (PCO), General Directive on
Regulating (GDR), part of SMART REGULATIONS:

that CANADA denied entry to scientists from developing countries to the
Biosafety Protocol meetings in Montreal (Dr. Tewolde and others)?"

Middle of May, 2005:  As host to world biosafety negotiations, is Canada
playing dirty?  Canada is the host country to the world negotiations on the
Convention on Bio Diversity (CBD), negotiations which involve international
safety issues on the use and trade involving transgenic materials or GMO's.
Africa's chief negotiator (Dr. Tewolde) represents a world majority view
that runs counter to Canada's, the US, the EU and the corporate transgenic
giants. Canada, through the administration of its visa policy, refused
Africa's chief negotiator a visa to attend the concluding meetings in

A huge public outcry led to granting of the visa so Dr. Tewolde eventually
attended, but missing the first days of the meetings.  Other attendees from
developing countries were also denied entry visas and were thereby barred
from attending - they didn't have the same ability as Dr. Tewolde to make
their plight known.  This is a terrible blight on Canada's international
reputation.  Not to mention that it is not the behaviour of a democratic

What the incident tells me is that there are very influential people in the
Government of Canada who are capable (if their actions go unnoticed) of
denying people their basic rights;  people they see as a threat to their
agenda.  We do not have democratic Government, or at best we have the
remnant of a democracy.  As far as I am aware, there has been no answering:
who was behind the witholding of the visas?  That was a very serious abuse
of power that should not go unanswered.


Thanks to Kerry.

"I'm afraid BASF was not the first to get its foot in the door. Cynamid Crop
Protections submitted SWP 965001 (Imidazolinone-tolerant) to CFIA and it was
approved for "unconfined release into the environment" on March 3, 1998.
(INSERT:  UPDATE FROM KERRY - The Corporate Profile sent in by Al Taylor
shows that BASF bought up Cynamid.)

It was followed by 3 Imidazolinone-tolerant varieties submitted by BASF :
AP602CL ( approved March 20, 2003 but "not intended for cultivation in
Canada"); AP205CL (approved June 11, 2004) and Teal 11a (June 24, 2004). All
were approved for unconfined release but only Teal 11a did not have the
caveat - "not intended for cultivation in Canada". Therefore assume that
Teal 11a is being grown.

It is not clear why CFIA went through the environmental review process for
the other varieties if they were not intended for cultivation.

One of the main criteria was whether these mutagenic varities had the
potential for becoming weeds and it was deduced that since wheat is
primarily self-pollinated, and had no wild or weedy relatives in North
America, it had low potential for spreading. Nevertheless, the first
approval for Cyanimid's product came with the following caveat ( not
appended to BASF's approval).

(INSERT:  Sandra - seeds fall off trucks, out of pant cuffs, off rail cars
??  The RR Canola experience - by 2 or 3 years ago, 85% of the seed stocks
were contaminated with herbicide tolerant seeds??  I presume the percentage
is higher today if 85% level was reached within 7 years of introduction of
the herbicide tolerant seed.  Cross pollination may not be as much an issue,
but it wasn't by pollination alone that herbicide tolerant canola spread so

NOTE: A longer term concern, should there be general adoption of several
different crop/specific herbicide weed management systems, is the potential
development of crop volunteers with a combination of novel resistances to
different herbicides. This could result in the loss of the use of these
herbicides and any of their potential benefits. Therefore, agricultural
extension personnel, in both the private and public sectors, should promote
careful management practices for growers who use these herbicide tolerant
crops, to minimize the development of multiple resistance.

CFIA also conducted nutritional tests and found that except for a couple of
significant differences (e.g. lower thiamine content) these varieties did
not differ from similar cultivars.

I might add here that the taste and quality of wheat has already been bred
out of it. There's a young baker here in Victoria who has gone back to the
old Red Fife because of its superior flavour and quality but has a difficult
time finding supplies. (That organic wheat farmer on your network provides
him some.)

Anyway, I hate to say it, but Cyanimid beat out BASF. The precedent is set.
The cat's out of the bag. Pandora is outa the Box. Save your breath.

You might ask why the earlier caveat was dropped, or why the agency bothers
with the charade of approving varieties that are not intended for
cultivation in the first place ( red herrings ?)."


(INSERT:  Sandra - Christie's Bakery here in Saskatoon is also making bread
from Red Fife.  I will try and put together info concerning relationships
between incidence of allergies (gluten intolerance, celiac disease) to wheat
of two types:
  (1) early varieties such as Red Fife and then the even earlier kamut and
  (2) current varieties.
Anecdotal evidence says that people who can't eat wheat have no problems
with old varieties.  The most recent I have heard is of a couple who worked
in Kenya for 4 years.  At home here in Canada he had to eliminate wheat from
his diet.  (Which is common, unfortunately)  He ate local varieties of wheat
while in Africa with no problem.  We have had a long line of crop
development based on yield, disease resistance and high gluten content (what
the bakers want and what Canadian wheat is known for).  I think there is
beginning to be research to see whether the anecdotal info has substance.
Unfortunately this is research "in the public interest" and much more
difficult to find funding for.)

Boy!  makes you wonder how the Govt can in good conscience say "Canadian
Food Inspection Agency Accepting Comments on Submission for Approval and
Release of Herbicide Tolerant Wheat" with Jan 7, 2006 deadline.  Perhaps
they just want to give us this opportunity to hammer them?  Are they a bunch
of masochists?!



If you prefer that your bread be designed to be nutritious:

(1)  Go to

(2)  Scroll down a tiny bit to:
"To provide comments on this submission, please use the feedback form."
(This line appears just above "Introduction".

(3)  Click on "feedback form" and state your views.  Cut and paste from
material below, if you like.  The best input is a short one liner.
- "I do not want my food supply developed by the criterion that it be
resistant to chemicals."
- "Herbicide tolerant wheat should be banned.  It will lead to dramatic
increases in the amount of chemicals in the environment."
- "This process is a sham because the CFIA has already licensed herbicide
tolerant wheat."



(What I write is not "mine".  It is an amalgamation of input from many
people and authors.  I can't always attribute sources, especially not in 298
words.  Anybody is free to cut, copy, paste and use as they see fit, with
their own name on it.)

Dear Editor,

Modified wheat taking root
By Margaret Munro
CanWest News Service

Margaret writes:  "this high-tech wheat has avoided the wrath of farmers,
environmentalists, consumers and marketers who drove Monsanto's herbicide
tolerant wheat out of Canada in 2004."

There is great protest against BASF's herbicide tolerant wheat. From

-  "Do you eat bread? Yummy! More of your bread will be designed to be
resistant to chemicals if BASF has its way."

-  "BASF Clearfield wheat is herbicide tolerant to the chemical Odyssey
[imazamox and imazethapyr]. A concoction that sounds good enough to drink.
Haha. Aside from the poison, and the public issue of GMO, the issue for me
as a farmer and a pulse crop grower is that we use this chemical effectivly
on a variety of pulse crops. We do not need wheat weeds resistant to it
showing up in our pulse fields."

- "Unequivocally, seeds developed to be resistant to chemicals cause
increase in amount of chemicals in environment.  There are more acres of
wheat in Canada than any other crop.  To make this crop tolerant of
chemicals will lead to dramatic increase in chems. The herbicide-resistant
plants become weeds. Typically, glyphosate applications are now followed by
2,4D. We are knowingly - stupidly - setting up vicious circle of increased

The Feds know that Canadians do not want their food supply developed by the
criterion that it be resistant to chemicals, nor a food supply dictated by
corporate interests.  The outrage over Monsanto's Roundup Ready Wheat caused
Monsanto to withdraw its application and told the Government everything it
needs to know.  (RR wheat was developed through matched research funding
from the Government.)

The Government invites public participation in the decision to license
BASF's herbicide tolerant wheat (deadline January 7, right after the
holidays).  But as Margaret's article points out, herbicide tolerant wheat
is already being grown.

Yours truly,



PLEASE take a minute.  Strategically this is part of a larger battle to stop
transnational corporate control.  And to force Governments to do their job
of protecting the interests of citizens.  There must be a strong showing, an
onslaught.  Now is not the time to give up.  It's fast and easy.  And pass
along this email along.  We all have a stake.

If you prefer that your bread be designed to be nutritious, Go to #3  TO



PANNA Corporate Profile: BASF AG

November 2005

On this page:

BASF at a Glance
Pesticides and Agricultural Biotechnology
A Wide Range of Impacts
In Focus: Price-Fixing
Undue Influence
Resources for Action

BASF is the world's largest chemical company. It is composed of five
business segments: chemicals; plastics; performance products; agricultural
products and nutrition; and oil and gas. One of BASF's major strategies is
to capitalize on synergies amongst its diverse interests by creating huge
multi-function industrial parks where plants use each other's byproducts as
inputs. [1] Despite this emphasis on reuse of resources, BASF is a company
responsible for numerous environmental disasters and the production of
extremely toxic chemicals.
BASF at a Glance

Headquarters Ludwigshafen, Germany

Key subsidiaries Elastogran GmbH, Guano-Werke GmbH, Micro Flo Company,
Tradewinds Chemicals Corporation, WINGAS GmbH, Wintershall AG[2]

Product sectors In 2004, Chemicals (18.7%), Plastics (28.1%), Performance
Products (21.3%), Agricultural Products and Nutrition (13.7%), Oil and Gas
(14%), Other (4.2%)[3]

Employees In 2004, BASF had 81,955 employees worldwide, down from 89,389
employees in 2002[4]

Manufacturing facilities BASF has 100 major manufacturing sites worldwide
and operates in 170 countries[5]

Revenues US$51.6 billion in 2004[6]

Net income BASF earned US$2.5 billion in 2004, US$1.14 billion in 2003,
US$1.58 billion in 2002 and US$5.22 billion in 2001[7]

Executive compensation In 2004, the eight members of BASF's Board of
Executive directors received EUR 14 million (approximately US$16.7 million)
in compensation[8]

Type of corporation Public, traded on the New York Stock Exchange

Pesticides and Agricultural Biotechnology

BASF's agricultural products division is based in Limburgerhof, Germany,[9]
and operates in 170 countries.[10] Recent acquisitions of American Cyanamid,
Micro Flo Company and Sando Agro have strengthened BASF's position in the
crop protection industry.[11] In 2003, BASF acquired the insecticide
Fipronil in addition to certain fungicides for seed treatment from Bayer
Crop Science.[12] In 2004, the agricultural products division posted sales
of EUR 3.4 billion (approximately US$4 billion).[13]


BASF and its subsidiaries are responsible for a wide range of harmful
pesticide products and ingredients, including:

Chlorfenapyr Possible carcinogen[14], and testicular and uterine endocrine
disruptor.[15] Citing its environmental persistence and severe impacts on
bird reproduction, EPA denied the registration of chlorfenapyr for use on
cotton in 2000.[16] Meanwhile, Chlorfenapyr is currently registered for use
on many food crops.[17]

Fipronil Highly effective, broad spectrum insecticide. Frequently used for
cockroach and ant control as well as for pests of field corn, golf courses
and commercial turf.[18] Possible carcinogen, potential ground water
contaminant and suspected endocrine disruptor.[19] In 2004, Louisiana
crawfish farmers and landowners who had suffered severe losses due to ICON
contamination (of which fipronil is the active ingredient) received US$45
million in a class action settlement.[20]

Flucythrinate Acutely toxic, pyrethroid insecticide.[21] It is classified as
a Restricted Use Pesticide by EPA, meaning it must bear the word "Danger" on
the label.[22] Used to control insect pests in apples, cabbage, field corn,
head lettuce, pears and cotton.[23] Suspected carcinogen, developmental
toxin and endocrine disruptor.[24] It is very highly toxic to fish, insects
and zooplankton and other aquatic animals.[25] Flucythrinate was banned from
use in the EU starting July 2003.[26]

Hydramethylnon Persistent insecticide used in fire ant control with
potential for bioaccumulation in fish.[27] According to the state of
California, Hydramethylnon is a known developmental and male reproductive
toxin, and a possible human carcinogen.[28] Hydramethylnon was banned from
use in the EU starting July 2003. It was re-registered by EPA in December of

Malathion Wide-spectrum, organophosphate insecticide. A PAN Bad Actor
chemical, cholinesterase inhibitor, possible carcinogen, potential ground
water contaminant, and suspected endocrine disruptor.[30] In 1976, 2,800 of
7,500 malathion applicators in Pakistan were poisoned and five died as a
result of impurities produced during storage of the insecticide.[31] There
is evidence that malathion causes birth defects, kidney failure and
intestinal damage, as well as leukemia in children.[32]

Mecoprop-P Commonly used lawn herbicide. In lab mice, mecoprop-P has been
shown to reduce fertility. A regional study in Canada revealed that human
exposure to mecoprop significantly increases the risk of the cancer
non-Hodgkin's lymphoma.[33] The herbicide is also frequently found in urban
streams. A particularly alarming study, completed in King County, WA, found
mecoprop in every urban stream sample analyzed.[34]

Mancozeb Carbamate fungicide and cholinesterase inhibitor. In test animals,
it is shown to cause thyroid and carcinogenic effects. It is also known by
the state of California to cause cancer in humans.[35]

Permethrin Pyrethroid insecticide and neurotoxin.[36] Permethrin is
classified as a carcinogen by EPA because it causes lung and liver tumors in
mice. Furthermore, the insecticide is hazardously toxic to honey bees and
other beneficial insects, fish, aquatic insects, crayfish and shrimp.[37] In
part because of its extreme aqua-toxicity, permethrin is an EPA
restricted-use pesticide.[38]

Phorate Organophosphate pesticide. Of the three million pounds used in the
U.S. annually, 80% is applied to corn, potatoes and cotton. Phorate is an
acutely toxic cholinesterase inhibitor. Even low-level exposure can manifest
in chronic effects such as prolonged neurological and neuromuscular
symptoms.[39] The pesticide is highly toxic to birds, fish and other
wildlife. In a particularly severe incident, phorate was responsible for the
death of 90,000 fish in Arkansas.[40]

Terbufos Bioaccumulating, organophospate insecticide.[41] Very highly toxic
to birds, mammals and fish. From 1989 to1998, terbufos was the
fourth-leading cause of documented fish kills in the U.S. Its degradates may
pose even more of a risk than the insecticide itself, as they are highly
persistent in the environment.[42]

VinclozolinFungicide, endocrine disruptor and anti-androgen (a human
hormone). Exposure to minute levels of vinclozolin has been linked to
testicular tumors in rats.[43] It is suspected to be carcinogenic.[44]

Agricultural Biotechnology

In a 1998 joint venture, BASF and the Swedish seed company Svalöf Weibull AB
formed BASF Plant Science GmbH, a plant biotechnology company.[45] BASF
Plant Science GmbH plans to invest EUR 700 million on plant biotechnology
over the next ten years with the self-described goal of increasing the
stress resistance and nutritional value of crop plants.[46] In 2004, BASF
Venture Capital GmbH invested in the biotech company Sciona Incorporated,
located in New Haven, Connecticut. Sciona's central focus has been to match
nutrition and lifestyle choices with individual genetic profiles.[47] A year
later, BASF invested in Advanced BioNutrition Corporation, in Columbia,
Maryland, which concentrates on functional nutrition to prevent disease.[48]
BASF's focus is primarily on utilizing biotechnology to produce amino acids,
vitamins and enzymes.[49]

Genetically engineered crops pose serious risks to public health and the
environment, increase reliance on pesticides, deepen agribusiness control
over farmers and undermine food security and sovereignty. Most biotech seeds
are licensed to farmers, not sold: making it illegal to replant, save,
trade, share or breed them as farmers have done for millennia. Global food
security requires access to land, small-scale, ecologically based farming
systems and the crop diversity needed to respond to varied and changing
environments and growing conditions. Genetically engineered crops, in
contrast, are an extension of industrial agricultural practices that
concentrate land ownership, rely on synthetic pesticides, fertilizers and
other off-farm inputs, and dramatically reduce crop biodiversity.

For an overview of agricultural biotechnology and its impacts, see PANNA's
online presentation, "Genetically Engineered Crops and Foods."[50] located
at: http://www.panna.org/resources/geTutorial.html.

A Wide Range of Impacts

BASF's other social and environmental impacts are very broad:

Hazardous wastes Five of BASF's manufacturing facilities in the U.S. rank
amongst the worst 10% of comparable facilities for toxic releases.[51] BASF
released 17 million pound of toxins in Texas in 1996 making it Texas' second
largest polluter.[52]

Economic blackmail In 1999, BASF threatened to move a paint manufacturing
plant from Ontario, Canada, to Mexico if air pollution standards were

Air pollution violations On two occasions in Will County, Illinois, BASF
failed to notify the state's Emergency Management Agency about air pollution
discharges that were in violation of the Illinois Environmental Protection
Act. In addition, the company was accused of failing to notify the agency in
an appropriate manner. In 2004, as a consequence, BASF agreed to pay
US$141,000 in fines.[54]

Cheating farmers In 2004, the Minnesota Supreme Court upheld an appellate
court ruling against BASF for charging different prices for two products,
Poast and Poast Plus. Both contained the same active ingredients and were
approved for the same use by EPA. BASF was ordered to pay a US$52 million
fine for charging some farmers nearly US$32 more per gallon than others.[55]

Labor practices In 1984, BASF locked out 370 members of the Oil Chemical and
Atomic Workers Union from its Geismar, Louisiana, facility.[56] The lockout,
which would last until 1989, was the longest in U.S. labor history.[57]

Outsourcing BASF is undertaking a major outsourcing effort. Beginning in
mid-2003, the company initiated restructuring and job cuts within its North
American and European business. BASF's employees in North America have been
reduced by approximately 4,000 (equivalent to 4% of its workforce).[58] This
was coupled with the elimination of approximately 3,600 jobs from its main
plant in Ludwigshafen, Germany.[59] Ultimately, the company has announced
its plans to close a total of at least ten plants and to expand its
operation in Asia,[60] including China.[61]

Illegal importation and sales of pesticides In September 2001, EPA fined
Micro Flo (a wholly owned subsidiary of BASF) US$3.7 million for 673
violations of the Federal Insecticide, Fungicide and Rodenticide Act
relating to illegal importation and sale of millions of pounds of pesticides
in the U.S.[62]

Holocaust complicity BASF was a participant in the I.G. Farben cartel (along
with Bayer, Hoechst and others) which was fundamental to the creation of the
Nazi war machine.[63] I.G. Farben produced synthetic oil and rubber in
Auschwitz during World War II. In this venture, the company made use of
approximately 83,000 laborers from concentration camps.[64] I.G. Farben also
held the patent for the pesticide Zyklon, which was used in the gas
chambers. After the war, I.G. Farben divided into its former constituent
companies, known today as Agfa, Bayer and BASF.[65]

In Focus: Price-Fixing

In 1999, BASF was criminally fined for its involvement in a vitamin
price-fixing cartel. The company was accused of conspiring with several
other European and Japanese pharmaceutical companies, holding annual
meetings and making secret agreements involving vitamin pricing and sales
volume.[66] The vitamins most commonly affected included those used as
nutritional supplements or to enrich human and animal food--among these were
vitamins A, B2, B5, C, and E.[67]

As a consequence, BASF AG was ordered to pay US$225 million[68] to
compensate consumers and businesses in the United States. The settlement was
the largest under state laws permitting consumers and businesses to sue for
damages caused by price-fixing charges.[69] Soon thereafter, in 2001, the
European Commission fined the company an additional US$260 million. This
brought the total expected cost of fines, out-of-court settlements, and
legal expenses to about US$800 million.[70] Furthermore, as a result of this
scheme, BASF also has faced a class action lawsuit.[71]

According to Joel I. Klein, former U.S. Assistant Attorney General, "During
the life of the conspiracy, virtually every American consumer paid
artificially inflated prices for vitamins and vitamin enriched foods in
order to feed the greed of these defendants and their co-conspirators who
reaped hundreds of millions of dollars in additional revenues."[72]

Undue Influence

To advance their interests, powerhouses like BASF invest heavily in
political and social influence. Some of BASF's efforts to influence policy
and public opinion include:

Trade organizations and think tanks Some of the trade and policy
organizations in which BASF participates include:

a.. Agricultural Biotechnology Council (http://www.abcinformation.org/)
b.. Agricultural Biotechnology in Europe (http://www.abeurope.info/)
c.. Canadian Chemical Producers' Association (http://www.ccpa.ca/)
d.. Chemical Industry Institute of Toxicology (http://www.ciit.org/)
e.. Council for Biotechnology Information (http://www.whybiotech.com/)
f.. Council for Responsible Nutrition (http://www.crnusa.org/)
g.. CropLife Canada (http://www.croplife.ca/)
h.. European Centre for Ecotoxicology and Toxicology of Chemicals
i.. European Crop Protection Association (http://www.ecpa.be/)
j.. International Chamber of Commerce (http://www.iccwbo.org/)
k.. International Food Information Council (http://www.ific.org/)
l.. UN Global Compact (http://www.unglobalcompact.org/)
Campaign contributions During the 2004 election cycle, BASF Political Action
Committees (PACs) contributed US$87,000 to candidates for federal office in
the U.S. Meanwhile, individual BASF employees contributed US$12,200 during
the same period.[73] In the 2000 and 2002 election cycles, BASF PACs
contributed about US$220,000 to candidates for federal office (more than 80%
Republican).[74] Furthermore, BASF made a total of US$140,247 in soft money
contributions to the Republican and Democratic parties in the 1998, 2000 and
2002 election cycles.[75]

Lobbying Between 1998 to 2004, BASF spent US$4,490,000 lobbying in
Washington. In 2004 alone, BASF spent a total of US$460,000 lobbying the
U.S. government.[76] Additionally, many of the trade organizations to which
BASF belongs deploy teams of lobbyists that work on behalf of the company's

Resources for Action

The following resources are good starting points for more information about
BASF and how you can help hold BASF accountable for its impacts.

BASF (http://www.basf.com)
BASF's Web site.

Scorecard (http://www.scorecard.org)
Environmental Defense's toxic release information Web site. You can look up
BASF's toxic release information and locations of its U.S. facilities.

Hoovers online
Provides financial information about BASF and links to detailed reports and

PAN Pesticides Database
Pesticide Action Network North America's pesticide database allows you to
search for toxicity, regulatory and other information by chemical or


[1] <
> on 24 March 2004.

[2] "BASF List of Shares Held 2003," BASF Group,
<http://www.corporate.basf.com/file/12440.file2?id=n9tVb4kXabcp*AL> on 29
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[3] "BASF AG: Products/Operations," Hoover's Online,
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[4] <http://www.basf.com/> on 30 September 2005.

[5] <http://www.basf.com/> on 30 September 2005.

[6] <http://www.basf.com/> on 30 September 2005.

[7] "BASF AG: Financial Fact Sheet," Hoover's Online,
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[8] "Compensation of Director and Officers," BASF, 2004,
-3*GSJ4kskbcp0dP> on 30 September 2005.

[9] "Agricultural Products: Facts and Figures," BASF Group: The Chemical
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[10] "Agricultural Products: Facts and Figures," BASF Group,
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[11] "Agricultural Products: Facts and Figures," BASF Group,
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[12] "Agricultural Products: Facts and Figures," BASF Group: The Chemical
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[13] "Agricultural Products: Facts and Figures," BASF Group: The Chemical
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October 2005.

[14] "Toxicity Information for Chlorfenapyr," PAN Pesticide
<http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC35810> on 28
October 2005.

[15] "Chlorfenapyr," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/chlorfenapyr-page.htm> on 30 March

[16] "EPA Determines that Chlorfenapyr Does Not Meet the Requirements for
Registration; American Cyanamid Withdraws Application," Environmental
Protection Agency, <http://www.epa.gov/pesticides/reg_assessment/> on 30
March 2004.

[17] "Chlorfenapyr," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/chlorfenapyr-page.htm> on 30 March

[18] "Fipronil," Pesticide Action Network UK, June 2000,
<http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/actives/fipronil.htm> on 10 October 2005.

[19] "Fipronil," PAN Pesticides Database,
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October 2005.

[20] "Fipronil," Fluoride Action Nework Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/fipronil--page.htm> on 10 October

[21] "Flucythrinate," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/flucythrinate-page.htm> on 29
March 2004.

[22] "Flucythrinate," Extonxnet: Extension Toxicology Network,
rinate-ext.html> on 3 October 2005.

[23]"Flucythrinate," Extonxnet: Extension Toxicology Network,
rinate-ext.html> on 3 October 2005.

[24] "Flucythrinate," PAN Pesticide Database,
<http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33167> on 3
October 2005.

[25] "Flucythrinate," PAN Pesticide Database,
<http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC33167> on 3
October 2005.

[26] "Flucythrinate," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/flucythrinate-page.htm> on 29
March 2004.

[27] "Hydramethylnon," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/hydramethylnon-page.htm> on 29
March 2004.

[28] "Hydramethylnon," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/hydramethylnon-page.htm> on 29
March 2004.

[29] "Hydramethylnon," Fluoride Action Network Pesticide Project,
<http://www.fluorideaction.org/pesticides/hydramethylnon-page.htm> on 29
March 2004.

[30] "Malathion," PAN Pesticide Database - Chemicals,
<http://www.pesticideinfo.org/Detail_Chemical.jsp?Rec_Id=PC32924> on 4
October 2005.

[31] W. N. Aldridge et al, "Malathion Not as Safe as Believed - 5 Die -
2,800 Poisoned," Archives in Toxicology, 1979,
<http://www.chem-tox.com/malathion/research/ - human> on 30 March 2004.

[32] "Malathion Index," Malation Medical Research, <
http://www.chem-tox.com/malathion/research/#intestine> on 4 September 2005.

[33] Caroline Cox, "Herbicide FactSheet: Mecoprop," Journal of Pesticide
Reform Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2004,
<http://www.pesticide.org/mecoprop_MCPP.pdf> on 30 March 2004.

[34] Caroline Cox, "Herbicide FactSheet: Mecoprop," Journal of Pesticide
Reform Vol. 24, No. 1, Spring 2004,
<http://www.pesticide.org/mecoprop_MCPP.pdf> on 30 March 2004.

[35] "Mancozeb FactSheet," Center for Ethics and Toxics,
<http://www.cetos.org/criticalhabitat/mancozeb.pdf> on 29 March 2004.

[36] Caroline Cox, "Insecticide FactSheet: Permethrin," Journal of Pesticide
Reform, Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 1998,
<http://www.pesticide.org/Permethrin.pdf> on 29 March 2004.

[37] Caroline Cox, "Insecticide FactSheet: Permethrin," Journal of Pesticide
Reform, Vol. 18, No. 2, Summer 1998,
<http://www.pesticide.org/Permethrin.pdf> on 29 March 2004.

[38] "Pesticide Information Profile: Permethrin," Extension Toxicology
Network, September 1993,
xt.html> on 29 March 2004.

[39] "Pesticide Profiles: Phorate," American Bird Conservancy,
<http://www.abcbirds.org/pesticides/Profiles/phorate.htm> on 29 March 2004.

[40] "Pesticide Profiles: Phorate," American Bird Conservancy,
<http://www.abcbirds.org/pesticides/Profiles/phorate.htm> on 29 March 2004.

[41] "Pesticide Profiles: Terbufos," American Bird Conservancy,
<http://www.abcbirds.org/pesticides/Profiles/terbufos.htm> on 29 March 2004.

[42] "Pesticide Profiles: Terbufos," American Bird Conservancy,
<http://www.abcbirds.org/pesticides/Profiles/terbufos.htm> on 29 March 2004.

[43] L. E. Gray et al., "Environmental Antiandrogens: Low doses of the
Fungicide Vinclozolin Alter Sexual Differentiation of the Male Rat,"
Toxicology and Industrial Health, 1999,
<http://www.ourstolenfuture.org/NewScience/oncompounds/1999grayetal.htm> on
30 March 2004.

[44] "Vinclozolin," Pesticide Action Network UK, December 2000,
<http://www.pan-uk.org/pestnews/actives/vinclozo.htm> on 5 October 2005.

[45] "BASF Plant Science GmbH," BASF Group,
Bbsf2GN> on 29 March 2004.

[46] "BASF Plant Science GmbH," BASF Group,
Bbsf2GN> on 29 March 2004.

[47] "BASF Venture Capital invests in biotechnology company Sciona Inc."
BASF Venture Capital GmbH, 20 September 2004,
id=V00-_9lUI7dRFbsf*XD> on 28 October 2005.

[48] "BASF Venture Capital invests in biotechnology company Advanced
BioNutrition Corp," BASF Venture Capital GmbH, 13 January 2005,
V00-0w*-y7dRQbsf0he> on 28 October 2005.

[49] "BASF," Capital Eye, <http://www.capitaleye.org/bio-basf.asp> on 28
October 2005.

[50] <http://www.panna.org/resources/geTutorial.html>.

[51] See <http://www.scorecard.org/>.

[52] News Release, Texans for Public Justice, "Texas Chemical Council
Members Dump: 187 Million Pound of Toxins in Texas, Up to $10 million into
State Politics," 11 August 1999,
<http://www.tpj.org/press_releases/toxic_exp.html> on 30 March 2004.

[53] Martin Mittelstaedt, "Higher Standards to Curb Solvent Emissions Will
Drive BASF Plant to Mexico, Firm Says," The Globe and Mail, 2 June 1999,
<http://www.economicjustice.org/resources/media/globe060299.html> on 30
March 2004.

[54] "Madigan, Tomczak Reach Agreement with Delaware Corporation Over Air
Pollution Allegations," Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan Press
Release, 16 March 2004,
<http://www.ag.state.il.us/pressroom/2004_03/20040316a.html> on 30 March

[55] "Minnesota Supreme Court Upholds $52 Million Class Action Judgment
Against BASF Corporation," Press Release Lockridge Grindal Nauen P.L.L.P.,
19 February 2004, <http://biz.yahoo.com/pz/040219/52946.html> on 30 March

[56] " Panel 4: Union Action," Oil, Chemical & Atomic Workers Union,
<http://www.webshells.com/ocaw/txts/doc99996.htm> on 6 October 2005.

[57] "Panel 4: Union Action," Oil Chemical & Atomic Workers Union,
<http://www.webshells.com/ocaw/txts/doc99996.htm> on 6 October 2005.

[58] "BASF has a strong start in North America," BASF The Chemical Company,
28 April 2005,
<http://www.basf.com/corporate/news2005/042805_northamericaresults.htm> on
18 October 2005.

[59] "BASF Aktiengesellschaft," Hoovers Online,
<http://premium.hoovers.com/subscribe/co/profile.xhtml?ID=41755> on 18
October 2005.

[60] "BASF shuts plants," BBC News, 21 June 2001, <
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/business/1400257.stm> on 18 October 2005.

[61]"BASF targets 10 percent of global chemical sales in China by 2010,"
BASF: The Chemical Company, 27 September 2005,
.Xp7aTkbcp1CV> on 18 October 2005.

[62] "NewsNote: BASF Subsidiary Fined for Illegal U.S. Pesticide Sales,"
Global Pesticide Campaigner, Vol. 11, No. 3, December 2001,
<http://www.panna.org/resources/gpc/gpc_200112.11.3.19.dv.html> on 30 March

[63] "BASF Aktiengesellschaft," Hoovers Online,
<http://premium.hoovers.com/subscribe/co/history.xhtml?ID=41755> on 28
October 2005.

[64] Borkin, Joseph, The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, New York: Free
Press, 1978.

[65] Borkin, Joseph, The Crime and Punishment of IG Farben, New York: Free
Press, 1978.

[66] "Vitamin Price Fixing Investigation Expanded," FindLaw, 1999,
<http://library.findlaw.com/1999/Dec/1/131541.html> on 18 October 2005.

[67] "Hoffmann-La Roche and BASF Agree to Pay Record Criminal Fines for
Participating in International Vitamin Cartel," Department of Justice, 21
May 1999, <http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerProtection/rochefine.html> on
18 October 2005.

[68] "More Price Fixing Scandals to Come, Expert Says," AG Answers, 31
August 1999,
<http://www.agriculture.purdue.edu/AgAnswers/story.asp?storyID=2046> on 6
October 2005.

[69] "Indirect Vitamin Lawsuit Settled," Food Ingredient News, volume 9,
Issue 7, October 2001.

[70] "BASF Aktiengesellschaft," Hoover's Online
<http://premium.hoovers.com/subscribe/co/profile.xhtml?ID=41755> on 18
October 2005.

[71] "BASF Aktiengesellschaft," Hoover's Online
<http://premium.hoovers.com/subscribe/co/profile.xhtml?ID=41755> on 18
October 2005.

[72] "Hoffmann-La Roche and BASF Agree to Pay Record Criminal Fines for
Participating in International Vitamin Cartel," Department of Justice, 21
May 1999, <http://www.quackwatch.org/02ConsumerProtection/rochefine.html> on
18 October 2005.

[73] "BASF CORP, Contributions from Chemical & Related Manufacturing Ind,
Source of Funds (2004 Cycle)," Open Secrets, <http://www.opensecrets.org/>
on 7 October 2005.

[74] Kristin Gribben, "BASF," Capital Eye,
<http://www.capitaleye.org/bio-basf.asp> on 24 February 2004.

[75] Kristin Gribben, "BASF," Capital Eye,
<http://www.capitaleye.org/bio-basf.asp> on 24 February 2004.

[76] "BASF Corp.," The Center for Public Integrity,
L000703> on 7 October 2005.




Published online: 3 January 2006; | doi:10.1038/news060102-2

Ancient genetic tricks shape up wheat
     Turning back the evolutionary clock offers better crops for dry

Tom Simonite

Illustration Omitted:
      Fields of gold: re-enacting an ancient genetic accident had helped to
create better wheat.© Getty Originals

By re-enacting an evolutionary event that happened to wheat thousands of
years ago, researchers are producing new plant varieties that could save
lives in regions where drought causes food shortages.

Bread wheat (Triticum aestivum), a staple food for millions of people around
the world, is the product of two rare genetic events that happened during
the Stone Age in a region of the Middle East known as the 'fertile

Two different species can't usually breed to produce hybrid offspring,
because their chromosomes don't match and can't pair properly during the
process that produces sex cells such as eggs and sperm. But sometimes a
genetic blip can produce sex cells with double the normal number of
chromosomes, side-stepping the problem. If two sex cells of this type
combine, a whole new fertile species with double the number of chromosomes
is produced.

Doubling up

This rare 'duplication followed by fertilization' event has happened twice
in the history of modern, common wheat. Around 30,000 years ago, a wild
wheat (Triticum monococcum) hybridized with a species of goat grass
(Aegilops speltoides) to generate primitive wheat called emmer, which had
four sets of chromosomes. Then about 9,000 years ago, emmer wheat grown
south of the Caspian Sea crossed with another wild goat grass (Aegilops
tauschii) to produce a plant with six sets of chromosomes.

This hybrid had larger seeds than its ancestors, thanks to the bonus
chromosomes, and so became a popular breed for early farmers. The
descendents of these plants now cover more farmland globally than any other
crop, filling more than 500 million acres worldwide.

But this genetic triumph came with a downside: the wheat was so popular that
no one farmed anything else, leading to a very low genetic diversity and
limiting the options for plant breeders hoping to develop varieties
resistant to drought or pests. To counter this, researchers at the
International Maize and Wheat Improvement Center (CIMMYT) in Mexico have
developed a way to top up bread wheat's shallow gene pool.

Something old, something new

"We've been re-enacting in the lab what took place in nature nine thousand
years ago," says Richard Trethowan, a specialist in wheat breeding at
CIMMYT. Researchers collected wild goat grass from the Middle East and
crossed it with modern versions of emmer wheat to create bread wheat all
over again. They used chemicals in the lab to induce the rare chromosome
doubling that makes hybrids fertile.

The technique helps to introduce new genes in the same way as genetic
engineering, but without requiring the researchers to know which genes they
are on the lookout for beforehand.

The new bread wheats are not themselves suitable for farming, since most of
the new hybrids have qualities that are more advantageous to grasses than to
wheat. "They're ugly things," says Trethowan. But he adds that it is easy to
use traditional breeding methods to get the few useful genes into common
bread wheat strains.

Food for thought

The genetic input has allowed improvements to wheat's drought resistance,
for example. One wheat strain developed by the team produces between 20 and
40% more grain under dry conditions than traditional bread wheat, the
researchers told an international symposium of plant breeders in December.

CIMMYT has sent seeds produced by the research out to centres worldwide for
local testing and development, and initial results have been promising.
Farmers in Ecuador are racing to switch to one test strain that
significantly outperforms the established local wheat, Trethowan says. He
predicts that in five or six years time the new genes found by reinventing
wheat will be dramatically improving yields everywhere. "We're on the brink
of quite a big genetic revolution for wheat breeding," says Trethowan.

John Snape, a cereal geneticist at the John Innes Centre, Norwich, UK, adds
that rich countries will probably benefit from this revolution too. "It is
likely that climates in Europe will get hotter and drier thanks to climate
change, and this will put new stresses on crops," he says. One fungal wheat
disease, Fusarium head blight, has already started to plague European fields
thanks to warmer, more humid summers, he points out. "Being able to reach
out into wild species for new genes to tackle these problems is very
valuable," he says.

©2006 Nature Publishing Group

***   NOTICE:  In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, this material
is distributed, without profit, for research and educational purposes only.

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