Fast Track lobbying and diplomatic arm-twisting is just the tip of the iceberg. Other recent moves by government and industry on the biotech front include the following:

. Don't worry about the monarchs. Based on incomplete and short-term (industry-funded) studies, the global media dutifully reported in September that GE corn doesn't kill a "significant" number of monarch butterflies. The Gene Giants were shaken by studies published in 1999 showing that Bt corn pollen killed monarch butterflies. Never mind that the same indentured scientists who reached the recent "don't worry" conclusion admitted that one variety of GE corn-now to be taken off the market-does indeed kill monarchs and their relatives. Never mind that Bt corn kills beneficial soil microorganisms and beneficial insects such as the lacewing or ladybug. And never mind that all GE herbicide resistant crops, such as corn or soybeans sprayed with Roundup or other broad spectrum herbicides, kill the monarch caterpillar's sole food source, the milkweed plant. In addition, as Dr. Rebecca Goldberg, a public interest biotech expert, told the New York Times Sept. 9, the recent monarch studies are based upon short-term observations, and thus are unlikely to detect "long-term sub lethal" damage to the monarchs or their relatives.

. Over the objections of public interest groups, the US Environmental Protection Agency in October gave the green light to reregister or continue to allow the massive cultivation of Bt cotton and corn crops. EPA approval was made despite mounting evidence that Bt crops damage the environment, harm public health, and threaten the use of non-GE Bt sprays, which are essential biopesticide control agents in organic and low-chemical input agriculture.

- Genetic pollution in Mexico. Nature magazine (10/11/01) reported that Mexico's irreplaceable traditional and heirloom corn varieties are becoming contaminated with GE Bt corn. Although the Mexican government has repeatedly declared that growing GE corn in the country is prohibited, given that the nation is the world center for corn biodiversity with 25,000 varieties, scientists have recently discovered gene-altered corn growing in 15 rural communities in the southern state of Oaxaca. Mexican authorities, despite a supposed ban on growing GE corn, have allowed US grain exporters like Cargill to dump massive quantities of US corn (much of which since 1996 has been GE) on the Mexican market, supposedly only for human food and animal consumption, but which obviously now has been planted or cultivated across the country. Dr. Doreen Stabinsky from Greenpeace USA described this contamination of traditional varieties as "only the tip of the iceberg" and warned that "the international community must agree on immediate preventative measures to avoid further contamination."

- Reuters reported Sept. 19 that Monsanto and the US government, despite widespread opposition from farmers and the Canadian Wheat Board, are pushing ahead to secure approval for the commercialization of GE wheat. Over 200 Canada farm groups sent a letter to Ottawa on July 31 stating that "Overwhelming numbers of Canadian farmers and consumers, as well as customers for Canadian wheat overseas, have said they do not want GMO wheat." US wheat farmers in North Dakota and other states have expressed similar statements, warning that GMO contamination of US crops will damage the nation's billion dollar export market for wheat, much as US corn and soybean exports have already been damaged.

- Greenpeace reported on Sept. 7 that open field trials of GE rice containing human genes are now being conducted in California. Kimberly Wilson, spokeswoman for Greenpeace, stated that "There is just no excuse to allow drug producing crops to be grown out in the fields where they can contaminate the environment and the food chain." Reuters reported Sept. 4 that the Asian nation of Sri Lanka had backed off on its policy banning GE crops, under major pressure from the US and the World Trade Organization. The Bangkok Post (9/27/01) described a similar situation in Thailand, where heavy pressure has been applied on the government to suspend its ban on field-testing GE crops.

- Bt cotton, up until now illegal in India, has been found growing on 25,000 acres in the state of Gujarat. E. A. Siddiq, chairman of an Indian Department of Biotechnology committee that monitors transgenic crops, says: "This is a foretaste of a frightening situation where transgenics will be out of control and all over the place." (Nature 10/11/01)

- Ignoring the will of 90% of the population, Canadian Members of Parliament voted Oct. 17, against mandatory labeling of GE foods. (Ottawa Citizen 10/18/01)

- 800 organic soybean farmers rallied in Belem, Brazil to accuse gunmen working for large ranchers of murdering eight of their members who had spoken out strongly against GE soybeans. GE soybeans are illegal in Brazil, despite massive pressure by Monsanto, the American Embassy, and a number of large ranchers and landholders. (London Independent (10/8/01).

- Monsanto warned US corn farmers in late-October that commercial strip tests will not be able to detect at least one variety of the company's new herbicide resistant (Roundup Ready) corn. Despite last year's debacle over likely allergenic StarLink corn illegally getting into the food supply, which resulted in a massive recall of over 300 brand name food products and precipitated a steep decline in US corn export sales, Monsanto continues to push ahead for approval to plant new GE crops, even when these crops are not approved for commercialization in key overseas markets such as Europe and Japan. (Associated Press 10/24/01)

- In a briefing for journalists Oct. 4, the American Medical Association (AMA) put together a panel of industry-sponsored researchers who claimed that GE foods could be produced which enhance health, have better nutrition, alleviate world hunger, reduce allergenicity, and carry vaccines to combat disease. (Biotechnology Newswatch 10/15/01). The AMA in the past has been accused of being a cheerleader for Monsanto and the biotech industry. The British Medical Association, on the other hand, has called for a global moratorium on GE foods and crops, maintaining that they have neither been proven safe for human health nor the environment.

- The industry think tank, International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications (ISAAA), trumpeted on Oct. 18 that global acreage of GE crops continues to grow-with a projected total of 125 million acres under cultivation by the end of 2001. What the ISAAA fails to highlight however is that GE crop acreage has drastically leveled off in the last 24 months after years of doubling and redoubling. In 2000 there was only an 8% growth in GE crops. The ISAAA also failed to mention that three, and only three, countries (the US, Canada, and Argentina) continue to produce 98% of the world's Frankencrops-which still include only four major industrial crops (soybeans, corn, canola, and cotton), with one company, Monsanto, holding patents on 80% of all cultivated GE crops.

- The US Department of Agriculture has announced that it will license the notorious Terminator technology to its seed industry partner, Delta & Pine Land Co. The USDA and D&PL are co-owners of three patents on the controversial technology that genetically modifies plants to produce sterile seeds, preventing farmers from re-using harvested seed. (For details, see