February 26, 1999
SUBJECT: A FOCUS ON THE BATTLE TO SAVE THE ENVIRONMENT: Day of Protest - TAKE ACTION
WITH LOCAL GROUPS -- JUNE 18TH, 1999! + AGAINST THE GRAIN; BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE
CORPORATE TAKEOVER OF YOUR FOOD + Guardian menu on genetically manipulated foods
+ 9 GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOOD SOURCES IN AMERICA + STOP DANGEROUS PLANT-CASTRATING "TERMINATOR TECHNOLOGY"
Check also this other email entitled Chernobyl of Biotech on this subject.
Now let's rattle the cage a bit so as to be a stone in the shoe of the dominant culture...
I've put together a small number of highly critical information on current battles
to stop the spread of genetically engineered (GE) food, protect our environment and
the health of almost every citizen of the Earth.
Please take a few minutes to review this material and see what attracts you and what
you would like to support and network widely.
There is no time like NOW to take action!
Jean Hudon Earth Rainbow Network Coordinator http://www.cybernaute.com/earthconcert2000
INFORMATION AS A PUBLIC SERVICE
RECOMMENDED WEBSITE ON GE ISSUE: Stop Genetic Food Experiments - The Friends of the
Earth Campaign http://www.foe.co.uk/camps/foodbio/genepress.html
CHECK ALSO THIS MOST COMPREHENSIVE AND EXCELLENT LINK PAGE: http://www.interalpha.net/customer/pvigay/Links.html
- - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - - -
Day of Protest - TAKE ACTION WITH LOCAL GROUPS -- JUNE 18TH, 1999!
**please circulate widely**
A PROPOSAL FOR: A day of protest, action, and carnival in financial centres across
the globe on 18th June 1999.
...Wherever there is oppression there is resistance.....
A proposal has been made by various groups and movements of activists from England
to hold an international day of action aimed at the heart of the global economy:
the financial centres, banking districts and multinational corporation power bases.
The suggested date is the 18th June 1999. Movements involved include Reclaim the Streets (RTS,
a popular movement seeking the liberation of city streets and public spaces using
direct action, and now Western European Conveners of Peoples' Global Action Against
'Free' Trade and the World Trade Organisation), and London Greenpeace (a group independent
of Greenpeace International, recently involved in a large successful battle with
McDonald's). This proposal is made in the spirit of strengthening our international
networks and follows from the success of co-ordinated global action during May 16-20th
1998. These days saw actions, protests and demonstrations on all continents, for
example over 30 'Reclaim the Streets parties' in over 20 countries - a combination
of illegal carnival, protest and direct action, catalysed by RTS in London. In Brasilia 50,000
unemployed and landless peasants were on the streets, while in Hyderabad, India,
200,000 were protesting. These events coincided with the 'G8' meeting in Birmingham,
Great Britain, and the third ministerial meeting of the World Trade Organisation in Geneva,
Switzerland. The 'G8' consists of the leaders of the eight most industrialised countries
and exists solely to promote economic globalisation, 'free' trade and corporate dominance.
Next year between the 18th-20th June the G8 will meet in Koln, Germany. The idea is
to take action around the globe to coincide with this meeting. This also links with
the proposed tour of Indian farmers/activists in Europe to campaign against the World
Trade Organisation and multinational corporations. The proposal is to encourage as many
movements and groups as possible to organise their own autonomous protests or actions,
on the same day (June 18th), in the same geographical locations (financial/corporate/banking/business districts) around the world. Events could take place at relevant
sites, e.g. multinational company offices, local banks, stock exchanges. Each event
would be organised autonomously and co-ordinated in each city or financial district
by a variety of movements and groups. It is hoped that a whole range of different groups
will take part, including workers, peasants, indigenous peoples, women, students,
the landless, environmentalists, unwaged/unemployed and others....everyone who recognises that the global capitalist system, based on the exploitation of people and the planet
for the profit of a few, is at the root of our social and ecological troubles.
The proposal has already been discussed by movements and groups on all continents,
for example the Karnataka State Farmers (KRRS, India), the Rainbow Keepers (ecologists
from ex-USSR states), Processo de Communidades Negras (Colombian Black communities
movement), Friends of the Earth, Uruguay (Environmentalists), CTERA (Argentinean teachers
Union), Reclaim the Streets (New York, USA; Prague, Czech Republic; Sydney, Australia),
COMUTRAS (textile workers union, El Salvador), peasant movements in Mozambique and many more. Plans are already well advanced in London, and Koln, Germany. Ideas are
flowing and enthusiasm is growing. We'd very much like to hear what you think. There
is an email discussion list. To subscribe, send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org with
the following request:
OUR RESISTANCE WILL BE AS TRANSNATIONAL AS CAPITAL!
For more information on Peoples' Global Action visit http://www.agp.org for more information
on Reclaim the Streets visit http://www.gn.apc.org/rts/ For more information on London
Greenpeace / McLibel visit http://www.mcspotlight.org June 18th web-site: http://www.gn.apc.org/june18
PLEASE PASS THIS PROPOSAL ON TO OTHERS. Peoples' Global Action against 'Free' Trade
and the WTO (PGA) email@example.com
THE ELITE'S PLOY TO CREATE A WORLD GOVERNMENT CANDIDLY ADMITTED TO BY DAVID ROCKEFELLER
"We are grateful to The Washington Post, The New York Times, Time Magazine and other
great publications whose directors have attended our meetings and respected their
promises of discretion for almost forty years. It would have been impossible for
us to develop our plan for the world if we had been subject to the bright lights of publicity
during those years. But, the world is now more sophisticated and prepared to march
towards a world government. The supranational sovereignty of an intellectual elite
and world bankers is surely preferable to the national auto determination practiced in
David Rockefeller, founder of the Trilateral Commission, in an address before that
organization in June of 1991
AND A RECENT COMMENT ON OUR ONGOING CAMPAIGN TO EXPOSE THE ELITE FOR WHAT IT IS:
From: "Carol Guilford" <Carolg8@worldnet.att.net> Subject: RE: the elite Date: Wed,
24 Feb 1999
The 'elite' are an Ivy League, corporate, organized crime syndicate. If anyone thinks
this is not true, let them try to get a true piece about aspartame of MSG or why
the Gulf War was fought into the Press or other mainstream medias.
Thanks again for being a lotus flower blooming in the mud.
NOTE WE CIRCULATED HOT INFORMATION ON ASPARTAME RECENTLY - IT IS POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE.
AND HERE IS A MOST EXCELLENT REVIEW OF A NEW BOOK EXPOSING THE PERILS OF GENETIC MANIPULATIONS
OF OUR GLOBAL FOOD SUPPLY - HIGHLY RECOMMENDED!!
Yet while genetically manipulated plants are hotly debated in England (see other article
after this one), the US and Canadian media are utterly silent on the most dangerous
take over of the world's food supply by Monsanto, Dow, DuPont and Novartis.
HEALTH WEEKLY #637
---February 11, 1999---
HEADLINES: AGAINST THE GRAIN
Environmental Research Foundation
P.O. Box 5036, Annapolis, MD 21403
Fax (410) 263-8944; E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org
All back issues are available by E-mail: send E-mail to
email@example.com with the single word HELP in the message.
Back issues are also available from http://www.rachel.org.
To start your own free subscription, send E-mail to
firstname.lastname@example.org with the words
SUBSCRIBE RACHEL-WEEKLY YOUR NAME in the message
AGAINST THE GRAIN
A new book by Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, AGAINST THE GRAIN, makes it clear that
genetic engineering is revolutionizing U.S. agriculture almost overnight.
In 1997, 15% of the U.S. soybean crop was grown from genetically engineered seed.
By next year, if Monsanto Corporation's timetable unfolds on schedule, 100% of the
U.S. soybean crop (60 million acres) will be genetically engineered.[1,pg.5] The
same revolution is occurring, at the same pace, in cotton. Corn, potatoes, tomatoes and other
food crops are lagging slightly behind but, compared to traditional rates of change
in farming, they are being deployed into the global ecosystem at blinding speed.
The mass media have largely maintained silence about the genetic engineering revolution
in agriculture, and government regulators have imposed no labeling requirements,
so the public has little or no knowledge that genetically altered foods are already
being sold in grocery stores everywhere, and that soon few traditional forms of food
may remain on the shelves.
Genetic engineering is the process whereby genes of one species are implanted in another
species, to give new traits to the recipient. Traditionally the movement of genes
has only been possible between closely-related species. Under the natural order established by the Creator, there was no way dog genes could get into cats. Now, however,
genetic engineering allows scientists to play God, removing genes from a trout or
a mosquito and implanting them in a tomato, for better or for worse.
Three federal agencies regulate genetically-engineered crops and foods -- the U.S.
Department of Agriculture (USDA), the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and
the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The heads of all three agencies are
on record with speeches that make them sound remarkably like cheerleaders for genetic engineering,
rather than impartial judges of a novel and powerful new technology, and all three
agencies have set policies that:
** No public records need be kept of which farms are using genetically-engineered
** Companies that buy from farmers and sell to food manufacturers and grocery chains
do not need to keep genetically-engineered crops separate from traditional crops,
so purchasers have no way to avoid purchasing genetically engineered foods;
** No one needs to label any crops, or any food products, with information about their
genetically engineered origins, so consumers have no way to exercise informed choice
in the grocery store. In the U.S., every food carries a label listing its important
ingredients, with the remarkable exception of genetically engineered foods.
These policies have two main effects:
(1) they have kept the public in the dark about the rapid spread of genetically engineered
foods onto the family dinner table, and
(2) they will prevent epidemiologists from being able to trace health effects, should
any appear, because no one will know who has been exposed to novel gene products
and who has not.
Today Pillsbury food products are made from genetically-engineered crops. Other foods
that are now genetically engineered include Crisco; Kraft salad dressings; Nestle's
chocolate; Green Giant harvest burgers; Parkay margarine; Isomil and ProSobee infant
formulas; and Wesson vegetable oils. Fritos, Doritos, Tostitos and Ruffles Chips --
and french fried potatoes sold by McDonald's -- are genetically engineered.[1,pg.92]
By next year, if Monsanto's plans develop on schedule -- and there is no reason to
think they won't -- 100% of the U.S. soybean crop will be genetically engineered.
Eighty percent of all the vegetable oils in American foods are derived from soy beans,
so most foods that contain vegetable oils will contain genetically engineered components
by next year or the year after.[1,pg.52]
It is safe to say that never before in the history of the world has such a rapid and
large-scale revolution occurred in a nation's food supply. And not just the U.S.
is targeted for change. The genetic engineering companies (all of whom used to be
chemical companies) -- Dow, DuPont, Novartis, and preeminently, Monsanto -- are aggressively
promoting their genetically engineered seeds in Europe, Brazil, Argentina, Mexico,
India, China and elsewhere. Huge opposition has developed to Monsanto's technology
everywhere it has been introduced outside the United States. Only in the U.S. has the "agbiotech"
revolution been greeted with a dazed silence.
Monsanto -- the clear leader in genetically engineered crops -- argues that genetic
engineering is necessary (nay, ESSENTIAL) if the world's food supply is to keep up
with human population growth. Without genetic engineering, billions will starve,
Monsanto says. However, neither Monsanto nor any of the other genetic engineering companies
appears to be developing genetically engineered crops that might solve global food
shortages. Quite the opposite.
If genetically engineered crops were aimed at feeding the hungry, then Monsanto and
the others would be developing seeds with certain predictable characteristics: (a)
ability to grow on substandard or marginal soils; (b) plants able to produce more
high-quality protein, with increased per-acre yield, without increasing the need for expensive
machinery, chemicals, fertilizers, or water; (c) they would aim to favor small farms
over larger farms; (d) the seeds would be cheap and freely available without restrictive licensing; and (e) they would be for crops that feed people, not meat animals.
None of the genetically engineered crops now available, or in development (to the
extent that these have been announced) has any of these desirable characteristics.
Quite the opposite. The new genetically engineered seeds require high-quality soils,
enormous investment in machinery, and increased use of chemicals. There is evidence that
their per-acre yields are about 10% lower than traditional varieties (at least in
the case of soybeans),[1,pg.84] and they produce crops largely intended as feed for
meat animals, not to provide protein for people. The genetic engineering revolution has nothing
to do with feeding the world's hungry.
The plain fact is that fully two-thirds of the genetically engineered crops now available,
or in development, are designed specifically to increase the sale of pesticides produced
by the companies that are selling the genetically engineered seeds.[1,pg.55] For example, Monsanto is selling a line of "Roundup Ready" products that has been
genetically engineered to withstand heavy doses of Monsanto's all-time top money-making
herbicide, Roundup (glyphosate). A Roundup Ready crop of soybeans can withstand a
torrent of Roundup that kills any weeds competing with the crop. The farmer gains a $20
per acre cost-saving (compared to older techniques that relied on lesser quantities
of more expensive chemicals), but the ecosystem receives much more Roundup than formerly. To make Roundup Ready technology legal, EPA had to accommodate Monsanto by tripling
the allowable residues of Roundup that can remain on the crop.[1,pg.75] Monsanto's
patent on Roundup runs out in the year 2000, but any farmer who adopts Roundup Ready
seeds must agree to buy only Monsanto's brand of Roundup herbicide. Thus Monsanto's
patent monopoly on Roundup is effectively extended into the foreseeable future --
a shrewd business maneuver if there ever was one. However, this should not be confused
with feeding the world's hungry. It is selling more of Monsanto's chemicals and filling
the corporate coffers, which is what it was intended to do. "Feeding the hungry"
is a sales gimmick, not a reality.
Monsanto's other major line of genetically engineered crops contains the gene from
a natural pesticide called Bt. Bt is a naturally-occurring soil organism that kills
many kinds of caterpillars that like to eat the leaves of crops. Bt is the pesticide
of choice in low-chemical-use farming, IPM [integrated pest management] and organic farming.
Farmers who try to minimize their use of synthetic chemical pesticides rely on an
occasional dusting with Bt to prevent a crop from being overrun with leaf-eating
caterpillars. To them, Bt is a God-send, a miracle of nature.
Monsanto has taken the Bt gene and engineered it into cotton, corn and potatoes. Every
cell of every plant contains the Bt gene and thus produces the Bt toxin. It is like
dusting the crop heavily with Bt, day after day after day. The result is entirely
predictable, and not in dispute. When insect pests eat any part of these crops, the only
insects that will survive are those that are (a) resistant to the Bt toxin, or (b)
change their diet to prefer other plants to eat, thus disrupting the local ecosystem
and perhaps harming a neighboring farmer's crops.
According to Dow Chemical scientists who are marketing their own line of Bt-containing
crops, within 10 years Bt will have lost its usefulness because so many insects will
have developed resistance to its toxin.[1,pg.70] Thus Monsanto and Dow are profiting bountifully in the short term, while destroying the usefulness of the one natural
pesticide that undergirds the low-pesticide approach of IPM and organic farming.
It is another brilliant -- if utterly ruthless and antisocial -- Monsanto business
Ultimately, for sustainability and long-term maximum yield, agricultural ecosystems
must become diversified once again. This is the key idea underlying organic farming.
Monoculture cropping -- growing acre upon acre of the same crop -- is the antithesis
of sustainability because monocultures are fragile and unstable, subject to insect swarms,
drought, and blight. Monocultures can only be sustained by intensive, expensive inputs
of water, energy, chemicals, and machinery. Slowly over the past two decades, the movement toward IPM and organic farming has begun to take hold in this country --
despite opposition from the federal government, from the chemical companies, from
the banks that make farm loans, and from the corporations that sell insurance. Now
comes the genetic engineering revolution, which is dragging U.S. agriculture back down the
old path toward vast monocultures, heavy reliance on machinery, energy, water, and
chemicals, all of which favors the huge farm over the small family operation. It
is precisely the wrong direction to be taking agricultural technology in the late 20th century,
if the goals are long-term maximum yield, food security, and sustainability.
It is a wrong direction for another reason as well.
When 100% of the soybeans in the U.S. are grown from Roundup Ready seed -- next year
-- then 100% of America's soybean farmers will be dependent upon a single supplier
for all their seed and the chemicals needed to allow those seeds to thrive. In sum,
Monsanto will have achieved a monopoly on a fundamental food crop. It is clear that Monsanto's
goal is a similar monopoly on every major food crop here and abroad. If something
doesn't change soon, it is safe to predict that a small number of "life science"
corporations (as they like to call themselves) -- the majority of them American and
the remainder European -- will have a monopoly on the seed needed to raise all of
the world's major food crops. Then the hungry, like the well-fed, will have to pay
the corporate owners of this new technology for permission to eat.
[To be continued.]
 Marc Lappe and Britt Bailey, AGAINST THE GRAIN; BIOTECHNOLOGY AND THE CORPORATE
TAKEOVER OF YOUR FOOD [ISBN 1567511503] (Monroe, Maine: Common Courage Press, 1998).
Available from Common Courage Press, P.O. Box 207, Monroe, ME 04951. Tel. (207) 525-3068.
THANKS TO THE TERRIBLE ECONOMIC COST OF THE MAD COW DISEASE, THE BRITONS HAVE AWAKENED
EARLIER THAN EVERYONE ELSE TO THE THREAT POSED BY WHAT THEY CALL "FRANKENFOOD"...
Date: Sat, 20 Feb 1999
From: Mark Graffis <email@example.com>
Subject: Guardian menu on genetically manipulated foods (fwd)
In addition to the item below, the Guardian publishes links as follows:
a) Dr Puzstai's report in full http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/gmo/index.html
b) The Audit Committee was established by the Director of the Rowett
Research Institute in August 1998 to examine this report URL: http://www.rri.sari.ac.uk/gmo/gmaudit7.htm
c) UK Department of the Environment, Transport and the Regions - ACRE URL: http://www.environment.detr.gov.uk/acre/wildlife/index.htm
(This is the delayed brit government report about the effect of GM agriculture on
The next big thing
By George Monbiot Guardian (London)
Friday February 19, 1999
Like a family in the midst of a massive domestic row, the participants in the great
genetic war are already have trouble recalling how it began.
Dr Pusztai's potatoes have been all but forgotten, while the underlying tensions,
ever present, but seldom acknowledged, have burst out into the open. At last, Blair's
sordid affair with the corporate seductress and the terrible mess she has made in
the garden are being discussed.
The row is threatening to split the Labour household apart. Jack Cunningham has been
roaring up and down the stairs telling everyone else to shut up. Michael Meacher,
having hidden in the potting shed, has run back indoors with the news that he's seen
something nasty in the vegetable patch.
While Dr Cunningham continues to insist that the new plants carry no conceivable risks,
Mr Meacher has hinted at the need to delay the introduction of commercial planting
of GM crops in Britain. His department told journalists that there will probably
be no approvals for full-scale cultivation before 2001. The neighbours are beginning to
weigh in on his side.
The Government's chief scientist, Sir Robert May, has expressed grave concerns about
the damage the new crops might do to wildlife - herbicide-resistant crops allow farmers
to eliminate almost all other species from their fields. The environment department has been forced to publish a delayed report in which these warnings are echoed. On
Wednesday, the biotechnology company Monsanto was fined for failing to isolate one
of its test crops from the wider environment.
And Middle England has begun to realise that when Mr Blair is faced with a conflict
between its needs and those of his other constituency, big business, he sides with
If Tony Blair begins, at last, to listen to Mr Meacher's anxieties, he will rapidly
find that he runs into a new problem: that whether or not it wants to act, the Government
might be unable to do so. Both Tory and Labour governments have been so determined to facilitate 'free trade' that they have progressively signed away their right to
If the Government seeks to prevent corporations from forcing us to grow and eat their
crops, the corporations will appeal, first to the European Union, then to the World
Trade Organisation. And they will win, because the governments of the First World
have already determined that, in cases like this, private profit outweighs public protection.
Food scares happen in Britain because people feel they have no control over what they
eat. Our decisions are made for us by invisible and unaccountable corporations. We
are just about to discover precisely how powerless we are.
In just under three months, the media will stumble across another issue which it has
managed to ignore for years. This one is even scarier. Monsanto has developed an
injectable growth hormone which increases the production of cow's milk. Some scientists
argue that it also increases the levels of something called Insulin Growth Factor 1.
IGF-1 can cross the digestive tract intact from milk to the bloodstream of consumers.
People with elevated IGF-1 levels are at greater risk from breast and prostate cancer.
The EU banned milk and beef from cattle treated with this hormone. On behalf of Monsanto,
the US government appealed to the World Trade Organisation. The WTO has given Europe
until May 13 to start importing hormone-treated beef and milk. Blair will wriggle, Cunningham will roar, but, short of provoking a trade war, they can do nothing whatever
to protect us.
The European elections will be fought, four weeks later, in the midst of this crisis.
The Greens could win even more votes than they did in 1989 and this time they will
carry seats. Labour's backbench guerillas will launch a frontal attack. And Tony
Blair, lost as he always is when the politics of presentation yield to the politics of substance,
will wonder how on earth so vigorous a vine grew from a humble potato.
SOME TIME AGO WE ALSO RECEIVED THIS RELATED INFORMATION REGARDING 9 GENETICALLY ENGINEERED
FOOD SOURCES IN AMERICA:
From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Laura Ticciati, Mothers for Natural Law)
Thank you for your message. The 6o-70% figure comes from the following:
Right now 9 major food sources have been genetically engineered: soy, corn, canola,
cotton, potatoes, tomatoes, squash, papaya, rBGH dairy products. From these come
all sorts of processed derivatives, e.g., soy oil, corn starch, corn syrup, canola
oil, lecithin, vitamin E, etc. Along with these major food sources we also have another
category of GE ingredients: additives and processing agents. Things like enzymes
used in the manufacturer of cheese, sugar, vitamins,juices, natural flavors, etc.
Now when you add all of these together you find that the majority of the foods in
our stores either come from or contain some GE component. Unfortunately, because
none of them are labeled, and because the GE soy and corn crops, for exampale are
not segregated from the non-GE ones, when the processors go to make corn syrup, both the GE
and non-GE corn, are mixed together and the entire batch is thus effected.
It's a very shocking situation. The lack of accurate labeling makes it impossible
to tell what foods contain GE and what foods don't. The lack of segregation at the
processing stage makes it necessary to suspect any of the potential ingredients.
At Mothers for Natural Law we are working very closeley with the natural products industry
to attempt to remove the GE ingredients and replace them with non-GE ones. On our
web site we have created a database of non-GE suppliers from all over the world to
help manufacturers find sources of non-GE ingredients.
I hope this answers your question.
Thank you for the email list. We will use it right away!
Please feel free to contact us again. If you would like to receive hard copies of
information and the petition please send us your regular mailing address and we will
send you some material this week.
Laura Ticciati Mothers for Natural Law
From: Erin Martin <email@example.com>
Subject: An important site to pass on
I wanted to pass on this link for you to circulate (please!)
Monsanto Corp, through a subsidiary, has developed a new technology that would stop
farmers from being able to save their own seed for replanting. This was developed
in collaboration with the US Dept. Of Agriculture.
This link is a protest site. It is multinational. And we all need to participate and
pass on the information.
Monsanto is a highly enviromentally destructive force / company. A few years ago they
released an "enviromentally sound" herbicide. The only plant that it did not kill
was the corn biogenetically engineered to withstand it. And one exposure was enough
to cause cancer. (I have never known a farmer who was willing to wear full body protection
and a respirator!) Now they're at it again!
My love and respect to you and those who later read this,
SOMEONE ELSE ALSO SENT ME MATERIAL ON THE SAME SUBJECT...
STOP DANGEROUS PLANT-CASTRATING "TERMINATOR TECHNOLOGY"
To whom it should concern:
Hi. My name is Bob Mueller. I'm not a paid activist, nor am I really an activist at all, aside from the fact that I've been jostled out of complacency enough to write this alert. I am, however, an ordinary citizen who is quite unsettled by one specific issue: U.S. Patent 5,723,765, entitled "Control of Plant Gene Expression". The patent covers technology referred to as a plant "Technology Protection System" (TPS), otherwise known as Terminator Technology.
My goal is simple: to share my concern with you, in the hope that you will be alarmed enough to more completely educate yourself regarding this matter. For if I can accomplish this, I am convinced, you will surely ACT.
The USDA, spending public money, has developed a technology whereby seeds can be stripped of their ability to propagate. They are in the process of patenting the process worldwide on behalf of Monsanto, through a subsidiary (Delta and Pine Land Company).
The driving force behind the Terminator technology is the ability for Monsanto, and Delta and Pine Land Co., to protect their "inventions" from being "duplicated" unlawfully, which, granted, sounds appropriate and fair.
The result, however, will be to replace natural crops worldwide, with genetically enhanced, superior, high yield crops. Superior, that is, except for the fact that they can no longer reproduce themselves, effectively forcing farmers worldwide to buy their seeds annually from Monsanto...the world's only supplier.
The patent applies to ALL PLANTS.
This is the ultimate in Capitalism. We're going to remove nature's ability to propagate herself, so we can charge money for that privilege. However, I only wish this were the full extent of the issue.
The part that pushes my button; the part that really unnerves me, is the probability that, for all their careful planning, this genetically altered organism will share its suicidal genes with OTHER plant species.
Most children know about the "birds and the bees" ... Indeed, Martha L. Crouch, Associate Professor of Biology at Indiana University, has published a series of papers specifying how the resulting castrated plants WILL be able to sterilize nearby normal species, via the spread of Terminator pollen. Not only that, but how these plants will be able to actually *pass* the toxin gene to other plant species through cross-pollination: when farmers plant the Terminator seeds, the seeds already will have been treated with tetracycline, and thus the recombinase will have acted, and the toxin coding sequence will be next to the seed-specific promoter, and will be ready to act when the end of seed development comes around. The seeds will grow into plants, and make pollen. Every pollen grain will carry a ready-to-act toxin gene. If the Terminator crop is next to a field planted in a normal variety, and pollen is taken by insects or the wind to that field, any eggs fertilized by the Terminator pollen will now have one toxin gene. It will be activated late in that seed's development, and the seed will die. However, it is unlikely that the person growing the normal variety will be able to tell, because the seed will probably look normal. Only when that seed is planted, and doesn't germinate, will the change become apparent. In most cases, the toxin gene will not be passed on any further, because dead plants don't reproduce. However, under certain conditions I will discuss later, it is possible for the toxin gene to be inherited.
Yet this "product" has been virtually assured of being passed as safe, in the USDA's own words: "These approvals are expected because there appear to be no crop or food safety risks to the new technology. There also appear to be no environmental risks."
Now why would the USDA come to this conclusion on a technology that has only been tested by those having a vested interest in its commercial success?
Could it be because it's worth an estimated 1.5 billion dollars a year in licensing fees alone, and the USDA is LICENSING the technology to Monsanto?
Awesome economics on a global scale. Patent has been applied for in 87 countries.
Please, please, go to the following web page, and read the data... both sides of the story. There are many more potential problems with this technology than I have outlined here. Follow the links. Assure yourself that you are, indeed, awake, for you may be tempted to think this is merely a bad dream -- or a science-fiction story.
If you are as affected by the nature of this venture as I was, at the very least, please use the RAFI site to model a letter of protest that will be sent simultaneously to the Secretary of the US Department of Agriculture, the Administrator of the USDA Agricultural Research Service, the Chair of the US House of Representatives Agriculture Committee, and the Chair of the US Senate Agriculture Committee.
This technology has NOT yet been commercialized. We are, in fact, in the uncommon position of being able to say no before it becomes widespread -- pun intended.
I hope I have convinced you to examine this issue.
As a concerned individual, I thank you for your time.
Bob Mueller 10/18/98 firstname.lastname@example.org
CHECK ALSO THIS EXCELLENT SITE:
Adbusters Information http://www.adbusters.org/information/foundation.html on Adbusters
magazine, the Adbusters website, and the Powershift Advocacy Agency.
Paradigm Shift: A Social Transformation occurring when enough people are struck by
the same idea.
The Media Foundation
The mission of our non-profit society is to redirect our existing commercial media
culture towards ecological and social awareness. We feel that our planet cannot survive
the existing onslaught of mass media that constantly urges us to consume ever more.
We want to create a new media culture, one that does not have commercialism as its
heart and soul. To this end, the Media Foundation has created Adbusters magazine,
the Adbusters website, and the Powershift Advocacy Agency.
The Media Foundation was co-founded in 1989 by its current editor, Kalle Lasn, after
he was "shown the door" at the Canadian Broadcasting Corporation (CBC) television
network when he tried to purchase airtime for an "uncommercial" he had produced with
some filmmaker friends. Their ad was in response to a TV campaign that promoted "tree
farms", paid for by the logging industry. The spot was refused airtime, and Kalle's
fight for "access to the airwaves" caused a media blitz which resulted in the CBC
pulling the campaign off the air. It also sparked an activist fire, and Adbusters Magazine,
No. 1, was published later that year.
Adbusters' various campaigns - most notably Buy Nothing Day and TV Turnoff Week -
have been reported internationally and have influenced policy at some of North America's
largest corporations, including the CBC, CNN and ABC.
Published out of Vancouver, British Columbia, Canada, Adbusters Magazine deals with
the erosion of our physical and cultural environment by commercial forces. Adbusters
asks why we buy the things we buy - and whether we really need them, or if we've
been hoodwinked by corporate ad campaigns.
Ultimately, Adbusters is an ecological magazine, dedicated to examining the relationship
between human beings and their physical and mental environment. We want to create
a sustainable future; a world in which the economy and ecology aren't in constant
competition, but rather, in balance. We want folks to get mad when they're fed corporate
disinformation, witness injustices in the global economy, or see industry polluting
both our physical and mental commons. To this end, we hope people will make the leap
spectator to participant.
Adbusters continues to baffle industry observers by surviving the harsh environment
of the North American newsstand with absolutely no advertising revenue - a feat made
possible by 40,000 subscribers and supporters in 20 countries, including professors
and students, activists and politicians, environmentalists and media professionals, kids
who love our parodies of real ad campaigns like Nike and Calvin Klein, parents who
about their children logging four hours a day in front of the TV, and even the admakers
Adbusters' work has been embraced by global organizations such as Friends of the Earth
and Greenpeace, has been featured on MTV and PBS, and in the Wall Street Journal
and Wired. Our articles, ad parodies and artwork are regularly reprinted in hundreds
of magazines, newspapers and academic journals around the world. Adbusters is the only
magazine in North America that is also active in the production of TV ads (which
have aired on CNN and CBC) for a variety of causes. In 1997, Adbusters won its third
Utne Reader Award for General Excellence, and was also part of a United Nations forum on
As we approach our 10th Anniversary, we will continue our commitment to activism by
promoting media literacy, fostering sustainable development, and helping people move
one step closer to jamming our planetary destiny back into gear.
Powershift Advocacy Agency
Powershift is a group of social marketers and media activists who are dedicated to
delivering the messages our world needs to hear. 30-second spots and print ads have
run in media around the world, from our own Adbusters magazine to the Utne Reader,
and from CNN to the BBC.
If you're an advocacy group planning to push your message into mainstream consciousness,
consider launching your campaign with us - our portfolio is filled with potent brainstorms
that have caused explosive popular growth.
Culture Jammer's Headquarters
This site was designed to help you turn your drab numbercruncher into the most versatile
activist tool ever reckoned with - your sling in the fight against a corporate Goliath.
Culture jammers have to fully understand the resources they have, and work without fear of the many tools of communication. We hope this site will continue to serve
this need, and challenge our audience to take the most important step of all - that
from thought to action.
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