More than ten panels and workshops are designed to examine various aspects of Genetic Engineering and to invigorate us to share and create alternatives to biotechnology.
By Jesse Reynolds
Z Magazine July/August 2003
Volume 16 Number 7/8
Several hundred activists from around the world gathered in mid-May in St. Louis to strategize and exchange reports of the global opposition to genetically modified (GM) organisms. BioDevastation 7 was scheduled to coincide with the corporate-dominated World Agricultural Forum, affiliated with locally-headquartered Monsanto and hosted by Cargill—both among the strongest proponents of GM crops. Reports from activists indicated that the agricultural genetic engineering industry, on the heels of both worldwide protests and lukewarm market successes, is on the defensive and resorting to increasingly desperate tactics.
BioDevastation 7 sought to extend the critique of GM crops to include their relationships to war and environmental racism. Unexpectedly, these connections were vividly demonstrated by an unlikely ally: the St. Louis police department. Upon arriving at the BioDev venue, we were shocked to learn that nearly 30 local activists and BioDev participants had been arrested on spurious grounds.
During the Biodevastation conference in St. Louis, Missouri, activists from India, the UK and the US discussed the need for a citizens’ challenge in the dispute that the US was threatening to initiate against Europe in the WTO to end Europe’s de facto moratorium on GMOs. The full text of the Citizens’ GMO Challenge, as presented in Cancun on September 9th follows.
An expanded Global Citizens’ GMO Challenge was presented by Dr. Vandana Shiva on September 9th in Cancun, Mexico, as delegates began to gather for this year’s Ministerial conference of the WTO. The document presented in Cancun contained the signatures of hundreds of organizations and individuals from around the world. Read Dr. Shiva’s letter and the full text of this statement here.
Several people have contributed to define and help us to understand the importance of diversity in the food chain. Among them the Huicholes, Tzotziles and Mijes, Indians native to the cradle of corn in Jalisco, Chiapas and Oaxaca, Mexico. We need to be aware of this ancient wisdom and hope for a science that is as wise.
Genetic engineering in its present form cannot form part of the solution of the food crisis in Africa. Most farmers in Africa live an egalitarian life and are able to save, sell and exchange seeds freely; biotechnology will dissolve these good values and prohibit farmers from such practices.
Los Alamos: the place now infamous for cover-ups, theft, the attempted purchase of a 30,000-dollar car with taxpayer money, missing hard drives, ethnic prejudices, and destroyer of vice-presidential hopefuls. Now they want to line their pockets with a piece of the biodefense pie.
Participants in Biodevastation 7 in St. Louis drafted and ratified a Global Citizen’s Declaration for Biosafety and Food Security, in opposition to the U.S./WTO intervention against European controls on genetically modified foods. This will be expanded upon and developed into a worldwide sign-on in preparation for the September WTO Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico. Stay tuned here for ongoing developments.
U.S. and International Citizens Oppose the U.S./WTO Intervention Against European Controls on Genetically Modified Foods. A fuller draft of this declaration will be developed as a worldwide sign-on prior to the WTO Ministerial in Cancun, Mexico this coming fall.