Our survival, well-being, common heritage and democracy are currently under attack by the biotechnology industry. Without the knowledge or consent of the public, biotech corporations and government collaborators are making sweeping decisions about the future of life and human society on earth. We, a coalition of diverse groups and individuals, call for democratic participation in all such decisions, and for an immediate halt to the use of biotechnologies that threaten and harm the natural world, human health, and our prospects for a sustainable future.
We seek an end to the use and open-field testing of genetically engineered plants and animals because of their potential to disrupt natural ecosystems, harm human health and contaminate the world’s diverse seed supplies. We seek to transform a food system that is dominated by corporate profit margins into one that is democratic, sustainable and provides nutrition and sustenance for everyone.
We call for a healthcare system that focuses on providing healthcare to all people, rather than producing large profits for a few corporations. Funding should be restored to non-genetic medical research and withdrawn from manipulative marketing schemes and research into exotic or redundant treatments. We call for a moratorium on genetically engineered bio-pharming for the production of medicine, as well as the experimental genetic engineering of humans, misleadingly promoted as “gene therapy.”
We demand that the precautionary principle be applied to biotech medicines and treatments, to genetic engineering and to all other biotechnologies. Whenever a technological process or product raises threats of harm to the environment or human health, precautionary measures should be taken, even if cause-and-effect relationships are not yet established by science.
We believe that agricultural and medical research must be conducted with the highest level of scientific integrity and honesty. Full disclosure of all potential conflicts of interest is necessary, to guard against misleading research supported by corporations that stand to gain from particular results. We call for a stop to the revolving door between industry representatives and government regulators that has led to the inappropriate approval of numerous biotech products. We oppose the patenting of human, animal and plant genetic information.
We demand a halt to the development, production and proliferation of biological and chemical weapons of mass destruction by the US government, US corporations and all others. “Defensive” biological weapons programs nearly always have offensive applications. US development and testing of genetically engineered anthrax, germ weapons factories, and germ warfare bombs clearly violate international treaties restricting biological weapons. We call for a moratorium on all such bioweapons research, and on the actual use of chemical and biological weapons by the US as an agent of war in Iraq, Colombia and elsewhere. We demand reparations for civilian victims of past US chemical attacks in Vietnam, Iraq, Colombia and other countries, and for criminal sanctions against the government officials and corporations who authorized and carried out those attacks.
We support the farmers, farm workers, gardeners, scientists and indigenous people who are practicing and working toward sustainable and ecological systems of agriculture. We support those who work for an equitable healthcare system and to provide healthcare to people who presently cannot afford it. We support the global movement for peace, and all honest efforts to eliminate weapons of mass destruction, including biological weapons. We envision and work for a world where everyone’s basic needs are met, where wealth is equitably distributed, where racial, economic and gender justice prevail, where indigenous cultures are cherished, where restitution is made to the exploited, and natural ecosystems are fully protected. We recognize, celebrate and fight for biodiversity and diversity of cultures and knowledge. We call for true democracy, where all people participate in the decisions that affect them, and where human rights are honored everywhere on earth.
In summary, we demand:
• A moratorium on the use of genetically engineered plants and animals.
• A halt to the production, testing and use of biological and chemical weapons.
• The application of the precautionary principle to biotechnology.
• An end to the patenting of life.
We call for:
• A healthcare system that provides for everyone.
• A sustainable and just food system that provides good, affordable food to all people.
• Scientific integrity in agricultural and medical research.
We support and celebrate:
The complex, diverse and wondrous ecosystems of our planet that make life possible, as well as the gardeners, farmers, farm workers, scientists, healthcare workers, activists and indigenous people who are working for a just, democratic and sustainable future.
If you as an individual or your affinity group/organization/family want to endorse this statement of unity, please send an email to: gefreeaz(at)riseup.net with your name (or your group’s) and your contact information. The contact information won’t be posted, but your name (or your organization’s) will. The contact info will be for a BioDemocracy blast list (not a discussion list) to help us all stay in touch beyond this mobilization.