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BIOJUSTICE INTERNATIONAL CALL TO ACTION

by Biojustice 2001 Tuesday, Jun. 05, 2001 at 3:23 AM
biojustice2001@riseup.net

CALL TO ACTION! International Days of Action against the Biotechnology Industry June 24-25th, 2001 EVERYWHERE! RESIST THE GENE GIANTS

-----------------------------------------------------------------

*** CALL TO ACTION! ***

International Days of Action against the Biotechnology Industry

June 24-25th, 2001, EVERYWHERE

-----------------------------------------------------------------

Join thousands of activists, farmers, scientists, and others from around the

world in opposing the biotechnology industry!

On June 24th and 25th, 2001 the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)

convention in San Diego, will open its doors to thousands of executives,

lawyers, venture capitalists, and corporate scientists working to further

their agenda of a patented and commodified future.

Outside the convention hall and all over San Diego, thousands of people will

be gathering for Beyond Biodevastation 2001/BIOJUSTICE! This multi-day

event will feature teach-ins, demonstrations, and direct actions to confront

and shed light on the threats to our health, environment, farms and society

posed by genetic engineering.

We are calling for people to come to San Diego with ideas for affinity

group-based actions, and for simultaneous solidarity actions in communities

around the world to stop the commodification of life, the destruction of

food systems, the theft of genetic information and the loss of community

power.

The possibilities are endless. From teach-ins to voluntary GE food labeling

brigades, from demonstrations against the gene giants to organic potlucks,

from direct actions to leafleting, we are calling for global grassroots

organizing against the biotechnology industry.

Since 1987, corporate gene giants have been contaminating the world's food

supply with dangerous and largely untested products of genetic engineering.

Many of these same companies are also major players in the global

pharmaceutical industry, which has made health care unaffordable for growing

numbers of people around the world, while channeling research funds toward

expensive genetic approaches to health and disease at the expense of more

fundamental medical and health needs. These companies have also told the

world that genetic engineering will reduce pesticide use, as they engineer

their crops to tolerate more herbicides.

Despite wide spread opposition to genetically engineered food and demands

for affordable health care, the biotechnology industry is continuing along a

path of social and environmental destruction. Corporations and governments

are leading the agenda to globalize patent laws that privatize life as

intellectual property rights, encourage greed and sell out science to the

profit motive.

To stop the biotechnology industry, to bring power to our communities, to

create sustainable food systems, to create universal health care, we call

communities, individuals, and organizations to TAKE ACTION!

For more information and updates on the days of action, see:

http://www.biodev.org

The Organizers of Biojustice 2001

The Institute for Social Ecology Biotechnology Project

North East Resistance Against Genetic Engineering - neRAGE.org

-------------------------------------------------------

Background on the Gene Giants:

Monsanto: Today a much smaller company than before, as a result of a merger

with Pharmacia, and the subsequent spin-off of only the agriculture, seed

and pesticide divisions under the Monsanto name. Still, Monsanto controls

85% of all genetically engineered germplasm, and is using its ownership of

many of the world's most important commercial seed companies to saturate the

commercial seed supply with genetically engineered varieties.

Aventis: Formed two years ago by the merger of the German chemical giant

Hoechst and the French Rhone Poulenc, Aventis is best known for the

"Starlink" variety of pesticidal GE corn. This variety is not approved for

human consumption and is considered likely to cause severe allergic

reactions in some people. Still, it has been found in hundreds of

brand-name processed foods, and has thoroughly contaminated the US supply of

corn seed. Aventis also specializes in crops resistant to glufosinate

herbicides.

Syngenta: Formed within the past year, when Novartis and Astra-Zeneca

decided to spin off many of their agricultural divisions to protect the

market value of their pharmaceutical divisions, Syngenta describes itself as

"the world's leading agribusiness company." Syngenta markets numerous

varieties of herbicide-tolerant and pesticidal GE crops.

DuPont: In 1999, DuPont Chemical completed its purchase of Pioneer Hi-Bred,

the world's largest seed company. Pioneer aggressively markets numerous GE

varieties from all of the largest biotechnology companies.

Novartis: Since its founding in 1996, from the merger of Swiss chemical

giants Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, Novartis has been one of the world's most

aggressive marketers of pesticidal Bt crops, featuring an activated toxin

spliced from Bt bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Novartis has also been

heavily involved in xenotransplantation research, seeking to genetically

engineer animals to provide organs for human transplants; this line of

research is considered extremely abusive to animals and, if it ever

succeeds, it could introduce lethal animal viruses into the human

population.

Astra-Zeneca: Parent company Zeneca in the UK was responsible for one of

the first field trials of genetically engineered trees; Astra-Zeneca is

reportedly continuing to develop Terminator seed technologies, despite a

public pledge to discontinue this research.

Dow Chemical: Dow's involvement in biotechnology includes its ownership of

the San Diego-based Mycogen, which recently absorbed Cargill's seed

division. Dow is collaborating with San Diego-based EPICyte to produce

human antibodies in genetically engineered plants.

Cargill: The world's largest and most vertically integrated wholesale grain

trader. Its joint venture with Monsanto specializes in genetically

engineered animal feeds. "Cargill has used its extreme market power to

ensure that the market is GM, against consumer opinion," states the UK's

Corporate Watch.

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