GENTECH archive 8.96-97

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From:	alliance@MR.Net (Ronnie Cummins)
To:	purefood@aol.com
Date: 97-01-19 10:35:43 EST



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Dear NGO,

On behalf of the Foundation on Economic Trends and the Pure Food Campaign
we would like to thank you for signing on to the petition against
Monsanto's genetically engineered "Roundup Ready" soybeans. Over 300
consumer, health, trade, environmental, and farm organizations from 48
nations joined with you in signing this joint declaration

With your support we were able to launch successfully on October 7 our
formal USA boycott of RRS soybeans (and Ciba-Geigy's gene-spliced
"Maximizer" corn) with well-publicized press conferences and protests in
Washington, D.C., Chicago, Illinois, and Minneapolis, Minnesota. These
events generated major coverage in the US media (CNN, CNBC, Washington
Post, Chicago Tribune) as well as coverage abroad (Canada, U.K., Germany,
Japan) and have energized consumer and farm activists to advance forward in
what will undoubtedly be a protracted and difficult battle.

Because of global opposition to Monsanto's RRS soybeans, significant
economic impacts are already being felt in the US. A growing number of
grain dealers have already broken ranks with the grain cartels and are
filling orders for certified non-genetically engineered soybeans at the
request of major European and US buyers. On December 5, the first shipload
of these GMO-free soybeans arrived in the Belgian port of Antwerp, destined
for delivery to customers in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Sweden.
Several more shiploads are already in route. Because of strong opposition
by consumers and the European business sector association, Eurocommerce, in
the first four weeks of the boycott US soy exports to Europe fell by over
10% ($150 million). With the recent launch of a parallel boycott in Japan
and other countries, the White House and the US Department of Agriculture
are in a panic--warning that a trade war may erupt if nations refuse to
purchase America's genetically engineered grains.

The RRS boycott is shaping up to be one of the first serious challenges of
GATT and the WTO. If resistance continues to grow, the out-of-control
biotech express train can be brought to a halt. Already in the US, one
major supermarket chain with annual sales of one billion dollars, Whole
Foods, has begun to demand non-genetic engineering certification from its
soy and corn suppliers, and other chains and food retailers are soon to
follow.

So again thank you for your support. In this era of corporate globalization
and increasing industrialization of the food supply, green and
progressive-minded people have no choice but to organize and campaign on a
transnational basis. Isolated and fragmented, civil society is no match for
the Monsantos and the grain cartels. But together we can win.

In Solidarity,

Jeremy Rifkin, President, Foundation on Economic Trends
January 15, 1997

Dear NGO and Activist Friends,

The Foundation on Economic Trends, the Pure Food Campaign, and the
undersigned activists from around the world would like to invite you and
your organization to join us and participate in the April 1997 Global Days
of Action against genetically engineered foods and crops. During the week
of April 21-26, consumer, farm, and public interest organizations from over
two dozen nations will be holding simultaneous "grain dumps" and press
conferences in front of grocery supermarkets, corporate headquarters, and
government offices to strengthen the growing global boycott against the
forced commercialization of unlabeled, untested gene-altered corn and
soybeans (Monsanto's "Roundup Ready" Soybeans, Ciba-Geigy's "Maximizer" Bt
Corn) and other biotech foods and crops.

With the participation of activists from many different nations we look
forward this April to the first coordinated, global joint Days of Action
against this dangerous, out-of-control technology, agricultural
biotechnology.  Corporate-driven biotechnology poses a mortal threat to
biological and cultural diversity, and severely undermines the potential
for food security and agricultural sustainability in both the North and the
South. Properly coordinated and publicized, we expect these April events to
generate major media coverage throughout the world--getting across the
message globally that consumers and farmers are saying no to genetically
engineered foods and crops, getting across the message that out-of-control
globalizing corporations can be disciplined and brought under control by
coordinated grassroots global citizen action. By staging simultaneous
"grain dumps" and press conferences, we will underline our joint
determination to boycott the products of those transnational corporations
who are attempting to force these gene-altered food products down our
throats.

Because of global opposition to Monsanto's RRS soybeans and Ciba-Geigy's Bt
corn, significant economic impacts are already being felt in the US and
Europe. A growing number of grain dealers and supermarket chains have
already broken ranks with the biotech companies and the grain cartels and
are now filling orders for certified non-genetically engineered grains. On
December 5, the first shipload of certified non-genetically engineered
soybeans arrived in the Belgian port of Antwerp, destined for delivery to
customers in Switzerland, Austria, Germany, and Sweden. Because of strong
opposition by consumers, in the first four weeks of European protests, US
soy exports to Europe fell by over $150 million. With the recent launch of
parallel boycott campaigns in Australia, Japan, and other countries, the
White House and the US Department of Agriculture are having to revert to
intimidation tactics--warning that a "trade war" may erupt if nations
listen to "irrational" consumers and refuse to purchase genetically
engineered grains from the United States.

The gene-soy and corn boycott is shaping up to be one of the first serious
challenges mounted by global civil society against the New World Order of
GATT and the WTO. If international resistance against gene-foods continues
to grow, grassroots forces could win one of our first major battles against
the transnational corporations, and for the first time in modern history
could stop a new, non-sustainable technology before it wreaks havoc on the
environment, the food chain, public health, and the survival of rural and
traditional communities.

In this era of intensified economic exploitation and corporate
globalization, consumers worldwide are being subjected to an increasing
industrialization and contamination of the food supply. In this context,
progressive-minded people have no choice but to organize and campaign on a
transnational basis. Isolated and fragmented, civil society is no match for
Monsanto, Ciba-Geigy, and the other giant chemical and agricultural
corporations who are tampering with our food and destroying our
environment. But by campaigning and organizing together on an international
basis we can win.

So let us accelerate this "peoples grassroots globalization" process now by
carrying out joint actions April 21-26, which will coincide with Earth Day
activities in the US as well as the formal reevaluation by the United
Nations of the state of the global environment "5 Years after the Rio
Summit."  Attached you will find a suggested plan of action, as well as
sample materials produced by the Pure Food Campaign for grain dumps and
press conferences held in the United States in 1996.

If you want to organize a joint action/press conference in your country or
local area during the week of April 21-26, please contact the USA Pure Food
Campaign office at:

Telephone (218) 226-4164 or (218) 226-4155
Fax (218) 226-4157
e-mail: purefood@aol.com

In Solidarity,

Jeremy Rifkin, President, Foundation on Economic Trends


Ronnie Cummins, Director, Pure Food Campaign


(other co-sponsors of April events)April 21-26 Global Days of Action
Against Gene-Foods: Suggested Plan of Action

Note: These are just tactical suggestions that have arisen out of the Pure
Food Campaign's experiences over the past few years in the USA. Many of you
no doubt have already organized successful actions and media events of this
type before.

* Contact the USA Pure Food Campaign by telephone, fax, or e-mail and let us
know your plans for anti-gene-foods action during the week of April 21-26.
To do our international press work properly, the PFC needs this information
at least one full month in advance.  Most groups in the USA are planning
major events for Tuesday, April 22. You may wish to consult with the PFC
staff about the specific tactics and logistics of your event, as well as
get an update on what groups in different countries are planning.

* Select a media contact person for your April events so that the
international press can be told who to call in your country for information
and interviews. Prepare leaflets and a press release well in advance so
that these can be shared with campaigners and sympathetic media in other
countries. Also it's important to have a complete list of news
organizations in your city or country (including reporters' contact names,
telephone numbers and fax numbers) so they can receive not only your press
release, but perhaps other international press releases as well.

* Select a suitable time, place, speakers (we recommend a range of speakers
with pre-prepared written remarks, including a consumer advocate, a farmer,
a progressive businessperson, a chef, a labor and/or religious activist,
and a scientist) and location for your "grain or gene-food dump" and press
conference. We recommend that these 30-45 minute well-choreographed events
(speakers first, followed by the dumping of the foods and grains) be held
in front of grocery stores, corporate headquarters (Monsanto, Cargill,
Archer Daniels Midland, Coiba-Geigy/Novartis, etc.), or government offices
(regulatory agencies, the US Embassy, etc.) Previous experience has taught
us that it's usually better to publicize our events as something other than
"protests," (unless we are certain beforehand we can turn out a large
number of protestors), and that we need events that are visually graphic
(with everyone carrying signs or banners and a dramatic "finale" of dumping
grains and food products into a garbage barrel on onto the streets or
sidewalks for TV and print photographers), as well as informative and
interesting.

* You need a minimum of 15 people (of course the more the better) to stage
your event, you need certain "props" (large sacks of corn and soybeans to
dump, sample tainted or "suspect" consumer food products containing soy or
corn ingredients, a plastic or metal garbage barrel plastered on its
outside with boycott posters, signs or banners, leaflets, etc.), and you
need to alert the media beforehand by fax and telephone so that they cover
your event and broadcast and amplify your message to thousands and
hopefully millions of people. Due to the fact that this is the first global
protest of this nature, and due to the fact that food safety, agriculture,
trade, and genetic engineering are "hot button" issues, we expect to see
major national and international news coverage of the April actions.
Finally we hope that by cooperating together on these April events we will
solidify an ongoing global activist network that can continue to work
together in the future.






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