GENTECH archive 8.96-97


Fwd: Genetics Action and Upcoming Activist Conference

Forwarded message:
From: (Reclaim The Streets)
Date: 97-03-21 09:41:12 EST

If you know of any Genetics actions that have taken place please let me know
so that I can send the information out. If they cannot be publicised in
advance please send in details of what happened after the event, it is
always good to hear that people are actually getting out and doing something.

The Big Gene Gathering will be happening 19-20 April. Go along if you are
working on the Genetics campaigns and/or actions or would like to, it is
Genetic Engineering information for Anti-Genetic Engineering actions and
will be followed by Global Days of Action, an international week of acions
against genetically engineered food and crops. For more details contact:
01865 791391 or Womens Environmental Network on 0171 247 3327.

While government bods met for a conference, in Lancaster House (next to St
James' Park, London) to bash out the Government's position on Biotechnology,
they were met by Super Heroes Against Genetics (SHAG). Captain Chromosome
and his cronies asked; 'Who will really benefit from biotechnology ?'and
demanded that the British Government institute an immediate moratorium on
the growing and trading of genetically engineered food crops and commodities.
When asked, members of the biotechnology industry are hard pressed to list
the benefits of GEO release. That is because the 'benefits' are only seen on
the balance sheets of trans-national corporations. 
Due to silly Royal Park bye-laws police went over the top yet again,
threatening anyone holding banners or handing out leaflets with arrest, even
though some delegates were specifically asking for them. 

To coincide with International Women's Day, March 7th saw a visit paid to
the offices of Abel and Imray, solicitors acting for Biocyte, the US
Biotechnology company which holds the patent for human umbilical cord blood
cells. The patent gives Biocyte complete control over the extraction and the
use of cells and subsequent therapies developed. 
The group occupied their offices and hung a banner out the window reading
'No Patents on Life!', meanwhile out on the street there was a very pregnant
lady present with a bar code on her stomach; this symbol of commodification
highlighting the point of the action. Passers-by were at first bemused by
the whole scene, though eager to accept leaflets telling them more. A
spokesperson from the group said; "Biocyte want to own parts of people and
these lawyers have a hand in smoothing the path for this to happen. As well
as this they are abusing the patent law. Patents are meant to be granted on
inventions, not discoveries, and umbilical cord blood cells are certainly
not inventions!"
This action was part of an international campaign to raise awareness and
direct concerned members of the public to call on their MEPs to ensure that
the forthcoming European Patent Directive will not permit the Patenting of
Life. For more information contact No Patents On Life! at the Women's
Environmental Network on: 0171 247 3327.

Reclaim the Streets
PO BOX 9656
N4 4JY
0171 281 4621