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corporate dominance | genetic engineering | sustainability

June 21 Global Day of Action Against Biotechnology

call to action on the summer solstice!
Call for Global Solidarity and Actions!

On June 21st, in Philadelphia and around the world,
join us and plant seeds of resistance to BIO dreams of control!

First BIO infiltrated our biosphere, harvesting untested genetically
modified organisms (GMOs) that contaminated native ecosystems upon
their release into nature. Then BIO invaded our bodies, placing
unlabelled genetically engineered (GE) ingredients in most of the
processed foods we eat. Before long, BIO infected our body politic,
gaining control over government regulatory agencies - the EPA, FDA and
USDA in the United States, and their counterparts in other States - and
using them to write into law new "intellectual property rights"
protecting corporate ownership of genetic resources. And now BIO has
infested science itself, putting biology into the service of its deadly
agenda of proliferating genetically engineered crops, unsafe and
over-priced drugs, and biological weapons, worsening the plights of
starvation, disease and war...

BIO is the Biotechnology Industry Organization (www.bio.org) - the
Earth's most corrupt, powerful, and reckless lobbying consortium of
biotechnology, "life sciences," and pharmaceutical corporations. This
June 19-22, 2005, BIO will hold their annual closed-door convention in
downtown Philadelphia. And while more than 10,000 biotech industry
leaders gather to plan their expansion of their corporate control over
life itself, environmentalists, farmers and community activists will
once again converge to confront them and expose the truth that the
experimental science BIO calls "innovation" really spells
"Bio-devastation" for human health, food security, local autonomy and
biodiversity.

While they sow seeds of devastation, we plant seeds of healing, hope
and liberation. While they sow seeds of mono-culture, we plant seeds of
creativity and diversity. While they sow seeds of deception and
confusion, seeking to silence criticism, we plant seeds of truth and
clarity, and add our voice to a chorus of voices seeking common
demands.....

Among these seeds is our recognition that we are not alone, but stand
in solidarity and unified resistance with communities everywhere who
are fighting against corporate onslaughts on our water, air, Earth,
genetic heritage, health and peace.

* We are indigenous farmers in Oaxaca, Mexico, demanding an end to all
GE maize imports. "We seek the solidarity and support of all in Mexico
and the world, who have taken up a struggle similar to our own so as to
extend ever further the territories free from genetically modified
food," we declare. (1)
* We are peasants in Colombia and Afghanistan, demanding an end to
aerial sprayings of herbicides produced by Monsanto that
indiscriminately wipe out subsistence crops as well as natural plants,
and kill birds, mammals and aquatic life, in the name of an
illegitimate "War on Drugs." "Fumigation violates our rights and our
territorial autonomy. It has intensified the violence of armed conflict
and forced people to leave their homes after their food crops have been
destroyed," we declare. (2)
* We are residents of Roxbury, Massachusetts, demanding cancellation of
plans to construct a bioterrorism research lab in the heart of our
community. "We must stop locating dangerous and unwanted facilities in
lower income communities of color and end environmental racism," we
declare. (3)
* We are senior citizens in Philadelphia, demanding affordable
medicine, enforcement of price controls on the pharmaceutical industry,
and legalization of prescription imports from Canada. We call on Glaxo
Smith Kline to stop its ban on affordable medicine by cutting off
seniors' access to lower-cost Canadian drugs. "With this ban, Glaxo
shows clearly it could care less about the quality of patient care that
Philadelphia seniors receive. They would much rather strip seniors of
this safe and low-cost source for drugs and force them to pay more
money so that Glaxo and its big pharma friends can boost their
corporate coffers. Enough is enough, Glaxo. Even a dollar or two higher
price each month can make the difference whether a senior can afford
their drugs each month," we declare. (4)
* We are AIDS activists in Africa, demanding equal access to drugs and
treatment for all who need them. "The pharmaceutical industry has
sought to protect its huge profits through patents and intellectual
property regulations, and the U.S. government has supported its
position. To deny affordable access to treatment is to impose a death
sentence on millions of Africans. It is murder by patent. Treatment and
care should be available to all those living with HIV/AIDS," we
declare. (5)
* We are Vietnamese civilian victims of Agent Orange, demanding
compensation and legal restitution for injuries resulting from toxic
herbicides supplied by Monsanto, Dow Chemical, and other corporations,
and used by the United States, during the Vietnam War. We call on
"people of all countries to render active support for humanitarian
efforts and activities in assistance to victims of Agent Orange in
Vietnam and in overcoming the tragic war consequences in Vietnan." We
declare: "Render your support to victims of toxic chemicals for the
sake of safeguarding Peace and Justice in the world!" (6)

We call for communities throughout the world to CONTINUE taking action
to defend their water, air, Earth, genetic heritage, and peace from the
corporate onslaught of the biotechnology industry, and to join us on
June 21st, 2005, with solidarity actions against GlaxoSmithKline, Dow
Chemical, Merck, Monsanto, and other members of BIO who spread
BIOdevastation by putting profits ahead of people and the ecological
health of our planet:  http://www.bio.org/members/

(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. (7)

(1) From statement of demonstrators at Hotel Victoria, Oaxaca, at a
symposium on the effects and possible risks of the presence of
genetically modified maize in Mexico. Cited in "Genetic Contamination
of Mexican Maize" by Carmelo Ruiz Marrero, Z-Net, July 10, 2004.
(2) Statement by president of the Organization of Indigenous Peoples of
the Colombian Amazon. Cited in "Colombia: Monsanto, US War on Drugs
Poison Environment" by Brian Hansen, Environment News Service.
(3) From letter to Boston City Councilors, by Alternatives for
Community and Environment, an organization based in Roxbury,
Massachusetts that builds the power of communities of color and lower
income communities to eradicate environmental racism and classism and
achieve environmental justice.
(4) From Feb. 21, 200s press release by "Stop Glaxo Now" Coalition;
Canadameds.com: "Philadelphia Seniors Organizations Protest Glaxo's Ban
on Affordable Drugs"
(5) From the "Africa's Right to Health" campaign, which targets the
roots of Africa's health crisis. It seeks to address the structural
injustices that gave rise to and now perpetuate the AIDS pandemic. It
also works to remove the international obstacles that deny Africans the
resources they need to respond effectively to the continent's health
crisis: www.africaaction.org/campaign/info.php.
(6) From statement by the Vietnam Association for Victims of Agent
Orange:  http://www.ffrd.org/Lawsuit/vavastatement.html
(7) Summary of the BioDemocracy Statement of Unity

Read and endorse the full BioDemocracy Statement of Unity:
www.reclaimthecommons.net/article.php?id=187

Why? "Because disease and starvation
will not be solved by corporations!"

 http://www.biodev.org
 http://www.reclaimthecommons.net

homepage: homepage: http://www.reclaimthecommons.net

Agroforestry and biodiversity 03.Jun.2005 16:25

Time tested alternatives to biotech

People have performed indigenous agridiversity methods quite well without the intrustion of biotech corporations. The traditional methods of agroforestry and biodivesity in crops practiced by people throughout the Earth predates industrial agriculture with pesticides/herbicides by thousands of years..

The biotech corporations only offer people a continuation of the pesticide treadmill. Any undesireable "weed" plant or crop eating insect eventually develops a resistance to whatever chemical herbicide/pesticide toxin is being used. Eventually a stronger toxin is needed to combat the resistant pests. Furthermore, the beneficial insects that usually comsume large numbers of pest insects are now reduced in numbers becuase they usually have either a longer life cycle or are impacted by bioaccumulation of toxins in the effected pest insects they consume. By incorporating chemical toxins into the DNA of the crop plants, do the corporations really believe they are offering people anything new??

The same cycle of "Round-up resistant" weeds and insects resistant to the Bt toxin are prevalent, and now the original method of temporary applications of small amounts of Bacillus thuringensis (Bt) no longer is effective as the overdose of Bt in ALL the plant cells has led to a resistance to the Bt toxin..

There are fortunately many communities today practicing permacultura, sustainable organic farming, crop biodiversity, agroforestry and other revisions of time tested methods that don't require either toxic chemical sprays or biotechnology..

The Green Belt Movement originated in Kenya with Dr. Wangari Maathai's concept of reforestation. Trees and agriculture are not in oppostion, rather both support one another in symbiosis..

 http://www.greenbeltmovement.org/index.php

 http://www.lanternbooks.com/detail.html?session=dd408b35bd06768dcd09f3760c843aa1&cat=8&id=159056040X

Turns out the problems of famine in Africa are mainly a result of plantation export crops displacing community gardens. The solution isn't further imperialist intrusions of biotech corporations, the answer is return of land to sovereign indigenous peoples for community garden biodiversity..

luna moth

wild and natural vegetables 03.Jun.2005 17:10

human evolution alongside edible wild plants