Quick Reads

La venganza de Terminator

¿Delta & Pine Land al borde de la quiebra?

Delta & Pine Land (D&PL), la compañía de semillas “rebelde” que insiste en sus intenciones de comercializar la maligna tecnología Terminator, está en problemas. Delta & Pine Land anunció (2001) que su presidente renuncia y que la compañía eliminará 7 por ciento de su fuerza de trabajo y cerrará una de sus instalaciones en Arizona.

USDA Says Yes to Terminator

It's official. The US Department of Agriculture announced this week that it has concluded negotiations to license the notorious Terminator technology to its seed industry partner, Delta & Pine Land (D&PL). As a result of joint research, the USDA and D&PL are co-owners of three patents on the controversial technology that genetically modifies plants to produce sterile seeds, preventing farmers from re-using harvested seed. A licensing agreement establishes the terms and conditions under which a party can use a patented technology. Although many of the Gene Giants hold patents on Terminator technology, D&PL is the only company that has publicly declared its intention to commercialize Terminator seeds.

Rolling the Die in 'Sin City'

Self-proclaimed 'heroes' in Monte Carlo, the world's seed companies have bowed to U.S. pressure in Sun City, South Africa.

The world's leading seed trade association, ASSINSEL (International Association of Plant Breeders for the Protection of Plant Varieties, Nyon, Switzerland) may have succumbed to political pressure from the USA and four other OECD governments. The trade group has reversed its position in support of a new global treaty to safeguard the exchange of research seed for food security. The policy turnabout apparently came during the trade group's annual meeting in Sun City (popularly known as 'Sin City' because of its casinos). ASSINSEL is expected to tell governments at the UN Food and Agriculture Organization in Rome next Monday (June 25th) that it, '...does not support the current IU [International Undertaking, the treaty] text...'. The statement will come as a shock to European governments and to diplomats from Africa, Asia, and Latin America attending the Undertaking's final negotiating round June 25-30.

'Can Donorsaurs Mollify Treasury-Rexs?'

Nice try but no Cigar

The last-ever Mid-term Meeting of the Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research (CGIAR) has shuffled into extinction in Durban, South Africa. The fate of the outmoded Green Revolution centers - the South's most important scientific research system, remains in limbo. The 'donorsaurs' (as its 58 funding governments and foundations have been dubbed) are faced with a number of unresolved challenges.

Seeds Saved in Spoleto

Nobody's going to become a millionaire...

A rare tiff with the seed and biotech industries over intellectual property will leave the USA and Australia outside looking in on a new agricultural genetic resources treaty. Next steps: the FAO Commission in June and the World Food Summit in November?

ETC Group Censored!

ETC Group Censored! The 25th Anniversary Edition of the Top Censored Stories of the Year, 2001 features critical social issues that have been under-reported or ignored in the mainstream media. ETC Group is the recipient of two Project Censored awards, and both are featured in this book. Biopiracy in Chiapas and the efforts of local indigenous peoples to defeat the US-government funded International Cooperative Biodiversity Group (ICBG-Maya) is one of the award-winning issues identified by Project Censored in 2000.

La tormenta de "El Nuña"

Grupos andinos protestan por la patente del frijol nuña

Testimonios desde el tribunal:

"El frijol nuña es parte de la herencia andina. Es nuestro tesoro. Que una empresa patente una cruza de nuña, reclamando el mérito de haber inventado esta variedad de frijol como novedad mundial, es inmoral y viola los derechos de todos los grupos indígenas", dijo Elías Carreño, coordinador de la campaña "Parar la biopiratería en los Andes", campaña que impulsa la Asociación Kechua-Aymara para la Conservación de la Naturaleza y el Desarrollo Sostenible, ANDES.

Apoyo a Carta al Congreso de la Unión

Por el reconocimiento de los Derechos y Cultura Indígenas en México.

La siguiente carta abierta, enviada el 22/03/2001 al Congreso de la Unión de los Estados Unidos Mexicanos, recibió al momento el apoyo de 23 premios "Nobel Alternativos" y más de 330 firmas de organizaciones y personas en 48 países en los cinco continentes, a nombre de 144 organizaciones ecologistas, sociales y sindicales, así como miembros de 34 universidades.

Open Letter to Mexican Congress

RAFI requests signatories to an open letter in support of the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights in Mexico that has been sent to the Mexican Congress. Full text below:

Dear Friends,

Today, an open letter in support of the constitutional recognition of indigenous rights in Mexico has been sent to the Mexican Congress, which is currently discussing this issue, undersigned by 14 recipients of the Right Livelihood Award (sometimes referred to as the 'Alternative Nobel Prize') and the Goldman Prize.

The letter was published in a full-page presentation in La Jornada on Thursday, March 22,2001 on page 14: http://www.jornada.unam.mx/2001/mar01/010322/014n1pol.html.