Quick Reads

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.

Carta abierta al Congreso de la Unión, México

Por el reconocimiento de los derechos indígenas

Estimados amigos y amigas,

En el día de ayer, una carta abierta de 14 "premios Nobel alternativos" (Premio (Right Livelihood y Premio Golman) fue entregada al Congreso de la Unión, México, pidiendo el reconocimiento constitucional de los derechos y cultura indígenas, que está actualmente debatiendo el tema.

También fue reseñada en un extenso artículo del diario La Jornada, el 22/3/20001.


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.


Bracing for 'El Nuña'

Andean Groups Hopping Mad About Popping-Bean Patent

Tales from a Tribunal: 'The nuña bean is part of the Andean heritage. It is our treasure. For a company to patent a nuña cross, claiming the 'bean-nut popping bean' as an 'invention' with absolute world novelty is immoral and violates the rights of all indigenous groups,' said Elias Carreno, Coordinator of the 'Stop Biopiracy in the Andes' Campaign of the Associaci n Kechua-Aymara for Sustainable Livelihoods, ANDES (translated from Spanish).

Indigenous elders from six Andean communities that grow nuna beans met in late February for a traditional Quechua 'tribunal' to deliberate on US Patent No. 6,040,503 on the 'bean-nut popping bean' awarded to a US food processor, Appropriate Engineering and Manufacturing. The popping bean trait is found only in the Andean nuna bean, which the inventors claim in their patent. After hearing testimony from expert witnesses, the tribunal rendered their decision. Their verdict was unflinching in its criticism of intellectual property monopolies that are predatory on the knowledge, rights and resources of indigenous people.

New Terminator Patent Goes to Syngenta

Wake-Up Call for CBD's Scientific Body Meeting in Montreal

World's Largest Agrochemical and Seed Enterprise Holds Growing Arsenal of Terminator and Traitor Technologies

Syngenta, the world's largest agribusiness firm, was formed on 13 November 2000 with the merger of AstraZeneca and Novartis. The next day the company won its newest Terminator patent, US Patent 6,147,282, 'Method of controlling the fertility of a plant.' (The patent was issued to Novartis - but the company's intellectual property goes to Syngenta.) With pro forma 1999 sales of US $7 billion, Syngenta is the world's largest agrochemical enterprise, and the third largest seed corporation.

RAFI and RAFI-USA Announce Plans of Name Change for Globally-focused RAFI

Twenty-three years old, one of the world's most experienced biodiversity/biotech advocacy organizations is broadening its focus and changing its name, the directors of RAFI and of RAFI-USA announced today.

Long history: RAFI and RAFI-USA staff have been working together for over 20 years. Work on agricultural genetic resources that began under the mandate of the International Coalition for Development Action (ICDA), a Brussels-based civil society organization (CSO), in 1977 quickly merged with similar work under the auspices of the Rural Advancement Fund in the southern United States and led to the formation of the Rural Advancement Foundation International (RAFI) as a Netherlands incorporated CSO in 1985. Although the international work began to be known as RAFI, the work was still under the auspices of the Rural Advancement Fund which fully supported the work through its staffing and fundraising efforts.

Enola Bean Patent Challenged

'This patent has caused great economic hardship for farmers in northern Mexico, and we welcome attempts to overturn it,' said Miguel Tachna Felix, spokesman for the Agricultural Association of Rio Fuerte in Sinaloa, Mexico which represents 22,000 farmers in northern Mexico. Felix is referring to a legal challenge of a US patent on a yellow bean of Mexican origin.