April 10, 2002

The April Fool's Day Contest has a Winner

"Using Terminator to halt GM seed contamination is like...Using DDT to kill the ants on your sandwich"

21 Nations: Contestants came from Australia, Austria, Bangladesh, Brazil, Canada, England, France, India, Italy, Germany, Ghana, Macedonia, Mexico, Nepal, New Zealand, Philippines, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA. While most of the participants entered happily into the spirit of the event, at least 10 of the entries failed to see the humour and took the opportunity to take shots at on ETC. (Fair enough!). An 11th submission was too esoteric for us to understand.

The winning entry was anonymous (many were, and several appeared to come from governments or embassies) but was submitted from Canada. Accordingly, ETC group went to our "artist-in-the-residence-next-door", Reymond Pagé, and asked him to draw a cartoon embodying the winning answer.

Presentation: The large format of the original cartoon is being presented today in The Hague, Netherlands during COP6 of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD). Hope Shand and Silvia Ribeiro of ETC group are attending the intergovernmental negotiations and will present the artwork during a seminar on Terminator technology being held by civil society organizations attending the conference. ETC group and other CSO's in The Hague are urging governments to convert their moratorium against Terminator field trials into an all-out ban of the technology.

Linguists and contortionists: "Many of the submissions were great," ETC's Research Director, Hope Shand, recalls, "...and then there were those that could only be understood by a linguist." "Which," adds Silvia Ribeiro of ETC, "is in keeping with the biotech industry's claim that Terminator is somehow 'green'- an argument that can only be understood by a contortionist." A range of some of the most interesting replies follows (in no particular order) below...


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