GM Freedom Fighters? (22/7/2003)

taken from Today in AgBioView: July 22, 2003:
GM Freedom Fighters?

- David Simpson, Zambia  <[email protected]>

Despite efforts by Agbioview readers to assure me that GM foods are on balance "good", it seems to me to be just one side's view against the other's. Nothing conclusive. I have just received the following from Zambia Consumer Association, to whom I had recently forwarded the AgBioView complaints against Mae Wan Ho (who featured at the recent ZACA conference on GM foods in Lusaka). - Regards, David

Subject: GM Freedom Fighters

Dear Friends and Colleagues,

Fearful of scientists and campaigners who expose the dangers of genetically modified crops, biotechnology corporations feel the need to destroy the reputations of anyone who dares to speak out to keep the world GM-free.

When unable to scientifically disprove the assertions of Dr Arpad Pusztai and Professor Ignacio Chapela, the biotechnology establishment had to resort to lies and misinformation campaigns to suggest that the two scientists were unable to carry out rigorous science, and had botched their research on nutrition and GM contamination. Both have lost their jobs and reputations as a result, although their findings are still valid.

The biotech machine is also perfectly willing to stoop to personal attacks on those they fear. Vandana Shiva, author and activist who speaks eloquently of the challenges facing Indian and developing world farmers from patented GM seeds, has been called villainousand murderousby biotechnology proponents. For her work in protecting farmers' traditional way of life and campaigning on their behalf, she was awarded a Bulls**t Award by a pro-biotech campaigning organisation.

And Percy Schmeiser, a Canadian farmer whose lifetimes work of growing canola was destroyed through contamination from Monsantos Roundup Ready canola genes, found himself sued by Monsanto for over a million dollars. Now, funded by sympathisers and supporters, he devotes his life to telling his story to farmers around the world.

In spite of this systematic targeting of the GM-freedom fighters, these people carry on with their work, all the more determined to expose the truth. They carry on in the knowledge that while the biotech machine may seek to damage them personally, they only do so because their messages are irrefutable.

Best wishes, Teresa, www.consumersinternational.org/roaf

The Sinister Sacking of the Worlds Leading GM Expert and the Trail that Leads to Tony Blair and the White House. Article in the Daily Mail (UK).
Date: 7 July 2003 Andrew Rowell http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive.asp
EARLY one fine summer morning, a taxi pulled up outside a neat suburban..

>From Prakash:

Dear David: No one is attacking the critics any more than the continued vicious attack waged by critics on scientists (Labs being burnt, test fields detroyed, pies thrown at; integrity questioned).  Puzstai was past the retirement age. Regarding Chapela's tenure, nearly half the faculty at top universities like Berkeley do not make the tenure. So both did not lose jobs because of  "the biotechnology establishment's... lies and misinformation campaign".  Percy Schmeiser is simply having fun telling his cooked up story going around the world because nothing on earth can "contaminate" 90% of any farm.

As for Vandana Shiva's 'bullshit award', this was given to her by her fellow countrymen who are tired of her tirade against anything modern. As Benjamin Franklin said "what is sauce for the goose is also sauce for the gander".  The names she has been called pales in comparison to the profane language she normally uses to characterize biotech scientists and supporters.


Note how Prakash in his attached comment refutes the perspective of the Zambia Consumer Association by engaging in the very behaviour they complain of!

Pusztai was over retrirment age but unusually had continued to be employed by the Rowett precisely because his work was so highly regarded. There was absolutely no indication that his employment would be terminated until he was suspended in extrtaordinary circumstances on grounds that were subsequently shown by the Rowett's own investigation to be erroneous.

Prakash's claim that Vandana Shiva was given thr "bullshit" award "by her fellow countrymen" is similar to one made in the journal Nature Biotechnology by Val Giddings, a Vice President of the Biotechnology Industry Organisation, who told the journal's readers that the award had come from Indian farmers.

For more on how Prakash is putting the bullshit in the bullshit award

For Prakash's record of disinformation

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