GMW Alert! "Eco-imperialism" in New York - exploiting the poor for corporate purposes (19/1/2004)

"Eco-imperialism" in New York - exploiting the poor for corporate purposes

1.Eco-imperialism in New York - exploiting the poor for corporate purposes (GM Watch)
2.CORE/Patrick Moore/Prakash/Roger Bate and other pro-corporate lobbyists 'Demand End to "Eco-Imperialism"' (Conference press release)

1.GM Watch special report: *Eco-imperialism in New York - exploiting the poor for corporate purposes*

A conference that its organisers say will make "eco-imperialism" a household word is taking place at the Sheraton Hotel & Towers, New York, Tuesday. According to the title of the event "eco-imperialism" is, "The global green movement's war on the developing world's poor". Opposition to GM crops, it is claimed, is part of that "war".

The conference is being organised by the Congress of Racial Equality (CORE). CORE styles itself "one of America's premier civil rights organizations". Its national spokesperson Niger Innis says, "We intend to stop this callous eco-manslaughter".

Conference panelist, Dr. Patrick Moore, who is described as Greenpeace's "co-founder", is also keen to expose the "pain and suffering" the environmental movement "inflicts on families in developing countries" - something which, he says, "can no longer be tolerated."

According to fellow panelist, Prof CS Prakash, "By orchestrating unfounded scare stories that biotech crops are unsafe or untested, they put huge road blocks on the development of plant genetic engineering that could bring economic prosperity to the rural poor in Uganda and Bangladesh."

Another panelist, Paul Driessen, is the author of "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death", a book which lays at the door of the environmental movement, "the hunger and suffering of millions of the world's poor who are denied the benefits of genetically engineered food."

The book's editorial reviews, include one from Prakash - he enthuses, "Great book!" According to Patrick Moore,"This book is the first one I've seen that tells the truth and lays it on the line".

But when it comes to GM crops both the book and the conference studiously ignore the fact that many development experts and NGOs have been just as sceptical about the value of GM crops for the world's poor as environmental organisations. http://ngin.tripod.com/feedingorfooling.htm

Many of the strongest objections have come, in fact, from experts and farmers in developing countries themselves. Dr Tewolde Egziabher of the Environmental Protection Authority in Ethiopia is among those who argue that the future of agriculture in the developing world is actually being harmed by the hype over GM crops which is drawing precious resources away from other agricultural innovations and practices that have far more to offer resource-poor farmers. http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=1905

The Director-General of the UN's Food and Agricultural Organisation (FAO), Jacques Diouf, has pointed out that irrigation and road-building are far more urgent priorities in improving Africa's agriculture than encouraging the introduction of GM crops. http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=1693

And a closer look at those behind both the "eco-imperialism" book and the "eco-imperialism" "teach-in" in New York, raises some disturbing questions about their precise motivation and the reliability of their pronouncements.


These are the "experts" being assembled by CORE at the Sheraton Hotel.

*PAUL DRIESSEN, author of "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power - Black Death"*

Driessen's book is published by the Free Enterprise Press, the publishing arm of The Center for the Defense of Free Enterprise (CDFE), where Driessen is a a Senior Fellow. He is also a principal of Global-Comm Partners, a Northern Virginia public relations firm specializing in environmental issues.

According to a review of Driessen's book on the CDFE's website, the book helps the reader "to understand why the environmental movement is engaged in the most appalling example of genocide the world has ever known!"

In the late 1980s CDFE and its Executive Vice President, Ron Arnold, launched the anti-environmentalist Wise Use movement. Arnold has also been a consultant for Dow Chemical, as well as Head of the Washington State chapter of the American Freedom Coalition, the political arm of the Rev. Sun Myung Moon's Unification Church (1989-91).

In 1991 Arnold told the New York Times, "We [CDFE] created a sector of public opinion that didn't used to exist. No one was aware that environmentalism was a problem until we came along." According to CDFE's President Alan Gottlieb, who made his name as a gun lobbyist and has done time in prison for tax-evasion, "For us the environmental movement has become the perfect bogeyman."

Ron Arnold, who was one of the first to brand environmentalist "eco-terrorists", has stated his aim is "to destroy the environmental movement". In an interview with CNN Arnold said part of his intent was to "kill the bastards". He added, "People in industry, I'm going to do my best for you. Environmentalists, I'm coming to get you." (Interview, CNN, May 30, 1993 )

The Wise Use movement has had links with right-wing militias. The scapegoating and demonising of environmentalists is said to have contributed in some cases to their becoming the targets of physical assaults, arson and even bomb attacks. (The Green Backlash, Andrew Rowell, 1996)

Driessen served as editor of another book published by CDFE's Free Enterprise Press, "Rules for Corporate Warriors: How to fight and survive attack group shakedowns", by Nick Nichols, Chairman & CEO of PR firm Nichols Dezenhall.

In a leaked presentation that Nichols made to a pork-producers group on how businesses should deal with their critics, Nichols quotes Al Capone, "You can get more with a smile, a kind word and a gun than with a smile and a kind word", and George Carlin, "If you can't beat them, arrange to have them beaten!" Nicholls advised the pork producers that they needed to, "Fight like guerillas" and "Take no prisoners".
Source: http://www.lobbywatch.org/profile1.asp?PrId=248


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