GM crop promoters in Asia - new resource (10/8/2004)

GM WATCH is launching its new resource FOCUS ON ASIA: http://www.lobbywatch.org/p1temp.asp?pid=42&page=1

It provides links to the latest news and relevant reports, country profiles, and a directory of GM promoters in Asia.

Below is a selection from the directory. All the links to the detailed profiles are here:

GM CROP PROMOTERS — an A-Z [a selection]

GM crop promoters in Asia, or claiming to speak for the people of Asia:

Asian Food Information Centre - AFIC
Singapore-registered body funded by 'food, beverage and agricultural industries' (includes biotechnology companies). Collaborates with ISAAA and CropLife Asia.

Asian Rice Biotechnology Network (ARBN)
Founded 1993 by International Rice Research Institute in Philippines to help develop and release GM rice across Asia.

Gerard Barry
Coordinator of GoldenRice Network at International Rice Research Institute (IRRI). Formerly with Monsanto where he helped exploit PR potential of Golden Rice and Monsanto's Rice Genome project.

Centre for Research on Sustainable Agricultural and Rural Development
Alternative name for pro-GM M.S. Swaminthan Research Foundation

CGIAR - Consultative Group on International Agricultural Research
Has 16 international agricultural research centers, including IRRI in the Philippines. Original remit was as a publicly funded research body but increasingly closely involved with private sector. In 2002 CGIAR appointed Syngenta Foundation to its board.

Challenge Program on Biofortification
US$90 million programme of CGIAR to 'improve' grain to be richer in iron, zinc, vitamin A, selenium, and iodine, etc. Also known as HarvestPlus. IRRI one of the centres of research.

CropLife Asia
1 of the 6 regional nodes of CropLife Dupont, Monsanto and Syngenta. Says it has a 'strong alliance' with the Asian Food Information Centre (AFIC).

Swapan Datta
Plant biotechnologist at the International Rice Research Institute in the Philippines. Rice crop leader of the CGIAR's Challenge Program on Biofortification

DfID - Department for International Development UK government's overseas aid department. Has funded multi-million pound programme to create GM animals, crops and drugs throughout the Third World. Particularly controversial GBP65m DfID aid programme has been targeted at the Indian state of Andhra Pradesh. Critics allege programme will help push 20 million farmers off their land (see Andrew Bennet).

Farmers for Freedom (FFF)
One of a cluster of unrepresentative 'farmer unions' in India that, in close coordination with the biotech industry and pro-corporate lobbyists, works to promote GM crops. Others include
Shetkari Sanghatna (SS), Kisan Coordination Committee and the Federation of Farmers Association (FFA) .

Federation of Farmers' Associations (FFA)
Based in Hyderabad in Andhra Pradesh, the FFA has been at the forefront of support for GM crops in India. Lobbies for Andhra Pradesh's big commercial farmers. President: Chengal Reddy.

Federation of Indian Chambers of Commerce and Industry (FICCI)
Lobbies for laxer regulation of 'production, use, import, export, storage of genetically modified organisms (GMOs)'. Has cooperated with ISAAA and MS Swaminathan Research Foundation (MSSRF)

Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education
Based in Bangalore. Exec. Sec. C Kameswara Rao

Golden Rice
See Ingo Potrykus and Gerard Barry

Another name for CGIAR’s Biofortification Challenge Program

Randy Hauteau
Director of ISAAA Southeast Asia

Institute of Public Affairs - IPA
Malaysian-born researcher, Don D'Cruz, helps operate this Australian based lobby group's NGO Project which has targeted well regarded Malaysian NGOs.

International Rice Research Insitute - IRRI
Based in Philippines, and part of CGIAR, has been involved in developing GM rice, in trialling Golden Rice, and in the Challenge Program on Biofortification. Houses ISAAA's SEAsiaCenter.

ISAAA - International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications
This U.S.-centered, GM promotion and 'transfer' agency has a 'SEAsiaCenter' located in the premises of the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) in Los Banos, in the Philippines. Opening a new centre in India. ISAAA has multi-million dollar funding from Bayer, Cargill, Dow, Monsanto, Novartis, Pioneer, Syngenta, in addition to foundations and Western governmental funding agencies. Board of Directors has contained leading biotech industry execs.

John Innes Centre - JIC
This UK based plant biotech research institute has a significant number of GM projects aimed at developing countries, funded by DfID - the Department for International Development, amongst others (see Andrew Bennet ).

Sharad Joshi
Founder of the pro-GM Indian 'farmer unions' Shetkari Sanghatana and Kisan Coordination Committee . Also leader of Farmers for Freedom. All have an ultra-libertarian stance and oppose state regulation of GM crops. In 2002 he threatened a campaign of civil disobedience if Monsanto's GM cotton did not win regulatory approval in India.

Julian Simon Centre
Alternative name of India's Liberty Institute

Kisan Coordination Committee Comprises the remnants of Indian farmer unions which have lost control over their constituencies. The most prominent of these is Shetkari Sanghatna (SS). KCC was established by SS leader Sharad Joshi when his organisation started losing support in Maharashtra.

Liberty Institute
Right-wing anti-regulation pressure group based in New Delhi, India. Founder and director: Barun Mitra. Lobbied hard for commercial approval for Monsanto's GM cotton, in tandem with Chengal Reddy, Sharad Joshi and Kisan Coordination Committee. Strong connections with AgBioWorld and Sustainable Development Network.

Barun Mitra
Founder and director: Liberty Institute .

Andrew Natsios
Head of USAID. Has aggressively attacked those opposing GM crops.

NGO Project
See Institute of Public Affairs (IPA)

Nuffield Council on Bioethics
UK-based committee responsible for highly controversial reports promoting GM crops for the
developing world.

Ingo Potrykus
Keen GM propagandist and originator of Golden Rice - a new rice variety genetically engineered to contain pre-cursor of vitamin-A, now being developed at IRRI in the Philippines.

CS Prakash
Although based in the US, Prakash is a member of the Advisory Committee for the Department of Biotechnology of the Government of India. He is also advisor to USAID and Director of AgBioWorld.

C Kameswara Rao
Exec. Sec. of the Foundation for Biotechnology Awareness and Education. Rao claims GM opponents are 'miniscule minority' who 'indulge in violence' and mix up 'ethical, economic and political issues in order to create public suspicion and fear and serve diverse vested interests'. Their arguments are 'misinformation, disinformation and facts used

M.V. Rao
Strongly pro-GM Chairman of the Biotechnology Programme Committee, Biotechnology Unit, Institute of Public Enterprise, Hyderabad in India.

Chengal Reddy
Heads the Federation of Farmers' Associations (FFA). Works closely with Monsanto. Family
is rightwing political force in Andhra Pradesh. Involved in THE FAKE PARADE

Shantu Shantaram
GM supporter who makes frequent contributions to the Indian media. Formerly an employee of Syngenta, which he sometimes fails to disclose. Developed PR strategies for biotech projects, including Golden Rice. Prior to Syngenta, employed by US Department of Agricult

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