CropDeath International / Guess who's coming to dinner (29/3/2006)


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"Please be advised that the international trade association for the Plant Science Industry, formerly known as CropLife, has now adopted an updated corporate identity in line with industry priorities.

To better reflect our high-profile advocacy work for sterile seeds (known as Terminator Technology) and our ongoing lobbying for increased pesticide and herbicide sales we will be soon assuming the new name of 'CropDeath'.

To cover the transition period while we update our materials CropDeath representatives at COP8 to the Convention on Biological Diversity in Curitiba will assume the transitional identity of 'PRRI - The Public Research Regulation Initiative'.

We are not sorry for any confusion this may cause."

MUCH MORE TO ENJOY AT: http://www.cropdeath.com


2.Eco Soundings
John Vidal
The Guardian, Wednesday March 29, 2006

Guess who's coming to dinner?

Prince Charles is in the Punjab, the Indian state known as the grain basket of the sub-continent. He should have had plenty to talk about last night at a private (organic) dinner with his host, the state's chief minister, Amarinder Singh. Mr Singh is not just a member of the royal family of Patiala, but is also one of India's most fervent GM food supporters who is talking up a "second [GM] green revolution" for the Punjab and is even endorsing the technology on billboards. Leading Indian agriculture analysts are outraged. In an open letter, they write: "Punjab is facing severe adverse effects of the green revolution while paying a heavy cost in the form of suicides, serious illnesses like cancer, debts, and ecological crises, including a severe water crisis and fractured social systems in our villages ... Is it not ironical that a strong GM-supporter is hosting an organic dinner in honour of a known opponent of GM crops? Probably you cannot rationally explain this contradiction?" Quite.

Seeds of doubt

One moment he's in Congo fighting for great apes, the next he is in India with the vultures. But this is March, so "Jungle Jim" Knight, UK environment minister, is now in Brazil saving the world's rich mosaic of life at the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting. Sadly, it's unclear whether Jim was impressed by the arguments of multinational GM companies or the tens of thousands of peasants, indigenous people and environment groups who turned up trying to make sure that a de facto moratorium remained on the development of "terminator" seeds - a class of GM technologies heavily pushed by big companies that allow plants to grow sterile seeds which cannot be replanted by farmers. The peasants won the argument - the moratorium continues. And Jim gave one of his greatest speeches, the theme of which was "the world needs to show leadership and commitment in making biological diversity a real priority". Atta Jim.

Nightmares scenario

It's good to know that the British nuclear police are on the ball. Last week, the force at Oldbury station near Bristol completely failed to spot the fact that Greenpeace activists were projecting in vast letters the word KAPOW! on to the side of its reactor. Greenpeace says the aim of the protest was to highlight the risk of a potential terrorist attack on nuclear power stations. Still, Greenpeace did strike at night, so it's understandable the activists were not seen.

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