Re: "GM foods could save millions of lives" (19/2/2007)

Yesterday we posted an article published in The Scotsman newspaper arguing that objections to GM crops are grounded in short-sighted "myths" that arise from "ignorance, pseudo-science or plain propaganda".

The author of "A risk worth taking as GM foods could save millions of lives" was Temba Nolutshungu. Weekly Watch editor, Claire Robinson has drawn our attention to the following information about the background of the organisation that Nolutshungu directs.

Nolutshungu is a director of South Africa's Free Market Foundation, a libertarian think-tank that forms part of the Atlas Economic Research Foundation network.

Atlas is a Virginia-based organization whose funding comes from various corporate and institutional sources, including ExxonMobil, which has contributed over $500,000 since 1998. Atlas, according to SourceWatch, uses its resources as a seed fund with which - in the words of a former president - it seeks to "litter the world with free-market think-tanks."

As the Jonny Appleseed of corporate libertariansim, Atlas identifies, screens and offers initial support to individuals and groups who want to create local think tanks. To help them have the maximum impact, Atlas has recruited Vince Breglio, co-founder and senior executive with the PR firm Wirthlin Worldwide, which represents Monsanto, Syngenta and DuPont amongst others.

Breglio has advised tobacco firm Philip Morris on handling public opposition to smoking. And in 1995 alone Philip Morris contributed $475,000 to Atlas. The think tanks fostered by Atlas, according to Philip Morris [PM] staff, result in "an improved operating environment for all PM businesses."

One of the more notable organisations that Atlas has supported is the International Policy Network which, in its guise as the Sustainable Development Network (the personnel are interchangeable), teamed up with Nolutshungu's Free Market Foundation and biotech industry interests to organise the notorious "fake parade" in support of GM crops during the World Summit on Sustainable Development in Johannesburg.

A senior fellow at Atlas is Paul Driessen, author of "Eco-Imperialism: Green Power, Black Death" which helps the reader "to understand why the environmental movement is engaged in the most appalling example of genocide the world has ever known"! The book's editorial reviews, include one from CS Prakash, who enthuses, "Great book!"

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive