|Neo-conservative extremists / Klaus Ammann / GM-free all over (28/4/2004)
1.ECO SOUNDING: Moore/Friessen/Bate/Uncle Klaus/GM-free all over
1.Eco sounding [excerpts - not necessarily in this order]
The neo-conservative extremists are out. Patrick Moore, co-founder of Greenpeace, last week accused the green movement of being "anti-science, anti-technology, and anti-human"; Paul Driessen, of the Centre for the Defence of Free Enterprise, accused Europe of causing millions of deaths in Africa through its bans on GM foods; and dear Roger Bate, of the Institute of Economic Affairs in London, chipped in to accuse the UN of killing the poor.
Botanist, ecologist and biotech supporter Klaus Ammann is head of the Bern botanical gardens, and is preparing a proposal for a European biotech manifesto to help the European public to understand the benefits of the technology. He has been describing how to handle opponents: "Avoid eco-Stalinists like Greenpeace ... you can talk to the WWF and the World Conservation Union and many organic farmers, and - to a much lesser degree - Friends of Earth."
Not in our backyard
But Ammann may have trouble persuading anyone, so rapidly is opposition to the genetically modified crops mounting. Friends of the Earth Europe has found more than 1,000 French town mayors who support GM-free zones, as well as 500 Italian cities, half of all Greek prefectures and nine out of 10 regions of Austria that are all requesting bans in their areas. In Britain, 12 county councils, nine unitary authorities, two metropolitan districts, one London borough, 13 district councils, two national park authorities, and 35 Welsh councils have voted against the crops. That means that about 14million people in Britain are living in areas with a GM-free policy.
THE WEEKLY SPIN: BIG PHARMA'S POISON PILL
The British medical journal The Lancet published a review of "six published and six unpublished trials" studying antidepressant use by children that concluded that, in most cases, "the risks exceeded the benefits." More disturbingly, the review found evidence that pharmaceutical companies "had been aware of problems but did not reveal them." In a memo leaked last month from GlaxoSmithKline, the company warned, "negative trial results could not be released" because it would damage the "profile" of the drug. An earlier review of cancer drug trials found that 5 percent of pharmaceutical industry studies reported negatively on the drug under examination, compared to 38 percent of studies carried out by independent labs.
SOURCE: Reuters, April 23, 2004
More web links related to this story are available at: http://www.prwatch.org/spin April_2004.html#1082692802