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Re: article: transgenic crops, gene patents

[Topics under debate]: Free Citizen, Long Term Vision, Preamble
___Help make this manifesto better, or accept it, and propagate it!___
The truth is quite different. Vandana Shiva is the
main culprit here. Between Vandana Shiva, Shabana Azmi
and Medha Patkar, they have managed to stall a lot
of development just to get attention.

The fact is that there is nothing called Terminator
gene which exists. This concept was patented by a
company called Delta and Pine. Vandana Shiva and Co
chose to fabricate facts and claim that Monsanto had
introduced the gene in its seeds. Again, the concept
of terminator gene is just that - a concept.

> engineered foods. But for Third World farmers,the
implications are
> clear: these products are killing livelihoods,
cultures, and economies.

Again, the truth is different. Cotton farmers in AP
were so desperate that they killed themselves. The
source of their seeds were indian companies
(I think one company goes by the name of Ramakrishna
seeds. EID Parry also sold substandard seeds)
Had Monsanto's seeds were used, the yield would have
been greater, it would have been resistant to bollworm
and many lives would have been saved. According to
Vandana Shiva's fabrications, Monsanto's cotton
variety dies out after one generation. It turned out
that the substandard seeds died after zero generations.

> small Third World farmers. By buying up local seed
companies and by

Is it a crime to buy up local companies? I don't care
who owns the companies as long as the seeds provided
are good and farmers don't suffer. Why support the
owners of these companies at the cost of farmers?

> claiming to own (by patenting) native seeds,
Monsanto, as the world's

Another lie. According to WTO regulations, one cannot
patent life forms except microbes. It would help to
go through http://www.wto.org
Seeds which have been patented are those which were
genetically engineered by that company, not native
Where, TRIPS was misused, WTO has ruled against those
who misused it.

> Over much resistance, the Indian government allowed
Monsanto to test
> its pest-resistant Bt cotton seeds in India. Last
year, 95% of these
> seeds did not sprout for farmers in the state of
Andhra Pradesh;
> hundreds of farmers commit suicide. In December
1998, Indian farmers'

Monsanto is involved in laboratory tests. It is
not yet in the market. ICAR has said that Monsanto's
seeds passed all tests. Those who committed suicide
were those who used substandard seeds. Some farmers
participated in the tests. One Prof. Nanjundaswamy
led a march and proved his patriotism by forcing
these farmers to burn their yield. He grabbed headlines
by pushing a few more people into misery.

> That very same month, President Clinton bestowed
the nation's highest
> honor for technological achievement on the Monsanto
scientists that

How come only India has a problem with EVERYTHING?
Monsanto has a presence in China, SA and Australia too.
Is it a CIA conspiracy?

> regulate this trade.  The impacts on consumer
health and the
> environment are disturbing unknowns; but for Third

TRIPS has a clause that prevents one from patenting
anything that damages the environment.

> AP Asks Monsanto to Stop Trials in Cotton Fields,
Deccan Herald 12/4/98

And then it was resumed. Why not say that too?

> Scientist suspects foul play, wants CBI to probe >
cotton suicides, Times of India, 1/18/99

Obviously, the farmers were paid Rs.100 each by
Monsanto and asked to consume pesticide! Why probe?
It is crystal clear.

Please note - Sometimes the patent laws are misused.
This doesn't mean there is a conspiracy to destabilize
the third world. Why not behave in a constructive
manner and suggest ways to strengthen the law. After
all, the law in this area is still evolving and there
are bound to be loopholes.


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