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Date:

May 12, 2000

Subject:

Interview with Gordon Conway of Rockefeller Foundation and other

 

- http://www.agbioworld.org, http://agbioview.listbot.com

From: Zeami2000@aol.com
Subject: Re: Interview with Gordon Conway of Rockefeller Foundation

In a message dated 5/12/00 10:38:10 PM Central Daylight Time,
prakash@tusk.edu writes:

<< But the unconventional itinerary reflects a philosophical viewpoint.
For Gordon Conway believes in nuances, shades of grey. Indeed, it is
the lack of subtlety, the crude polarisation, that exasperates him
when it comes to the GM debate....... >>


It is a breakthrough to hear this sense of balance, moderation and complexity
from someone as highly placed as Conway. I made the analogy to professional
wrestling last autumn in an essay. Black and white attitudes among scientists
or activists has produced off-putting condescension from scientists and
fanatical self-righteousness from activists. Understanding - of science, of
culture, of history and of the convolution/coexistence of multiple points of
view - is the only real path to advance for society in biotechnology or
anything else. "An appreciation for nuance" as Conway would say.
It is not a war. I have refrained from contribuing lately because certain
contributions were becoming increasingly battle-like and antagonistic, and
answering them would only fuel their authors' need to "gird up their loins."
I welcome Conway's leadership at an important time.
Joseph Houseal
----------
From: Zeami2000@aol.com
Subject: Re: News by any other name....


In a message dated 5/12/00 10:49:51 PM Central Daylight Time,
agbionews@earthlink.net writes:

<< .....not going to answer those
questions, because you already know what you want to say,
Hammond said. .....going to do a hatchet job on me, or
say that CropCheck is an outlet for Greenpeace.>>

Dear Andrew and all
You have proved Hammond wrong with your article - it is in no wise a
hatchet job. I found it informative and neutral. You aren't maligning as you
describe. I can understand Hammond's fear of what certain parties would do
with the information of funding sources. It is the same the other way around
some activists decry anything corporately funded as polluted with interest.
Thanks for not making an issue of a suspicion, and thanks for supplying us
with the consortium involved and relevant quotes from members about their
positions. More of this even-keeled writing is welcome. Joseph Houseal
----------------
From: Zeami2000@aol.com
Subject: Re: Certain coorporate targets...

In a message dated 5/12/00 7:52:39 AM Central Daylight Time,
gcouger@rfdata.net writes:

<< I think that companies like Monsanto should be busy repairing the
bad karma they
created by demonstrating clearly biotechnology can serve the dispossessed in
> dramatic and impacting way. >>

and then doing it with a sense of financial generosity such as the
pharmaceutical companies are only now demonstrating with AIDS drugs in
Africa, despite how late and revealing their entry into true social concern
is. I keep waiting for biotech to make a timely, self-authored,
non-reactionary step toward defining biotech in the public's eye. So far, it
has been the biotech proponents reacting, not acting with foresight and
magnanimity.
JH
------
From: Zeami2000@aol.com
Subject: Re: Corporate Targets

In a message dated 5/12/00 9:35:48 PM Central Daylight Time,
Mike.Beyersdorf@dekalb.com writes:

<< I would also
> dispute his contention that Monsanto's greed has brought this controversy
> down on us all. We're just an easily identifiable target; to those who are
> determined to shoot at somebody, any target will do. >>

Monsanto's conviction on several counts of fraudulent advertising in Britain
had an enormous amount to do with public ire and distrust. This conviction
was an indictment of Monsanto's approach to the public looking for answers:
lies. It was a huge and influential error. What it reveals about Monsanto is
base.
JH