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Date:

May 8, 2000

Subject:

Certain coorporate targets...

 

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

Dear Andrew and Dr. Deelstra,

I include about 20 min of reading AgBioView in my daily routine because of
the great amount I learn. Thank you all. I am not a Biotechnologist but I
fully share the under laying view of this list. I have always wanted to say
this but I guess I was waiting for a lead. Andrew's comment,
"Ecoreactionaries are only enthralled by certain corporate targets", was
just that. I am 50 years old and I have been a short-hair scientist since
1980, but I used to be one of those who then were called many of the similar
epithets used to describe our enemies today. Nonetheless, I must confess I
see myself joining them had I been born when I cut my hair. And I would have
been just as silly as they are in using groundless attacks, precisely due to
the target involved.

I would have been wrong because I realize now these targets represent the
pillars that explain why the developed world is developed. Nonetheless, I
would have joined them then, and I understand those that do so today. I
think its the perception of corporate greed that elicits a name like
Monsanto that does the trick. I think this perception they created to
themselves is the root of the effective campaign against us that our enemies
have waged. I like Monsanto today, and I would even consider working for
them provided I would not have to conceal my viewpoint, i.e., all this
hoopla has been born from the perception of ravaging exploiters they have
brought to themselves. By focusing on patenting instead of developing, etc.
etc.

Again, I am a proponent of biotechnology. But if I were running Monsanto,
the first thing I would have done is to focus on creating goodwill about
biotechnology, with real attempts . All they seemed to have been bent in
developing is "mean-sounding" gene constructs that only they can market.
It's the USA way, and I am all for it, but short term greed has made them
forget the counterculture would rise again, as it did then. 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.

I work for the International Potato Center (CIP) in Peru, and when my friend
Linda Lahman from Monsanto once came to CIP, I told her I felt aggressed by
their patenting fixation and I suggested to consider deploying "democratic
genes". By allowing genes to be used for potato genotypes that produce small
tubers, what can they lose? On the contrary, beside goodwill, their
potential markets might grow. As we can imagine, hungry people do not care
about the size or shape of their potatoes. This is just a simple example;
they should use their imagination and think of other likewise solutions. In
conclusion, I think lack of vision and shortsighted greed has made these
companies bring this war to our camp. And I wish they would not have not
that. But its too late, so now I wish they would do something quick that
would have made me convince my friends not Ecoterrorize biotechnology, had I
been born 30 years after the fact.