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June 9, 2000


More on Negotiating with Greens; Vandanda Shiva Again.


From:J Ralph Blanchfield

Hello Mary Ellen and Everyone,

I am not an ag biotech researcher and have no axe to grind for or

corporations involved in biotech. I am a food scientist concerned for

food safety and protecting the environment and deeply committed to

professional and social responsibility of science to contribute to the

most fundamental and crucial environmental issue of all -- food
security for

all of the present population and greatly increased future population
of the

world. Because I judge that genetic modification has an indispensable

part to play in that contribution, I conclude that society must support

science in searching for, addressing and solving any safety or

problems along the way to developing the second, third and subsequent

"generations" of GM crops.

>From that standpoint, Mary Ellen, I suggest that your somewhat

"other-worldly" suggestion has a serious flaw, that of assuming the

validity of the "environmentalists" self-description. Yes, I am sure

that there are well-meaning individuals concerned with the environment
who are

attracted to support these organisations. But having had many

and debates with leading figures in the organisations themsxelves, I

perceive that "safety" and "environment" are cloaks for what are three

root-and-branch ideological oppositions to GM, often a mixture of any

out of three or of all three.

The first ideology is essentially revolutionary, based on a hatred of

large corporations and the political and economic system in which they

exist. Former outlets for expression of, or action on, such views

diminished in recent years, anti-GM has been used as a convenient

The second ideology is pseudo-religious -- organic. Now I am quite

comfortable with organic as one means of food production among others,

provided that proper scientific control is exercised to safeguard

the hazards. But organic as a pseudo-religion to be forced on society

regardless, is one of the major driving forces of anti-GM.

The third ideology purports to be really religious -- typified by the

"belongs to God, and God alone" approach of Prince Charles, equally

uncompromisingly opposed to GM applied to food (though strangely

compromised by his stated willingness to accept GM for "important


I have often challenged spokespersons who dissemble about "safety" and

"environment" to state any circumstances or conditions under which

would be prepared to support an application of GM, and I have never

received an answer.

Mary Ellen, you asked the question "...is this anti-biotech debate

really about the safety of GMOs, or is it about something else?" My
answer is

definitely "something else" -- it is about the efforts of latter-day

Luddites to get GM banned if they can, and if they cannot, then so to

scare the public and intimidate food manufacturers and retailers that

effect is the same as a ban, as has already happened in the UK.

If the activists who opposed the legalisation of milk pasteurisation

the early decades of the 20th century had had the Internet, so

used by the present-day activists, it is quite likely that they would

have succeeded.



J Ralph Blanchfield, MBE

=46ood Science, Food Technology & Food Law Consultant

Chair, IFST External Affairs

Web Editor, Institute of Food Science & Technology

IFST Web address <<www.ifst.org>

e-mail: < ICQ# 6254687.=20

ICQ Web page <


>From: Mary Ellen Jones <=20

>Subject: the negotiating table=20


>Gentle readers,


>If ag biotech researchers were prepared to come to the negotiation

>with plans to use GMOs to address social or environmental issues,


Subj:RE: Negotiating

From:"HEALY, CHARLES E [FND/1000]" <

>From my perspective, the issue of negotiating this whole GMO issue is

a matter of practicing what Stephen Covey calls habits 4, 5, and 6 in

Seven Habits thought process. It is very basic stuff that for various

reasons is sometimes difficult to bring about, but all naievte on my

aside, I think that it is very doable.

Basically, both sides of the issue have to define what a "win" is for

of them (Habit 4, "Think Win-Win"). The possibility is that the result

be "no deal," and both parties walk away from the negotiation table,

they must enter into the negotiation thinking win-win. And, it takes

courage and fortitude to be able to genuinely think in terms of wanting

opposition to win while also demanding your own win. This also means

you do not think in terms of compromise, which is something less than a

for both parties. In order to work, both parties have to really want

each other to have a full win. If they do not or if one or both have

separate agenda, as alluded to in the initial posting, then the result

becomes no deal - we agree to disagree.

The fifth habit says to "Seek First to Understand, Then to Be

In other words, someone has to have the gumption to genuinely seek to

understand the other person's point of view first and to make sure that

other person feels that they have been truly understood. In the case

those touting GMOs, do they really understand both the intellectual AND

emotional arguments of those who are against GMOs, and do the anti-GMO

really feel that they are understood by the pro-GMO folks? Then, and

then, but equally important, is the need for the pro-GMO folks to make

themselves understood. My experience is that once someone (in this

the pro-GMO crowd) really takes the time to try to understand

opposing point of view (the anti-GMO crowd), then both sides become

more open and receptive in each other's conversation. At that point,

keeping each other's wins in mind, the opposing parties are then truly

to seek alternative, synergistic solutions to the issue at hand (the

of Habit 6, to "Synergize," the outflow of practicing Habits 4 and 5.)

Chuck Healy


From:"Beyersdorf, Mike" <

Re; Dawkin's comments

I believe this is the finest piece I've encountered in the debate

around GMO's. My hat is off to Mr. Dawkins and I urge any of you that

have skimmed over it on a day when there was to much email, to take the

to read it through. My humblest congratulations sir.

Aloha from the desk of Mike Beyersdorf

Kihei, Hawaii Research Station

Monsanto - Ag Technology


From:"JAGADISH, MITTUR [AG/8042]" <

Dear AgBioView readers,

If possible, I would like you to facilitate a visit from Ms. V. Shiva

Pr. Charles, to my village! Please read below:

I cordially invite MS. V.Shiva and Pr. Charles, together or
individually to

come and live with us in our farm for two weeks or more (all local

taken care of) in a village in Karnataka (not far away from the borders

Andhra Pradesh and Tamil Nadu) to experience a changed way of life!

In trying to understand why the change has occurred, they will get a

to ask themselves the following questions:

1. What might be the major reason for the uncontrolled movement of

from villages to the cities and townships that are already overcrowded

has thus resulted in an enormous amount of damage to the environment?

2. What might be the reason the farmers whose ancestors had steadily

staple food crops (cereals: Paddy, Corn, Millets) and some cash crops

(Sugarcane etc.) on a very fertile land that is now being predominantly

for crops such as Mulberry Plants (to support silkworm growth and not

children to eat berries); fertile land destruction trees such as

(despite not having Koalas); Plantation trees (Mangoes, Coconut
etc.,)of the

kind that may bring some cash and temporarily refresh your taste buds,

3. What might be the reason the land of India which seems to have the

potential to comfortably feed the entire population of India and people

neighbouring countries and beyond, is always under threat of food

4. What might be the reason for the majority of the youth in villages

India to have lost their confidence in villages and moving into

Party work (for uncertain promises made by budding and meritless

politicians), construction work in the cities etc., without any long

reward to them or their families?

I assure the farmers in my village can work hard (I have witnessed it

decades) despite some very harsh conditions, provided we help to build

confidence and trust in them that their hard work can reap some
benefits in

terms of reliable harvest and a certain amount of security.

I request Ms. Shiva and Pr. Charles, following their experience of the

of life in my village, to sincerely and faithfully (sincere and
faithful to

the planet earth) recommend the technology that would bring confidence

the eyes of the people of my village!

By the way the technology they recommend can include:

a. Highly traditional and completely genetically unmodified (original

type) varieties!

b. Moderately traditional varieties (genetically modified by

plant breeding technology)

c. A combination of the above two with the principles of organic

d. A more recently developed varieties (developed by transgenic

e. A combination of all of above where ever it is applicable!

f. others

This is a humble and sincere invitation and I hope the invitees would


Best regards,

Jagadish, Mittur



I am rather disturbed by the over criticism of Prince Charles and
Shiva. As


society becomes more sophisticated, people have their preferences such

branded products like Gucci. Not everybody can afford to buy these

expensive goods. In the same token, there is a small segment of the

which can afford to pay for organic food. We should give the choice to

people.We should not condemn them.




From:Rick Roush

Thanks for the correction Chuck. I'll use the update in my lecturing.

the more reason for GM crops that reduce persistent pesticide use!

I guess I must be eating healthier here. In Australia, it is less than

based on stats from ANZFA, and a colleague here who actually worked in

testing lab.