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July 8, 2000


You Can Help Redress the Balance in the GM Debate


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

Date: Thu, 06 Jul 2000 13:47:59 +0100
From: Samantha.Chalmers@cpn.co.uk
Subject: You Can Help Redress the Balance in the GM Debate
Bcc: prakash@Tusk.Edu
Original-recipient: rfc822;prakash@tusk.edu

You Can Help Redress the Balance in the GM Debate

How are the anti-GM groups battling for the hearts and minds of the British
public? Certainly their crop-trashing sorties have a far greater chance of
hijacking the news agenda than a rational analysis of the issues but that
is only half the story.

Their real strength lies in their ability to mobilise thousands of
well-intentioned volunteers who, on a daily basis, take anti-GM
misinformation into the village hall, the WI, the local school and to local
farmers. The same message, communicated with regularity and passion right
across the country has managed to polarise the debate.

How do they do it? By using the internet! HQ provides the template and the
national network of local activists take it from there. Now we are doing
the same.

"We" are CropGen and we are angry at the inaccuracies and deliberate
misrepresentations which are so casually seeded and so readily harvested by
the tabloids. We are fed up with the hypocrisy of environmental campaigners
who demand more evidence on the one hand whilst advocating its destruction
on the other.

We are concerned that the public's anxiety about science is being fanned to
produce the intellectual equivalent of pernicious weeds. We are not
impressed with the middle-class luvvies ("I don't know anything about
science but?") who claim to speak for scientists in Africa and Asia ?
people who can well speak for themselves and are even now vociferously
demanding access to the benefits offered by crop biotechnology.

We are disgusted with the litany of unpublished 'research' that claims the
authority of scientific evidence. And we know we are not alone. We know
there are thousands of similarly exasperated people across the country,
people who ask us how they can help to counter the flow of misinformation.
That is why we are writing to you today.

We would like to create a network of activists in the UK, people who
believe that, if carefully developed and properly managed, crop
biotechnology has the potential to do a world of good here and elsewhere.
The only way to achieve a better balance in the public debate is to
demonstrate that there is a large, parallel force of enthusiasts for GM,
ready for action.

We will circulate data, ideas, press releases, letters and briefing notes
on a regular basis to give you the information you need to defend crop
biotechnology whenever and wherever you see an opportunity. We will
provide suggestions for what can be done on the ground.

Don't get anger, get involved. Here are two things you can do today:

· e-mail us back to say you would like more information
· develop an e-list of friends and colleagues who you think would also
like to receive this e-mail and send it on.

What is CropGen?

CropGen is a communications initiative which is funded by, but operates
independently of, industry. At the heart of CropGen is a panel of
independent scientists who believe that crop biotechnology has the
potential to be part of a broad solution to the challenges that face world
agriculture. For more information visit our website www.cropgen.org.
From: "Felix-Faure, Karin"
Subject: Your IBS Agricultural Biotechnology Update No. 5 (Jun - Jul 2000)
Reply-to: ISNAR-Biotech
Original-recipient: rfc822;prakash@tusk.edu

Dear Colleague,

Please find our 5th Update on Agricultural Biotechnology: Policy and
Management Perspectives - Contributing to Food Security.

The content of this Update is sent with this E-mail (see below). If you
prefer to read the Newsletter in HTML format, or if you want to download the
Newsletter in PDF format, you can visit:

With kind regards,

Karin Félix-Faure
ISNAR Biotechnology Service (IBS)
P.O. Box 93375
25AJ The Hague
Tel. +31 70 3496152
Fax +31 70 3819677