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July 27, 2000


Greenpeace Lawsuit


If it is a frivolous law suit I wonder if I, as a tax payer, have standing
to sue Green Peace for wasting my money.

Gordon Couger gcouger@couger.com
Stillwater, OK www.couger.com/gcouger
405 624-2855 GMT -6:00

Date: Jul 27 2000 15:30:56 EDT
From: Andura Smetacek
Subject: Greenpeace and others legal woes

Dr. Prakash, I was interested to see your posting regarding the rejection
of Greenpeace's latest attempts to use lawsuits to attack biotechnology. I
also found it ironic, and then it made me angry.

How can an organization which flouts the law on one hand -- illegally
vandalizing research facilities, destroying farmers crops, boarding ships
(piracy) and blocking ports & rail lines -- then seek refuge in the law to
achieve their goals with the other hand? The Machievellian lack of values
or respect for the remainder of society is astounding.
I am curious as to how many lawsuits Greenpeace and others have filed (and
actually won) and how much they have cost taxpayers and those forced to
defend against their claims?

In searching I found a statement that helps expose that litigation is
certainly one means to an end for these activists. This also demonstrates
to me that these activists care more about political-economic issues
(anti-capitalism, anti-corporate) than they care to find ways of making
this system work to improve our environment and lives:

"The Achilles heel of the life science companies is lawsuits." charged
Jeremy Rifkin. "I want to work with you to craft legislation that makes
companies liable for genetic pollution. Then let's let the
market speak and determine what happens." Tuesday, 24 August 1999 at the
10th anniversary meeting of the Global Legislators Organization for a
Balanced Environment (GLOBE)

According to the Wall Street Journal, Mr. Rifkin worked with Benedikt
Haerlin of Greenpeace to help launch the anti-biotechnology movement in
1986. (Who should play God?, Wall Street Journal 11/30/1999) And,
according to Lexis, Mr. Rifkin has filed some 19 lawsuits in the U.S.
alone, and has won only part of one. These suits costs business and
government (taxpayers) millions to defend, create delays in
research and technology development -- all money that could have been
better spend on solutions! I suspect one would find Greenpeace's
litigation record equally abysmal.

A brilliant -- if not completely reckless -- strategy. Regardless of the
consequences, use any and all means to achieve the goal of
self-perpetuation and inflict the costs on to society as a whole. What is
Greenpeace dedicated their hundred-million plus budget (source:
www.Greenpiece.org) to creating solutions,
now that would be something.

A. Smetacek

"We must be the change we wish to see in the world."

Date: Jul 28 2000 00:07:09 EDT
From: "C. S. Prakash"
Subject: Green groups attacked by top economist

Green groups attacked by top economist

July 20, 2000 The Scotsman

A LEADING agricultural economist has pulled a neat switch on the
traditional "polluter pays" principle by suggesting that pressure groups
should dip into their own pockets to fund their environmental and other
demands. This, said Professor Sir John Marsh, was a fair exchange for the
efforts by farmers and
landowners to meet the calls for less intensive agriculture and more

Pressure groups had already created conditions which had reduced the
ability of British farmers to compete in a world market where such
constraints were lighter or non-existent. Other had fed on consumer
anxieties and had bankrupted some sectors, such as the apple growers.

For society as a whole the losses associated with manufactured anxiety
were considerable, particularly when they deprived society of productive
innovations, said Sir John, who was delivering the second annual
Home-Grown Cereals Authority lecture in London yesterday.

"The sad story of food irradiation provides an alarming example - a
mechanism which could protect people is neglected because of groundless
fears propagated by groups who bear no cost themselves.

"The propagation of fears in order to prevent the exploration, let alone
the application, of modern biology will damage not only the industry, but
also the very people whose anxieties are being increased.

"Much of this propaganda stems from a culture that is anti-industry,
anti-technology and anti-world trade. The outcome is likely to be
avoidable poverty, more environmental damage and the gradual
marginalization of those countries that close their shutters to a changing

What was needed was a system that enabled people to choose the sort of
environment they wished to see on the basis that those who choose then
paid for it, he said.

"For too many people, environmental goodies amount to a free meal, to be
purchased at the expense of the industry or the taxpayer. To bring home
the cost, we need policies that make the choices explicit and the identity
of those who are to pay transparent.

"We do not have this. Instead, we have propaganda machines which are full
of the 'I want' but largely ignore the corollary 'you will pay'. In the
interests of good government and of the environment we need to make these
choices not a battle between pressure groups, but a dialogue between those
who 'want' and those who 'will pay'."

Sir John, who was a member of the Burns Committee which recently reported
on hunting with dogs, said Britain was a long way from creating a
satisfactory institutional framework for environmental policy, let alone
determining what should be done.

The support framework for farming production was being dismantled, but so
far there was little formal support for the "non-tradable" goods such as
environmental enhancement, produced on the farm.

The Monsanto plant breeding and chemical company made a serious
miscalculation when it tried to introduce genetically modified crops to
Europe it was claimed this week, writes Dan Buglass. Judy Dunn, commercial
development manager for plant breeders PBIC -a subsidiary of Monsanto -
said the miscalculation was to assume that the European market was similar
to the US.

Speaking at a PBIC crop trials day near Scone, Perthshire, she said: "The
route to the market was badly handled. Monsanto didn't realize the strong
feelings of the public about GM. I also think that oilseed rape is a crop
not much loved by a public which views its yellow flowers and association
with asthma with some distaste."

Although admitting the miscalculation by Monsanto, Ms Dunn said she
remained convinced that GM crops were the future with a world population
forecast to increase dramatically in the next 30 years. She said: "It's
going to be a long struggle, but I believe that the market will turn.
People should remember that there is not a single agricultural crop which
has not been modified