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September 9, 2000


Suzuki joins Attack on Stossel; Anti-Biotech Battle Taking


David Suzuki has joined the attack on Stossel in "Thinking critically
about information sources" (This week's rant on Canoe.com)

Anyone wishing to respond to "Shut Up And Eat Your GM Soup, Africans Are
Told" http://allafrica.com/stories/200009070245.html may find the
following contact information useful:

Anyone wishing to drop a line to Sam and The East African, correcting some
of their misconceptions, may wish to avail themselves of these contact

The East African (Weekly newspaper providing regional coverage), Nairobi

Editor: Mwangethi Mwangi
P.O. Box 49010, Nairobi, Kenya
(Country code 254) (Area code: 2) 221222; 214531 e-mail:

According to their "Letters" page: "The Editor welcomes letters from
readers on topical subjects. They will be considered for publication only
if they carry the writer's name and city, not necessarily for publication
but as a sign of good faith. The paper reserves the right to shorten
letters." The original piece ran in the September 4-10 edition in the
business section, URL:

Barry Hearn
EVAG Co-ordinator

Economically Viable Alternative Green
Bridging the gap between environmental idealism and reality.

Have you fed a starving person today? Visit http://www.thehungersite.com/
to have a sponsor donate food on your behalf - costs you nothing.


From: MsGreenLady@aol.com
Subject: www.nomorescares.com

You've probably already visited www.junkscience.com for debunking of
various scientific scares. There's another site aimed at exposure and
eradication of fear marketing in the scientific realm. It would good for
us all to support it and spread the good word:


From: "Lassner, Mike" Subject: RE: AGBIOVIEW:
California bill to hinder Biotech


Governor Davis's e-mail address is:

>The governor of California is now considering signing a bill designed to
limit biotech rice in California. I am including a copy of an article in

From: Wayne Parrott Subject: web site

There is a good site out there worthy of mention:

Wayne Parrott
University of Georgia

From: Andrew Apel
Subject: Fascism


Many months ago I pointed out to members of this list the many parallels
between the fascist "green" movements which formed the foundation of the
Third Reich and the current eco-reactionary movement. Back then, I opined
that the only element lacking for a complete parallel in the current
movement was the victimization of relatively powerless group which would
form both a convenient symbol and a vulnerable link in the supply chain.
It was my surmise that farmers would wind up being the target.

Now we have this:
"1) To all farmers growing or preparing to grow GM crops- KNOW THIS:

If you do not wake to the public's hatred of GMOs and to your
responsibility to the living earth; you will instead wake to your machines
and property in pieces."

The parallel is now complete. The eco-reactionary movement has become

Subj: Gaia
From: Sam Johnston

At 04:46 PM 09/08/2000 +0000, you wrote:
>The Amazon rain forest is only 20,000 years old, yet home to countless

Dear Mr. Apel,

Could you please provide a citation for your statement that the Amazon
rainforest is 20,000 years old? Thank You,

Sam Johnston


Anti-biotech battle taking toll on Maine By Douglas R. Johnson


Bette Davis’ warning, “Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy
night,” is good advice for Mainers as the battle over biotechnology heats
up. Activists from around the country, frustrated by their inability to
convince federal agencies or Congress that biotechnology is dangerous, are
bringing their campaign to Maine.

Recently, protesters gathered in front of a supermarket in Augusta to rail
against biotech foods. The supermarket protest was organized by the
Washington, D.C.-based Genetically Engineered Food Alert. Three days
later, eco-terrorists hacked down several thousand trees on a paper
company research plot in Milo. The attack was announced from a press
office in Memphis, Tenn. At a recent public meeting, an anti-biotech
activist proudly proclaimed, “Maine is leading the way in activism against
GE [genetically engineered] foods.”

The battle is over biotechnology, a collection of scientific techniques
that allow researchers to tweak biological processes inside of living
cells. Biotechnology has revolutionized medicine with new drugs for
diseases ranging from cancer to diabetes to rare genetic disorders. In a
stunning breakthrough, researchers in France used biotechnology to cure
two babies of a fatal immune system disease, the same disease that forced
a Houston child named David — the “Bubble Boy” — to live for 12 years in a
plastic enclosure.

Now biotechnology is being applied to agriculture where it has given us
crops that require fewer pesticides and reduce soil erosion and pollution.
A new, vitamin-enriched biotech rice may soon save the lives of one
million children who die each year from vitamin A deficiency in developing
countries. Other crops are on the way that will need less water, grow in
poor soils and have improved yields. Seven independent science agencies,
including the U.S. National Academy of Sciences and the British Royal
Society, recently concluded that biotech crops are essential if we are to
feed a growing world population without turning our remaining forests into

The opponents of biotechnology say it’s a dangerous, uncertain technology
and biotech foods are unsafe to eat. Government and scientific agencies
disagree. The Food and Drug Administration, the Department of Agriculture,
the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Academy of Sciences
say biotech medicines and biotech foods are safe and the technology is not
threatening the environment. After extensive hearings, a subcommittee of
the House of Representatives’ Committee on Science found that biotech
foods are “safe to eat” and biotech crops are “safe for the environment.”
The subcommittee also concluded, “Much of the opposition to agricultural
biotechnology is politically motivated, not scientifically based.”

Not only is the battle political, it is economic. Just as the developers
of biotechnology crops will profit from their acceptance, the opponents
will profit from their demise. One of the backers of a popular
anti-biotech Web site in Seattle is the Maine Organic Farmers and
Gardeners Association. If people can be convinced that biotech foods are
unsafe, sales of organic foods, which prohibit biotech ingredients, will

To stop biotechnology in Maine, activists are calling for laws to ban the
planting of biotech crops and require special labels on biotech foods. One
extreme proposal would end all biotechnology in Maine, even for medical
uses. But the real battle isn’t over what crops we can plant or what our
food labels will say, it’s over jobs. Biotechnology is one of the
industries state planners say can provide stable, good-paying jobs.

Already, Maine’s 71 biotechnology companies employ 4,700 people and
contribute $750 million annually to the state’s economy. Biotechnology is
expected to play an important role in Maine’s resource-based industries
like forestry, agriculture and aquaculture.

Regrettably, the anti-biotech battle is beginning to take its toll on
Maine’s biotechnology companies. Activist-led boycotts of biotech potatoes
forced the closing of one Maine company, putting 20 people out of work.
One biotechnology company, fearing that news stories would invite
vandalism, told its employees not to talk to the press. Companies also are
paying more attention to security. If the threat of vandalism increases,
money that could go into research will be diverted to beefing up security
to protect costly experiments. Investors who supply the capital needed to
build biotechnology companies may decide their investments aren’t safe in
Maine and take their money elsewhere.

The strategy of anti-biotech activists to use Maine as a springboard to
launch a national agenda has thrust our state into the spotlight. This is
Maine’s chance to shine. If the debate in Maine is based on facts and not
fear, and if the activists pledge an end to violence and intimidation, we
will set an example for all America.

Douglas R. Johnson, Ph.D., is the executive director of the Maine
Biotechnology Information Bureau, an information resource for journalists
and the public, and is a partner in GreenTree Communications, a
biotechnology public relations firm.