Palaces For The People
Sunday, November 09, 2003 - Issues - Biotechnology

ISSUE LIBRARY: Biotechnology

The burgeoning movement against genetically engineered agriculture seems to have exploded recently. For some five years European farmers and consumers have forged a formidable alliance calling for a moratorium on genetically engineered crops. Indian farmers have burned fields believed to be planted with genetically engineered cotton in actions dubbed "Operation Cremate Monsanto." Japanese consumers have long been sounding the alarm, forcing their government to label genetically engineered foods. But in the U.S. an emerging alliance of consumers, farmers, corporate accountability and fair trade activists has only recently gathered steam. What was once a relatively obscure issue is now emerging as a powerful grassroots challenge to the biotechnology industry.

Public awareness of the issues surrounding agricultural biotechnology got a boost when protestors converged on Seattle for the WTO meeting at the end of 1999. Environmentalists, farmers and consumers joined together to oppose the patenting of seeds and other life forms envisioned by the WTO. While farmers in Europe and the global South have long been fighting WTO agricultural and intellectual property agreements, it was the first time that many in the U.S. public took notice. Since then, biotech agriculture has become a hot issue in the U.S. press, from Time Magazine to Mother Jones.

At CorpWatch we are documenting this worldwide grassroots challenge to the biotech industry. In this section you'll hear from farmers, organic consumers, activists working to change local ordinances. We also look at international perspectives on the issue. Check back for periodic updates.

Last Updated: 10/01/2001

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