ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
9 September 2002

"MANY THOUSANDS ARE DYING" IN BLACK PROPAGANDA CAMPAIGN

"The consequence of the obstruction posed by Greenpeace 'is that many thousands are dying, or have severe health problems such as irreversible blindness, who otherwise could live healthy and productive lives.' " - The Philippine Star, 1 September 2002

"There are 800 million hungry people in the world; 34,000 children starve to death every day. There are those who consider this a tragedy, and then there are the biotech companies and their countless PR firms, who seem to consider it a flawless hook for product branding." Michael Manville, 'Welcome to the Spin Machine'

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Last week NGIN circulated Devinder Sharma's condemnation of comments in a press release, authored by CS Prakash and Greg Conko, which deliberately suggested critics of genetic engineering had made a disastrous intervention in relief efforts for India's Orissa Cyclone disaster, resulting in 10,000 deaths.

In reality, of course, the deaths had nothing to do with opposition to genetic engineering - they were caused by the cyclone - but that didn't stop Prakash and Conko running this smear under the heading: "Do Not Repeat the Mistakes of Orissa".
http://www.gene.ch/gentech/2002/Sep/msg00050.html

This kind of black propaganda is a constant with Prakash and his Monsanto PR team. Much of this material has been circulated on Prakash's AgBioView e-mailing list via the Monsanto PR aliases 'Murphy' and 'Smetacek'. [http://ngin.tripod.com/deceit_index.html]

Other material posted by Prakash on AgBioView relates how opponents of genetic engineering engage in murder, terrorism, even genocide, and describes them as "worse than Hitler" and on a par with the destroyers of the World Trade Centre. [http://ngin.tripod.com/freesociety.htm]

The same propaganda war is waged via the media. Recently Prakash has been quoted in the press in Asia and Africa claiming Third World farmers are losing out to US farmers because genetic engineering "doubles production" while "most genetically-modified crops have longer shelf life". [http://ngin.tripod.com/200802f.htm] In reality, US farmers often face lower yields and massive market losses thanks to GM crops. [http://ngin.tripod.com/farming.htm] And there appear to be no approved products with longer shelf life currently available to farmers.
[http://ngin.tripod.com/130802a.htm]

Prakash also claims that Greenpeace is spending $170 million on an anti-GM campaign. When making this claim to the press in Manila, Prakash went on to say the money was coming "maybe [from] some companies" and refused to deny that it was the agrochemical industry that he was referring to!

After Greenpeace wrote a letter of complaint to The Philippine Star, a series of key Prakash collaborators, Patrick Moore, Norman Borlaug, and Ingo Potrykus, all popped up in articles in the paper spouting similar nonsense. [for Moore and Borlaug's contributions: http://ngin.tripod.com/270802e.htm ; for more Moore:
http://ngin.tripod.com/moore.htm]

For instance, according to an article in the Philippine Star, Ingo Potrykus (the originator of genetically engineered 'golden rice') "warned that the consequence of the obstruction [of 'golden rice'] posed by Greenpeace 'is that many thousands are dying, or have severe health problems such as irreversible blindness, who otherwise could live healthy and productive lives.' "

In reality, of course, nobody is dying or going blind because of any such "obstruction". Golden rice at this point is just an untried experimental crop with little to suggest it will be able to resolve the problems of Vitamin A deficiency, despite the massive campaign of industry hype. [http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/11.htm]

So if anyone asks you why the integrity of the promoters of this technology is so often brought into question, tell them about the "10,000 deaths" in Orissa, plus the "many thousands" more who are "dying, or have severe health problems", not to mention the genocide, terrorism and murder.

As Michael Manville wrote in 'Welcome to the Spin Machine', "There are 800 million hungry people in the world; 34,000 children starve to death every day. There are those who consider this a tragedy, and then there are the biotech companies and their countless PR firms, who seem to consider it a flawless hook for product branding."
http://www.freezerbox.com/archive/2001/04/biotech/

It seems they also consider it the perfect hook for branding anyone who gets in their way.

***

Swiss scientist scores (sic) Greenpeace

Philippine Star, 1.9.2002

A leading Swiss scientist involved in the development of the vitamin A-enriched Golden Rice variety recently criticized international pressure group, Greenpeace, and other non-government organizations for allegedly preventing poor countries from benefiting from the plant variety. Dr. Ingo Potrykus led a team of scientists, which introduced beta-carotene or Vitamin A genes into rice using the process of modern biotechnology or genetic engineering.

 Potrykus said the new variety is expected to save lives and prevent blindness in millions of children suffering from pro-Vitamin A deficiency. Vitamin A deficiency is believed to affect some 400 million children in Third World countries today. Potrykus said he is fearful "that Greenpeace and other NGOs might prevent the poor in developing countries from benefiting from the technology." Greenpeace has been pressuring governments in Third World countries to regulate or order a moratorium on the propagation of Golden Rice, according to Potrykus. He said Greenpeace sees Golden Rice as a "Trojan horse" that may open the road for genetically modified crops in developing countries. Potrykus said Golden Rice has been given free to public research institutes in the Philippines, India, China, Indonesia, Vietnam and South Africa for crossing with locally adapted rice varieties. He cited the success of the introduction of the locally adapted variety in the Philippines. Potrykus said Greenpeace and other NGOs "are operating extremely successful on the emotional level" and may prevent the development of "sustainable solutions for malnutrition in developing countries." This is because they influence the development regulations that developing countries copy, he added. He warned that the consequence of the obstruction posed by Greenpeace "is that many thousands are dying, or have severe health problems such as irreversible blindness, who otherwise could live healthy and productive lives."

 Earlier, respected US-based scientist Dr. Channapatna Prakash, disclosed that Greenpeace has allocated some $175 million for a global campaign against agricultural biotechnology and genetic engineering.
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"History has many records of crimes against humanity, which were also justified by dominant commercial interests and governments of the day... Today, patenting of life forms and the genetic engineering which it stimulates, is being justified on the grounds that it will benefit society, especially the poor, by providing better and more food and medicine. But in fact, by monopolising the 'raw' biological materials, the development of other options is deliberately blocked. Farmers therefore, become totally dependent on the corporations for seeds". Prof. Wangari Mathai of the Green Belt Movement Kenya

"...these scientists are not committed to address the problem of hunger but their commitment lies in meeting the hunger of the private companies for more profits and that too over the empty stomachs of 800 million hungry who go to bed hungry every night." Devinder Sharma, 'GM food and Orissa -- the real story'
http://www.gene.ch/gentech/2002/Sep/msg00050.html
 
 

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