ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

25 March 2003


1.War foes urge US-Monsanto boycott
2.Greenpeace: Momentum Builds for New UN Peace Resolution - take action

Reuters - "The United States has launched a worldwide diplomatic drive to head off the calling of an emergency session..." The US has circulated angry letters to many countries stating that "Given the current highly charged atmosphere, the United States would regard a General Assembly session on Iraq as unhelpful and as directed against the United States."


1.War foes urge boycott of US products

this story was taken from


Posted:11:27 PM (Manila Time) | Mar. 24, 2003
By Gerald G. Lacuarta
Inquirer News Service

FARMERS' organizations Monday called for a boycott of agricultural products from the United States to protest the invasion of Iraq by US and British forces, with the boycott targetting specifically the giant agro-chemical firm Monsanto which is set to commercially distribute a pest-resistant corn variety to local farmers.

The Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, a coalition of militant peasant groups, called for a boycott of Monsanto products, not only to block the use of the genetically modified YieldGard Bt-corn but also to protest the United States-led war on Iraq.

Rafael Mariano, KMP chair, said the program Boycott on Monsanto products will be part of the civil disobedience campaign and protest actions by militants against the US attacks on the Iraqi people.

"The US military campaign to topple the Iraqi leadership was for the benefit of US war industries like the US-based Monsanto, the proponent of the genetically engineered Bt-corn in the country and manufacturer of Agent Orange," Mariano said.

"Monsanto is no less than a war industry," Mariano said.

Agent Orange is the military name for the herbicides used by US troops to clear jungles of North Vietnamese guerrillas during the US debacle in Vietnam. It is a combination of 2,4,5-T and 2,4-D phenoxy herbicides.

Of the seven companies implicated in a lawsuit filed by American veterans of the Vietnam War, Monsanto had to pay nearly half of the 180-million-dollar settlement ordered by a US court because its version of Agent Orange had the highest levels of dioxin.

The KMP said farmers should boycott these products of Monsanto: Family of Roundup herbicide, Harness herbicide (corn), Machete herbicide (rice), Asgrow seeds, DEKALB seeds and Hartz seeds.

The group likewise listed these genetically modified-varieties in its boycott list: Bollgard, InGard, Roundup ready (corn) and the Yieldgard (Bt-corn) which has been approved by the Department of Agriculture for local application.

Mariano said during the aftermath of conflicts, US corporate giants like Monsanto benefit from the so-called food aid programs undertaken with US help to rebuild war-torn areas.

"Genetically modified foods that are rejected in Africa would be shipped to Iraq and other Middle East countries," Mariano said. He said the US Agency for International Development (USAID) spends over one billion dollars a year buying American crops from agricultural corporations, like Monsanto, and ships them to poor countries.

Monsanto's development as a chemical company was "intimately linked to war" as the demand for industrial chemicals during World War II generated new technologies and mass production processes, according to Mariano.

Chemical companies like Monsanto made enormous profits during wars and when these wars ended, they re-directed their industries toward the domestic market.

"The US itself has the capability and control in the so-called new technology and monopoly of weapons of mass destruction," Mariano said.

Mariano said it was a "clear mockery" that US President George W. Bush launched the strike on Iraq under the pretext of disarming it of its weapons of mass destruction because the US itself was the primary producer of weapons of mass destruction.

"The US only made it clear that oil and political domination in the Middle East are the real reasons in its invasion of Iraq," Mariano said.

The No to War, Yes to Peace Coalition and the Citizens Alliance for Consumer Protection have also called for a boycott of US products to protest the bombing and invasion of Iraq.

Text and e-mail messages from these two groups are urging their message recipients to text, phone and e-mail everyone they know not to patronize US consumer icons like Starbucks, Coke and McDonalds.

"The Arab world has been boycotting US products and has already caused a serious dent on sales. A call for a similar boycott has also been made in Japan," said an e-mail message sent to the Inquirer by the No to War, Yes to Peace Coalition.

©2003 all rights reserved


2.Greenpeace: Momentum Builds for New UN Peace Resolution

Demands for a UN emergency session are on the rise!  32,015 of you have written to UN Ambassadors around the world.  You've sent 29,700 E-cards to friends, colleagues, fellow students, and family members. This is an extraordinary response in a very short time, and what do we want??? MORE!

Why? This is a crucial week. No nation has yet stepped forth to get the ball rolling, though many have expressed their support for the Uniting for Peace resolution, which would bring all nations of the General Assembly together to demand an end to the war.  You can read more in the following story about how the Uniting for Peace resolution has stopped wars in progress in the past:

But the resolution needs even more support NOW, because the US has begun
an active lobbying campaign against it.

According to Reuters, "The United States has launched a worldwide diplomatic drive to head off the calling of an emergency session..." The US has circulated angry letters to many countries stating that "Given the current highly charged atmosphere, the United States would regard a General Assembly session on Iraq as unhelpful and as directed against the United States."

If they're worried about this, it's a good sign.

Over the last week, the Russian Duma, the President of Indonesia, several European countries and the vast majority of African, Asian, and Latin American countries have expressed support for an emergency session.

UN General Assembly President Jan Kavan of the Czech Republic said he thought it "very likely" that a special session would be called.  But we can't just leave this to "likely."

It's important that a Uniting for Peace resolution passes to show the overwhelming opposition of the world's countries to this war. and to make abundantly clear its illegality.

We're part of what the New York Times has called the "new second superpower": world opinion, and it is time our voices were listened to.

Urge your UN Ambassador to support an emergency session under the Uniting for Peace resolution:

Send an E-card to your friends, colleagues, fellow students, and family asking them to take action too:


Please don't forget to visit the Greenpeace Cyberactivist Community at:

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