29 August 2002
GETTING DOWN IN THE DIRT WITH PRAKASH & CO.
"If Time wanted a true hero, it should have picked Prakash, also an Indian native. He literally gets down in the dirt..." from "The Villainous Vandana Shiva 'A false environmental prophet' " - see items below
Last year the BBC invited Vandana Shiva to give one of it prestigious Reith lectures. Her topic, "Poverty and globalisation". [http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/static/events/reith_2000/lecture5.stm]
Somebody with the audacity to point out, "It is women and small farmers working with biodiversity who are the primary food providers in the Third World", is clearly not going to make many friends among the hirelings of industrial agribiz.
Equally enraging over recent years will have been Shiva's effectiveness
in drawing attention to the threat from "Monsanto's expanding monopolies"
and in exposing "golden rice" as yet another example of the biotech indutsry's
exploitation for PR purposes of human suffering through bogus scientific
Little surprise then that the editor of the Agbiotech Reporter, a biotech industry newsletter, should have used the events of Sept 11 to claimthat Vandana Shiva had blood on her hands. And for anyone wondering if it's significant that the first reference to Shiva in the selected items below, taken from just 2 recent bulletins on Prakash's AgBioView, comes from an employee of Monsanto, consider these previous Monsanto PR contributions to AgBioView:
Date: 8 Nov 2001 12:24:03 -0000
From: Mary Murphy <firstname.lastname@example.org>
Subject: Liar, Liar
Vandana Shiva's done it again. Lying about technology and lying about Monsanto to foment more violence and unrest in India.
Similarly, Monsanto PR cypher Andura Smetacek in "her" first e-mail to AgBioView:
The Institute for Agriculture Trade Policy shares their news releases and hosts rallies with those like Jose Bove and Vandana Shiva who publicly call on people to vandalize supermarkets or "cremate" companies involved in this technology.
In reality, of course, the "cremate Monsanto" campaign in India, in which some of the company's trial crops were burnt, was organised by a Karnataka farmers' group unconnected with Shiva, but why let the facts stand in the way of a good story.
Other key targets of Monsanto's PR cyphers were organic farming and NGOs. That Monsanto's PR strategy is still in place is more than evidenced by the AgBioView items below.
[For more on Monsanto's PR strategy and AgBioView:
From: "BEYERSDORF, MIKE [AG/2563]" <email@example.com>
Did anyone else notice that the (fictitious) genetically altered Ebola virus developed by the villains in the Jack Clancy novel "Rainbow Six" was called "Shiva"?
- Aloha from the desk of Mike Beyersdorf, Kihei, Hawaii Research Station, Monsanto
The Villainous Vandana Shiva 'A false environmental prophet'
Michael Fumento, Natoinal Review Online, August 27, 2002
"If Time wanted a true hero, it should have picked Prakash, also an Indian native. He literally gets down in the dirt to help develop new biotech plants to be used by farmers in developing countries.
Only editors of a magazine in the world's richest country would be so naive as to proclaim a blubbery bourgeois Indian activist [Vandana Shiva] to be a hero...
The Villainous Vandana Shiva 'A false environmental prophet' Michael
Fumento, Natoinal Review Online, August 27, 2002
Michael Fumento [ http://www.fumento.com/ ] is a senior fellow at the
[http://www.hudson.org/ ] Hudson Institute in Washington, D.C. where he's
completing a book entitled BioEvolution: How Biotechnology is Changing
To regulate the labeling of organic food is, at best, analogous to regulating astrology charts. At worst, it gives government sanction to a potentially dangerous myth.
World Would Starve On Organic Farming
Dan Heath, The Wall Street Journal - Letters to the Editor, Page A11,
August 26, 2002
...a rogue's gallery of misinformation, anarchism, and paranoia sources, including Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace, Physicians and Scientists for Responsible Application of Science and Technology, Rural Advancement Foundation International, and the Union of Concerned Scientists.
Andrew Apel, Health Facts and Fears, August 20, 2002,
NGOs Want Money, Fame, and Power
Like the multi-nationals that they criticize, the green, anti-globalization, and environmental NGOs are revenue-maximizing organizations. They obtain their revenue by successfully marketing fear, no matter what the human cost may be. Fear and fundraising are their full-time occupations.
NGOs Don't Speak for the Hungry
Thomas R. DeGregori, 'Health Facts and Fears' from American Council on Science and Health, August 26, 2002
Subsidising inefficiency, pandering to cranks and propping up privilege have contributed greatly to the mess we are now in and we should not compound it by subsidising the absurdity of organic production.
The Race to Boost Organic Farming is Heading up a Dead-end Street
John Stewart, The Scotsman (UK), August 27, 2002
The genetically engineered seeds have proved their merit as regards production, yields and cost as also quality. There is, however, a strong lobby interested in the continued use of chemical fertilisers and pesticides, which are important elements of the Green Revolution package. The lobby has succeeded in creating a scare about, both probable and improbable, hazards for environment, plants, cattle and human population.
The Zambian Government, as of today, appears determined not to allow the entry of GM foods, even at the risk of exposing millions of people to starvation. In the past, Africa has witnessed the curious spectacle of a national government preventing food supplies from abroad from reaching its own starving people. It need not shock anyone if the government of Zambia uses the anti-GM arguments rather than some tribal diatribe to justify its policies.
Eventually, people the world over will come to consume GM foods. If
in the course they notice any unsavoury effects, human ingenuity will produce
the necessary antidotes. In any case, in another decade man will have no
alternative but to adjust himself to GM foods.
Contradictions at Earth Summit
Sharad Joshi, Business Line, August 28, 2002
Experts at WSSD Differ With Greenpeace Campaign Against GMO
PanAfrican News Agency (PANA), August 27, 2002
Cape Town, South Africa (PANA) - A 175-million dollar [!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!] campaign against the development of genetically modified crops, launched by the Greenpeace environmental group, has been criticised by dissenters who insist that biotechnology is vital in the search for food self-sufficiency in Africa.
Greenpeace has mounted a strong pressure group at the ongoing Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Development, to boost their claims that GM foods are unsafe. But co-founder and former Greenpeace president Dr Patrick Moore and the chairman of the Nairobi-based African Biotechnology Stakeholders Forum, Prof. James Ochanda, have challenged the move. Moore, who has since resigned from Greenpeace [nearly 20 years ago!!!], urged Third World nations to use biotechnology in agriculture, saying it could help farmers in developing countries grow more food per hectare.
...Also commenting on the issue, Prof. Ochanda questioned the motive
behind the European-based Greenpeace campaign against genetically modified
foods in Africa and the Third World at large. "Why do Europeans want
to deny Africa the opportunity to apply modern scientifically tested technology
to increase our food production? Is there some sinister agenda behind their
modus operandi?" he queried.
for more on Patrick Moore:
ngin bulletin archive