ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

8 March 2002


1. UN gets into bed with Aventis
2. Indian Farmers UK 18th March


1. UN gets into bed with Aventis

from the Aventis press release below: "Statements in this news release other than historical information are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties. Actual results could differ materially..."

For more on Aventis:
Press Release: Aventis CropScience and the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification intensify cooperation

Global Memorandum of Understanding concluded between UN Secretariat and Aventis CropScience
Lyon - France, Frankfurt/Main - Germany, 25/02/02.

A new global initiative has been set up as part of the "Private public partnership", an approach suggested by Kofi Annan, Secretary-General of the United Nations, to promote cooperation between industry and governmental organisations in implementing the Rio Declaration: In this respect Aventis CropScience has signed a Memorandum of Understanding with the United Nations Secretariat of the Convention to Combat Desertification (UNCCD) in Bonn to support efficient use of resources, sustainable  agricultural production and the transfer of technology in the field of crop production and crop protection in third world countries characterized by dryland ecosystems.

The memorandum, which was initially concluded for five years, provides the framework for Aventis CropScience to support joint projects with African, Asian, Latin American and Caribbean countries. In this way, the initiative will promote projects for sustainable agricultural production in arid regions and desert areas. The joint initiatives will also focus on the environmentally-friendly and safe use of crop protection agents.

As the agreement was signed, Hans von Olfers, Head of Aventis CropScience International, said, "We at Aventis CropScience are committed to promoting the objectives of sustainable, environmentally-friendly agriculture, as laid down in the Rio Convention. Signing this agreement with the United Nations Desertification Secretariat is only the first step in working together on mid-term and long term projects. We are proud to be the first company to sign this kind of framework agreement with a United Nations Organisation. We see this as recognition of the efforts we have been making to develop an integrated crop protection strategy. Taking into account the local soil and climate conditions, it will enable increased productivity and yields while preserving the environment."

The Executive Secretary of the UNCCD, Mr. Hama Arba Diallo said: "This memorandum is an expression of the building of a broader coalition favoured by the UNCCD. I am pleased that Aventis CropScience considers as its social and environmental corporate responsibility to link up with worthy international initiatives aimed at reducing poverty and conserving nature resources".

Specific projects are currently in preparation.

Aventis CropScience is a major crop protection and crop production company, which is also involved in top ranking environmental and public health activities. Committed to developing sustainable agriculture worldwide, Aventis CropScience focuses on researching, developing and marketing innovative solutions that meet the needs of farming ? healthy crops, increased yields, improved crop and food quality ? whilst constantly striving to meet the needs of the environment.

With 2001 sales of o 4,303 billion, Aventis CropScience devotes over 11% of its  turnover to the Research and Development of new chemicals, biotechnology and plant varieties. It employs about 14,400 people in more than 120 countries worldwide.

For more information on Aventis visit the Web Site:

Statements in this news release other than historical information are forward-looking statements subject to risks and uncertainties.

Actual results could differ materially depending on factors such as the availability of resources, the timing and effects of regulatory actions, the strength of competition, weather conditions, the outcome of litigation and the effectiveness of patent protection.

Additional information regarding risks and uncertainties is set forth in the current Annual Report on Form 20-F of Aventis on file with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Your Contact: Aventis CropScience SA · 55 avenue René Cassin · CP 106 ·
F-69266 Lyon Cedex 09·
Dr. Wolfgang Faust
Tel.: +49(0)69 /305 3950
Fax: +49(0)69 /305 80376
for multiple news items on Aventis:
new website


2. Indian Farmers UK 18th March

From: <>
Subject: Indian Farmers UK 18th March
Date: Wed, 6 Mar 2002 11:19:07 +0100

Indian Women Farmers challenge UK Aid in London, Monday 18th March  -
Please Forward:

First, a big thankyou to all the people who signed on to the Solidarity message against British Government Aid to Andhra Pradesh's  "Vision 20\20" programme, which will displace 25 MILLION rural people, and corporatise Agriculture in the State.  "Seize the Day" presented the message at the final event of the Biodiversity Festival near Hyderabad, as well as to local TV and Press, Government officials, and the National "Hindu" newspaper.   At the same time, the Chief Minister of AP had just signed a "Memorandum of Understanding" with Monsanto, which will give them free rein to plant GM crops throughout Andhra Pradesh!

Everyone who cares about Third World Farmers and Globalisation should now support the placing of pressure on the UK Govt not to sign its next Aid-cheque to AP.   There is a very real possibility that if the Aid is stopped, the whole scheme will collapse, along with the right-wing State Government.

The opportunity to do this comes with the visit of  AP farmers, including poor "Dalit" or "Untouchable" women farmers, to the UK on Monday 18th March.   The delegation will be stopping off in the UK on their way to meet farmers in Peru.  On Monday 18th, 2.00pm, they will present the findings of a "Citizen's Jury", which roundly rejected "Vision 20\20", in the House of Commons.

We need maximum noise to be created around this event, particularly by well-placed media people, to get it into the public arena.  The embarrassment which will come thru any public scrutiny of where our "Aid" budget is actually going, could stop even Claire Short in her tracks.   Privately, the Aid officials are already wobbly, especially in view of the complete corruption occurring on the ground.  When Tony Blair visited a village in AP recently, millions of rupees of Aid money had been spent on prettifying the village he went to, including distribution of free clothes to all the "Untouchable" villagers.  As soon as he had gone, Govt officials took the clothes back!   This was reported in the National Press here, so it's hardly a secret.   If Claire is serious about her claim to "Listen to The Voices of the Poor" she will listen to the Dalit farmers of India now.  But the likelihood is that their visit will largely be ignored, unless we prevent it.

Please contact:;;
for detailed info and to share ideas\offer support.  Be pro-active.  National Phone-ins (Radio 5?) etc. Through the support of the Deccan Development Society, and a remarkable man called PV Satheesh,  these farmers have gone against prevailing trends to reclaim their Food Security through embracing traditional crops, empowering women, and rejecting chemicals and fertilizers.  Now, along with the rest of India, they face the nightmare of a GM free-for-all, funded by the World Bank and UK tax-payers.

There are many positive movements in Indian farming, but the pressures which could tear India apart are mounting.  Monsanto's BT cotton is being grown illegally and legally in many States, and the poor cotton farmers need a market for Organic Cotton and a GM Cotton boycott to come from the West.

The right wing Hindu fundamentalist BHP government is working hand in glove with the VHP social movement who have orchestrated the recent massacres of moslems here.   This looks like a Fascist movement ? on the one hand building support amoung the poorest communities, and peddling a fiction of National and Religious identity, while on the other, selling-off the country's assets and resources to the highest multi-national bidders.   And all the while buying British Arms for its own "war against (moslem) terrorism".

If you can help in any way, even by forwarding this message, please do...
Solidarity, Theo (Seize The Day)
See also the new website

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