Briefings

Update (June 2002)

Sunday 30th June 2002

According to the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA) the global area devoted to transgenic or genetically modified (GM) crops has increased more than 30-fold from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 to 52.6 million hectares in 2001. The statistics show an extraordinarily rapid market introduction. More astonishing is the concentration in ownership and control of GM crop technology. At this point in time, GM crop technology is dominated almost exclusively by a single company, in limited geographical areas.

Nanotech Particles Penetrate Living Cells and Accumulate in Animal Organs

Saturday 1st June 2002

Are nanoparticles polluting the environment? Researchers have just begun to ask the most basic questions about the impact of new nano-materials on human health and the environment. Evidence of nanoparticle contamination in living organisms and unanswered questions about potential dangers of new forms of carbon require urgent societal review.

...to promote genetic seed sterilization - Terminator technology - as an environmental protection technology

Wednesday 1st May 2002

It is revisionist history, and a cynical strategy, to suggest that Terminator was developed as a biosafety tool.

ETC Group is alarmed and insulted by the campaign to promote Terminator as a biosafety mechanism. It is unacceptable and dangerous to suggest that agriculture is dependent on genetic seed sterilization as a method for minimizing genetic pollution from genetically modified plants.

+ Captain Hook Awards 2002

Monday 1st April 2002

On the 10th anniversary of the Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD), ETC group concludes that the CBD has failed to establish meaningful regulations to stop biopiracy. Biopiracy refers to the appropriation of the knowledge and genetic resources of farming and indigenous communities by individuals or institutions seeking exclusive monopoly control (usually patents or plant breeders' rights) over these resources and knowledge.

Genetic Pollution in Mexico's Centre of Maize Diversity

Friday 1st February 2002

ETC group explores the fractious scientific and political debate surrounding GM maize contamination in Mexico.

Alternative Mechanisms to Enhance Corporate Monopoly and BioSerfdom in the 21st Century

Saturday 1st December 2001

This Communique identifies new mechanisms - ranging from remote sensing technologies, biological monopolies, and legal contracts - that are being developed by a broad range of industries to strengthen corporate dominance over new technologies. The political, practical and technical uncertainties surrounding intellectual property are increasingly unacceptable to industry - and that is why companies are developing new tools for monopoly control- what ETC group calls "New Enclosures."

On the Centenary of a Famine

Wednesday 24th October 2001

In a period framed by the World Food Summit of 1996 and the Summit's rescheduled review in 2002, ETC Group looks back at the same span of years one century earlier as history lesson and as portent. These years (1896-1902) marked an era of devastating global famine when no less than 30 million people died in circumstances strikingly similar to those we face today-trade liberalization (i.e., "globalization"), climatic change, (corporate) colonialism, and a set of new technologies promising, once again, to feed the hungry.

World Food Day - What to do if Your Gene Bank is Contaminated with GM Seed

Tuesday 16th October 2001

As the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) recovers from delays to its World Food Summit at the hands of Italy's Silvio Berlusconi, the world's agricultural gene banks fret over GM contamination and government 'biocrats' gird their loins to fight for an International Undertaking intended to protect world seed security.

A Political Epilogue to the Book of Life: Update on Pharmaceutical Multinationals

Monday 1st October 2001

Issue: For five years now, public concern about genetic engineering has been riveted on GM crops and foods. But, advances in mapping the human genome have spawned new pharmaceutical industry opportunities. While the prospects for human cloning and stem cell therapies grab the headlines and divert our attention, the companies are pursuing more strategic agendas. Although the majority oppose reproductive cloning, public and policy opinion is 'soft.' Industry's latest and most lucrative market - Human Performance Enhancement drugs - 'HyPEs' - are not even on the policy agenda.

Concentration in Corporate Power: The Unmentioned Agenda

Wednesday 15th August 2001

Issue: Concentration in corporate power is the defining feature of today’s (2001) global economy. The “life sciences” industry is converging into new corporate structures that have profound implications for every aspect of commercial food, agriculture, and health.

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