Featured Collaboration

Kickstopper! Putting a Stop to Synthetic Biology Pollution

A real kicker for biodiversity.

At the end of April 2013, ETC Group learned that three biohackers from Singularity University in California had mounted a project on the popular crowdfunding site Kickstarter. It was a plan to carry out the worlds first environmental release of an avowedly Synthetic Biology organism - a glow-in-the dark arabidopsis plant. Shockingly the 'Glowing Plants' kickstarter project promised to mail up to 100 bioengineered seeds to anyone from the United States who gave them $40 online . To date over 4000 people expect to receive syn bio seeds in the post. Even more shockingly they claim that the US Government had agreed not to regulate, assess or monitor this widespread random and nation-wide release of synthetic organisms.
ETC Group is now mounting a counter-kickstarter campaign: - the Kickstopper! Read how you can be part of it.

Hands off Mother Earth

Campaign agains Geoengineering

Hands Off Mother Earth (H.O.M.E) is a global campaign to defend our one precious home, Planet Earth, against the threat of geoengineering experiments.

The HOME campaign provides a common platform for organizations and individuals around the world to register their opposition to geoengineering experiments.  The campaign asserts that the seas, skies and soils of our home planet should not be used as a laboratory for these unjust and risky technological fixes.

Captain Hook Awards for Biopiracy

They plunder the commons to fill their treasure chests

Biopiracy refers to the monopolization (usually through intellectual property) of genetic resources and traditional knowledge or culture taken from peoples or farming communities that developed and nurtured those resources.

The Captain Hook Awards are a project of the Coalition Against Biopiracy, an informal group of civil society and peoples' organizations that first came together at the 1995 Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity meeting in Jakarta.

Pie-in-the-Sky Contest

We want to know your wackiest idea for a climate change techno-fix

Click here to download the full-color print-quality poster by Stig, which includes contest details and an illustration of a “pie-in-the-sky” launch, ETC's own geoengineering bright idea. You don't need to take a workshop to join the latest DIY (Do-It-Yourself) craze! Now you can geo-engineer the great outdoors – all of it! Geo-engineering is the intentional manipulation of earth, oceans and atmosphere to stop climate change.

Turn around the Geo-engineering ship to protect the moratorium!

At the beginning of this week, ETC Group learned that the RV Polarstern, a German research ship with a crew of 32 geo-engineers was about to leave Cape Town in South Africa for a 70-day voyage to Punta Arenas in Chile. Their aim is to dump iron sulphate in 300 square kilometres of the Scotia Sea off the coast of Argentina. This is part of an ocean fertilization experiment, code named LOHAFEX, that is co-sponsored by the Indian and German governments.

Are Patents Out of Control?

Human Rights, Predatory Patents and The Right to Say "No"

Patents granted in major trading jurisdictions such as the European Patent Office or the US Patent and Trademark Office are often accepted without question by overburdened patent authorities elsewhere. Yet, many exclusive monopoly patents related to the processes and formulae of life are contrary to a country's moral sense - or even pose a threat to food security or the environment. Many countries have national patent laws that provide for what is commonly known as ordre public - ensuring the government's right to say "no" to "immoral" patents. This well-established national right is also embedded in the GATT TRIPS (Trade-Related aspects of Intellectual Property) agreement under Article 27(2).

Tell Monsanto Where To Go!

Saskatchewan farmers Percy and Louise Schmeiser fought Monsanto all the way to the Canadian Supreme Court when the Gene Giant accused them of violating Monsanto's patent on GM canola (oilseed rape). Percy and Louise did not want GM seeds on their property and they did not try to benefit from the herbicide-tolerant trait in the GM seed (that is, they didn't spray Roundup weedkiller). Yet, Monsanto came onto their land without permission, dug around to establish that GM canola had contaminated the Schmeisers' farm, and then blamed the family for the company's failure to control its own technology. GM canola pollen has been shown to travel as much as 26 kilometers (16.2 miles). Monsanto has been selling GM canola since 1996. Canola seed can survive in the soil for eight or more years. GM contamination can spread from fields to boulevards to cemeteries and home gardens. With the help of prairie winds and bees, GM seed planted in a field eight years ago could have hitchhiked more than 208 km. Today, GM canola is a major weed pest on the Canadian prairies.

Stop GM contamination!

An open letter to Mexican government authorities and intergovernmental bodies was sent, signed by 302 organizations from 56 countries, demanding actions to stop contamination of farmers' maize with DNA from genetically modified (GM) maize, and to prevent any further contamination in the world's centers of crop diversity and origin. The open letter, see "Open letter from international civil society organizations, News Release; November 19, 2003" asks the Mexican government to maintain the moratorium against the planting of transgenic maize in Mexico, stop the importation of transgenic or non-segregated maize - likely the main source of contamination in Mexico- and conduct urgent studies to determine the extent of the contamination.

Say No to Terminator!

The genetic modification of plants to produce sterile seeds has been widely condemned by civil society, scientific bodies, and many governments as an immoral application of agricultural biotechnology. If commercialized, the technology will prevent farmers from saving seed from their harvest for planting the following season. The aim of genetic seed sterilization is to maximize seed industry profits by destroying the right of farmers to save their seeds and breed their own crops. We cannot depend on the good will of transnational corporations to prevent Terminator seeds from becoming a commercial reality.