Quick Reads

The Year We Didn't Want

...Or "193 Shades of Grey".

2012 Whizzed and then it Fizzed, but 2013 can be Better

To get 2013 off with a technological BANG, ETC staff are offering (what, for us, amounts to) a ‘light-hearted’ reflection on the year past and projections for the one already upon us.

Uppers: At the end of the year, New Scientist announced that we have reduced the under-5 child mortality rate by 60 % in the last 20 years. In the United States, government studies revealed during the year that teenage pregnancies have declined 40 % since 1990; teenage smoking (at 10.6 %) is at its lowest level since records were first kept in 1975; the number of traffic fatalities in New York City (declining ever since 1971) are the lowest since 1910; in spite of a 50 % increase in the number of firearms, the number of US households possessing guns is continuing to drop. And, in late October, The Economist reported that, across most industrialized countries, the annual crime rate has been dropping steadily since the mid-1990s. In 2012, studies announced that homophobia, at least in OECD states, is declining steeply – a little short of World Peace or ending hunger but still something to celebrate.

Qui nous nourrira tous?

Article par Pat Mooney pour une discussion en ligne d'Oxfam: "L'avenir de l'agriculture "

Si nous voulons survivre aux changements climatiques, nous devons adopter des politiques qui permettront aux fermiers de diversifier les variétés végétales et animales qui se retrouvent sur nos menus. Ils sont les seuls à avoir la connaissance et la patience nécessaires pour découvrir quels sont les plantes et animaux qui pourront se développer. Un changement fondamental dans les mécanismes de régulation est nécessaire.

Continúa alarma por maíz transgénico

México permanece en alerta roja ante los intentos de Monsanto y otras trasnacionales agrícolas por lograr la aprobación del gobierno a la siembra de 2.5 millones de hectáreas de maíz transgénico en el centro de origen y diversidad del cultivo. Como informó el Grupo ETC el mes pasado, aprobar estas solicitudes pondría en grave peligro a la biodiversidad, los derechos campesinos y recursos vitales para enfrentar el cambio climático. Aunque la administración de Felipe Calderón no pudo dar luz verde a las solicitudes antes de dejar el cargo el 30 de noviembre, hizo cambios de último minuto a diversos procedimientos regulatorios para dejar abierto el camino para que el nuevo gobierno pueda otorgar los permisos solicitados por las transnacionales.

Dentro y fuera de México, miles de voces han denunciado el ataque dirigido al corazón de las culturas mexicanas, a la alimentación, a la salud y a la naturaleza. Desde mediados de noviembre, se han organizado talleres y reuniones públicas en torno a esta “alerta transgénica”, así como peticiones nacionales e internacionales, protestas de campesinos, artistas, activistas y científicos que circulan en redes sociales, en prensa escrita y radial. La Vía Campesina, GRAIN y el Grupo ETC dirigieron una carta abierta a la Organización para la Agricultura y la Alimentación (FAO) y al Convenio sobre Diversidad Biológica (CDB), demandando a estas agencias de Naciones Unidas su intervención en bien de la seguridad alimentaria global.

Growing Maize Disaster

Mexico remains on high alert following the attempts of Monsanto and other agribusiness multinationals to win the government’s approval to plant 2.5 million hectares of transgenic maize in Mexico, the center of origin and diversity of maize. As ETC wrote last month, approval would allow the boldest coup of a global food crop in history and would threaten biodiversity, farmers’ rights and resilience in the face of climate change. While the outgoing government of Felipe Calderón did not approve the applications before leaving office on November 30th, its last-minute, surreptitious changes to regulatory procedures removed obstacles that could have hindered the new administration’s ability to grant the companies’ requests.

Inside and outside Mexico, voices have decried the attack aimed at the heart of Mexican cultures, food, health and nature. Since mid-November, there have been workshops and public meetings, as well as petitions and protests by farmers, artists, activists and scientists in social and print media and on the radio. La Via Campesina, Grain and ETC Group wrote an open letter to the UN’s Food and Agricultural Organization (FAO) and Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) asking the multilateral agencies to intervene for the sake of global food security.

Firmen la petición global contra la comercialización de maíz transgénico en México

Mientras millones celebran el Thanksgiving (Día de acción de gracias), los ejecutivos de Monsanto, DuPont y Dow Agrosciences esperan poder darle las gracias al presidente mexicano de salida: Felipe Calderón.

En los últimos días de su adminstración, hay grandes espectativas de que Calderón otorgrá el permiso para la siembra comercial de más de 2.5 millones de hectáreas de maíz genéticamente modificado en el centro mundial de origen y diversidad de este importante cultivo alimentario. Si el presidente Calderón lo hace, la autorización será ni más ni menos que una puñalada en el corazón, tanto de la ancestral cultura del maíz en México como de la diversidad del maíz en el planeta entero.

Por favor tomen un momento para firmar y apoyar una nueva petición internacional contra la comercialización de maíz transgénico en México en

Sign the global petition against commercialization of GMO Maize in Mexico!

It may be a time of thanksgiving for the harvest in North America but in the boardrooms of Monsanto, Du Pont and Dow Agrosciences biotech executives may be saving their biggest thanks to the outgoing Mexican President: Felipe Calderon.

In these last dying days of his presidency, Calderon is widely expected to grant permission for the commercial planting of more than 2.5 million hectares of genetically modified maize (corn) in the global centre of origin and diversity for this important world food crop. If he does so this move of historical importance would amount to a "knife in the heart" of both Mexico's ancient maize culture and the diversity of maize worldwide.

Please take a moment to sign and support a new international petition against the impending commercialization of GMO maize in Mexico at http://www.avaaz.org/en/petition/Stop_Monsanto_in_Mexico/?fSLKJbb&pv=1

A Brief Primer on Ocean Fertilization in the CBD and the London Convention and Protocol

by Duncan E.J. Currie LL.B. (Hons) LL.M. - October 19 2012


 This briefing outlines the principal decisions and resolutions of the Convention on Biological Diversity and London Convention/Protocol relating to ocean fertilization in the context of the Haida Salmon Restoration Corporation's "Haida Salmon Restoration Project".

The CBD Moratorium

The Great Mexican Maize Massacre

Gene Giants Prepare the Genetic Wipe-out of One of the World’s Most Important Food Crops

Agribusiness giants Monsanto, DuPont and Dow are plotting the boldest coup of a global food crop in history. If their requests to allow a massive commercial planting of genetically modified (GM) maize are approved in the next two weeks by the government of outgoing president Felipe Calderón, this parting gift to the gene giants will amount to a knife in the heart of the center of origin and diversity for maize. The consequences will be grave – and global. With the approvals and December planting deadlines looming, social movements and civil society organizations have called for an end to all GM maize in Mexico. Mexico’s Union of Concerned Scientists (UCCS) has called on the Mexican government to stop the processing of any application for open-field release of GM maize in Mexico. ETC Group joins these calls, and appeals to the UN Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) and to the UN Convention on Biological Diversity (CBD) – intergovernmental bodies mandated to support food security and biodiversity – to take immediate action.

Please take a moment to sign a global petition against the commercialization of GMO maize in Mexico at: