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Anti-GE Groups Expect Thousands for San Diego Protests June 24-25

Anti-GE Groups Expect Thousands for San Diego Protests June 24-25

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** Call to Action! **
International Days of Action against the Biotechnology Industry
June 24-25th, 2001, EVERYWHERE
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Join thousands of activists, farmers, scientists, and others from around the
world in opposing the biotechnology industry!

On June 24th and 25th, 2001 the Biotechnology Industry Organization (BIO)
convention in San Diego, will open its doors to thousands of executives,
lawyers, venture capitalists, and corporate scientists working to further
their agenda of a patented and commodified future.

Outside the convention hall and all over San Diego, thousands of people will
be gathering for Beyond Biodevastation 2001/BIOJUSTICE! This multi-day
event will feature teach-ins, demonstrations, and direct actions to confront
and shed light on the threats to our health, environment, farms and society
posed by genetic engineering.

We are calling for people to come to San Diego with ideas for affinity
group-based actions, and for simultaneous solidarity actions in communities
around the world to stop the commodification of life, the destruction of
food systems, the theft of genetic information and the loss of community
power.

The possibilities are endless. From teach-ins to voluntary GE food labeling
brigades, from demonstrations against the gene giants to organic potlucks,
from direct actions to leafleting, we are calling for global grassroots
organizing against the biotechnology industry.

Since 1987, corporate gene giants have been contaminating the world's food
supply with dangerous and largely untested products of genetic engineering.
Many of these same companies are also major players in the global
pharmaceutical industry, which has made health care unaffordable for growing
numbers of people around the world, while channeling research funds toward
expensive genetic approaches to health and disease at the expense of more
fundamental medical and health needs. These companies have also told the
world that genetic engineering will reduce pesticide use, as they engineer
their crops to tolerate more herbicides.

Despite wide spread opposition to genetically engineered food and demands
for affordable health care, the biotechnology industry is continuing along a
path of social and environmental destruction. Corporations and governments
are leading the agenda to globalize patent laws that privatize life as
intellectual property rights, encourage greed and sell out science to the
profit motive.

To stop the biotechnology industry, to bring power to our communities, to
create sustainable food systems, to create universal health care, we call
communities, individuals, and organizations to TAKE ACTION!

For more information and updates on the days of action, see:
http://www.biodev.org

The Organizers of Biojustice 2001
The Institute for Social Ecology Biotechnology Project
North East Resistance Against Genetic Engineering - neRAGE.org

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Background on the Gene Giants:

Monsanto: Today a much smaller company than before, as a result of a merger
with Pharmacia, and the subsequent spin-off of only the agriculture, seed
and pesticide divisions under the Monsanto name. Still, Monsanto controls
85% of all genetically engineered germplasm, and is using its ownership of
many of the world's most important commercial seed companies to saturate the
commercial seed supply with genetically engineered varieties.

Aventis: Formed two years ago by the merger of the German chemical giant
Hoechst and the French Rhone Poulenc, Aventis is best known for the
"Starlink" variety of pesticidal GE corn. This variety is not approved for
human consumption and is considered likely to cause severe allergic
reactions in some people. Still, it has been found in hundreds of
brand-name processed foods, and has thoroughly contaminated the US supply of
corn seed. Aventis also specializes in crops resistant to glufosinate
herbicides.

Syngenta: Formed within the past year, when Novartis and Astra-Zeneca
decided to spin off many of their agricultural divisions to protect the
market value of their pharmaceutical divisions, Syngenta describes itself as
"the world's leading agribusiness company." Syngenta markets numerous
varieties of herbicide-tolerant and pesticidal GE crops.

DuPont: In 1999, DuPont Chemical completed its purchase of Pioneer Hi-Bred,
the world's largest seed company. Pioneer aggressively markets numerous GE
varieties from all of the largest biotechnology companies.

Novartis: Since its founding in 1996, from the merger of Swiss chemical
giants Sandoz and Ciba-Geigy, Novartis has been one of the world's most
aggressive marketers of pesticidal Bt crops, featuring an activated toxin
spliced from Bt bacteria (Bacillus thuringiensis). Novartis has also been
heavily involved in xenotransplantation research, seeking to genetically
engineer animals to provide organs for human transplants; this line of
research is considered extremely abusive to animals and, if it ever
succeeds, it could introduce lethal animal viruses into the human
population.

Astra-Zeneca: Parent company Zeneca in the UK was responsible for one of
the first field trials of genetically engineered trees; Astra-Zeneca is
reportedly continuing to develop Terminator seed technologies, despite a
public pledge to discontinue this research.

Dow Chemical: Dow's involvement in biotechnology includes its ownership of
the San Diego-based Mycogen, which recently absorbed Cargill's seed
division. Dow is collaborating with San Diego-based EPICyte to produce
human antibodies in genetically engineered plants.
Cargill: The world's largest and most vertically integrated wholesale grain
trader. Its joint venture with Monsanto specializes in genetically
engineered animal feeds. "Cargill has used its extreme market power to
ensure that the market is GM, against consumer opinion," states the UK's
Corporate Watch.

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