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[News] PCC Blasts Gates' Greedy Foundation for Imposing Dangerous GMO on Farmers (Monsanto)

  • Subject: [News] PCC Blasts Gates' Greedy Foundation for Imposing Dangerous GMO on Farmers (Monsanto)
  • From: Roy Schestowitz <newsgroups@xxxxxxxxxxxxxxx>
  • Date: Tue, 29 Dec 2009 16:28:16 +0000
  • Followup-to: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • Newsgroups: comp.os.linux.advocacy
  • User-agent: KNode/4.3.1
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PCC Sound Consumer


PCC expresses distaste for Gates approach to agriculture

,----[ Quote ]
| The Gates Foundation is getting some 
| criticism from a local food co-op for 
| supporting research into genetically 
| modified crops to increase production in 
| Africa.
| PCC Natural Markets, the Seattle-based food 
| co-operative, published a letter and 
| editor's note this month taking a strong 
| stance against genetic engineering of food.
| "I caution the organic community to be 
| watchful of this NEW Green Revolution, 
| especially since The Gates Foundation 
| science and technology efforts are led by a 
| former Monsanto researcher,"
| Dennis L. Weaver wrote in PCC's Sound 
| Consumer.
| "The Gates Foundation apparently is pushing 
| genetically modified crops on African 
| farmers," PCC editor Trudy Bialic added. She 
| cited a $42 million Gates grant to a project 
| involving Monsanto to produce corn resistant 
| to drought "even though genetic engineering 
| has failed to increase crop yields 
| significantly, despite 20 years of 
| research." 
| [...]
| But the local reaction reveals ongoing 
| skepticism, even among an audience generally 
| not at odds with Gates philanthropy.
| "The organic community cannot buy into 
| Bill's call to 'Let's just all hold hands, 
| sing kumbaya, hug, air-kiss and "'get over" 
| past "ideological" divides,' " Weaver wrote 
| to PCC.
| "I don't know exactly what is motivating the 
| Gates Foundation to buy into the 
| propaganda," Bialic said. "I think it's an 
| ideology that technology can save the world." 



Patents: an Open Letter to my MP

,----[ Quote ]
| Dear Rob Wilson MP,
| My accountants have drawn my attention to a
| little-noticed clause in the Chancellor's
| recent pre-budget statement that announces
| a measure (curiously named the "patent
| box") whose effect is to offer a reduced
| rate of corporation tax for profits
| deriving from patents. The stated intent is
| to encourage and reward innovation. As far
| as the software business (so important to
| the economy of your constituency) is
| concerned, the effect is likely to be
| exactly the opposite, and I would therefore
| like to encourage you to oppose it and to
| ensure that a Conservative government will
| not only reverse it, but move in the
| opposite direction.
| First let me explain where I am coming
| from. After 25 years as a senior software
| engineer with ICL, I spent 3 years with the
| mid-size German company Software AG, and
| for the last six years I have been running
| my own one-man software company here in
| Reading. It's a successful small business,
| selling globally over the internet, and
| relying 100% on innovation: my competitors
| are companies like IBM and Intel. They have
| both produced products similar to mine this
| year, but 5 years behind.
| Technically, UK and EU law disallows
| patents on software. However, the patent
| lawyers have found ways around that, and
| the current situation is that the patent
| offices are accepting applications that are
| software patents in all but name, and the
| courts are accepting them as valid.


Mexico's transgenic maize under fire

,----[ Quote ]
| Mexico doesn't have an adequate system to
| monitor or protect natural maize (corn)
| varieties from transgenes, say prominent
| scientists concerned about the experimental
| planting of genetically modified crops.
| In the past month, Monsanto and Dow
| AgriSciences have received government
| permission to plant transgenic maize across
| 24 plots, covering a total of nearly 13
| hectares, in the northern states of Sonora,
| Sinaloa, Chihuahua, Coahuila and
| Tamaulipas. The planting of transgenic
| maize had been prohibited for 11 years in
| Mexico, where maize was first domesticated.


Training on journalism advancing the interests of the Gates Foundation or the interests of Africans

,----[ Quote ]
| Why is 'training' for journalists always
| issue-based? AIDS, agriculture, etc. The
| Gates Foundation wants to advance its own
| agenda. Why not fund an panAfrican school
| of journalism? Or five or six regional
| African schools of journalism? Africans can
| run their own schools of journalism.


Filling a Need for African-Based Reporting on Agriculture

,----[ Quote ]
| But there are efforts underway to increase
| reporting about Africa from Africans. The
| International Center for Journalists
| received a $2 million grant, three-year
| grant in 2008 from the Bill & Melinda Gates
| Foundation to improve coverage of
| agriculture and health. They're placing
| journalists from the U.S. in four key
| African countries--Ghana, Malawi, Tanzania,
| and Senegal-- where they will lead projects
| with African journalists, helping them
| improve not only coverage, but the quality
| of the articles they're writing. The
| project will also help train "citizen
| journalist" stringers who can relay
| information from the village level via
| cellphones.
| And earlier this year, the Gates Foundation
| also awarded a two-year grant to the
| Berkeley Graduate School of Journalism to
| develop an intensive training program for
| African journalists to promote high-quality
| coverage of agricultural issues.


Monsoft or Microsanto?

,----[ Quote ]
| Amazingly, David Boies, the lawyer that
| led the attack on Microsoft during that
| investigation, is also invovled: he is
| representing Du Pont, one of Monsanto's
| rivals concerned about the latter's
| monopoly power.
| Let's just hope that Monsanto becomes the
| subject of a full anti-trust action, and
| that the result is more effective than
| that applied to Microsoft. After all,
| we're not talking about software here, but
| the world's food supply, and monopolies -
| both intellectual and otherwise - are
| simply morally indefensible when billions
| of lives are stake.


AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed biz role revealed

,----[ Quote ]
| Confidential contracts detailing Monsanto
| Co.'s business practices reveal how the
| world's biggest seed developer is
| squeezing competitors, controlling smaller
| seed companies and protecting its
| dominance over the multibillion-dollar
| market for genetically altered crops, an
| Associated Press investigation has found.


AP INVESTIGATION: Monsanto seed biz role revealed


How Monsanto owns and manipulates the world's food supply

,----[ Quote ]
| Steve Silberman sends us "A major AP
| expose of how Monsanto uses secret
| licensing agreements for its genetically
| manipulated crops to squeeze smaller seed
| companies, lock out competition, and keep
| food prices high.".


The Gates Foundationâs agriculture program: experimenting or floundering?

,----[ Quote ]
| Hereâs what we know about the Gates
| Foundationâs agriculture program:
|     * Gates believes itâs suggestive that
|     âApart from a few states and small, oil-
|     rich countries, no country has managed a
|     rapid rise from poverty without
|     increasing agricultural productivity. In
|     the poorest countries, agriculture
|     employs a majority of the people.â
|     * This isnât a new argument or an
|     undisputed one. See Peter Timmer on
|     Green Revolution âoptimistsâ vs.
|     âpessimistsâ.
|     * Gatesâs approach is âcomprehensive,â
|     targets âno single, simple solutionâ,
|     and includes farmer training/support,
|     irrigation initiatives, market access
|     initiatives, and funding of agricultural
|     research with a focus on gender
|     empowerment.
|     * This isnât a new approach or a
|     historically successful one. The World
|     Bank has focused on essentially the same
|     set of interventions recently, with
|     unclear results, and the previous
|     âholisticâ approach of âIntegrated Rural
|     Developmentâ is widely considered to
|     have failed. Details at our overview of
|     agriculture aid.
| In other words, the Gates Foundation
| approach â as described â appears to be
| neither a continuation of things that have
| worked before nor a fundamentally new
| approach to the problem. So what might be
| different this time around?


Kenya: Gates Foundation and Monsanto to Develop Genetically
Modified Seeds for Small Farmers

,----[ Quote ]
| Many of the emotionally charged headlines
| that drive Africaâs food security debate
| are intricately connected to the critical
| and complex Kenyan seed industry: Kenya is
| the second largest seed consumer in sub-
| Saharan Africa, and a key driver of
| agricultural research on the continent. For
| decades, donors and private interests have
| been funneling millions of dollars into the
| Kenya Agricultural Research Institute
| (KARI), in an effort to develop new plant
| varieties that can repel pests, withstand
| disease and produce higher yields.
| KARI is now one of the main partners in a
| new programme funded by the Gates
| Foundation that will attempt to develop
| genetically modified (GM) maize that can
| withstand drought. The plan is to
| distribute the seeds to small farmers in
| Kenya, Mozambique, South Africa, Tanzania
| and Uganda. The technology is coming from
| Monsanto, the American corporate seed giant
| that does a lot of work for the Gates
| Foundation in Africa. Normally Monsantoâs
| patented seeds come at a high price, which
| has inspired an endless stream of vitriol
| from activists who accuse the company of
| exploiting poor farmers for obscene
| profits. This time, farmers will receive
| the seeds royalty free â indefinitely â as
| part of Gatesâ push for a âgreen
| revolutionâ in Africa.


Kenya: Gates Foundation and Monsanto to develop GM seeds for small farmers


Hunger, Hypocrisy And The U.N.

,----[ Quote ]
| This is hypocrisy of the vilest sort. In
| fact, U.N. agencies, programs and policies
| themselves have prevented farmers in the
| developing world from obtaining the tools
| they need to become more productive. That
| gets us back to Bill Gates and his big
| plans: His choice last year of former U.N.
| Secretary General Kofi Annan to head a new
| group intended to achieve a "green
| revolution" in African agriculture, the
| Alliance for a Green Revolution--established
| with an initial $150 million grant from the
| Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the
| Rockefeller Foundation--was
| incomprehensible. If past performance is any
| indication, the only things likely to become
| greener are the numbered bank accounts of
| Annan and his cronies.


Monsanto: Making Microsoft Look Good

,----[ Quote ]
| Do genetically-modified seeds bring
| increased productivity? There seem doubts;
| but even assuming it's true, Gates sets up a
| false dichotomy: one reason GMO seeds aren't
| sustainable is because they are patented.
| That is, farmers must buy them year after
| year, and can't produce their own seeds.
| It's a situation that's relatively easy to
| solve: make GMOs patent-free; do not place
| restrictions on their use; let farmers do
| what farmers have done for millennia.
| And look, there you have it, potentially: productivity and
| sustainability. But we won't get that, not because the idealistic
| environmentalist are blocking it, but because the seed industry
| wants farmers dependent on their technology, not liberated
| by it. It is sheer hypocrisy for a fan of patents to
| accuse environmentalists of being the obstacle to
| productivity and sustainability: that would be the
| industrial model of dependence, enforced by
| intellectual monopolies, and espoused by big
| companies like Monsanto, the Microsoft of
| plant software.


No Patents on Seeds...or We're Really Stuffed

,----[ Quote ]
| Good to see that I'm not a lone voice crying
| in the wilderness:
|     The continuing patenting of seeds,
|     conventional plant varieties and animal
|     species leads to far-reaching
|     expropriations of farmers and breeders:
|     farmers are deprived of their rights to
|     save their seeds, and breeders are under
|     strong limitations to use the patented
|     seeds freely for further breeding. The
|     patent holder controlls the sale of the
|     seeds and the planting, decides about
|     the use of herbicides and can even
|     collect royalties at the harvest â up to
|     the finished food product.
|     Our food security is increasingly
|     dependent on a few transnational
|     chemical and biotechnological companies.
|     The European Patent Office (EPO) has
|     continuasly broadened the scope of
|     patentability and undermined existing
|     restrictions, in the interest of
|     multinational companies.
| [..]
| This exactly parallels the situation with
| software patents, where the EPO is using
| every trick in the book to approve them;
| except it's even worse.



Dark cloud over good works of Gates Found


Gates Foundation Revokes Pledge to Review Portfolio

,----[ Quote ]
| ...the Gates Foundation took down their public statement on this
| and replaced it with a significantly altered version which seems to
| say that investing responsibly would just be too complex for them
| and that they need to focus on their core mission: 'There are
| dozens of factors that could be considered, almost all of which
| are outside the foundation's areas of expertise. The issues
| involved are quite complex...


Gates Foundationâs Influence Criticized

,----[ Quote ]
| The chief of malaria for the World Health Organization has complained that
| the growing dominance of malaria research by the Bill and Melinda Gates
| Foundation risks stifling a diversity of views among scientists and wiping
| out the world health agencyâs policy-making function.


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- Truth Revealed


Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation- Truth Revealed Part 2

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