Thanks to Wytze for this which needs to be seen in the context of the growing revolt against the giant agribiz agenda and its multiple negative consequences, eg recent postings:
Norway says no to GM food (justfood.com) BSE: Europe admits it's mad (New Scientist) GE link to antibiotic resistance in bees? (Private Eye)
Re the latter, Claire Robinson of GM FREE http://www.btinternet.com/~clairejr/Bits/home.html
comments: "This story shows the absolute uselessness of the current regulatory system for protecting us from negative effects of GM crops. It takes scientists around 20 years to link a certain pollutant to particular health effects, if it is ever done at all. By that time the harm is done and the company has usually moved on to another unproven product, which in turn takes another 20 years to be linked to harmful effects.
Clearly, mealy-mouthed talk from the UK opposition political parties of "better regulation and control" of GM crops is not worth the oxygen it takes up. Only a complete ban on open growing of GM crops is sufficient to protect us.
The other noteworthy aspect of this story is MAFF's (Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food) decision not to go public yet with early results from research on gene tranfer at Leeds University. Surely, if the results were anything to rejoice about, they would have been splashed all over the papers by now, with enthusiastic comments by the usual range of suspect "scientists"." --- On 4 Jan 2001, at 12:53, GENET wrote:
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One million farmers protest in Italy
French demonstrators oppose U.S. GE crops
The Agrobusiness Examiner Issue # 100, by A.V. Krebs
December 21, 2000
archive: http://www.gene.ch/genet.html ----------------
One million farmers protest in Italy French demonstrators oppose U.S. GE crops
Demonstrations organized by Italy's largest farmers association, Coldiretti, in opposition to the European Union (EU) and national agricultural policies, recently saw one million farmers and 100,000 tractors joining in a protest that took place throughout the country's main cities.
In Turin, more than 1,500 tractors and 3,000 farmers demonstrated and poured hundreds of hectoliters of milk on the roads, as did farmers in Parma, and assaulted a McDonalds, while in Veneto, almost 1,000 tractors were on the roads. In Bergamo, the city was surrounded by 300 tractors that blocked the traffic and Trento was invaded by 500 tractors while in Verona, both the city and the province was paralyzed with 1000 tractors and 3000 farmers.
The Marche region was assaulted by 10,000 farmers and more than 2,000 tractors (out of these, 500 tractors and 3000 farmers blocked the city center in Ancona) while in Siena traffic was blocked by 600 tractors and 2000 farmers. In Taranto, 500 tractors and 2000 farmers poured into the city at dawn.
Both in Milan and Naples, the police allowed only a tiny delegation of tractors to move in the city, but in Palermo, due to the ongoing United Nations summit on organized crime, farmers decided to "behave" and distributed 5000 tractor models, together with a leaflet.
Among the demands that the farmers presented were:
- Changing the current EU aid system which supports farmers with criteria based on extension and not on productivity --- for Italy it means that yearly, about 400 million Euro dollars are given to just 300 farms. The other 800,000 farms receive less than 500 Euro each; - Changing the milk quota system (currently Italy is entitled to produce half of what Holland produces); - Easing the possibility to hire immigrants because of lack of labor force; - Stop GMO (genetically manipulated organisms)
Meanwhile, in France Greenpeace activists dumped tons of genetically modified soy meal onto an American flag during a protest outside a biotechnology conference claiming that the American exports of genetically modified crops pose health risks. The protest was held in Montpellier, in southern France, where representatives from 177 countries were meeting to discuss international biosafety regulations adopted in January.
Lionel Jospin, France's prime minister, Lionel Jospin, said that the French government would continue its moratorium on the production of modified crops.