GMOs, field trials, patents on life...?

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Euthenising EUgenics

Strategies for furthering European activism against
the imposition of modern biotechnologies, their products and accompanying
socio-economic structures on Europe and the world

November 9-16 1997


In the year 1 G.E.

November will mark 1 year since Monsanto's genetically engineered ready Roundup Soya entered European ports. It was not until Monsanto, backed forcibly by Dan Glickman, US Secretary of Agriculture, drove its produce into Europe that began the first popularly experienced year in the new era of modern biotechnologies. Thereby, the profile was raised of a previosuly obscure and questionable science early weaned and quickly made into a scheme for the privatisation, monopolisation and worldwide existential dependence on a handful of Northern transnationals.

In these 12 months alone,
* the marketisation of genetically engineered crops has risen tenfold, with the majority of the staple foods and primary ingredients of processed foods threatening already to be unavoidable
* the cloning of animals - long in the making - broke out into the open with the parade of the 'successes' (Dolly, Polly, among others)
* Field trials of GMOs have proliferated throughout Europe
* patents on animals, plants and human genes have mounted in the corporate patent race
* An EU emulation of a US scheme to privatise life forms and to monopolise the information which forms the basis of life itself advanced further with the European Parliament's cooption by multi- million ECU corporate lobbying

Presiding over these events is the pro-biotech European Commission, the bio-industy complex and the US - high priest of 'free trade', the WTO and modern biotechnologies.
* the European Commission has continued in its scheme to establish intermeshing legislation which will facilitate the growth of the biotech industry wholesale. In its activities, it has repeatedly placed trade and economic priorities and good PR with the bio- industry complex above the environment and people.
* the US has taken upon itself a mission to impose genetically engineered foods onto the rest of the world, using the World Trade Organisation and the whining cry of 'trade barriers' to bully an easy path for its agri-industry team, featuring Monsanto, among others


1 G.E. has also been a year of growing strongly outspoken resistance to the fast-growing biotech-complex (its science, proponents and products). Activism, public condemnation and even rejection from (inconsistent) governments and the European Parliament is not abating but is coming up against an industry which is fast entrenching itself in the legislative mechanisms of permanence. It is a year in which much experience in how to resist modern biotechnologies and their products has been won and which has brought new social/professional coalitions. We have only just started.


At the A SEED Europe activist gathering (Bulgaria 9-16), we want to bring together those interested to strategise for the future - discuss where the activist movement against EUgenics (the European Union biotech project) has come - where its successes lie on the local, national and regional scenes and how to continue

We will also make plans for A SEED Europe to function more fully within the European activist network challenging modern biotechnologies, on the basis of needs of groups at the local and national levels.


Issues that will feature prominently are:
* an evaluation of different campaigns in various countries
* sharing experiences: successes at the local, national and regional level campaigning
* the European Union Life patents directive currently being negotiated
* strategic events and pressure points within the global biotech- complex
* how to strengthen current European activist campaigns against modern biotechnologies
* the role the A SEED Europe network can play in combatting the biotech industry

If there are issues that you want to work on/strategise, get in contact so that we can prepare these well in advance.

The strategy sessions on modern biotechnologies will take place within the A SEED Europe activist gathering. The gathering is designed to plan and advance the activities on the local, national and regional levels of activists and to come up with a wider strategy of activism for the coming year against mechanisms and architects of economic globalisation and corporate rule: the EU, the WTO and TNCs, among others. The gathering will also plot the plan of attack for existing campaign focusses: transport, climate change, forests, TNCs and biotech.

Places will be restricted. So please apply as soon as possible, or , for further information on the gathering, contact

(Note: there will be some travel reimbursement available, and collective transport options to minimize individual participant travel costs)

Issues you would like to discuss and why:

Would you be interested in giving a workshop at the gathering:


Organisation (where applicable)

Personal experience: current or past activities on biotech or activism:





reasons for attending the gathering:

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