Brave New Seeds

The Threat of GM Crops to Farmers

Robert Ali Brac de la Perriere and Franck Seuret

Brave New Seeds

Robert Ali Brac de la Perriere and Franck Seuret

Distributed for Zed Books

Paper $21.95 ISBN: 9781856499002 Will Publish October 2000 For sale in North and South America only
Farmers around the world are being pressured by half a dozen giant corporations to grow genetically engineered crops. What are the possible downsides for them, particularly for those hundreds of millions of farmers living in developing countries? On their environment? On their health? On their independence? On their traditional export crops? On their access to the marketplaces of their own countries?
 
This important book comes out of a dialogue between farmers' representatives and experts. The result is a clear statement of principles and urgently needed measures which should guide governments and communities in bringing this profit-motivated deployment of scientific power under democratic control.
Contents
About the Authors
Acknowledgements
Abbreviations
 
Introduction
The seed savers
Informing the communities of the South
The Rishikesh Declaration
 
1. Seeds Belong to Farmers: The Downside of GM Seeds for Agriculture in the South
 
Long years of breeding work by farmers
The privatisation of life
Further economic dependence
Programmed elimination of small farmers
From farmer to producer of molecules
Ecological threats in countries of the South
Cocoa in wheat?
Outcry about Biopiracy
 
2. Terminator, Out!: Farmers’ Autonomy Jeopardised by Sterile Seeds
 
Terminator: the sterilisation of living organisms
Nothing in it for farmers
A technology that is not devoid of risks
No mercy for Terminator
Is the worst yet to come?
The Apomixis Gene: an Underrated Risk
 
3. The Precautionary Principle: The Ecological and Health Risks at Stake
 
Lack of adequate foresight
A commercial success
Gene flow: a major environmental risk
Increasingly resistant insects
Biodiversity in peril
Increased impact on agrarian systems in the South
The dangers for humankind
A plea for the precautionary principle
 
4. Greater Transparency: The Politics of GMO Secrecy
 
A false solution to the problem of hunger
Sustainable development or a second Green Revolution?
Intensifying production at the cost of biodiversity
Lack of transparency
The public left out of the equation
Mobilising farmers in developing countries
The urgent need for accountability
 
5. About Ethics: Tampering with the Foundations of Life
 
Transgression of the laws of nature
Science serving profit
Seizing the living
Imbalance in North-South relations
Ethics committees under pressure
Outcry from the four corners of the earth
Genes of the Mind and Genes of the Heart
 
6. Moratorium on Commercialisation: Setting the Rules
 
The indispensable moratorium
Beyond the moratorium
 
7. The Battle over Intellectual Property Rights: Living Matter Turned into Private Property
 
In the beginning was the patent
Article 27 of the WTO Agreement on the Trade Related Aspects of Intellectual Property Rights
More patents = less innovation?
Patents or sui generis?
What is a Good Sui Generis Sysem?
UPOV a deceptive alternative to patents
UPOV is no suitable for countries of the South
The Convention on Biological Diversity: a major step forward
An imperfect tool
Now or never
An Emergency Exit
The one and only sui generis
Sui Generis: the Thai Approach
 
Conclusion: Rishikesh at the Crossroads
 
Appendices
1. How to Get More Information
2. Further Reading List
3. Participants, Rishikesh, 5-10 December 1998
4. Report on the Workshop on Genetically Modified Organisms and the Rights of the Rural Community, Saharanpur, 1999
 
Index
For more information, or to order this book, please visit http://www.press.uchicago.edu
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