jueves, marzo 25, 2004

This item in the Environmental News Network web site called my attention: two pillars of American liberalism, former senator McGovern and former president Carter, honored Norman Borlaug on his 90th birthday. Borlaug, a Nobel Peace Prize Winner, is hailed as the father of the Green Revolution. He even has a research institute named after him. A lifetime advocate of industrial agriculture and biotechnology and sworn enemy of organic agriculture, Borlaug has been treated as a hero by biotech corporations and right-wing front groups. Having Borlaug honored by McGovern and fellow Nobel Peace Prize winner Carter is certainly a public relations home run for the biotech industry. Carter earned a lot of respect for openly criticizing Bush's war in Iraq, but on the other hand he is a big supporter of biotechnology and the whole neoliberal "free trade" globalization project.

Borlaug has close links with AgBioWorld, one of the main components of the biotech PR machine. In fact, this organization (which seems to be nothing more than a web site) gushes with endless praise for the man. AgBioWorld was co-founded by Greg Conko, of the far-right Competitive Enterprise Institute. The other co-founder, C.S. Prakash, moderates the AgBioView list server, in which environmentalists are routinely compared with Hitler and Al Qaeda. AgBioView, as a matter of fact, was instrumental in the slander campaign against Ignacio Chapela and David Quist, the scientists who first sounded the alarm about the furtive presence of genetically engineered corn in Mexico. AgBioView keeps doing similar hatchet jobs on other independent scientists that dare speak out against the biotech industry.

Nor surprisingly, AgBioWorld is already taking on Dr Terje Traavik.

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