This book is about an issue of our times which does t yet get the attention that it deserves - the growing dominance of huge transnational corporations over every aspect of our lives from executive super-pay to private sector pension funds. The authors of this book look at one particular kind of modern corporation - the hi-tech agro-chemical and genetic engineering companies that w dominate the food chain. In this richly detailed account, they show how a handful of companies have: - Accelerated the industrialization of agriculture and the integration of the global ecomy in order to gain an alarming control over the food chain. - Penetrated the previously independent world of scholarly research both in universities and the specialized international agricultural research centres in CGIAR. - Manipulated public opinion, including distorting our understanding of key environmental processes and issues. - Unduly influenced regulatory agencies and national governments. - Turned international bodies like the WTO, the World Bank, and the FAO into instruments devising rules and policies primarily of benefit to corporate growth and corporate profit. - And w are further expanding by bullying the governments and farmers of the developing countries to accept their techlogies and products. Whether you are interested in the environment, democracy, or the development of countries in the South, the information and analysis contained in this book will prove both disturbing and empowering.
Helena Paul recently completed 12 years working with the Gaia Foundation (London, UK), where she focused on indigenous rights, the protection of rainforests and campaigns against oil extraction in the tropics, patents on life and and genetic engineering. She was the European representative on the International Committee of Oilwatch International and actively participated in the No Patents on Life Coalition that campaigned against the EU Biotech patents directive. She is now an independent consultant and member of Econexus, an international non-profit research organization. She has travelled extensively to Southern countries in connection with her work. In Ecuador she has collaborated with Accion Ecologica, the Fatima Centre and the Rainforest Information Centre over several years. In Brazil, she has spoken of the risks of genetically engineered crops at events organized by the Workers Party of Brazil and local resistance groups in Rio Grande do Sul, Parana and Santa Catalina. Dr. Ricarda A. Steinbrecher received a first class honours M.Sc. in biology at the University of Kiel, Germany and a Ph.D. in molecular genetics at the University of London. She is a member of the British Society for Allergy, Nutritional and Environmental Medicine and advisor to many national and international NGOs, including the Pesticide Action Network, Third World Network, WWF, Women's Environmental Network and the Five Year Freeze Campaign. Currently, she is Director of Econexus, and engages in collaborative work with researchers at universities in the UK, USA and Norway on issues of genetic engineering, toxicity and gene ecology. Over the last six years she has taken part in numerous British Government consultations regarding the release of genetically modified organisms (GMOs). She has also acted as an advisor at the negotiations for the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol under the UN Convention on Biological Diversity. Lucy Michaels MA (Econ) has been campaigning both locally and nationally to raise awareness about genetic engineering and industrial agriculture. This has included working with the Women's Environmental Network in London and as a guest researcher for Econexus. She is currently the food and agriculture researcher at CorporateWatch UK. Devlin Kuyek is an activist researcher who spent nearly three years with Pesticide Action Network - Asia/Pacific, leading its Pesticide Industry Programme and organizing the launch of the International Alliance Against Agrochemical TNCs. Since leaving PAN-AP, he has conducted research for international networks of peasant movements, farmers organizations, and NGOs in Asia and Africa into the impacts of emerging trends in agricultural research and development on small farmers.