There are hundreds of groups round the world campaigning on these issues. Here is a selection of the main ones.
* Consumers International: Head office, 24 Highbury Crescent, London, N5 1RX, Britain.
Tel: (171) 226 6663. Fax: (171) 354 0607.
Campaigns for national and international regulations on security and labelling of genetically engineered food. Regional offices in Australia, Chile, Guatemala, India, Malaysia, Aotearoa/New Zealand, St Vincent, Senegal, Zimbabwe.
* Earth First!: PO Box 1415, Eugene OR 97440, US.
Tel: (541) 741 9191.
EF! groups in Australia, Britain, Canada, Finland, Germany, India, Slovakia, South Africa. Most EF! groups are against the release of genetically manipulated organisms, many against genetic manipulation itself.
* Foundation on Economic Trends: 1660 L St. NW, Suite 215, Washington DC 20036.
Tel: (202) 466 2823. Fax: (202) 429 9602.
Monitors the development and commercialization of new technologies that are likely to have a destructive effect on our world. Organizes, lobbies and networks worldwide.
* Friends of the Earth Biotechnology Programme: 29, rue Blanche B-1050, Brussels, Belgium.
Tel: (32 2) 542 0180. Fax: (32 2) 537 5596.
Campaigning against genetically engineered foods and the patenting of life.
* Genetic Resources Action International (GRAIN): Girona 25, pral. E-08010 Barcelona, Spain.
Tel: (3) 301 1381. Fax: (3) 3011 627.
Monitors the latest developments in biotechnology, the seed industry and intellectual property rights legislation, examining the implications for developing countries.
* Greenpeace: Greenpeace House, Canonbury Villas, Islington. London N1 2PN, Britain.
Tel: (171) 737 6641. Fax: (171) 359 4372.
Campaigning against patents on life, genetically engineered food, and the release of genetically manipulated organisms into the environment.
* Indigenous Peoples' Biodiversity Network: 620, 1 Nicholas Street, Ottawa, ON K1N 7B7, Canada.
Tel: (613) 241 4500. Fax: (613) 241 2292.
A worldwide association working on indigenous peoples' perspectives on intellectual property rights.
* Institute for Sustainable Development PO Box 30231, Addis Ababa, Ethiopia.
Tel: (251 1) 204210. Fax: (251 1) 114 323.
Working to promote awareness on biodiversity issues, including the negative effects of modern biotechnology on agro-biodiversity.
* Pesticide Action Network (PAN): PANNA (North America) 116 New Montgomery #810, San Francisco Ca 94105, US.
Tel:(415) 541-9140, Fax: (415) 541-9253,
This is one of many autonomous centres throughout the world (see website for details). More than 400 groups belong to the network which opposes the misuse of pesticides and campaigns for safe, sustainable pest-control methods.
* RAFI (Rural Advancement Foundation International): International Office, Suite 504, 71 Bank St. Ottawa, ON K1P 5N2, Canada.
Tel: (613) 567 6880. Fax: (613) 567 6884.
Concerned about the impact of life patenting on agriculture and world food security. A major source of information on the life industry, biopiracy and the social and economic impacts of biotechnology.
* Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy: Tel: (91 11) 696 8077. Fax: (91) 11 685 6795.
Lobbying at international, national and local level, and empowering local groups to resist corporate control through patents.
* Third World Network: International Secretariat, 228 Macalister Rd 10400, Penang, Malaysia.
Tel: (4) 2266 728, or 2266 159. Fax: (4) 2264 505.
Research and lobbying on the social and environmental impact of biotechnology on Third World. Offices in Accra, Delhi, Geneva, London, Montevideo.
Aotearoa/ New Zealand:
* Mataatua Declaration Association: PO Box 76, Whakatana.
Fax: (54 7) 307 0762.
Promotes the implementation of the 1993 Mataatua Declaration on the Cultural and Intellectual Property Rights of Indigenous Peoples.
* Australian GeneEthics Network: 340 Gore St. Fitzroy Vic 3065, Melbourne.
Tel: (03) 9416 222. Fax: (03) 9416 0767.
A federation of groups and individuals who promote critical discussion and debate on the environmental, social and ethical impacts of genetic engineering technologies.
* Seed Savers' Network: Box 975, Byron Bay, NSW 2481.
Aims to preserve agricultural biodiversity in collaboration with individual farmers, gardeners and community groups.
* Compassion in World Farming (CIWF) : Charles House, 5A Charles Street, Petersfield, Hampshire GU32 3EH.
Tel : (1730) 264 208 and 268 863.
Fax: (1730) 260791.
Campaigning for a complete ban on the genetic engineering of farm animals.
* Gaia Foundation: 18 Well Walk, Hampstead, London NW3 1LD.
Tel: (171) 435 5000, Fax: (171) 431 0551,
Challenging patents on life, with a special focus on the Third World. Focuses on lobbying at the European Parliament and educating the public.
* GEN(Genetic Engineering Network) PO Box 9656, London N4 4JY. Tel: (181) 374 9516 or through WEN. Campaigners and activists.
* The Genetics Forum: 3rd floor, 5-11 Worship St, London EC2A 2BH.
Tel: (171) 638 0606. Fax: (171) 628 0817.
Working to promote public awareness of the long-term implications of genetic engineering. Campaigns for the consumer's right to choose.
* Women's Environmental Network: 87 Worship St, London EC2A 2BE.
Tel: (171) 247 3327. Fax: (171) 247 4740.
The Test Tube Harvest Campaign calls for a moratorium on the growing and trading of genetically engineered crops and campaigns against genetically engineered food. The No Patents on Life campaign lobbies against the EU Life Patent Directive and raises awareness on the impact of biotechnology and patenting.
Campaign to Ban Genetically Engineered Food: 500 Wilbrod Street,
Ottawa, ON K1N 6N2, Canada.
Tel: (613) 565 8517. Fax: (613) 565 6546.
Calling for labelling and eventually a total ban on genetically engineered foods.
Council of Canadians: 904-251 Laurier Avenue West, Ottawa, ON K1P 5J6.
Tel: (613) 233 2773. Fax: (613) 233 6776.
Campaigning to prevent the marketing of rBGH hormone and for mandatory labelling of all genetically engineered food.
* Cultural Survival Canada: 200 Isabella Street, Suite 304, Ottawa, ON K1S 1V7.
Tel: (613) 237 5361.
Fax: (613) 237 1547.
Publishes an international magazine providing in-depth analysis on issues of biodiversity, biotechnology and intellectual property rights from the perspectives of indigenous peoples. No Patents On Life campaign.
* Action for Solidarity, Equality, Environment and Development (ASEED): PO Box 92066, 1090AB Amsterdam, Holland.
Tel: (20) 66 82 236. Fax: (20) 66 50 166.
Campaigns on the EU Life patents Directive, Bt maize and biopiracy issues as a part of their food and globalization project.
* Coordination Paysanne Européene/European Farmers' Coordination Rue Stévin 115, 1000 Brussels.
Tel: (2) 2 230 07 76. Fax: (2) 2 230 03 48.
Promotes sustainable family farming in Europe and worldwide.
* GENET: 115 rue Stevin, B-1040 Brussels.
Tel: (2) 23 00 776. Fax: (2) 23 00 348.
News exchange and campaigning network.
* Gen-ethic Network (GeN): Schoenweider Str 3, 12055 Berlin, Germany.
Tel: (49 30) 685 7073. Fax: (49 30) 684 1183.
Monthly newsletter and information service.
* Global 2000: Austrian environmental NGO which is active at a national and international level, notably in European Parliament Brussels office: Boulevard Brand Whitlock 146, 1030 Brussels.
Tel: (2) 736 8052. Fax: (2) 733 57 08.
Their Austrian address is: A-1120 Wien, Flurschuetzstrasse 13, Vienna, Austria.
Tel: (1) 812 57 300. Fax: (1) 812 57 28.
* No Patents on Life! European Coordination, Florianne Koechlin, Blauenstrasse 15, CH-4142 Münchenstein, Switzerland.
Tel: (61) 411 26 88.
Focuses on the EU Patent Directive and the European Patent office. Filed opposition to the oncomouse, Flavr Savr tomatoes, Roundup Ready soybeans and the umbilical cord blood cells. Also organizes seminars, lobbying and publications.
* Accion Ecológica Casilla 17 - 15-246C, Quito, Ecuador.
Fax: (593) 2 547 516.
Focuses on biodiversity and the environment and the impact of intellectual property rights in Latin America.
* CADI (Center for Alternative Development Initiatives): 110 Scout Rallos Street, Quezon City, Philippines.
Tel: (63 2) 928 3986. Fax: (63 2) 928 7609.
Helped write the draft of the Philippine biosafety guidelines which are considered some of the strictest in the world. Addressing the issue of Bt rice research at the IRRI.
* IDEC (Institute for Consumer Protection): Brazil.
Tel: (55) 11 65 8151.
Fax: (55) 11 62 9844.
e-mail: email@example.com. (waiting for e-mail).
Lobbies for the adoption of labelling law. Educates and works with other consumer and environmental organizations.
* Pacific Concerns Resource Centre: Private Bag, Suva, Fiji.
Fax: (0079) 304 755.
Patenting and intellectual property rights issues in the Pacific.
* Programma Semillas AA 241662, Santafe de Bogotá, Colombia.
Tel: (91) 341 3153.
Fax: (91) 336 3986.
Produces newsletter; concerned about rights of indigenous peoples and small farmers in the biodiversity debate.
* REDES-AT (Red de Ecologia Social) Amigos de la Tierra Uruguay, Avda, Millan 4113, 12900 Montevideo, Uruguay.
Tel: (598) 2 356265. Fax: (598) 2 381640.
Focuses on genetic resources, and the impact of biotechnology and intellectual property rights.
* Sociedade Internacionale de Meditação, Higs 705-N-28, 70.350-714 Brasilia D.F. Brazil.
Tel (55) 61 443 7086. Fax: (55) 61 244 7522.
Trying to unite different non-governmental organizations in Brazil against genetic engineering.
* Alliance for Bio-integrity: Washington office: 310 D Street NE, Washington DC 20002,
Tel: (202) 547-9359.
Midwest office: P.O Box 2927, Iowa City, Iowa 52244-2927. Tel: (515) 472 5554. Fax: (515) 472-6431.
Non-profit and non-political alliance formed to rally Americans to reject genetically engineered foods. Educates and litigates.
* Council for Responsible Genetics: 5 Upland Road, Suite 3, Cambridge, Massachussetts 02140.
Tel: (617) 868 0870. Fax: (617) 491 5344.
Represents over 1,000 scientists, bioethicists and religious leaders concerned about the social and ethical implications of the new genetic technologies. One of their main goals is to document cases of genetic discrimination that occur as a result of genetic testing and DNA profiling.
* Environmental Defense Fund: 257 Park Avenue South, New York, NY 10010,
Opposes the release of genetically modified organisms, in particular herbicide-tolerant plants.
* Pure Food Campaign: 860 Highway 61, Little Marais, Minnesota 55614. e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Tel: (202) 775 1132 or (218) 226 4164. Fax: (218) 226-4157.
A grassroots project of the Foundation on Economic Trends. Building a national and international boycott of genetically engineered food.
* Union of Concerned Scientists: National Headquarters, 2 Brattle Square, Cambridge Ma. 02238-9105.
Tel: (617) 547-5552,
Advocates for sustainable agricultural policy and practices. Works to evaluate the risks and benefits of biotechnology in agriculture.
* Washington Biotechnology Action Council. WashBAC, Box 95585, Seattle Washington, 98145. Tel: (206) 442 2006.
Educates the general public on the implications of biotechnology, also organizes lectures, lobbying, publications and some direct action.
Compiled by Lindsay Toub
There are so many books, magazines and so much information on this subject that I am unashamedly idiosyncratic about my list of those that I found most useful during the course of researching this issue. There is also a mine of inform ation available on the Net see addresses in the rest of the Action section.
Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge by Vandana Shiva (Between The Lines, 1997). A powerful critique of the effects of patenting on the South.
Biopolitics: A Feminist and Ecological Reader on Biotechnology edited by Vandana Shiva and Ingunn Moser (Zed Books, 1995). A selection of thoughtful essays by critics of biotechnology.
Disability Awareness in Action (11 Belgrave Rd, London SW1V 1RB). A monthly newsletter which regularly contains a section on bioethics from a disability perspective.
The DNA Mystique by Dorothy Nelkin and M Susan Lindee (WH Freeman and Company, 1995). Explaining society's fascination with genes.
Genetics for Beginners by Steve Jones and Borin Van Loon (Icon Books, 1993) A cartoon explanation of the history of the gene.
GenEthics News Genetic engineering, ethics and the environment. An independent newsletter covering social, ethical and environmental issues raised by genetic engineering. PO Box 6313, London N16 ODY.
The Human Body Shop: The Engineering and Marketing of life by Andrew Kimbrell (Harper Collins) A wide-ranging analysis which shows how the biotechnology industry is patenting life itself.
The Language of the Genes by Steve Jones (HarperCollins, 1994) A very readable account of genetics and evolution.
Overcoming Illusionsabout Biotechnology by Nicanor Perlas (Third World Network 1994). An examination of the social, political and ethical impacts of biotechnology.
The Price of Meat by Danny Penman (Gollancz 1996). Subtitled 'Salmonella, Listeria, Mad Cows what next?', this book examines the meat industry including patenting and genetic engineering.
RAFI Communiqués are concise and yet detailed analyses of the main issues. Available from RAFI.
Spilling the Genes: What we should know about genetically engineered foods by Julie Shepard (The Genetics Forum, 1996) Concise and hard-hitting analysis by the organization committed to the 'socially responsible and democratic use of genetic engineering'.
Uncertain World Genetically modified organisms, food and public attitudes in Britain by Robin Grove-White, Phil Macnaughten, Sue Mayer and Brian Wynne (Lancaster University, 1997). An in-depth study of what consumers think.
Thanks to: Dave King, Ricarda Steinbrecher and Zoe at WEN, RAFI for a wealth of facts and figures, Lindsay Toub, and Richard Wolfson for his daily e-mail updates.
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