Greenpeace Has Abandoned All Pretense – They’re Luddites

WTO free zone: Biosafety Protocol under attack.
Whatever one might say about Greenpeace that is positive — I would have a hard time finding anything — is wiped away by their lack of concern for the well-being for people. Their opposition to biotech foods is the latest example and their outward embrace of the precautionary principle, while honest, will cost lives in the countries dumb enough to be swayed by them.

The precautionary principle would insist that any new technology be proven safe before allowing it onto the market and would cause innovation to grind to a halt. Of course, there would be government panels to judge the safety of these new technologies, which is a statist’s wet dream. We would see the politicalization of all technological development and all the disaster that entails.

When you see Greenpeace and other Luddites protesting against biotech and nanotechnology, bear in mind they do not have the best interests of people at heart. Quite the opposite, really.

Greenpeace cordoned off the UN building in Montreal, to protect it from the US attack on consumers, farmers and the environment. Activists at the Greenpeace checkpoint were on the lookout for representatives of the US administration and Canadian Prime Minister Jean Chrétien, who are trying to undermine countries’ rights to reject or ban genetically modified organisms (GMOs).

The Bush Administration, and the transnational genetic engineering and agro-chemical industries that back Bush, are using the World Trade Organisation (WTO) to try and force open new markets for their products. These ‘new frontiers’ are in Asia, Latin America and Africa.

The real battle has just begun. The US, supported by Canada and Argentina, launched a pre-emptive strike by filing a complaint in the WTO against the European Union’s new comprehensive GMO labelling laws. With this complaint, the US also targets the global agreement that effectively secures the right of countries to ban or severely restrict imports and the use of GMOs – the Biosafety Protocol.

The Biosafety Protocol enables governments in the South to resist political coercion on the basis of the precautionary principle. (1) Applying this rule, countries can ensure that the protection of biosafety and biodiversity (particularly agricultural biodiversity), comes before the expansion of corporate agribusiness and the vicious cycle of dependency that this involves.

But over the last decade the US, Canada and Argentina have tried desperately to prevent the Biosafety Protocol from becoming a reality. The Protocol was agreed in the UN building in Montreal and is due to come into effect on the first day of the WTO meeting in Cancun, on 11 September, 2003.

Friends of the poor they are not.

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