COMMUNITY ECONOMICS
Multinational Operations


Creating, Patenting and Marketing of New Forms of Life

by Manfred Davidmann

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SUMMARY

This report evaluates what is happening in genetic manipulation, and in the worldwide application and use of new life-forms by multinationals.

The moral and ethical questions raised are considerable, public health risks are high, and the report looks at trends from the point of view of the community.

Changed and new life-forms can now be owned by multinational corporations, generation after generation. The report evaluates what is happening to private ownership of life-forms as a result of the GATT agreement. It would seem that the nature of profit-orientated multinationals threatens public health, and that independence and freedom are at risk.

The report contains important far-reaching conclusions and recommendations about man-made forms of life, the food we eat, the direction in which multinationals are moving and their aims, how to control what is happening and how to improve the trend of events.



CONTENTS

General Introduction

Genetic Engineering, Biotechnology, Creating New Life-forms.

Human-animal Hybrids

Transgenic Foodstuffs
Some Publicly Known Transgenic Organisms
Risks to Public Health
Labelling of Foodstuffs

Plant Breeding and Plant Gene Banks. Providing and Marketing of Plants, Animals and Seeds.

Patenting New Life-forms. GATT.

Traditional Agriculture, Farming Products and Native Knowledge. Rights of Indigenous People.

Worldwide Farming.

Farming in Low-wage (Third-world, Underdeveloped) Countries

Reactions to GATT

Conclusions
Multinationals
Community

Recommendations
Multinationals
Community

Notes <..> and References {..}


Relevant Current and Associated Works

Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview



GENERAL INTRODUCTION

This review is a summary of some relevant information <1> published on the subject recently, to evaluate what is happening and determine the trend of events.

We are here looking at what multinationals are doing with genetic engineering, with biotechnology, with the basic physiological building blocks of plant, animal and human life.

And we are trying to see what is happening and is likely to happen as a result of recent international agreements about private ownership of life-forms. Changed and new life-forms can now be owned by multinational corporations, generation after generation.

This is a situation which threatens human independence and freedom. It is a situation in which the nature of profit-motivated and profit-orientated multinationals threatens human health and survival. {1, 2, 3}


GENETIC ENGINEERING, BIOTECHNOLOGY, CREATING NEW LIFE-FORMS

It is now possible to change the characteristics of a life-form by transferring selected basic building blocks, genes, from one variety to another, from one species to another.

The source of the genes, of the genetic materials which are used, is either non-human or human.

The new life-forms which are created are sometimes called 'transgenic' and may be plants, animals or geneplasm. The 'genome' is the genetic material of an organism.

As regards foodstuffs, there are those organisms which have themselves been genetically modified, and those which contain genetically modified organisms. There are also those from which the genetically modified organisms, which were used in producing them, have been removed. {14}

The moral and ethical questions raised are of fundamental importance. Should we tinker with the basic building blocks of the planetary environment and of life itself? What are the risks and what may be the consequences to our way of living? Do we as human beings have the right to meddle with a set-up which took so long to produce us, when we have only existed for such a comparatively short time?

Are we risking the survival of humankind at a time of exponentially accelerating scientific and technical knowledge, when our human relationships, basic human rights, social care, human equality, freedom and independence, are so inadequate over much of the planet, leave so much to be desired?

Quite apart from the moral and ethical considerations involved in creating a new life-form, the public health risks are extremely high when tinkering with and changing in the twinkling of an eye, and on a massive scale, life-forms which have taken millions of years to evolve slowly by trial and error and by eliminating inadequate or mistaken change. Unpredictable are the resulting direct and indirect effects on the human being, which is the most complicated organism ever produced and which we do not fully understand.


HUMAN-ANIMAL HYBRIDS

Of great concern is the extent to which human biological material is being taken into private ownership. There have been patent applications for human genes and human cell lines. Human genes have been inserted into animals and there is the prospect of human-animal hybrids. {15}

It seems that human embryos can be cloned. And, if unique or novel in some way, patented, cloned and sold? {15}

It has also been reported that male mice have been modified to produce rat sperm, one species being used to modify another. It seems that this technique could, at least in theory, be used to make another animal produce human sperm. {16}

Quoting from the RAFI Communique {15}
"It may be possible," writes one commentator, "to patent and to enslave human-animal hybrids who think and feel like humans but who lack constitutional protection ..."

The amount of work being done in related fields seems enormous. What has been and is being done? What are the likely social consequences? Who gains, who loses?

Just what is the underlying purpose of this thrusting ahead into the unknown without serious informed public debate, evaluation and control?

What is needed is independent grassroots <3> evaluation in terms which are meaningful to the community. And public debate and public control of direction, speed and application of all matters relating to human genes, human cell lines and human-animal modifications.


TRANSGENIC FOODSTUFFS

There are now many transgenic foodstuffs which are being secretly developed, manufactured and produced. We are not being told openly and consistently what is being tried out and for what purpose. Transgenic foodstuffs and foodstuffs which contain transgenic materials are not being labelled as such.


SOME PUBLICLY KNOWN TRANSGENIC ORGANISMS


Tomatoes {12, 13}

The flounder has a gene which protects against freezing. This gene has been transferred into a tomato to make freezing of tomatoes possible. Such tomatoes need to be clearly labelled, and this applies to foodstuffs containing them, to show vegetarians that these tomatoes contain an animal component.

Other transgenic tomatoes are being produced and distributed which take about twice the normal time to ripen, apparently to increase the time they can be displayed on shop shelves before going bad. This tomato is resistant to an antibiotic and there are fears that this resistance can be passed on to human beings.


Pigs

It seems that about 50 transgenic pigs were sold for human consumption in Australia. And I have seen a separate report from which it appears that rat genes have been transferred to pigs in an attempt to increase their reproductive capacity.


Salmon

Genetically modified salmon have been produced which apparently grow quickly to something like 40 times their normal weight.

It seems that steps are being taken to farm genetically modified salmon in Scotland and in a South American country.

One would like to see some confirmation that such quick-growing fish are normally developed and shaped. And one would like to know the possible risks involved.


Cows Producing Human Milk Proteins

A human gene has been transferred to a bull to see if next-generation cows produce human milk proteins. {12}

A producer of baby foods and powders pulled out from participating in this development after environmental groups threatened to boycott products of the companies which had invested in the bull.


Wheat {13}

A field of transgenic wheat is being grown in Britain. One of the new genes comes from maize.


And others which also seem to be at a field trial or marketing stage:

Maize (corn-on-the-cob)

Rennet (used in cheese making)

Rape-seed plant (rape-oil used in foodstuffs, animal feed, cosmetics)


and no doubt many others at the different stages from research and development to field trial and pre-marketing or marketing.


RISKS TO PUBLIC HEALTH

Transferred genes may carry with them the potential to cause allergic reactions. Some people are allergic to nuts. When a Brazil nut gene was transferred to Soya beans, tests showed that those allergic to Brazil nuts were apparently also allergic to the transgenetic Soya beans and it seems that this could have had fatal results.

Also, transferred genes may provide resistance to antibiotics. Considering foodstuffs, there is the risk that such resistance could be transferred to human beings. This is an extremely serious matter from the public health point of view as bacteria already mutate naturally and so develop resistance to antibiotics.

Bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics so quickly that we are running out of antibiotics for treating common and fatal diseases. Take tuberculosis. There are now individual cases where only one out of eight or nine antibiotics remains effective. Introducing transgenic foodstuffs into the food-chain may in effect knock out vital antibiotics on which we have come to rely and for which there is no substitute.

We are in the dark about the genome, that is the total genetic material, of plants and animals from which and to which genes are being transferred. What happens to the transgenic organism as a result of transferring genes, and the consequent effects on public health, appear to be unknown and unpredictable.


Now consider that multinationals are large organisations. Large organisations tend to be authoritarian and this means they are relatively inefficient and apply a pretty tough style of management. Mistakes are unlikely to be admitted within the organisation even after customers complain, and the organisation does not readily learn from experience. The same mistakes tend to be made again and again. {9, 10}

It also seems that corporation, industry or government bodies which evaluate such research, development and application, are more concerned with commercial interests and profits than with the needs of the community and effective protection of public life and health.

Hence what is missing is independent public grassroots evaluation of whether new life-forms are needed or desirable.

What is also missing is independent grassroots evaluation of likely effects on human health and on the food-chain at all stages from proposed research to labelling and marketing, by the many independent experts among us. What is being planned, and what is being done, could be and should be discussed openly in specific Internet unmoderated newsgroups. Anonymity would have to be guaranteed to whistle-blowers.


LABELLING OF FOODSTUFFS

We seem to be facing an increasing number of transgenic foodstuffs progressing through field trials to the point of marketing to the public without consumers being aware of which foodstuffs are modified, and why they were modified, and likely or possible risks and dangers. We should have the right to know and the right to see clearly at the point of sale what is being sold to us.

Consumers are in this way prevented from making an informed choice, from expressing considered opinions in a practical and effective way by refusing to buy such products. Consumers are thus at present prevented from boycotting potentially harmful products.

Jews and Moslems are concerned about foodstuffs which contain genes from animals which their religion forbids them to eat. Vegetarians have to know which transgenic plants contain animal genes.

As far as I know, the Co-operative Wholesale Society is the UK's only major UK supermarket which has declared its intention to label all genetically altered foodstuffs and has started to do so.


PLANT BREEDING AND PLANT GENE BANKS. PROVIDING AND MARKETING OF PLANTS, ANIMALS AND SEEDS

Multinational corporations which supply agrochemicals (fertilisers, pesticides and herbicides) have been allowed to buy up all well-known seed providers of any appreciable size. Commercial plant breeding would seem to be in the hands of multinational corporations who now control all the significant plant gene banks. {7, 12}

Such a multinational is likely to try to develop plants which respond well to the other agrochemicals it markets.

Indeed, 'the world's chief crops have been scientifically studied to see how they can be genetically adapted to ensure a monopoly control over their cultivation, harvesting, production and distribution.' {12}


A hybrid plant does not produce usable seeds and farmers growing it have to buy new seed every year.

As a rule, farmers keep back some of their crop to use as seed in the following year. But if a gene from another plant could induce sterility {12} in the plant he is cropping, then the farmer would have to buy new seeds each year and he (and thus we) could become dependent for our existence on a few large organisations. On organisations which aim to maximise their private profits and which appear to be only inadequately held to account for the social consequences of their actions.

Hence it would seem essential to obtain reliable information about the purpose of particular transgenic modifications.

And also about research and developments which could harm the community, in this and related areas.


PATENTING NEW LIFE-FORMS. GATT.

'Ownership' has been defined as 'the right to possess an item of property' and so one has to ask where the right comes from and how it is exercised.

The term 'intellectual property rights' has been used in connection with the patenting of new life-forms. Such a patent provides the holder of the patent with the recognised ownership of the new life-form. So it would seem that ownership rights over new life-forms are based on man-made laws and that there has been little, if any, grassroots participation in their drafting.

There is a United Nations treaty on global biodiversity. Some financial return must be paid to the country of origin if a company wishes legally to exploit the country's natural resources. However, it seems that only a few drugs companies have started to make payments to some research institutes or governments while no benefits are being returned to indigenous forest communities.

The GATT agreement (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is a treaty between many countries which aims to free international trade and reduce tariffs. In this way it serves the interests of multinationals at the expense of the economic and social interests and welfare of individual countries.

GATT also aims to give exclusive protection to patent holders for 20 years. Patent holders may demand royalty payments on their inventions. Strict enforcement criteria are imposed. 'Astonishingly, the rules place the onus of proof in case of dispute on the farmers, a provision going against normal rules of justice' {8}. The resulting costs could prevent the vast mass of small farmers from disputing the source of the seeds they are using.

Patenting can and is now used to prevent living organisms being copied. GATT also requires a country to protect patents owned by foreigners. Third world peasant farmers go unrewarded while huge royalty payments will have to be made to multinational corporations.

And as royalty payments can be collected from patented seeds, multinationals are likely to market these in preference to older and established varieties.


TRADITIONAL AGRICULTURE, FARMING PRODUCTS AND NATIVE KNOWLEDGE. RIGHTS OF INDIGENOUS PEOPLE.

Farmers keep back each year some of their crop to use as seed in the following year. In the course of centuries farmers' decisions about what to grow under their particular circumstances, and how to grow it, amounted to a natural and cumulative process of selection for yield, flavour and resistance to environmental hazards.

In the same way local people in India, Africa, Amazonian rain forests, the Philippines and elsewhere, have much traditional knowledge about local plant and animal life. This knowledge of domestic and commercial uses, and medicinal properties, has been handed down and enlarged, generation by generation, and is the property of the local indigenous people.

'The overwhelming bulk of the genetic raw materials used in the laboratories of western companies are derived from farms and forests in the developing countries' {4}. 'What is happening is that genetic material from anywhere is being patented, mainly in the US and resulting seed marketed; this means that farmers will have lost their rights to their own original stocks, and not be allowed under Gatt to market or use them' {6}.

'About a quarter of the world's pharmaceutical products, including anaesthetics, anti-leukaemia drugs and contraceptives, owe their origins to wild plants. And the 1990s have seen a resurgence of interest in natural sources. More than 100 research institutes and 70 companies worldwide are now actively investigating the healing potential of plants used for centuries by indigenous peoples.' {11}

It seems that in recent years local and multinational companies 'have all plundered the knowledge of indigenous people'. The Intellectual Property Rights of indigenous people need protecting 'with regard to the plants they have developed over the centuries' and 'there should be compensation for this stolen knowledge'. {7, 11}


WORLDWIDE FARMING

Non-hybrid seeds can be replanted and farmers traditionally save part of one year's crop to use as seed for planting in the following year.

Farmers buying patented seeds and then saving some of their crop for resowing, will have to pay royalties each year to the patent-holder. And apparently royalties would have to be paid for patented animals in the same way.

These patented seeds are likely to depend on agrochemicals produced by the same multinational which produced the seeds, with farmers then becoming dependent on one supplier for seed, fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.

Resulting in enormous profits to the patent holders, that is to multinationals, and doubtless these companies have the muscle to enforce their demands.

'The freedom of farmers worldwide is lost and they all become dependant and trapped by a few large companies.' {6}


Hybrid seeds, however, cannot be resown. Such seeds have to be repurchased each year. It would seem that multinationals are working on genetic modifications aimed at converting non-hybrid plants such as wheat into hybrids which would compel farmers to repurchase seed from the multinational each year.

Farmers, and thus the community as a whole, could then be dependent for plant and animal foodstuffs on a few large, profit-motivated and profit-orientated multinational corporations.


FARMING IN LOW-WAGE (THIRD-WORLD, UNDERDEVELOPED) COUNTRIES

Small farmers will now be unable to save seeds from their crops for replanting at no extra cost the following year, as they have done for many generations. They will either have to pay royalties for patented seeds to a multinational or else buy new seeds each year.

Seed companies intend to enforce this {5}. It has been estimated that the US will gain $61 billion a year from Third World royalties.

As a consequence, many millions of poor peasants and farmers are likely to be shifted off the land into city slums because they cannot afford to purchase and annually repurchase seeds or the agrochemical inputs (fertilisers, pesticides) required by new plant seeds. {8}


REACTIONS TO GATT

In India, 500,000 farmers marched in protest against the GATT proposals and adopted these resolutions {6}:

  • To oppose the entry of multinational corporations,
  • To establish Community Intellectual Property Rights for Third World Farmers over their biowealth;
  • To establish an International Farmer-Scientist Co-operative Research Institute:
  • To continue the free exchange of seeds and biowealth between Third World farmers;
  • To confirm that food security is sacrosanct and all countries should be free to formulate their own agricultural policies
  • To put the burden of proving the source of their patented seed on multinational corporations;

Protests intensified as the signing of the GATT approached. To many small farmers of the Third World it was clear that their survival was threatened by its provisions.

Here and there some Third World farmers are reacting:

  • Some farmers plan to produce their own hybrids.
  • One union's research centre has started to grow native seeds for storage, development and distribution.



CONCLUSIONS


MULTINATIONALS

Changed and new life-forms can now be owned by multinational corporations, generation after generation. This is a situation in which the nature of profit-motivated and profit-orientated multinationals threatens human independence and freedom, human health and survival.

Of great concern is the extent to which human biological material is being taken into private ownership. And, thinking ahead, we need to consider the prospect of human clones and human-animal hybrids being taken into private multinational ownership.


There are now many transgenic foodstuffs which are being secretly developed, manufactured and produced. An increasing number of transgenic foodstuffs are progressing through field trials to the point of marketing to the public.

But transgenic foodstuffs, and foodstuffs which contain transgenic materials, are not being labelled as such. So consumers are not being told which of the foodstuffs they are buying have been modified, and why they were modified.

This prevents consumers from voting with their purses, from expressing considered opinions in a practical and effective way by refusing to buy such products, from boycotting potentially harmful products.


Multinational corporations which supply agrochemicals have been allowed to buy up all well-known seed providers of any appreciable size. Commercial plant breeding would seem to be in the hands of multinational corporations who now control all the significant plant gene banks. {7, 12}

Hence a few multinationals have apparently established what amounts to a stranglehold, a form of monopoly control, over an essential step in the planet-wide supply of foodstuffs.

GATT (General Agreement on Tariffs and Trade) is a treaty between many countries which aims to free international trade and reduce tariffs. In this way it serves the interests of multinationals at the expense of the economic and social interests and welfare of individual countries.

The GATT agreement apparently gives exclusive protection to patent holders for 20 years and imposes strict enforcement criteria. Huge royalty payments will have to be made to multinational corporations. 'Astonishingly, the rules place the onus of proof in case of dispute on the farmers, a provision going against normal rules of justice' {8}. The resulting costs could prevent the vast mass of small farmers from disputing the source of the seeds they are using.

'Ownership' has been defined as 'the right to possess an item of property' and so one has to ask where the right comes from and how it is exercised. It would seem that ownership rights over new life-forms are based on man-made laws and that there has been little, if any, grassroots community-orientated participation in their drafting.

'The overwhelming bulk of the genetic raw materials used in the laboratories of western companies are derived from farms and forests in the developing countries' {4}. 'What is happening is that genetic material from anywhere is being patented, mainly in the US and resulting seed marketed. {6}.

Farmers buying patented seeds and then saving some of their crop for resowing, will have to pay royalties each year to the patent-holder. And apparently royalties would have to be paid for patented animals in the same way.

These patented seeds are likely to depend on agrochemicals produced by the same multinational which produced the seeds, with farmers then becoming dependent on one supplier for seed, fertilisers, herbicides and pesticides.

Resulting in enormous profits to the patent holders, that is to multinationals, and doubtless these companies have the muscle to enforce their demands.

Many millions of poor peasants and small farmers are likely to be shifted off the land into city slums because they cannot afford to purchase and annually repurchase seeds or the agrochemical inputs (fertilisers, pesticides) required by new plant seeds {8}.

All farmers worldwide, and thus the community as a whole, could become dependent for plant and animal foodstuffs on a few large, profit-motivated and profit-orientated multinational corporations. This would place these corporations, their owners and directors, in a position of extraordinary power over people.


So it seems that we are expected to buy genetically modified foodstuffs without questioning what we are getting or what the risks are. It also looks as if large multinationals are attempting to establish a stranglehold, a form of monopoly control, over an essential step in the planet-wide supply of foodstuffs, namely the production and marketing of seeds. And that they have been given ownership over new life-forms and the power to force farmers worldwide to pay the multinational each year for seeds even when these seeds were grown by the farmer the previous year.

When there are only a few large multinationals sharing a market, then at this sort of scale they may well not be competing with each other effectively. And so it looks as if the world population is in danger of being exploited by multinationals who would be in a position of extraordinary power over people.


COMMUNITY

Plants and animals are being modified to obtain new life-forms. The moral and ethical questions raised are of fundamental importance and need public discussion and debate.


What happens to the transgenic organism as a result of transferring genes, and the consequent effects on public health, appear to be unknown and unpredictable. The effects on human beings are unpredictable. The public health risks are extremely high.


What is known is that transferred genes may carry with them the potential to cause allergic reactions and may provide resistance to antibiotics.

Bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics so quickly that we are running out of antibiotics for treating common and fatal diseases. Introducing transgenic foodstuffs into the food-chain may in effect knock out vital antibiotics on which we have come to rely and for which there is no substitute.

This is a serious matter from a public health point of view.


We are not being told openly and consistently what is being tried out and for what purpose.


For example, there are now many transgenic foodstuffs which are being secretly developed, manufactured and produced. An increasing number of transgenic foodstuffs are progressing through field trials to the point of marketing to the public.

But transgenic foodstuffs, and foodstuffs which contain transgenic materials, are not being labelled as such. So consumers are not being told which of the foodstuffs they are buying have been modified, and why they were modified.

This prevents consumers from voting with their purses, from expressing considered opinions in a practical and effective way by refusing to buy such products, from boycotting potentially harmful products.


Of great concern is the extent to which human biological material is being taken into private ownership. There have been patent applications for human genes and human cell lines. Human genes have been inserted into animals and there is the prospect of human-animal hybrids. {15}

The amount of work being done in related fields seems enormous. What has been and is being done? What are the likely social consequences? Who gains, who loses? Just what is the underlying purpose of this thrusting ahead into the unknown without serious informed public debate, evaluation and control?

What is needed is independent grassroots <3> evaluation in terms which are meaningful to the community. And public debate and public control of direction, speed and application of all matters relating to human genes, human cell lines and human-animal modifications.



RECOMMENDATIONS


MULTINATIONALS

  1. Traditional plant and animal varieties need to be collected and propagated, country by country. And this needs to be done quickly and effectively.

    Far-seeing individuals and groups have already started, one example being the Irish Seed Savers Association.

    Such collections need to belong to the community. This means that each collection has to be run and controlled as a co-operative under rules which prevent it being taken over or dissolved by private interests, and that it has to be supported by ample public funds.

    Collections already being formed should be amply supported from public funds on the basis that they will be freely available.


  2. Collection, storage, propagation and distribution of seeds and animals needs to be nationalised, country by country, placing them under public ownership.

    The key objective of such enterprises should be service to the community.

    In this case the aims of nationalising are

    (a) to prevent multinationals from gaining a monopoly-like stranglehold
    on this essential stage in food production,

    (b) to regain control of food production from multinationals and place it
    again in the hands of the elected representatives of the people.

    (c) And to ensure that a country's food production remains under the
    control of its elected representatives.


  3. It is essential to raise public awareness of all the issues involved, such as

    3.1 Of all the issues involved in creating, patenting, owning, selling
    and using new life-forms of any kind or shape.

    3.2 Whenever international agreements and national or international
    legislation favour the operations of multinationals instead of serving
    local communities or people in general.

    3.3 Whenever corporate takeovers or mergers are against the
    national interest of any nation.

    3.4 Of the need for the right to know about, and to comment on,
    and participate in, all aspects of government and corporate
    decision taking.


  4. To concentrate agriculture and farming on traditional varieties grown organically combined with 'organic' animal farming.

    Particularly so since "reliance on inputs of inorganic fertiliser and pesticide was not sustainable ecologically or economically, due to rising costs, falling yields, soil deterioration and resistance to insecticides." {8}


  5. Publicly owned and funded but co-operatively directed and managed farming research institutes.

    They need to belong to the community as their main objective should be to serve the community and not any kind of private interests, and they should be supported by ample public funds.

    They have to be run and controlled as co-operatives under rules which prevent them being taken over or dissolved by private interests.

    It may be that genetic modifications of plants or animals should only be researched and carried out in such institutions, to ensure that public service, which is service to the community, takes precedence over, and is more important than, profit motivation and private profit, wealth and power over other people.


  6. Ensure that no multinational misuses its power to obtain a determining or controlling interest, share or hold on its market.


  7. To enforce existing anti-trust and anti-monopoly legislation nationally and internationally.

    And to install such legislation where it does not exist already.


  8. We need to develop co-operative employee and customer owned co-operatives founded in such a way that they cannot be taken over by, or sold to, or divided or dispersed to become, profit-motivated entities. Neither must its own directors or management be able to change the co-operative service-orientated purpose of the co-operative enterprise towards profit-orientation.


  9. We need also to consider the prospect and implications of human cloning and human-animal hybridisation, and the implications of new life-forms being legally assigned to 'owners', to profit orientated multinational corporations.


COMMUNITY

What is needed is independent grassroots evaluation of such dangerous research and developments, at all stages from planning to application, in terms which are meaningful to the community.


Human-animal Hybrids

What is missing is independent public grassroots evaluation of whether such new life-forms are needed or desirable.

What is needed here is serious informed public debate and public control of direction, speed and application of all matters relating to human genes, human cell lines and human-animal modifications.

For example, we need to consider the prospect of human clones and human-animal hybrids being taken into private multinational ownership.


Providing and Marketing of Plants, Animals and Seeds

What is missing is independent public grassroots evaluation of whether such new life-forms are needed or desirable.

It seems essential to obtain reliable information about the purpose of particular transgenic modifications.


Risks to Public Health

What is missing here is independent grassroots evaluation of likely effects on human health and on the food-chain at all stages from proposed research to labelling and marketing, by the many independent experts among us.

What is being planned, and what is being done, could be and should be discussed openly, possibly in specific Internet unmoderated newsgroups. Anonymity would have to be guaranteed to whistle-blowers.


Labelling of Foodstuffs

Transgenic foodstuffs and foodstuffs which contain transgenic materials are not being labelled as such.

We should have the right to know and the right to see clearly at the point of sale what is being sold to us.

Consumers have to be able to make informed choices, to vote with their purses, to express considered opinions in a practical and effective way by refusing to buy undesirable products, to boycott potentially harmful products.


The Rights of Indigenous People

The Intellectual Property Rights of indigenous people need protecting 'with regard to the plants they have developed over the centuries' and they should be compensated when this is taken from them and used by others.



NOTES AND REFERENCES


NOTES

<1>     For further information see {4-8, 11-14}
     
<2>   'Socially irresponsible' meaning that they are not being adequately held to account for the social consequences of what they are doing.
     
<3>   'Grassroots' meaning the basic or fundamental level of ordinary people, informed, independent, community orientated.


REFERENCES

{ 1}     Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 2}   MOTIVATION: Summary
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 3}   The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{ 4}   Battle for the Rights of Life. Who Owns Life?
Kevin Watkins
Guardian 92/07/17
     
{ 5}   Seeds of Discontent
John Vidal
Guardian 01/10/93
     
{ 6}   Freedom of Farmers Lost
Dr Ulrich E Loening
Guardian 30/11/93
     
{ 7}   Sowing Seeds of Dissent
John Herbert
Guardian 05/03/94
     
{ 8}   Seeds of Discontent
Walter Schwarz
Guardian 11/03/94
     
{ 9}   Style of Management and Leadership
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{10}   Role of Managers under Different Styles of Management
Manfred Davidmann
http://www.solhaam.org/
     
{11}   Intellectual Property Rights to Rainforest Products
Polly Ghazi
Observer 10/07/94
     
{12}   Designer Genes
Colin Spencer
Guardian 24/09/94
     
{13}   Fried Gene Tomatoes
Polly Ghazi
Observer 25/09/94
     
{14}   Gentechnik im Nahrungsmittelbereich: Kennzeichnungspflicht wird definiert.
Dr. Stephan Mertens
Deutsches Aerzteblatt, 93, No.18, 03/05/96, 29.
     
{15}   The Patenting of Human Genetic Material
RAFI Communique Jan/Feb 1994
Rural Advancement Foundation International
     
{16}   Animal-human Sperm 'Possible'
Tim Radford
Guardian 30/05/96



Relevant Current and Associated Works

A list of other relevant current and associated reports by Manfred Davidmann on community leadership and management.
     
     
Title   Description
     
Motivation Summary   Reviews and summarises past work in Motivation. Provides a clear definition of 'motivation', of the factors which motivate and of what people are striving to achieve.
     
The Will to Work: What People Struggle to Achieve   Major review, analysis and report about motivation and motivating. Covers remuneration and job satisfaction as well as the factors which motivate. Develops a clear definition of 'motivation'. Lists what people are striving and struggling to achieve, and progress made, in corporations, communities, countries.
     
What People are Struggling Against: How Society is Organised for Controlling and Exploiting People   Report of study undertaken to find out why people have to struggle throughout their adult lives, in all countries, organisations and levels, to maintain and improve their standard of living and quality of life. Reviews what people are struggling against.
     
Transfer Pricing and Taxation   One of the most controversial operations of multinationals, transfer pricing, is clearly described and defined. An easily-followed illustration shows how transfer pricing can be used by multinationals to maximise their profits by tax avoidance and by obtaining tax rebates. Also discussed is the effect of transfer pricing on the tax burden carried by other tax payers.
     
Exporting and Importing of Employment and Unemployment   Discusses exporting and importing of employment and unemployment, underlying principles, effect of trade, how to reduce unemployment, social costs of unemployment, community objectives, support for enterprises, socially irresponsible enterprise behaviour.
     
Social Responsibility, Profits and Social Accountability   Incidents, disasters and catastrophes are here put together as individual case studies and reviewed as a whole. We are facing a sequence of events which are increasing in frequency, severity and extent. There are sections about what can be done about this, on community aims and community leadership, on the world-wide struggle for social accountability.
     
Social Responsibility and Accountability: Summary   Outlines basic causes of socially irresponsible behaviour and ways of solving the problem. Statement of aims. Public demonstrations and protests as essential survival mechanisms. Whistle-blowing. Worldwide struggle to achieve social accountability.
     
Co-operatives and Co-operation: Causes of Failure, Guidelines for Success   Based on eight studies of co-operatives and mutual societies, the report's conclusions and recommendations cover fundamental and practical problems of co-ops and mutual societies, of members, of direction, of management and control. There are extensive sections on Style of Management, decision-taking, management motivation and performance, on General Management principles and their application in practice.
     
Using Words to Communicate Effectively   Shows how to communicate more effectively, covering aspects of thinking, writing, speaking and listening as well as formal and informal communications. Consists of guidelines found useful by university students and practising middle and senior managers.
     
Directing and Managing Change     How to plan ahead, find best strategies, decide and implement, agree targets and objectives, monitor and control progress, evaluate performance, carry out appraisal and target-setting interviews. Describes proved, practical and effective techniques.
     
Inflation, Balance of Payments and Currency Exchange Rates     Reviews the relationships, how inflation affects currency exchange rates and trade, the effect of changing interest rates on share prices and pensions. Discusses multinational operations such as transfer pricing, inflation's burdens and worldwide inequality.

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Relevant Subject Index Pages and Site Overview


The Site Overview page has links to all individual Subject Index Pages which between them list the works by Manfred Davidmann which are available on the Internet, with short descriptions and links for downloading.

To see the Site Overview page, click Overview

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Copyright    ©    1996    Manfred Davidmann
All rights reserved worldwide.

History
02/06/96 Completed
09/06/96 To Website