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 > Starting April 22, I and several colleagues will be holding an
 > indefinite hunger strike in front of the Department of Agriculture at
 > the Quezon Memorial Circle, to ask the government to stop the
 > distribution of a genetically-modified variety of corn seeds called Bt
 > corn. The seeds are scheduled for commercial distribution
 > nationwide by Monsanto Corp. starting May or June this year.
 >
 > Bt corn produces its own built-in poison to kill a pest called the corn
 > borer. If we eat Bt corn, we also ingest the poison. What is worse,
 > this ability to produce a built-in poison is hereditary; it is passed on
 > to all subsequent generations of the corn, and can also be passed
 > on to native varieties through cross-pollination. This will definitely
 > happen because corn is wind-pollinated.
 >
 > We have tried everything legally possible in the past five years to
 > stop this corn variety from being distributed, in vain. The
 > government has approved its commercialization. Once widespread
 > distribution and planting starts sometime May or June, the
 > irreversible spread of this poison-bearing corn will begin, and
 > there's very little we can do about it.
 >
 > The media and the public have not paid much attention to this
 > issue because of their preoccupation with other important issues
 > like the Iraq war and SARS. So we now have to go through
 > extraordinary measures to call attention to this matter and stop the
 > distribution of this corn variety.
 >
 > Our principles do not allow us to engage in violence, which is often
 > the last resort of desperate victims faced with an insensitive
 > government conniving with a criminal corporation and showing little
 > regard for people's livelihood, health or life. Very often too, such
 > violence gets the government's attention and forces it to listen and
 > negotiate.
 >
 > But that option is not open to us, so this indefinite hunger strike is
 > our last resort.
 >
 > Please pray for the success of our efforts: that the media and the
 > public will finally take notice and the show concern, that the
 > government will listen, and that we can keep Monsanto from
 > irreversibly poisoning our farms and our food supply.
 >
 > Those who want to help can visit us in front of the Department of
 > Agriculture, where we will camp out for the duration of the protest.
 >
 > Regards to all,
 >
 > Obet
 >
 > P.S. My access to email might become irregular and limited by Apr.
 > 22.
 >
 >
 > Roberto Verzola
 > Secretary-general
 > Philippine Greens


Louis Proyect, Marxism mailing list: http://www.marxmail.org