Agriculture, Beverages & Food

If you are selling a product that contains genetically modified organisms (GMO) in the Phillippines you may soon have to label it ''genetically engineered'' or go to prison.
Over the last two years, thousands of people have gathered to counter the annual conventions of the biotechnology industry in Boston and San Diego. This year, people will be converging on Toronto to broaden the biojustice movement and challenge the biotechnology industry and their vision for our future. It will be a gathering to learn, strategize and network about genetic engineering in agriculture and pharmaceuticals, biowarfare, genetic and non-genetic discrimination, trade regimes and corporate control, patenting of life and more. This event is timed to challenge the industry's annual convention BIO2002, Toronto, June 9-12.
A closely divided U.S. Supreme Court ruled on Tuesday that the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) lacks the power to regulate tobacco products, handing President Clinton a stinging setback in the effort to curb youth smoking.
Agricultural workers and their families are being poisoned, rural lands, forests, oceans and waters are devastated, biodiversity is being destroyed, and food is unfit for human consumption. With these words, 140 participants from 17 countries at the First Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific Congress in Manila last week warned the world that industrial agriculture as conducted by transnational corporations is undermining the resources needed to sustain food production.
EuropaBio, the European biotech lobby group, has recently suffered a major blow when it had to cancel its annual congress. The Fourth Annual European Biotechnology Congress was scheduled to take place in Edinburgh, Scotland on October 9-13. According to the Dutch daily newspaper, De Volkskrant, EuropaBio, ''cannot deny that the conference was cancelled due to the fierce critique of genetic engineering in the UK and the resulting lack of sponsors.''
According to the World Health Organisation, tobacco use is set to cause an epidemic of heart disease and cancer in developing countries. Currently, 4 million people die each year from tobacco use, but that number is set to rise to 10 million a year by 2030. In addition to premature death, smokers suffer from an ongoing degradation of their health due to smoking.
When claims were first published on the front pages of Indian newspapers this month that Coca-Cola and PepsiCo beverages were contaminated with pesticides, executives at the two companies were breezily confident that they could handle the issue. Three weeks later, though, they are still struggling to win back Indian consumers. One-quarter of India's component states have imposed partial bans on their products, and a complex legal battle to overturn those bans is only just beginning.
Stolen Harvest is the story of how those who labor, those who grow foods, nature and her amazing creatures, are all literally being stolen by tremendously clever mechanisms being put in place by global corporations trying to find new markets.
Leading consumer and environmental groups are fuming because the Clinton administration has appointed a former Monsanto Corp. lobbyist to represent U.S. consumers on a transatlantic committee set up to avoid a trade war over genetically engineered foods.
GENEVA -- Warning that delay means more deaths, World Health Organization chief Gro Harlem Brundtland urged governments Tuesday to agree to sweeping anti-smoking restrictions and tighter controls on the tobacco industry.