Nettime mailing list archives

[Nettime-bold] <nettime> Call for articles - Lumpen Magazine
Leslie Arschgeiger on 23 Feb 2001 02:34:33 -0000

[Date Prev] [Date Next] [Thread Prev] [Thread Next] [Date Index] [Thread Index]

[Nettime-bold] <nettime> Call for articles - Lumpen Magazine

Lumpen Magazine needs your help.
We need articles for our April/May issue (our ten year
anniversary issue!!!). 
We'd like to address the following:
-GM Foods (particularly in response to the editorial in the
Wall Street Journal [see below])
-The FTAA, particularly in respect to Quebec in April 
-Depleted Uranium (usage in Kosovo and Iraq)
-Mad cows, poisoned toys
-And anything else you'd like to talk about of interest to
our anarchist rag (we can print it in our next issue or run
it on our website, which we're reconstructing right now and
will be up very soon [go to www.lumpen.com])

Also, since it is our May issue, we would like to run
something on MAYDAY, so anything you send us would be great
(eg, the Haymarket Riot, why work).

Unfortunately, Lumpen is a nonprofit magazine and we can't
pay you but what we can't offer up in coffers we can make
up in gratitude - lots of it. Not to mention we have a
print run of 30,000 and growing. We are also freely
distributed in ten cities in the United States, such as New
York City, Chicago, Detroit, Boston, Washington DC). 

Questions? Please contact Jean Kang: jean {AT} supersphere.com
or jean_snark {AT} yahoo.com

Here is the editorial we hope to respond to: 

From: The Wall Street Journal
February 21, 2001
Review & Outlook
No Green Peace

"Never put off doing something useful for fear of evil that
may never arrive."
-- James Watson, Nobel Prize in Medicine, 1962

Will someone please explain to us just what, exactly, is
wrong with genetically modified foods?

Trolling through Greenpeace's 50,000 or so press releases
of the past few years, we read about how certain consumers
reject GM, certain farmers don't want GM, certain
corporations are telling lies about GM, certain governments
have destroyed GM crops. But the only thing we came upon
that actually explains why GM is bad is contained in the
following statement:
"Current understanding of the way in which genes are
regulated is extremely limited. Any change to the DNA of an
organism at any point may well have knock-on effects that
are impossible to predict or control."
In other words, the reverse of Dr. Watson's dictum: For
fear that some evil may possibly arise, do nothing. Anyone
seeking to find out where this concept leads ought to put
it into practice in his own life for a single day:  Don't
bathe because you might slip in the tub; ignore breakfast
because you might get food poisoning; don't go outside
because . . . you get the idea.
Now it appears the European Union is getting the idea
too-sort of. Last Wednesday, the European Parliament lifted
a three-year moratorium on GM foods by approving
legislation regulating their introduction. The legislation
is described by its author, Socialist MEP David Bowe, as
the "toughest in the world." It mandates an arduous
approval process for GM crops to ensure their safety. And
it mandates labeling requirements. But it also provides
companies that win a license with a 10-year "consent
period," during which their GM foods may legally be sold
throughout Europe.
So far so good. Even onerous regulation is better than the
extralegal blanket prohibition that obtained in Europe
before. Putting the EU's imprimatur on "approved" biotech
foods should help allay some of the GM hysteria. 
Biotech companies can now operate in a more predictable
regulatory environment. Consumers get expanded choice. And
if Europeans really don't want to eat GM foods, labeling
allows them to choose something else.
But this is not how it's likely to play out. By treaty, EU
member states must accommodate this directive in their
national laws within 18 months. 
But at least six countries-France, Austria, Italy, Denmark,
Luxembourg and Greece-appear unwilling to do so unless a
slew of conditions are met.  The politically influential
organic-farming lobby is also opposed, and they have just
gained a champion in the figure of Renate Kuenast,
Germany's Green Party agriculture minister. So it is much
too soon to say whether this law will settle anything.
Let's face it: The GM scare is based on less than nothing.
Genetic manipulation of food and animal breeds has been
going on for centuries.  Here in America we have been
gobbling up nutritious GM food for years with no adverse
health effects. And yet the scare refuses to go away,
causing many people to believe that there just must be
something to it.  Why? One reason is that certain groups
have developed vested interests in perpetuating the scare.
For instance, as our Holman Jenkins reported, John Fagan,
dean of "Maharishi University" has created a company called
"Genetic ID" that tests for GM. Does Mr. Fagan want the
scare to go away? Ponder that for a second. But the issue
here goes deeper. Instead of standing up to scaremongers,
politicians in Europe and elsewhere have attempted to
placate them with ever more complex regulations. In this
way, they appear to be "doing something." But the actual
effect is to lend legitimacy to the fringe, and to embolden
it. This is not a good idea. 
People, it's 2001, we were supposed to be in orbit around
Jupiter right now. Instead, too many of Earth's inhabitants
are gripped by fears -- of depleted uranium, mad cows,
poisoned toys, and GM foods -- more appropriate to the
Middle Ages.

Do You Yahoo!?
Yahoo! Auctions - Buy the things you want at great prices! http://auctions.yahoo.com/

Nettime-bold mailing list
Nettime-bold {AT} nettime.org