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#146#147#148#149 Episode #150 - Biodisaster
(Contaminating the Ecosphere to Make a Buck)

#151#152#153#154

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Sat 18 January 2003  David Suzuki, Ignacio Chapela, Jane Rissler, Brian Tokar
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When the first Earth Day was celebrated 33 years ago, the problems of polluted air, soil and water, pesticide contamination, nuclear waste and ozone depletion were already serious. In the intervening years, citizens have fought corporate lobbies to pressure government to take steps to deal with environmental contamination, with mixed success.

Corporations have struggled to escape environmental laws. This motivation has contributed to the creation of the World Trade Organization and related trade treaties, that allowed them to either shift manufacturing to countries where environmental protections are absent, as well as to use WTO provisions to challenge the local laws.

The latest take the money and run scheme has been the development of the biotechnology industry, where many of the corporations involved in the most deadly chemical pollution in the past have morphed into today's" gene giants."

As in the past, the rush to profit has resulted in the dissemination of products into the environment with little consideration or knowledge of the consequences on human or planetary health. Next month, the biotech industry will hold its annual trade conference in St Louis, which is also the home of Monsanto, one of the most aggressive marketers of genetically modified products. A counter conference, Biodevastation, will also be in St Louis to challenge the industry, as it has for the past several years. (www.biodev.org)

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