CMRA Home
EnviroNews
Free GIS
Free Maps
BookShop
Research
Consulting Services
Recent Projects
Community-Based
Research

Global
Right-To-Know

RTK Search
Pollution Maps
Guestbook
Contact Us
Mission
About Us
General Links
Advertise

Viewable With Any Browser


This is the latest Loka Alert from The Loka Institute. To recieve these alerts by email, please follow the instructions below.


Please Repost Widely          Loka Alert 6:7 (22 Nov. 1999)
Where Appropriate
    
    
      THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS:
             THE UNITED STATES VERSUS EUROPE
    
            by Phil Bereano and Florian Kraus
    
    
Friends & Colleagues:
    
    Why are genetically modified foods ("gene foods") more
hotly contested politically in Europe than in the United
States?  In this Loka Alert, Phil Bereano and Florian Kraus
argue that actually U.S. citizen concern about gene foods is
growing, and that U.S. government policies may, as a result,
be shifting.  They also dissect factors -- ranging from
contrasting political systems to cultural, historical and
technological variations -- that help explain why the
politics of agricultural biotechnology have been playing out
differently on opposite sides of the Atlantic Ocean.
    
     This Alert also offers brief updates on the Loka
Institute's project to create a Community Research Network
and on other initiatives worldwide to make research, science
and technology more democratically responsive.
    
     This is one in an occasional series on the democratic
politics of research, science, and technology issued free of
charge by the nonprofit Loka Institute. To be added to the
Loka Alert E-mail list, or to reply to this post, please
send a message to . To be removed from the
list, send an E-mail with no subject or message text to 
. (If that fails, just
notify us at ).  IF YOU ENJOY LOKA ALERTS,
PLEASE INVITE INTERESTED FRIENDS & COLLEAGUES TO SUBSCRIBE
TOO.  Thanks!
    
  Cheers to all,
  Dick Sclove, Founder & Research Director
  The Loka Institute, P.O. Box 355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA
  E-mail , Web 
  Tel. +1-413-559-5860; Fax +1-413-559-5811


************************************************************

                         CONTENTS
    
(I) "THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED 
         FOODS: U.S. VERSUS EUROPE" by Phil
         Bereano & Florian Kraus...................(7 pages)


(II) LOKA INSTITUTE PROJECT UPDATES:

     (A) COMMUNITY RESEARCH NETWORK (CRN): 
         Ethical Guidelines Workshop..............(1/3 page)

     (B) RECENT PUBLICATIONS...................(1 paragraph)


(III) DEMOCRATIZING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: UPDATES 
         FROM ABROAD (Canadian Community Research
         Initiatives; Citizen Panel Updates from 
         Austria, France, Japan, and Switzerland;
         European Participatory Technology 
         Assessment [EUROpTA] Project)..............(1 page)


(IV) INTERNSHIPS AT THE LOKA INSTITUTE............(1/3 page)


(V)  ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE..................(1 paragraph)

***********************************************************


     (I) THE POLITICS OF GENETICALLY ENGINEERED FOODS:
               THE UNITED STATES VERSUS EUROPE

        by Phil Bereano 
                   and Florian Kraus
    University of Washington, Seattle, Washington, USA


     "Why are people in the United States seemingly
     untroubled by a technology that causes Europeans
     so many difficulties?"  
                  -- _Science_ magazine, on genetically
                      engineered foods (16 July 1999)


     The clash over foods made from genetically modified
plants ("gene foods") highlights the clash between economic,
scientific, and cultural interests in the world that is
being shaped by the World Trade Organization. U.S.
agricultural exports were worth $50 billion last year, more
than 7 percent of the nation's total exports. Deputy
Treasury Secretary Stuart Eizenstat has warned that the
resistance of the European Union (EU) consumers to
genetically modified crops "is the single greatest trade
threat that we face."

     "In Europe, across the whole food technology front,
confusion and hysteria have displaced reason and economics,
with incalculable costs to those who are trying to bring new
and beneficial innovations to the market," editorialized the
_Wall Street Journal_ recently.  Using intemperate and
emotive language, the _Journal_ referred to the European
"Luddite tides," charging that "in Europe, on matters of
trade and technology, the mob has been running the show for
awhile."

     This growing controversy over genetically altered foods
has recently occupied the U.S. radio waves, appeared in
front page stories of national and local newspapers, and
been featured in the major electronic 'zines.

     In early June, when the EU's environmental ministers
agreed to a de facto moratorium on the approval of genetic
foods for several years, the _San Francisco Examiner_ noted
that "the biotechnology industry -- led by Monsanto,
Novartis, Dow, DuPont, AgrEvo, and Zeneca -- calls rising
criticism in Europe 'hysteria and hype' from the food scare
over 'mad cow' disease in England and dioxin in feed,
poultry, beef and butter in Belgium."


THE "OFFICIAL LINE"

     The bioindustry and U.S. government officials have
united in denying that genetically engineered foods are
significantly different from natural ones. "A tomato is a
tomato is a tomato," said Brian Sansoni, of the Grocery
Manufacturers of America, evoking the image of Gertrude
Stein plopping down to a summer salad. Trying to quarantine
the "contagion" threatening American exports and corporate
profits, their spin on the situation consists of three main
arguments: the Europeans are technophobic, they are
anti-American, and they have a strong distrust of government
regulators.

     Jim Murphy, an Assistant U.S. Trade Representative,
attributed European timidity to old-world conservatism:
"They are culturally risk-averse to try new things," he
said, adding that he jokes to his European friends that "the
definition of an American is a risk-taking European." 

     "Agricultural protectionism" was the reason offered by
_The New York Times_: "Europe resents the fact that many of
the patents on genetically modified crops with bred-in high
yields and resistance to parasites are held by American
companies like Monsanto, DuPont and Dow."  _Science_
magazine blamed regulatory distrust.

     According to Secretary of Agriculture Dan Glickman,
"[the Europeans] just don't have, really, the same kind of
sophisticated mechanism to scientifically examine food
products and determine if they're safe that we do." (This
ignores the reality that 76 million Americans are food
poisoned annually, despite such vaunted U.S. regulatory
vigor.)

     However, consumers in the United States are
demonstrably concerned about genetically engineered foods. 
Why, then, has it been so easy to establish the myth that
Americans are "accepting" of this technology? We suggest
three reasons: (1) unlike in Europe, a very large
proportion of Americans are ignorant about the extent to
which genetic engineering is affecting the foods they
already consume; (2) there has been active
corporate/governmental collusion (with media cooperation) in
the U.S. to pacify the development and expression of any
such concerns; and (3) American political culture provides a
limited range of possibilities for such concerns to be
expressed and debated.


IGNORANCE AND COLLUSION

     A poll this summer by the world's largest independent
public relations firm found that 62% of Americans were
unaware that gene foods were already being marketed. In
actuality, 35% percent of the 1999 U.S. corn acreage and 55%
of soy acreage has been genetically modified.  It is
estimated that approximately 60% of the processed foods in a
U.S. consumer's shopping cart may have genetically
engineered constituents. 

     In the 1980s, the Republican Administration decided
that the new technology of genetic engineering should be
handled by using existing regulatory statutes rather than --
as in Europe -- going to the legislature for a new
comprehensive law. As a result, there was little public
discussion and the resulting U.S. "regulatory" scheme is
makeshift, full of absurdities and loopholes, as a cover
story in _The New York Times Magazine_ entitled "Playing God
in the Garden" documented a year ago.

     Based on a policy authored by his industry Council on
Competitiveness, then-Vice President Dan Quayle announced in
May 1992 that the U.S. government would consider genetically
engineered crops to be no different from those bred
traditionally. The official Food & Drug Administration(FDA)
document asserted that "the agency is not aware of any
information showing that foods derived by these new methods
differ from other foods in any meaningful or uniform way."
 
     In fact, under records uncovered in the course of a
pending lawsuit, we now know that the U.S. Government
ignored the advice of its own FDA scientists that gene foods
should get special evaluation because of their risks of
producing toxins and allergies. One FDA scientist had
written that"there is a profound difference between the
types of unexpected effects from traditional breeding and
genetic engineering, which is just glanced over in this
document," adding that aspects of genetic engineering "may
be more hazardous".  

     Another staffer characterized the FDA as "trying to fit
a square peg into a round hole," concluding that "the
processes of genetic engineering and traditional breeding
are different, and according to the technical experts in the
agency, they lead to different risks."

     President Clinton's Secretary of Agriculture has railed
against the EU's apprehensions by saying, "We will not be
pushed into allowing political science to govern these
concerns." The new U.S. Ambassador to the EU has chided
Europeans to "separate science-based risk assessment and
regulations from the political process." And in Europe in
recent weeks, three top officials of the U.S. Commerce
Department have lectured Europeans to stop their "irrational
and collective fear" and adopt a process "based on science
and not on anxiety." 

     Yet, it is the U.S. government that has hypocritically
elevated politics and economics above a reasoned scientific
assessment of gene foods.


U.S. CITIZEN CONCERNS

     Actually, there has been a considerable amount of U.S.
citizen concern about the applications of new
biotechnologies, as even the _Wall Street Journal_ noted
earlier this summer. 

     Numerous consumer surveys have shown that huge
majorities of Americans support mandatory labeling of
genetically modified foods and would avoid buying them if
they were clearly labeled. Two years ago, even biotech giant
Novartis found 93% of Americans in favor of labeling; the
last poll conducted by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
in 1995, found 84% in favor, and a Time magazine survey
within the past year put the percentage at 81. 

     Why aren't these polls more effective in determining
U.S. policy?  Dick Morris, former policy director in the
Clinton White House (who relied extensively on surveys and
focus groups for advising the President) has indicated that
government officials ignore such majorities to pursue the
goals of elite minorities, "just as they ignore the 72% who
want to increase taxes on the wealthy, and the 77% who feel
that corporations have too much power, and the 64% who want
guaranteed health care for all."

     This spin is exemplified by a recent major article in
the _New York Times_ which suggested that U.S. consumers
"seem hardly to care" about genetic alterations of what they
eat.  Media and policy makers conveniently forget that the
1992 Food & Drug Administration deregulatory initiative
stimulated almost 4,000 comments, with many calling for
safety testing and the vast majority asking for labeling. 
Among those making such requests were the Attorneys General
of 8 U.S. states, the American Association of Retired
Persons, and the trade association of US chefs.

     Consumers Union, the oldest and largest association of
American consumers, has repeatedly and persistently opposed
-- on behalf of its 4.7 million member households -- U.S. 
government failures to adequately handle this new
technology. In its September 1999 issue of _Consumer
Reports_, it called again for gene food evaluation and
labeling. The National Nutritional Foods Association, a
trade group representing the retailers and manufacturers of
dietary supplements and natural foods, has called for U.S.
labeling on the simple ground that "the public has a right
to know what they are eating." 

     Last year, almost 270,000 letter writers testified in
opposition to a proposal of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture 
that would have allowed gene foods to fall within the
definition of "organic." (The agency has now apparently
agreed to exclude them). And last June, a petition carrying
500,000 signatures in support of labeling was presented to
the White House, Congress, and U.S. governmental agencies. 

     Thus, there is plenty of evidence that U.S. consumers
are becoming aware of gene foods and support mandatory
labeling so that they can avoid consuming them. This is
hardly the mark of apathy.


IS U.S. GOVERNMENT POLICY CHANGING?

     Corn and soy exports from the U.S. have been
drastically reduced because U.S. producers have not
segregated the genetically engineered varieties.  Buyers,
especially in the EU, won't buy the tainted mixtures. As a
result, U.S. corn farmers have probably lost about $200
million this year. One of the largest domestic exporters,
Archer Daniels Midland Corporation, has announced that
farmers and grain elevators must segregate corn for export;
and Gerber baby foods is making its domestic and European
practices consistent by refusing to use genetically modified
ingredients.  Such actions by major producing corporations
will bolster the economic value of growing unmodified
varieties. 

     Despite efforts of members of U.S. Congress (led by
Senator John Ashcroft of Missouri, where Monsanto is
headquartered) to get the Administration to push for
"success in world markets" by "removing unfair trade
barriers" to engineered foods in Europe, the Administration
may be signaling some change in its policies. 

     Last April, in a speech at Purdue University, U.S.
Secretary  of Agriculture Glickman noted: 
     
     "We cannot be science's blind servant. We have to
     understand its ethical, safety and environmental
     implications. Our testing has to be rigorous....We also
     can't force these new genetically engineered food
     products down consumers' throats....[D]ismissing the
     skepticism that is out there is not only arrogant, it's
     also a bad business strategy....Also, we have to be
     careful about ratcheting up the expectations on some of
     these technologies.  There is no one silver bullet that
     will allow us to meet all of tomorrow's agricultural
     and food security challenges....[L]et's not put all of
     our eggs in the biotech basket."


     Meanwhile, a recent report for the Deutsche Bank,
Europe's largest, recommended that investors sell their
holdings of genetic engineering stocks. It noted that:

     "The European concerns are very real. In the past
     month, a senior manager at a European-based chemical
     giant expressed serious reservations to us about the
     benignness of GMOs [genetically modified organisms] and
     said that given a choice, he would select non-GMOs any
     day.  By the way, the company he works for is actively
     involved in ag-biotechnology."


U.S.-EU SOCIETAL DIFFERENCES

     While North Atlantic culture is highly homogeneous when
contrasted with other portions of the globe, there are still
considerable differences between Europe and the United
States.  However, the explanations for their biotech policy
differences are not those offered by official industry and
government apologists attempting to justify the American
failure to provide oversight.  Five areas probably account
for the significant distinguishing factors. 

     o  Contrasting political mechanisms; 
     o  The role of industry in the political economy; 
     o  The role of the media; 
     o  Geographic factors; and 
     o  Historic and cultural factors.  


POLITICS

     In Europe, the electoral system is based on
proportional representation systems.  Like-minded groups,
such as the environmentalists who formed the Green parties,
are represented in the legislative bodies as long as they
attract a sufficient number of votes to cross a relatively
low threshold (normally 5%).  From this position, they have
been able to insert genetic engineering concerns into public
discourse.  However, due to the "winner take all" electoral
system in the U.S., minorities of 49% (and their issues) can
be ignored by legislative representatives.


THE AGRIBUSINESS/GOVERNMENT REVOLVING DOOR

     A major Canadian national paper, _Toronto's Globe and 
Mail_, has observed: 

     "Monsanto, which makes large donations to both the
     Democratic and Republican parties and to congressional
     legislators on food-safety committees, has become a
     virtual retirement home for members of the Clinton
     Administration.  Trade and environmental protection
     administrators and other Clinton appointees have left
     to take up lucrative positions on Monsanto's board,
     while Monsanto and other biotech executives pass
     through the same revolving door to take up positions in
     the administration and its regulatory bodies."


     One Monsanto Board member is Mickey Kantor, the
chairman of Clinton's 1992 presidential campaign and a
former U.S. Chief Trade Negotiator. Marcia Hale, another
former Clinton aide, is now Monsanto's international
regulatory director.  At the cusp of the Bush and Clinton
Administrations, when the Food & Drug Administration (FDA)
was drawing up its position against the labeling of gene
foods, one of the key decision makers was Michael Taylor,
previously a lawyer for Monsanto.  When the FDA approved
recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH) for use in cows in
1993, the regulatory process was guided by former Monsanto
employees, then at the FDA, who subsequently went back to
work for the company. 

     A 1998 analysis of Monsanto's workings in the _St.
Louis Post-Dispatch_ found that "where Monsanto seeks to
sow, the US government clears the ground." Administration
officials have taken the lead in lobbying for the company
and the rest of the biotech industry in trade confrontations
with Europe, New Zealand, and Asia.


ROLE OF THE MEDIA

     The variety of opinions reflected in the media of the
United States is limited, and coverage of biotech issues has
been sporadic and generally uncritical. As Max Frankel of
the _New York Times_ editorial board has put it, "a
corporate plutocracy dominates political speech in America." 

     The choice and coverage of topics in the U.S. media
appears strongly dependent upon two factors: corporate
ownership patterns/interlocking boards of directors, and
sources of advertising revenues.  Furthermore, the companies
controlling U.S. media have steadily consolidated during the
last decades, as the recent CBS/Viacom merger typified. In
Europe it is nearly impossible to have such a concentration
of media power in the hands of a few companies.


GEOGRAPHICAL FACTORS 

     Compared to agribusiness in the U.S., farm land in
Europe is much more integrated into citizens' daily lives.
Government planning provides sharp urban boundaries where
farms exist, and commuters may even pass livestock daily.
Europeans have more contact with farming, in part because
many more of their relatives still live in rural areas.
There is heightened awareness in Europe of the way food is
produced. The production of food is not a mystery, only
visible in terms of its output, plastically wrapped on
supermarket shelves.

     In America, farming and everyday urban life are largely
separated.  The actual share of people working on a farm is
only two percent of the population. The EU rural population
is 50% larger. 


OTHER CULTURAL AND HISTORIC FACTORS

     The American self-image is one of pioneers and
adventurers. Thus, one news magazine recently surmised that
"Americans may be culturally more inclined to embrace new
technology than are Europeans." Yet any visitor to Europe
knows that it is chocked full of power plants,
telecommunications gadgets, and consumer goodies.  The
problem with biotechnology may be not that it is a
technology, but that it is dealing with food. 

     The noted science journalist Daniel Greenberg agreed in
the _Washington Post_: "The transatlantic difference may be
that Americans are accustomed to a steady stream of novel
products from a highly competitive food industry, whereas
Europeans tend to be more traditional about what they eat."  
Every American traveler to Europe is aware of the fact that
food occupies a place of high importance in the European
lifestyle, far beyond what is common in the United States. 
Major European cities are still full of many small markets
and specialty food shops. 

     In contrast to the homogenization fostered by U.S.
multinationals, Europeans prize the variety of local foods;
Churchill once referred to France as a "nation of 350
cheeses."  For many foodstuffs, national laws are in place
to intricately regulate the wording on their labels --
Appenzeller cheese is only from one place in the world, as
is Chateau Neuf-du-Pape wine.

     Whereas the US word "farm" symbolizes an agribusiness
production facility, the European notion encompasses
something traditional, rural, and idyllic. Travel agencies
in Germany, France and Italy offer vacation holidays on the
farm, so that individuals or whole families can get back to
their bucolic roots. 


TECHNOLOGICAL FIASCOES

     In recent decades, Europe has experienced a series of
severe negative impacts from the use of modern technologies,
undoubtedly playing some role in shaping that continent's
attitudes. European caution is often chided as childish
anxiety by U.S. critics, rather than a mature willingness to
learn from experience. The modification of agricultural
products in foods to create "super organisms" evokes the
memory of the Nazi plan to create a "super race" by genetic
selection. 

     However, it is the experience with Britain's
mismanagement of "mad cow disease" which has convinced
European consumers that it is best to proceed cautiously
with food technologies.  In June 1987 the British government
knew that the feeding of meat and bone meal to cows were the
main infection routes. Stating that there was no evidence
that humans could catch the disease, it allowed infected
cows to be sold for human consumption.  This calculus,
placing short-term economic interests (this market for beef
and veal is worth $3.1 billion) over human health, made
European consumers extremely suspicious of governmental
regulators.  The recent discoveries of dioxin in Belgian
foodstuffs and tainted Coca-Cola have perpetuated this
consumer demand for prudence.

     Other technologies touted as totally safe and necessary
for a modern economy, most notably nuclear power, have had
disastrous consequences in Europe. The meltdown of the
Chernobyl plant in 1986 exposed millions of Europeans to
high levels of radiation, and resulted in the necessary
destruction of huge amounts of plant and animal foodstuffs.


PRUDENCE IS A VIRTUE

     According to Gillian K. Hadfield, a professor of law at
the University of Toronto:

     "It's wrong to view consumer resistance as just
     anti-science hysteria.  Many people make food choices
     based on ethical considerations, deciding not to eat
     veal, or mass-produced chickens or non-organic produce.
     If biotechnology raises ethical and environmental
     concerns for them, it is not irrational for them to act
     on these." 


     The fundamental ideology in Europe is not "timidity"
but rather the Precautionary Principle.  Europeans prefer to
step back in the face of uncertainty and act prudently
rather than recklessly. The U.S. used to abide by this
approach in public policy, but it has increasingly abandoned
it under pressure from powerful corporations seeking
short-term profits.

     There are many reasons suggested above for the early
European heightened concern about genetic engineering.  But
U.S. public discourse is now approaching that common in
Europe. Today, transnational corporations which have agreed
to leave genetically engineered components out of their
European foods are being pressed to do the same for American
stomachs.

     In democratic societies, citizens have the right to
protect themselves from having risks thrust upon them for
the economic benefits of others.  "Look before you leap" --
requiring adequate risk assessments of genetically altered
foods, requiring the proponents of these technological
changes to demonstrate that they are safe, and requiring
labeling so that citizens can make informed choices  these
are reasonable public policies on both sides of the ocean.

                          ****

ABOUT THE AUTHORS: Phil Bereano 
is a professor at the University of Washington in Seattle
specializing in technology and public policy.  He is a
member of the Loka Institute's National Advisory Board
, and also active in the Council for
Responsible Genetics .  Florian
Kraus is a German Fulbright scholar who has been doing
graduate work at the University of Washington.  An edited
version of this essay appeared in the _Seattle Times_
newspaper (8 November 1999).

************************************************************

(II) LOKA INSTITUTE PROJECT UPDATES:


    (A) COMMUNITY RESEARCH NETWORK (CRN)

     The Loka Institute's project to knit together a
worldwide network of programs and centers that conduct
community-based research 
is moving forward on multiple fronts.  Upcoming:

     CRN GUIDELINES PROJECT: As funding for community-based
research (CBR) gradually increases, it is essential to
ensure that it is channeled, as intended, into effective,
community-enhancing research partnerships.  On 21-22 January
2000, the Loka Institute is collaborating with a group of
CBR stakeholders to develop a set of ethical guidelines for
conducting community-based research. While there are already
several excellent examples of locally based principles for
community-based research, a unified vision -- created by a
collaboration of stakeholders from around the world -- has
yet to be articulated. We will keep you up-to-date on the
status of this project as it proceeds. (A very limited
number of spaces are still available for participation in
this upcoming January CBR Guidelines Workshop, which will
take place in Washington, DC.  For further information,
please contact Douglas Taylor, Loka Institute CRN Project
Director: .)
 
     CRN ANNUAL WORKSHOP 2000: Following last year's highly
successful CRN Conference (for an initial report, see
, plans are now
underway for the next Annual CRN Conference in June 2000. 
We will announce details in a future Loka Alert.  For
interim information or to participate in planning, please E-
mail .


    (B) RECENT PUBLICATIONS

     o  Loka Institute Board Member Jeffrey Scheuer has just
published: _THE SOUND BITE SOCIETY: TELEVISION AND THE
AMERICAN MIND_ (New York and London: Four Walls Eight
Windows, 1999).  "This is the most searching book I have
seen on television's assault on our psyches and our
society."  --Daniel Schorr, senior news analyst, National
Public Radio.  Information is available on the Web at:
.

     o  Loka Institute Board Chair Carolyn Raffensperger is
co-editor, with Joel Tickner, of: _PROTECTING PUBLIC HEALTH
AND THE ENVIRONMENT: IMPLEMENTING THE PRECAUTIONARY
PRINCIPLE_ (Washington, DC: Island Press, 1999). 
Information is available on the World Wide Web at:
.


************************************************************

(III) DEMOCRATIZING SCIENCE & TECHNOLOGY: UPDATES FROM
      ABROAD 

     (A) COMMUNITY-BASED RESEARCH IN CANADA

     The Canadian government is moving swiftly toward the
forefront internationally in supporting community-based
research.  This past January, Canada's Social Sciences &
Humanities Research Council announced a new funding
initiative entitled "Community University Research Alliances
(CURA)" (Information is on the World Wide Web at:
.  

     Building on the popular CURA initiative, the Canadian
government has now announced an ambitious new program that
will, among other things, fund community-based health
research. It is called Community Alliances for Health
Research (CAHR). For details, see:
.


     (B) DELIBERATIVE CITIZENS' PANELS

     In April 1997 the Loka Institute and several
institutional partners organized the first U.S.
participatory Citizen's Panel for deliberating on complex,
controversial issues in science and technology policy.
Modeled on a Danish-style "consensus conference," the topic
of our Citizen's Panel was "Telecommunications and the
Future of Democracy" (information is on the Web at:
).  

     Deliberative Citizen Panels have now been organized at
least 38 times in 13 different nations -- including at least
nine times on the topic of genetically modified foods.  (For
an updated list of citizens panels worldwide, with extensive
hyperlinks) see
).  

     The U.S. Congress and Administration now lag
embarrassingly behind -- indeed, some would argue that they
show contempt for their own citizens -- in choosing not to
experiment with the internationally proven Deliberative
Citizens' Panel method.  Nonetheless, elsewhere the process
continues to make strong headway.  For example:

     ** AUSTRIA: A report on the first Austrian "consensus
conference," on upper atmospheric ozone pollution (1997), is
now on the World Wide Web at:
.

     ** FRANCE: A comprehensive report on the June 1998
French "consensus conference" on genetically modified foods
has just become available at:
.

     ** JAPAN: This past summer saw the completion of the
second Japanese consensus conference, on the topic of "The
Information Society and the Internet."  For a very
interesting report, see
.

     ** SWITZERLAND: The second Swiss consensus conference
(known as a "PubliForum") took place this past June on the
topic of genetically modified foods.  For a report, go to
, then click on
"Participative Methods/PubliForum"


     (C) EUROPEAN PARTICIPATORY TECHNOLOGY ASSESSMENT
        (EUROpTA) Project

     Six European technology assessment organizations (from
Denmark, Austria, Germany, the Netherlands, Switzerland, and
the U.K.) have received funding from the European Commission
to conduct a multi-year, comparative study of participatory
technology assessment methods in different countries. 
Project information -- including project case studies and
reports as they become available -- is on the Web at:
.
     
************************************************************

(IV)  LOKA INSTITUTE INTERNSHIPS

     The Loka Institute has openings for volunteers,
graduate and undergraduate student interns, and work-study
students for February 2000 and beyond.

     Interns' responsibilities include updating our Web
page; managing email lists and listserves; conducting
background research on issues concerning science,
technology, and society; and helping with administrative
work. Interns committing to a semester or more will have the
opportunity to integrate independent research into their
internship experience.

     Candidates should be self-motivated and able to work as
part of a team as well as independently. A general knowledge
and comfort with computers is needed. Experience in Web page
maintenance is preferable. Undergraduate students, graduate
students, and recent graduates are welcome to apply. Loka is
able to provide interns with an expense stipend of $35 per
day for volunteering (or $700 per month
full-time-equivalent).

     If you are interested in working with us to promote a
democratic politics of science and technology, please send a
resume and a succinct cover letter explaining your interest
and dates of availability to: The Loka Institute, P.O. Box
355, Amherst, MA 01004, USA. We also are accept applications
by e-mail to  or by fax to +1-413-559-5811.


**********************************************************

(V) ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE

    The Loka Institute is a nonprofit organization dedicated
to making research, science and technology responsive to
democratically decided social and environmental concerns. 
Current Loka projects include: 

   o  The Community Research Network

   o  Deliberative Citizens' Panels on Science & Technology

   o  Identifying Democratic Technologies

   o  Building a Constituency for Democratizing Research, 
          Science & Technology

    TO FIND OUT MORE ABOUT THE LOKA INSTITUTE, to
participate in our on-line discussion groups, to download or
order publications, or to help please visit our Web page:
.  Or contact us via E-mail at
. 

                       ###


Join the Loka Alert email discussion list.

You can subscribe by email by sending a blank email -- no text in the subject or body of the message -- to:

loka-alert-subscribe@egroups.com

To send a message to the list use the following email address:

loka-alert@egroups.com

If you are already subscribed and wish to leave the list simply send a blank message to:

loka-alert-unsubscribe@egroups.com


About MapCruzin - Cookies, Privacy, Fair Use and Disclaimer - Advertise on MapCruzin.com

Contact MapCruzin

Back to the Top


Website maintained by Michael R. Meuser

Copyright 1996-2009 MapCruzin.com
All Rights Reserved

Visit us for Free GIS Maps and Resources

Pollution Maps Around the World Our Products Our Recent Projects EnviroNews Our Services Free GIS programs Global Right-To-Know Resources Our Research WebMap and GIS Resouces Free map layers in several formats Recommended Books