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The WTO in Our Backyard? Organizing around the Sacramento Biotech Ministerial

(Monday, March 10, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The following is a news release.

WHO: Californian's Concerned with Globalization, Industrial Agriculture, Biotechnology, Economic and Social Justice

WHAT: Informational, mobilizing meeting on world trade and upcoming global summit on industrial agriculture in Sacramento

WHEN: March 12, 7:00pm

WHERE: Unitarian Universalist Society of Sacramento 2425 Sierra Blvd., Sacramento, California (one block north of Fair Oaks Blvd., between Fulton and Howe)

WHY: USDA Secretary Ann Venneman has invited Ministers of Trade, Agriculture, and Environment from around the world to Sacramento from June 23-25, 2003 for a "Ministerial Conference and Expo on Agricultural Science and Technology." The aim is to showcase industrial agricultural technologies and create a consensus among ministers for new rules that will globalize the US model of industrial agriculture, including chemicals, irradiation, and biotechnology. The Sacramento summit will be an important stop in the push to establish global rules for food and farming via the World Trade Organization, which summits this September in Cancun, Mexico. Agriculture remains the most contentious issue in current trade talks, and Cancun's success or failure may hinge on it. Worldwide, hunger activists and small-farmers, especially from poor nations, are appealing to Californians to support their struggles for food security by resisting industrial agriculture and biotechnology at the Sacramento summit. With only four months to plan, please join us for an evening of information, analysis, and exploring how grassroots action can make this an opportunity to influence the debate over industrial agriculture, in California and beyond.


Jim Prigoff, Alliance for Democracy: Welcome

Victor Menotti, International Forum on Globalization: Sacramento: A Critical Stop on the Road to WTO's summit in Cancún

Ellen Hickey, Pesticide Action Network: Genetic Engineering and the Third World

Raj Patel, Food First: Hunger and Industrial Agriculture

Debi Barker, International Forum on Globalization: Alternatives to Industrial Agriculture

Mike Dolan, Public Citizen: Call to Action

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT: Jim Prigoff: 916-925-8950 or Alicia Oldfield: 916-736-6800 x 15

Endorsed by: Alliance for Democracy, Sacramento Valley Labor Committee for Peace and Justice, Zapatista Solidarity Coalition, Sacramento Activists for Democratic Trade, International Forum on Globalization