PANTS ON FIRE -- VOTING DEADLINE: FRIDAY 18 MAY
*1. The Institute of Public Affairs - smearing indigenous NGOs
*2. Scottish Enterprise - pushing BIO propaganda into schools
*3. The John Innes Centre - biospinology at its finest
Calls for GM coffee boycott
Thursday, 17 May, 2001, 04:25 GMT 05:25 UK
A charity is launching a campaign calling on retailers and consumers to boycott genetically modified coffee. ActionAid is expected to stage a protest outside the World Coffee Conference, a three-day gathering of leading figures in the industry, held at London's Hilton Park Lane hotel.
ActionAid has also taken out newspaper advertisements and is leafleting coffee shops and supermarkets. The charity says GM coffee threatens the livelihoods of the millions of small farmers who produce 70% of the world's coffee.
The technology, being developed in Hawaii, involves genetically engineering coffee berries so they all ripen at the same time. This would make harvesting on large plantations less labour intensive. But, according to ActionAid, it would also spell disaster for smaller farmers and workers who handpick berries as they ripen at a natural uneven rate.
ActionAid's Salil Shetty told BBC News: "It is likely to displace the lives of about seven million very poor people whose livelihoods rely on coffee entirely.
"This is because the technology is going to replace labour with mechanised farming."