According to Monsanto, the American multinational currently making vast profits out of genetically modified food, the future's so bright that they could genetically modify us to wear shades! Joking apart, there is a serious issue here. Are GM foods safe?
Sewage-fed cows, "mad cows", dioxin contaminated chickens, hormone injected cattle, genetically modified Soya, animal carcasses used to make animal feed, contaminated mineral water and Coca-
Cola. A common thread runs through all these cases: the search for the highest profits on the part of the food industry to the detriment of everybody's health. Michele Fabbri, Italian Marxist magazine Falce Martello.
Genetic engineering has come upon the world with a rush, accompanied by the usual claims of being a way of feeding the earth's poor and removing want. However these claims need to examined in the light of what has actually been done to date, and what is planned for the future. In fact the impetus for the development of genetic engineering, namely the rapid pursuit of maximum profits and futher control of world agriculture runs counter to the stated aims as well as encouraging unsafe science.
Science is big business, and none more so than genetics. The Human Genome Project, the
deciphering of the make up of human DNA has already resulted in some startling
breakthroughs. But, while our scientific understanding of life attempts to race ahead,
once again we find ourselves hemmed in by the enormous waste of capitalism. In this field,
as in any other, competition plus profit equals waste.
We reprint this article by John Pickard which reviews Engels contribution to the understanding of human development and specifically his pamphlet The Part
Played by Labour in the Transition from Ape to Man.
Once every century or so great scientific breakthroughs grip the imagination of the world. With the publication of the results of the human genome project, we stand on the threshold of such a breakthrough. Science is now poised to understand the forces behind evolution, explode racial myths, change the way doctors diagnose disease, and try to help people live longer. The new approach - looking at systems of genes rather than individual genes - will transform biologists' view of the human body. Alan Woods explains how this discovery proves amongst other things that there is no scientific ground for racism or genetic determinism, and analyses the significance of this discovery from a socialist point of view.
Nearly 40 South African pharmaceutical companies are taking the South African government to court in order to defend their massive profits, even if this means the death of millions of people who are HIV positive. The case opened at the Pretoria High Court on March 5th. This article examines how the profit motive of the pharmaceutical
multinationals prevails over the lives of millions of people.
Over the past weeks the news has been dominated by the story of yet another crisis in farming. The rapid spreading of the food and mouth epidemic in Britain is a direct consequence of capitalist farming methods.
This is the headline of an article about Vygotsky written at the University of Joenkoeping in Sweden. Lev Semenovich Vygotsky (1896-1934) was a Russian Marxist psychologist and pedagogue active from the years before the revolution until his death in 1934. His theories, for a long period unknown outside Russia, have gained an increasing echo among radical psychologists and pedagogues during the last decade, not least in the US, but also in Europe.