RWP was born in Manchester, in the north of England, in the late 1950s, so he is very old. He really liked the north of England, which by 1965 was hip and had three TV channels, and where he went to a coed school. His parents, for reasons best known to themselves, then yanked him away, to Belfast and then Dublin, which had one TV channel that started up at 6 pm with the Angelus (Catholic call to prayer). He also had to go to an all boys school, where he realized he really missed girls. This probably let him focus on schoolwork, though, and at age 19, after he had finished college, he set off for America, where he still resides. He has a bachelors degree in biochemistry and a Ph.D. from Harvard in biophysics, and has lived also in Mainz, Germany, Setauket NY, and Richland WA. He currently divides his time between Nebraska, Rosslyn VA, and Florida.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Chuck Hassebrook's disavowal of his role in 'Biotechnology's Bitter Harvest'

...which he issued tonight, in the Nebraska Gubernatorial Debate, is transparently false. Chuck claims he only wrote a few paragraphs of the report, and wanted his name taken off. But he was a member of the group that published the report! If he wanted his name removed, since he was a member of the group that published the report, he could surely have done so then, or at any time in the 24 years since! In fact, the Biotechnology Working Group, of which Chuck was indubitably a member, was a cosy little bunch...
In the U.S., a particularly important social space where anti-GE activists generated ideas was the Biotechnology Working Group (BWG). The BWG was formed in the late 1980s when a dozen activists working on various aspects of food and agriculture, environmental issues, trade policy, and biotechnology got together for the first time, thanks to a grant from two small foundations. In the process of meeting together for several years, the group’s members began to constitute themselves as a collective actor (Melucci 1996).
The BWG played a catalytic role in bringing these activists’ diverse trajectories to converge, both intellectually and organizationally, on the issue of biotechnology. The BWG was an important place for gathering and exchanging information, and for forming a collective political analysis. When they got together, BWG members would discuss recent developments in the technology and industry, and brainstorm action strategies. In 1990, the BWG published a report entitled “Biotechnology’s Bitter Harvest: Herbicide Tolerant Crops and the Threat to Sustainable Agriculture.” This report reflected a synergy of ideas among people from diverse backgrounds and organizations. This pattern of co-authorship became a common means by which the ideational work of grievance formation took place in the proto-mobilizational phase of the anti-GE movement.
The face-to-face interactions among BWG members were crucial in forging the intimate personal relationships and strong sense of commitment, solidarity, and mutual support that helped to sustain this fledgling movement and made it hum with energy, tension, humor, and excitement. For BWG members, they were an important source of inspiration and morale-building. “I have really fond memories [of the BWG] because initially it was really a wonderful group,” one member nostalgically recalled. “I mean, I’ve been to some [other] meetings, and people go, ‘oh, this was like the BWG in the old days.”
Hassebrook was a member of a group actively campaigning against GMOs, and he won't admit it.

1 comment:

  1. Nicely done, Prof ... now I have another reason to NOT vote for Chuck the Schmuck