As Protestors Debate Biotechnology, Four U.S. Groups Donate Two Tons of Food to Mexican Village

Cancún, Mexico, September 11, 2003—While demonstrators at the World Trade Organization meeting in Cancún, Mexico continue to protest the trade discussions, four U.S. groups, in conjunction with the Mexican charitable organization “La Ciudad de Alegria” (City of Joy), will deliver two tons of food Friday morning to a small Mexican village near Cancún. The donation of Mexican staples—cornflower, cooking oil, rice, beans, and other comestibles—purchased at local markets in Cancun, contains some genetically-enhanced ingredients, demonstrating how trade in safe technologies can help improve the global food supply and the lives of consumers around the world. <?xml:namespace prefix = o ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:office” />


“Too often, environmental activists try to prevent consumers in both industrialized and poor countries from taking advantage of new technologies just because they are new,” said Gregory Conko, director of food safety policy at the Competitive Enterprise Institute, one of the groups involved in the food donation. “But the fact that these foods can be found in local markets all around the world, and that they have become an accepted part of the diet of billions of people, demonstrates that consumers have not been frightened away.”


Adds Conko, “The people hurt the most are the ones who desperately need even the most basic foods.  Genetically-enhanced foods have been safely consumed for decades, and it’s a shame to see activists promote an agenda that does more harm to developing countries than the food ever could.”


The four <?xml:namespace prefix = st1 ns = “urn:schemas-microsoft-com:office:smarttags” />U.S. groups making the donation with La Ciudad de Alegria are the Competitive Enterprise Institute, Citizens for a Constructive Tomorrow, the Congress of Racial Equality, and International Consumers for Civil Society.


What:  Two-ton Food Donation to Valle Verde, Mexico

When:  10 a.m., Friday, September 12, 2003

For journalists interested in covering the delivery, a bus is leaving from Miramar Misión Cancún Hotel at 8:30 a.m. Reporters will have an opportunity to tour the village briefly prior to the food distribution.

For more information, contact:  Gregory Conko in Cancún at +52 998.120.8689, or Jody Clarke in Washington, DC at (001) 202.331.2252.