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Massive TV Campaign Promoting GE Food Opposed

Broadcast News From The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

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Dear Health Freedom Fighters,

The first television ads promoting genetically engineered foods began to be shown on Monday. It is reported that Monsanto and other biotech companies plan to spend $50 million this year and up to $250 million over the next five years on their advertising campaign. Below are two articles. The first is a front page article from the St. Louis Post Dispatch titled "Biotech rivals team up in effort to sell altered food." The second article is from the San Francisco Chronicle titled "Biotech Products to Get an Image Booster."

The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods is preparing to spend over $50,000 in April to print up 250,000 of our full color "Take Action Packets." So the biotech industry is spending nearly 1,000 times more than we are. However, The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods has a powerful secret weapon that the biotech industry lacks: the active participation of thousands of grassroots activists.

This is a classic David and Goliath story. Just as David beat the powerful Goliath, we intend to get genetically engineered foods labeled over the continued objections of the biotech industry. The Campaign's goal is to generate at least ONE MILLION LETTERS TO CONGRESS over the next seven months in support of the Genetically Engineered Food Right to Know Act.

Although we can't afford television ads, traffic continues to increase at The Campaign's popular web site. As a matter of fact, our internet service provider just increased our monthly fee because we are generating so much traffic. But our most powerful tool in generating letters to Congress will be the "Take Action Packet." This full color 24-page magazine will contain an informative educational tutorial and five form letters addressed to the House of Representatives, the Senate, Vice-President Gore and Governor Bush.

We intend to raise the issue of genetically engineered foods to one of presidential politics in the coming elections. The television and newspaper ads of the biotech industry are likely to help us accomplish this goal. When the biotech industry tried an advertising campaign in Europe a couple years ago, it backfired and increased public opposition to genetically engineered foods. We anticipate the same situation will develop in the United States.

The Campaign's Take Action Packets are scheduled to begin shipping the first of May. They will only cost 25 cents each and sell in lots of 100 for $25 (price includes shipping). A copy of the Take Action Packet will be available for viewing on our web site after April 20th. You will be able to order the Take Action Packets directly from our web site by credit card on our secured server. Naturally you may also send your order by U.S. mail.

Here we go folks: Grassroots activism by thousands of concerned citizens on a shoestring budget vs. a multi-million dollar advertising campaign by the world's leading biotech companies. We will win this battle if we all do our part in generating the letters to our elected officials during the next seven months.

Craig Winters Executive Director The Campaign to Label Genetically Engineered Foods

The Campaign PO Box 55699 Seattle, WA 98155 Tel: 425-771-4049 Fax: 603-825-5841 E-mail: mailto:label@thecampaign.org Web Site: http://www.thecampaign.org

Mission Statement: "To create a national grassroots consumer campaign for the purpose of lobbying Congress and the President to pass legislation that will require the labeling of genetically engineered foods in the United States."

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Posted: Tuesday, April 4, 2000.

St. Louis Post Dispatch

Front Page - A section

Biotech rivals team up in effort to sell altered food

By Bill Lambrecht

Post-Dispatch Washington Bureau

WASHINGTON - Monsanto Co. and its biotechnology rivals began a $50 million campaign Monday to sell Americans on the benefits of genetically modified food.

With television and print ads along with a Web site and toll-free number, the newly formed Council for Biotechnology Information is seeking to raise awareness and reduce worry at a critical juncture for a powerful new technology.

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Biotech Products to Get an Image Booster

David Barboza, New York Times

Tuesday, April 4, 2000 San Francisco Chronicle

Chicago -- Responding to a backlash against genetically engineered crops, some of the world's biggest biotechnology companies said yesterday that they will spend up to $250 million during the next five years to convince consumers that the products are safe.

The North American campaign, which began yesterday with television commercials on the major broadcast networks and cable, comes after months of criticism, controversy and lawsuits over the widespread introduction of genetically engineered crops into agriculture, particularly in the United States.

With billions of dollars at stake, and a huge portion of American farmers' crops devoted to genetically modified corn and soybeans, the major biotechnology companies say they feel compelled to counter what they say is a rising wave of anti-biotech hysteria.


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