declaration of indigenous peoples on genome project

Caroline Jeannerat (031CFJ@COSMOS.WITS.AC.ZA)
Tue, 7 Mar 1995 07:53:43 -0500

In full agreement with the statement: western interference resulted
in environmental destruction and disposession. Environmental change
used as an instrument of disappropriation.

Not in agreement with: "the principles of harmony requires that
we do not violate the principles of Creation by manipulating and
changing the natural order" . Human utilisation of the environment -
in what ever form/manner - leads to environmental change. The
difference between gatherer-hunting, farming and genetic manipulation
is merely one of scale. Would agree that the impact of genetic
manipulation is potentially much higher, but in principle it is
the same thing.

The standpoint taken in the declaration, therefore, is a rather
extreme one. Whereas it is understandable within its political
context, it leaves little scope for discussion of the many shades of
grey that exist.

Caroline Jeannerat
Dept. of Social Anthropology
Univ. of the Witwatersrand
2050 Johannesburg