The Finnish Biosafety Association worried about biopiracy:
Enquiry into Genetic Manipulation 
of Garden Plants
Official Notice
The People's Biosafety association demands that the genetic manipulation tests of garden plants and wild-growing berries must be interrupted and an unbiased account should be made of all the studies and their investments as well as of the risks the studies have caused this far. An enquiry (in Finnish) has been sent to the Board for Gene Technology, the highest ranking authority that oversees gene technology in Finland.

- In the light of our current information we cannot take a confident view of what might be happening in different institutions' research activity, says Ossi Kakko, the Biosafety association's region correspondent of the Pohjois-Savo region.

The Greatest Cloudberry of Finland 
- Genetic manipulation behind closed doors?

Biopiracy has become a well-known concept during the last few years, as many developing countries have stood up to protect their own local gene resources from the gene hunters of biotechnology companies and research institutions. However, there are valuable genetic resources also in the North, and the hot question of the day is this: Who has the right to the genetic resources in different countries?

The People's Biosafety Association arranges a meeting for discussion in Turku, Finland on 8. August 2000. The meeting is a part of the international environmental meeting Ekotopia. One main point of the discussion will be the Northberry Project of the Kuopio University, a project where the researchers are looking for the greatest cloudberry of Finland.

- This is an undertaking of the gene researchers, who are collecting resources to be used in developing genetically manipulated cloudberries. It would have been a proper thing to do to tell about this fact also to those who pick the berries and who are asked to give their cloudberries to the gene researchers. This is how Ossi Kakko, a friend of cloudberries and arctic bramble from the Pohjois-Savo region, criticizes the manner of proceeding.

- We also wonder why this kind of a project has been started and how it has received millions of Finnish marks, as it's a well-known fact that the Finnish market will not accept genetically manipulated foods.

- The worst possible threat to Finnish production of nature berries is that genetically manipulated material should spread out to the wild-growing population. In that case it would be impossible to guarantee that the berries and the berry products that the consumers buy are clean and do not have any genetically manipulated genotypes.

For further information, please contact:

Ossi Kakko

More information about the Northberry project:
Former version of the page from July 2000: northberry.htm