SIGN to request to know which is the origin of the funds that will support GenEticaMente

10 Feb 2011
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Once again the Italian political institutions offended the dignity and the rationality of the Italian scientific community. Despite exposing themselves to be treated as ridiculous at the international level, they questioned about the scientific quality of biotechnology research performed in public and private laboratories, published on peer review journals and taught in Italian University. On Tuesday January 25th, 2011 the Sub-secretary of the Italian Prime Minister, Mr. Gianni Letta participate in a press conference in Rome to announce the birth of the project GenEticaMente self-defined of “participated research” as highest referent of 7 different Ministers (Agriculture, Research and University, Environment, etc.) and the private foundation leaded by Mr. Mario Capanna. Participants in the press conference were the president of the largest Italian food supermarket chain COOP, Mr. Tassinari and the Governor of Puglia Region, Mr. Vendola. The project was announced to be supported by 20 million euro (despite it is still unclear if this amount is partially a promise) for the next 4 years and wishes to use genetic platforms to ameliorate crops without using GMOs following the “new” technology of MAS (Marker Assisted Selection) a technology used since some 30 years in the Italian laboratories. The brochure of the Foundation (for genetic rights, FDG) does not allow understanding the rationale of the project, while it is very clear the idea of a “democratic” control of research (a politikal control performed by a private foundation) what is far-off from a modern liberal-democracy. The human and economic disasters produced in the last century from Lysenko or the eugenetic were ideological interferences of politics on single scientists. The scientific community should be very careful to control that these events should no longer happen. It is expected that the participation of public bodies in such project might be in contrast with article 33 of the Italian Constitution. The Italian scientific community estimate embarrassing that in a moment of very poor research funds for public research, endemic in our country but far worst in such an economic, industrial and occupational crisis, it has been possible to find 20 million euros for a project that was not submitted to any scientific evaluation under any international standard. It is surprising that the same Govern and the same Minister that have recently reformed the whole system for the evaluation of the scientific grants, are now supporting a project that skips all these virtuous principles. Who is teaching and doing research, fighting daily with the poor instruments, salaries, and mostly consideration, is astonished and in now asking which are the real intention of the Govern toward the competitive access to financial support for research. While the best “brains” have to leave the country, while salaries of 40 years-old excellent post-doc are evaporating, while we are heavily paying for innovations that we have been unable to produce or keep in Italy, we have to assist to the use of large amounts of public funds to perform a lobby activity of a private subject in a wonderful castle at the seaside nearby Rome. These funds skip from any evaluation from independent agency and are used to promote a culture against the development, the knowledge and science. Only Italy is developing an agri-food politic supporting the interests of marginal producers, helping the increase of food prices, do not have a national agency for food safety and prepare the exit of Italy from the global agriculture economic scenario. The real costs of such policies will be charged on the future generations that will have to open their minds from such a self-sufficient approach to innovations: an approach that the country of Galileo Galilee do not deserve. We invite scientists, people involved in agri-food production, industrial and company actors, and all citizens to sign this document of protest against the plans to restrict the research and economic freedom in such a strategic sector.

  1. (richiesto)
  2. (Indirizzo valido)
  3. (richiesto)

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