Using a new weapon to fight biotechnology, activists announced yesterday that they plan to file antitrust lawsuits in 30 countries accusing major biotech firms, grain traders, and grain processors of using genetic engineering to gain control of world agriculture. Jeremy Rifkin, director of the Foundation on Economic Trends, said the legal actions are intended to force governments to consider curbing the power of large agribusiness companies, including Monsanto, DuPont, and Novartis. So far, eight major antitrust law firms have agreed to handle the suits, and plaintiffs will include individual farmers and the National Family Farm Coalition. Rifkin said the suits will be filed before the World Trade Organization’s big Seattle meeting at the end of November.

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