The Multinational Monitor

February 1984 - VOLUME 5 - NUMBER 2

F R O M   O U R   R E A D E R S

For the record

I would like to correct two errors in the article on the Pesticide Action Network (January 1984). I am quoted as saying that PAN initiated and helped to push through the December 1982 United Nations General Assembly resolution on trade in toxic substances. In fact several environmental, religious, and consumers' citizens organizations, centered in New York, did work on the resolution, and they are contributing significantly to follow-up on the U.N. list of hazardous products. But this has not been done under PAN's auspices. The resolution itself was initiated by the government of Venezuela and several other governments in developing countries.

In addition, I am identified as PAN's international director, a label that is incorrect and misleading about the nature of our network. PAN is just what its name implies: a network that links organizations on this global problem.

In North America PAN is just now adopting a structure that can best bring together U.S. and Canadian groups active on pesticide issues to work on North American export problems and to cooperate with organizations in the rest of the world. Friends of the Earth has been the North American contact point for PAN International for the last year and a half. Currently a temporary steering committee, consisting of individuals from ten organizations in the U.S. and Canada, coordinates activity. I am its convenor.

We thank Multinational Monitor for its continuing efforts to identify the role of the multinational in global problems, but feel that correct detail about the issues and groups you cover is essential for credibility both with the general public and your sympathetic readership.

David Chatfield
Convenor, PAN-North America
Steering Committee

The Monitor regrets the errors and apologizes for any misunderstanding.

Native American comments on booze article

I am just completing my PhD (at Brandeis) in social policy. I am Oneida (American Indian nation) married to a Haida, we live in Hydaburg, a traditional Haida homeland and now reservation. In my doctoral study, lasting more than seven years, I have tried to document reasons for alcoholism among my people, which we did not have prior to invasion by European business interests but now suffer with a 60 to 80 percent prevalence rate among our adults. In my work, it was clear that the alcoholism was caused by unbridled and unrestrained liquor dealers. I could create an excellent historic case but was unable to document, in hard cold figures why the problem continues and increases geometrically, today.

We Indians have used alcohol and mind altering substances more than 30,000 years, always within ritual context, and never had problems with addiction until alcohol was pulled out of a sacred context and put in the hands of exploitative interests.

Many Indian people, and now as your article proves, indigenous people around the globe are disgusted with the classic retort, "Nobody makes you drink." You set the record straight in your coverage of the WHO study and the Washington Post article.

In closing, I would like to share a quote from a very famous and strong-hearted Indian leader, who cautioned the new comers to this land:

Tribe follows tribe, and nation follows nation, like the waves of the sea...

Your time of decay may be distant, but it will surely come, for even the White Man whose God walked and talked with him as friend with friend, cannot be exempt from the common destiny. We may be brothers after all. We will see.

- Chief Seattle, 1855

Pam Colorado
Hydaburg, Alaska

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