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Further, the rationale behind ‘corporate’ protests such as that orchestrated by single-issue groups like Greenpeace over Brent Spar is fundamentally different from the protest against the corporate, global lifestyle which is engendered by TNC. Concluding discussion On the face of it, Shell offers an attractive, global target for campaign activity. It offends broadly and, given its global reach, it offends widely. One might suppose therefore that global campaigning would target a global quarry. Through its public commitment to environmental causes (for instance its ‘Better Britain Campaign’ and its recent World Wide Fund (WWF) award for environmental reform in Canada) Shell is clearly ‘asking’ to be judged by lofty standards.

Anti-Shell campaigners devote little public attention to addressing this problem, at least in part – one assumes – because it is easier to agree that oil companies are in the wrong than to secure agreement about what precisely is wrong with Shell or the industry as a whole. The pervasiveness of the oil companies and their products was discussed by one respondent: Well so maybe it boils down to plastic bags? Making people aware of the connection between what happened to Ken Saro-Wiwa and that plastic carrier bag you’ve just picked up in the supermarket.

There were manifold issues at stake in this context, but to simplify one can state that US and some European firms had begun to produce GM crops with two principal forms of putative benefit: some were engineered to have in-built resistance to 44 Cultures of Movement pests while others had genetic tolerance towards particular weedkillers. In the latter case, the intended benefit is that fields of crops can be treated with the herbicide during the growing season and everything but the crop would be killed off, making weedkilling more thorough and economical.

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