Posts Tagged ‘Monsanto’
Colombians in Trafalgar Square show their support for the farmers’ strike in Colombia. Protesters are demonstrating against the free trade agreement with the US; seed multinationals; GMO crops, and seed patents. Photo by Andres Pantoja
On Sept. 10 in Colombia, after 21 days of a nationwide strike by thousands of farmers, who were supported by bus and truck drivers, miners, students, and others joining massive demonstrations in cities and towns all around the country in places as far as Boyacá, Cundinamarca, Cauca, Huila, Putumayo, Caldas, Cundinamarca, and Nariño, and blocking more than 40 roads, in an historic moment, protesting farmers forced the Colombian government to negotiate the rejection of a farm bill and the release of detained protesters.
On Sunday, September 8, Vice President Angelino Garzón met with the Strike Negotiating Commission in Popayan and agreed to suspend Law 970, the one that gave control over seeds to the government [which made it illegal for farmers to save seeds, any seeds, forcing them to buy patented ones].
They also were promised the release of the 648 arrested during the strike and the creation of a new mining law.
Under this first and provisional agreement, the government will compensate the farmers for their losses when competing with cheaper products imported under as much as ten free market treaties with countries all around the world. In other cases it will suspend the importation of such products.
The strike was ended and negotiations started to discuss the farmers’ proposals. The process of negotiation, as well as the final agreement and its implementation, will be verified by the United Nations.
Wikileaks: State Dept. wants intel on African acceptance of GMOs
By Tom Laskawy
Grist Magazine, Nov 29, 2010
The Wikileaks release of U.S. State Department classified diplomatic cables may be problematic, but it has been quite a trove of information on the workings of our diplomatic corps. For the most part, the dump has confirmed things that we already knew about U.S. policy — and that seems to be the case regarding the one mention of agricultural policy in these thousands of emails and documents (no doubt there are more) to which I was alerted.
Buried deep in a document that outlines priorities for intelligence gathering in the African “Great Lakes” countries of Burundi, the Republic of Congo, and Rwanda is a list (for the most part, very reasonable) of what the State Department would like to know about the region’s agricultural policy. Things like government policies on food security and food safety top the list, for example, along with information on the impact of rising food prices in these countries. Agricultural yield statistics, infrastructure improvements, data on deforestation and desertification, water issues, and invasive species are included as priorities for “reporting” as well.
But also getting its own line item on the intel priority list is this:
Government acceptance of genetically modified food and propagation of genetically modified crops.
Tom Philpott has reported on the State Department’s biotech-loving science adviser Nina Federoff and her industry ties — and certainly USDA Chief Tom Vilsack believes that genetically modified foods are an answer to world hunger. So this revelation hardly counts as a surprise. But it’s still a shame to see that our spymasters are actively engaged in efforts to make the world safe for Monsanto. Aren’t there better things for them to do?
Activist Post November 25, 2010
When most of us think about “lame duck” Congressional sessions we think of a “do-nothing” government. However, this so-called lame duck session appears to be a time where legislation that has the most restrictions to individual rights is being rammed through.
It seems the members of government who have been recently voted out of office are vying for corporate jobs by pushing such legislation as the Food Safety Modernization Act and the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act which are now on the fast track to becoming law. Both of these laws reek of tyranny for the citizens and a means of corporate consolidation for the big boys.
It seems whenever a piece of legislation has the word “safety” in it we can expect to lose our right to make our own decisions. For example, consumer protection groups pushed hard for the Consumer Product Safety Improvement Act in 2008 after large numbers of Chinese-made toys and other products proved to have dangerously unhealthy toxins.
Consequently, the bill was passed with 407 Ayes, 0 Nays in the House. Only later did the public find out that the bill did more to regulate, tax, and impose fines on neighborhood garage sales than it did to stop dangerous Chinese imports. Clearly, the bill is used to clamp down on an individual’s right to sell their used items without governmental oversight. In other words, the corporate-government will not allow any form of black market to threaten their cartel control of consumerism.