Thursday, July 31, 2014
Studies that link Genetically Modified (GM) food to multiple human health ailments are not the only thing that has millions of people questioning the production of GM food. The fact that previously classified secret government documents show how the Bush administration developed ways to retaliate against countries that were refusing to use GM seeds is another.
If documents regarding our food are required to be concealed from the public domain, something is not right, and it’s great to have an organization like WikiLeaks shed some light into the world that’s been hidden from us for so many years.
The cables reveal that the State Department was lobbying all over the world for Monsanto, and other major biotech corporations. They reveal that American diplomats requested funding to send lobbyists for the biotech industry to meet with politicians and agricultural officials in “target countries.” These included countries in Africa, Latin America and some European countries.
A non-profit consumer protection group called Food & Water Watch published a report showing the details of the partnership between the federal government and a number of biotech companies who have pushed their GMO products on multiple countries for a number of years.
The United States has aggressively pursued foreign policies in food and agriculture that benefit the largest seed companies. The U.S. State department has launched a concerted strategy to promote agricultural biotechnology, often over the opposition of the public and government, to the near exclusion of other more sustainable, more appropriate agricultural policy alternatives. The U.S. State department has also lobbied foreign governments to adopt pro-agricultural biotechnology politics and laws, operated a rigorous public relations campaign to improve the image of biotechnology and challenged common sense biotechnology safeguards and rules – even including opposing laws requiring the labeling of genetically engineered (GE) foods. (source)
In Honduras, wealthier farmers and agro-businesses benefit from the higher yields and insect resistance of genetically engineered, or transgenic, crops, according to the store manager. But poor subsistence farmers can't afford the seeds or the herbicides and fertilizers needed to get the most from a GMO crop, said the education center director.
Classified by Ambassador Craig Stapleton; reasons 1.4 (b), (d) and (e).
¶1. (C) Summary: Mission Paris recommends that that the USG reinforce our negotiating position with the EU on agricultural biotechnology by publishing a retaliation list when the extend "Reasonable Time Period" expires. In our view, Europe is moving backwards not forwards on this issue with France playing a leading role, along with Austria, Italy and even the Commission. In France, the "Grenelle" environment process is being implemented to circumvent science-based decisions in favor of an assessment of the "common interest." Combined with the precautionary principle, this is a precedent with implications far beyond MON-810 BT corn cultivation. Moving to retaliation will make clear that the current path has real costs to EU interests and could help strengthen European pro-biotech voices. In fact, the pro-biotech side in France -- including within the farm union -- have told us retaliation is the only way to begin to begin to turn this issue in France. End Summary.
¶2. (C) This is not just a bilateral concern. France will play a leading role in renewed European consideration of the acceptance of agricultural biotechnology and its approach toward environmental regulation more generally. France expects to lead EU member states on this issue during the Slovene presidency beginning in January and through its own Presidency in the second half of the year. Our contacts have made clear that they will seek to expand French national policy to a EU-wide level and they believe that they are in the vanguard of European public opinion in turning back GMO's. They have noted that the member states have been unwilling to support the Commission on sanctioning Austria's illegal national ban. The GOF sees the ten year review of the Commission's authorization of MON 810 as a key opportunity and a review of the EFSA process to take into account societal preferences as another (reftels).
¶3. (C) One of the key outcomes of the "Grenelle" was the decision to suspend MON 810 cultivation in France. Just as damaging is the GOF's apparent recommitment to the "precautionary principle." Sarkozy publicly rejected a recommendation of the Attali Commission (to review France's competitiveness) to move away from this principle, which was added to the French constitution under Chirac.
¶4. (C) France's new "High Authority" on agricultural biotech is designed to roll back established science-based decision making. The recently formed authority is divided into two colleges, a scientific college and a second group including civil society and social scientists to assess the "common interest" of France. The authority's first task is to review MON 810. In the meantime, however, the draft biotech law submitted to the National Assembly and the Senate for urgent consideration, could make any biotech planting impossible in practical terms. The law would make farmers and seed companies legally liable for pollen drift and sets the stage for inordinately large cropping distances. The publication of a registry identifying cultivation of GMOs at the parcel level may be the most significant measure given the propensity for activists to destroy GMO crops in the field.
¶5. (C) Both the GOF and the Commission have suggested that their respective actions should not alarm us since they are only cultivation rather than import bans. We see the cultivation ban as a first step, at least by anti-GMO advocates, who will move next to ban or further restrict imports. (The environment minister's top aide told us that people have a right not to buy meat raised on biotech feed, even though she acknowledged there was no possible scientific basis for a feed based distinction.) Further, we should not be prepared to cede on cultivation because of our considerable planting seed business in Europe and because farmers, once they have had experience with biotech, become its staunchest supporters.
¶6. Country team Paris recommends that we calibrate a target retaliation list that causes some pain across the EU since this is a collective responsibility, but that also focuses in part on the worst culprits. The list should be measured rather than vicious and must be sustainable over the long term, since we should not expect an early victory.
¶7. (C) President Sarkozy noted in his address in Washington to the Joint Session of Congress that France and the United States are "allies but not aligned." Our cooperation with France on a range of issues should continue alongside our engagement with France and the EU on ag biotech (and the next generation of environmental related trade concerns.) We can manage both at the same time and should not let one set of priorities detract from the other.
PARIS 00004723 002 OF 002 Stapleton
This OP got me thinking because it mentioned Latin America. It got me thinking about how many of the illegals we are now dealing with are coming from places like Honduras. They have a had a couple coups over the last decade, I believe, and the poor number of people are quickly rising.
Let's take corn for example.
originally posted by: sheepslayer247
a reply to: neo96
I think a non-GMO solution is possible. It depends on where our priorities lie.
Let's take corn for example. We grow more than enough corn to feed the world many times over, but we waste it on HFCS as a filler in our foods and as a fuel to water down our gasoline (ethanol). On top of that, we subsidize farmers with tax-payer funds to grow crops for ethanol or non-food purposes....or to not grow at all.
Yes, there will be a loss in total production considering that non-GMO's do not have the benefit of pest/disease resistance, but we would still be able to produce enough to meet demand.
Win-win for everyone, right? Lower taxes and plenty of corn.
For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’
The World Mourns Babylon’s Fall
9 “The kings of the earth who committed fornication and lived luxuriously with her will weep and lament for her, when they see the smoke of her burning, 10 standing at a distance for fear of her torment, saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city Babylon, that mighty city! For in one hour your judgment has come.’
11 “And the merchants of the earth will weep and mourn over her, for no one buys their merchandise anymore: 12 merchandise of gold and silver, precious stones and pearls, fine linen and purple, silk and scarlet, every kind of citron wood, every kind of object of ivory, every kind of object of most precious wood, bronze, iron, and marble; 13 and cinnamon and incense, fragrant oil and frankincense, wine and oil, fine flour and wheat, cattle and sheep, horses and chariots, and bodies and souls of men.
14 The fruit that your soul longed for has gone from you, and all the things which are rich and splendid have gone from you,[e] and you shall find them no more at all. 15 The merchants of these things, who became rich by her, will stand at a distance for fear of her torment, weeping and wailing, 16 and saying, ‘Alas, alas, that great city that was clothed in fine linen, purple, and scarlet, and adorned with gold and precious stones and pearls!
17 For in one hour such great riches came to nothing.’ Every shipmaster, all who travel by ship, sailors, and as many as trade on the sea, stood at a distance 18 and cried out when they saw the smoke of her burning, saying, ‘What is like this great city?’
originally posted by: neo96
a reply to: sheepslayer247
Let's take corn for example.
That is one of the worse examples possible.
Those that are pushing with 'organic' are messing with farmers BIGTIME.
It is only because of the current yields that gmo give do farmers even 'make' a living anymore.
Take a good look at the chart there.
From 1860 to the 1970s would be the 'era' of organic.
The way 'grandpa' use to do it.
With hybrids of today aka GMO corn bushells are now pushing 350 bushels.
Less land is being used.
More food is being grown.
Like I said organic isn't the way.
Because thousands of farmers are going out of the business every year.
Less land is being used every year.
The increase in yields is the only way farmers still compete with the rising land costs,rising machinery costs.
People are free to disagree.