Friday, June 20, 2003

Two interesting articles on the politics of GM foods today. Both concern the increasing importance the US government is putting on ensuring the advance of genetically modified food around the world.

The first is the completely expected news that the "consultations" mandated by WTO rules between the US and the EU over the EU's ban on genetically modified foods have broken down and that the US is moving to formally request a panel to prosecute the issue. As one trade lawyer cited in the New York Times said, "There have never been more of these litigations than there are right now." Yet more evidence of the rising tensions in the trans-Atlantic bloc.

The second is the effort the US government has gone to to woo Brazil over to the GM side. Twenty Brazilian "politicians, scientists and environmentalists" are in the US on the American taxpayers dollar to "study" GM crops and, hopes the White House and Monsanto, reverse the Brazilian position on keeping GM seeds out of their country.

US capital has invested an incredible amount into GM technology and GM crops and now demands the US government help it crack markets around the world. Currently only the US, Canada and Argentina grow GM crops at any significant level, with nearly all other countries trying to keep the stuff out. Part of the issue is the science; part is simply old-fashioned smash-mouth intra-capitalist competition.

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