GM crops: Wikileaks exposes US push

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Cables released by Wikileaks have exposed United State diplomatic efforts to strongly back the corporate push for GM crops to be accepted in Europe and elsewhere.

Not only that, the US diplomats under the Bush administration recommended retaliatory action against a list of ‘targets’ in Europe for failing to embrace GMOs. In a leaked cable, US Ambassador to France Craig Stapleton wrote:

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.

Check out the Democracy Now! War and Peace report here.

This clearly shows US government backing for transnational corporations that peddle GM crops and products.

No wonder they don’t like Wikileaks! (Incidentally, the the French newspaper Le Monde has named WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange as its ‘Man of the Year’.)

Watch out for GMOs in Malaysia and any attempt to push GM crops or food on us. Do we even have an official policy on GM crops? And what about mandatory labelling of GM food so that consumers can make informed decisions?

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  1. I would recommend all to read this latest and interesting book by Eric J Weiner:

    Title: The Shadow Market: How a Group of Wealthy Nations and Powerful Investors Secretly Dominate the World (2010)

    Acclaimed financial journalist Eric J. Weiner reveals how foreign countries and private investors are increasingly controlling the global economy and secretly wresting power from the United States in ways that our government cannot reverse and about which the average American knows nothing.

    The most potent force in global commerce today is not the Federal Reserve, not the international banks, not the governments of the G7 countries, and certainly not the European Union. Rather, it is the multi-trillion-dollar network of super-rich, secretive, and largely unregulated investment vehicles—foreign sovereign wealth funds, government-run corporations, private equity funds, and hedge funds—that are quietly buying up the world, piece by valuable piece.

    As Weiner’s groundbreaking account shows, the shadow market doesn’t have a physical headquarters such as Wall Street. It doesn’t have a formal leadership or an index to track or a single zone of exchange. Rather, it comprises an invisible and ever-shifting global nexus where money mixes with geopolitical power, often with great speed and secrecy.

    The author writes that many of these countries have successfully diversified their portfolios in recent years, investing widely in many different industries—most notably in energy-related companies—in countries all around the world. As might be expected, the book focuses heavily on China, which has lately become a worldwide economic powerhouse, as well as America’s largest creditor by far. Weiner looks at how China has used its financial clout to subtly but firmly influence its relations with the United States, as well as many other countries around the world, and he points out how China’s poor record on human rights has largely been diplomatically swept under the rug in the past few years. Middle Eastern countries, meanwhile, have also used their oil-based wealth to gain political advantage. In perhaps the most compelling section, Weiner examines how Libya used its considerable financial influence on the United Kingdom to help get convicted Libyan terrorist Abdel Basset Ali al-Megrahi released from a Scottish prison on compassionate leave in 2009—a move that many around the world, including the U.S. government, considered an outrage. The author reveals the ways that staggeringly wealthy countries are using their money to get what they want, both politically and economically, and his examples are consistently engaging and more than a little unnerving. His description of the U.S. Defense Department’s simulated economic “war games,” for example, in which China always comes out victorious, is an eye-opener. Weiner also examines changing investment strategies elsewhere, particularly Norway, which insists on investing in what it deems ethical companies, and how it is using its influence to try to change the behavior of corporations.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2010/10/03/books/review/​Kolhatkar-t.html

  2. Let’s a certain GM corn as an example. This corn is engineered to be resistant to agri. chemicals manufactured by the some co., herbicides or weed killers in particular. People say you fight fire with fire, poison with poison. Imagine what sort of genetic material is in this crop in order to be resistant to herbicide. And we all know herbicide is a very effective and most popular suicide chemical. This example is the tip of the iceberg of concerns.

  3. Yes we have a policy and it allows around 5 items including soy and maize flour, soy oil and HFCS (syrup). This means that foods we have been eating safely for generations (e.g. tau hoo) have become poisonous, but legally so. There is little awareness that
    – GM crops represent permanent and unstoppable pollution of the biosphere.
    – despite the extended delaying tactics in launching INDEPENDENT animal studies on the safety of the resulting food, there was a major finding this year that one type of GM food (at least) damages internal organs.

    • I must point out that it is not simple to make PURE GOOD vs PURE BAD conclusion when come to GM food.

      But it is plain common sense that cooked GM food are little different than so called “non-GM” food. After all, GM doesn’t change food protein structure. When it break down in human stomach, it make little different. So I wonder, what kind of GM food are so “powerful” enough to cause organs damage? How is the study conducts?

      In fact, I don’t trust unconfirmed scientific study, not matter is is dependent or independent. If those study result cannot be reproduced, they are either flawed or rigged.

      One must learn that, USA Washington K Street has a strong lobbyist group for hired. Besides solid scientific facts, it is also matter of politics when come to various industrial “benefits”. For example, FDA use ambiguous term and banned stevia (250-300 times sweeter than sugar), but under lobbying pressure of big drinks maker, FDA approve particular patterned stevia extract for drinks manufacturer.

      In yet another story, there is more non-GM food that is more dangerous that you consume everyday. Just take (a certain) magerine as example, it is “trans fat”. And human haven’t evolve to take trans fat. Now it is banned in some 1st world country. But Malaysia still has a long way to go, well, you know “business as usual”.

  4. In fact, I am not against GM crops. Alas, the GREATEST EVIL of GM crops are not just about cross pollination risk of creating “super weed”, but the seed patterns issues and damage to biodiversity.

    Mother natures has did the same evolution for plant evolution, GM merely speed up the improvement process. However, big company involved in “create” GM seeds, has become a mixtures entities of thief, scientist, rent seeker and bullies.

    GM company extract many country biodiversed seed without compensate the original farmer. Then they play scientist and put those biodiversed DNA strain and call it “invention”. Then they growth and sell this seed around the world, and farmer CANNOT save the seed to regrowth the crops, they must buy seed from GM company. Thus GM company has turn bullies to “protect” their seed “Intellectual Properties” to those farmer that dare to save the seed, or closeby farmer that crops has cross pollinated with GM crops.

    Lack of biodiversity also create another risk. Same kind of crops, are susceptible to diseases outbreak. The Great Irish famine happens because most farmer plant the same strain of potatoes, which gave little resistant when a potatoes diseases spread.

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