Norway. The Directorate for Natural Management, the country's supreme and official body for establishing health and environmental care guidelines, published in 1999 a lapidary report on genetic engineering. It is clarified in the prologue: "the release of transgenic organisms (GMOs) into the environment […] has many unanswered questions." Its single subtitle exempts us from further comment: "Ecological risks associated with the use of the DNA chain as a biological tool for research, food production and therapy."
England. Sanjay Suri analyzes from London the behavior of the majority of British people (report "GM Nation?" IPS, 9/29/03): "The study reveals that, the more involved consumers are in the issue of transgenics, the more intense it's your concern. " It also indicates that there is little support for commercializing genetically engineered products, and that "widespread mistrust of the government and multinational companies in the biotechnology sector prevails." ("Agriculture in Britain: the government starts to flee from Frankenstein")
Holland. The report (published by ISIS, October 2003) by Mae-Wan Ho and Joe Cummins, "Dutch Precaution Keeps Bt Crops at Bay" argues that: " hardly conceiving of a potential ecological hazard, even without scientific evidence at hand, requires precautionary measures until investigations allow for totally safe handling. "
As we see, in Norway, in England, in Holland, there are various and very serious objections to transgenic foods within Norway, England, Holland, respectively. We could add the case of Jean Ziegler, a former Swiss parliamentarian, who works at the UN WFP (World Food Program), who dared to recall the 2001 statements of the (French) director of the FAO (World Organization for the Agriculture and Food) Jacques Diouf, who specified something well known and nevertheless denied: "There is enough food to feed all the hungry in the world without the need for a transgenic gram." The Geneva bureaucracy was quick to apologize to the US "aid" mechanisms and to clarify that the sociologist Ziegler had spoken in a personal capacity (perhaps Diouf did so in an alcoholic state ...). There are also great reservations about accepting transgenic foods in several other 1M countries, such as in Switzerland itself, in Denmark (where there are groups that require at least the labeling of GMOs in order to avoid them better), in the Basque Country, and so on.
Let us now see what the well-thought-out, rather First World, say about hunger, food and the situation of the continent most devastated by colonialism and imperialism: Africa:
South Africa. Jennifer Thomson writes Genes for Africa: Genetically Modified Crops in the Developing World [Genes for Africa: GM crops in the developing world], ed. Cape Town University. And the catalog of the very British Natural History Book Service (NHBS) comments: "The author explains why and how GM crops can fight poverty, famine and disease in the developing world [sic !: keeps on stands the myth that there are "developed" -not underdeveloping- and other "developing" nations that must complete "growth stages" to reach the stage of the first, the "mature", as if they were passing through a world without interference, as if such an organicist simile could be made. Mr. Cheek liked to play with the idea that Argentina was "a teenager" ...].
USA Another book, edited by CAB International, distributed by the same British service, on exactly the same ideological path, both in terms of technology and the myth of development. Compiled by G.T. Tzotzos and K. G. Skryabin; Biotechnology in the Developing World and countries in Economic Transition [Genetic engineering in the developing world and countries in economic transition]. It consists of a sort of list of programs, study centers, companies that exist in the field in peripheral, impoverished or satellite countries.
WHO in Zambia and Zimbabwe. When the governments of these African countries, devastated by famines, refuse to receive as "aid" transgenic grains, (end of 2002) the director of the WHO (World Health Organization), Gro Harlem-Brundtland (ex-prime minister Norwegian, Social Democrat) harshly reproaches their governments "blind" to the hunger of their peoples. And he warns them - blatant lie - that there is nothing to "help" other than GM grains. One of the two countries will remain in its thirteen; the other will finally accept to receive the grains but broken, to prevent their cultivation, although accepting their use for food) (see G. Monbiot, who provides the data on food availability referred to by J. Diouf, cited above, in Futures no 5, winter 2003).
The Kenya case. Mercy Wambui Kamara describes imperial penetration into her country: organizations promoting genetic engineering are Dutch-funded DGIS, US ABSP, and Denmark's ISAAA ("Kenya's Genetically Modified Poverty", published-e).
ISAAA has created a "mixed" body, with KARI (the Kenyatta equivalent of Argentine INTA), Monsanto and USAID (US Agency for Development, strictly speaking US Development Agency). Monsanto and USAID, thanks to the dynamic game of "revolving doors", are Siamese twins in American politics. The "consensus" thus achieved means, then, that the Danish matchmaker has placed Kenya's genetic engineering activity in the hands of the US in the two basic aspects: "scientific" training and field production. The scientific thing is relative, since the "civilizing" agencies of the First World what they do is train technicians in the manipulation of genes. Wambui tells us: "Some Kenyan scientists were thus trained in the West. The training involved the development of transgenic crops or national biosecurity structures, successful permit applications, risk or property rights assessments. And above all, the savoir-faire of a diplomat to build consensus that it is 'obvious that biotechnology represents-most of the time- the only form of hope for the majority of the population of Africa' […] and this experience was disseminated through seminars and workshops to raise awareness among a limited but critical number of Kenyans who came to form pro-biotech policy and the scientific elite. " As is clear from the quote itself, the last word, "scientific", has little to do with what was done.
UNDP. In August 2001, in its Report on Human Development, it established Argentina as a "biotechnological" development model, which establishes a "biological security system that allows them to advance in the management of technological security." They recognized that such an optimistic diagnosis as that of the UNDP was "shocking" in real Argentina (Raúl Dellatorre interview with Carmelo Angulo Barturen, P12, 7/23/01). However, they kept talking about "strengthening the institutional capacity in Argentina" and other beauties that unfortunately four months later must be piously forgotten. No problem. The same bureaucratic cast that set up Argentina as a transgenic model, that ignored the decade of "carnal relations" that allowed the US so easy penetration into Argentina, a few months later it did not even mention the rope in the house of the hanged man: "Data from an intrinsically uncompetitive country are revealed and confirmed [...]" (Veintitrés, Buenos Aires, 12/12/02, another interview "without history" with Angulo Barturen himself).
It is a pity that the UNDP with its entire budget did not perceive such features in August 2001, when it established Argentina as a model for biotechnological development. "Argentina has suffered in recent years [sic] a significant drop in all its economic and social indicators (ibid.)." With a minimum of intellectual honesty, a self-criticism corresponded to the glorification of a year and a half earlier. But by no means: our supranational technician speaks as if he were speaking about the country for the first time.
It is the general policy of the organizations belonging to the transnational and nominally public structure of the UN that gives us the key to the service they have come to provide. The current director of UNDP, Mark Malloch Brown, tells us in an editorial in his house organ (Options, December 2000): "UNDP is in a particularly favorable position to help […] due to its presence on a global scale, the traditional trust it enjoys in developing countries […]. " It clarifies for us the function of "splitting and distributing" that UNDP has been obtaining, "[...] beginning to use its strong links with governments [...] to establish a much more active role. And finally, MMB reveals the neuralgic point: "[…] Perhaps most important is the strategic use of UNDP's traditional capacity to […] boost the macroeconomic environment and reestablish the rule of law." Let's be done!
We already know what "the macroeconomic environment" means: the transnationals, almost all of them of First World origin and fundamentally madeinUSA. And the rule of law. Bolivians know about it. Sánchez de Losada, like his predecessor Paz Zamora, spent time drafting laws of delivery to the "macroeconomic environment." As Menem did in Argentina (he only wrote them or received them written; the "nesarios" votes did not matter; they were real or "tricks").
As Monbiot (ob. Cit.) Explains, WFP "chooses" USAID's (transgenic) grains several thousand km away from the host African country and does not accept the available (non-transgenic) offered from neighboring countries… they cost less, they are safer, but they are not the commissary's horse.
We come to "understand" what is at stake with such positions, we better understand the duplicity of some First World leaders who tolerate resistance to GMOs in their own countries but insist on exporting them or forcing their consumption "far from home". We understand "the new role" that bureaucratic and supranational networks play at the service of transnational companies, in the same way that we come to understand "the reasons" that gave us more imbalance: an Argentine organization summarizes with enviable synthesis this deliberate schizophrenia, ethically unpayable . When a passionate crusader for organic agriculture asked the Press Secretary of the Rural Society why the "heavyweights" of the union did not bet on organic agriculture, why they did not take it into account in their production plans, the questioned came out at the crossroads with these suggestive words: of course we attend to organic production! Our GMO producers are consumers of organic products!
Ah good. -EcoPortal.net