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Speaking from the heart; Subsidy slashing only part of answer; Roundup resistance in weeds; Subsidies equal corporate welfare; other headlines

(Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Some of the CropChoice news and commentary this week and last.

  • U.S. organic farmer speaks to campesinos in Cancùn

    (Saturday, Sept. 13, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- The following is the Sept. 9 statement from Wisconsin organic dairy farmer Jim Goodman to the Campesino Forum in Cancùn, Mexico.

    I speak to you today as a small organic farmer from the United States. Although they tell us ours is the richest and most powerful nation on earth, our farmers, our workers and our indigenous peoples do not share that wealth. Just as our industrial agricultural system dictates which crops will be raised and what prices will be paid, it also enslaves not only the farmers of the north, but you the campesinos, the indigenous and the landless of the south. Northern farmers are caught in the trap of buying the GM seeds, the chemicals and the fertilizers that the multi-national corporations force them to accept. We are all prisoners... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2040

  • American Corn Growers explain to world's farmers subsidy elimination alone not the answer

    (Saturday, Sept. 13, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Cancún, Mexico - "I came to Cancún, Mexico to tell the world's farmers, their governments and their trade negotiators that U.S. farm policy is not working for farmers anywhere in the world. I am here this week because it is time to talk realistically about these problems," said John Dittrich, Senior Policy Analyst of the American Corn Growers Association (ACGA) and a farmer from Tilden, Neb. Dittrich traveled to the World Trade Organization (WTO) ministerial in Cancún to participate in the agriculture policy negotiations being held this week... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2041

  • Weeds seen more resistant to herbicide

    (Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Emily Gersema, AP: WASHINGTON - Increased findings that weeds are developing resistance to Roundup, the world's most popular herbicide, have some scientists urging new planting practices. The product's manufacturer says the problem is being overblown.

    Roundup, whose generic name is glyphosate, has been on the market for more than 30 years. It long has been a favorite of farmers, home gardeners and golf course greenskeepers because of its effectiveness in killing weeds... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2045

  • (Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- From a news release:

    Greenpeace late last week blocked a ship carrying 40,000 tons of genetically engineered corn destined for the port of Veracruz, the largest port in Mexico when two activists from Mexico and Argentina attached themselves to the anchor chain. This action reinforces the Mexican government’s rights to reject U.S. genetically engineered (GE) corn, put into force yesterday through the international treaty -- the Biosafey Protocal... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2044

  • USDA finds farmers don't meet EPA biotech rules

    (Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Associated Press, 09/12/03: WASHINGTON: The Agriculture Department found that almost 20 percent of the Midwestern farms growing a pest-resistant biotech crop have failed to comply with federal planting requirements.

    Mark Harris, chief of the department's crop statistics branch, said Wednesday that "probably there are some individuals who may not have understood the rules and didn't follow their contracts precisely.'' http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2043

  • World trade talks end in failure, delegates say

    (Sunday, Sept. 14, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Elizabeth Becker, NY Times: CANCUN, Mexico — Trade talks dissolved today when a group of developing nations walked out of the final session saying wealthy nations had failed to offer sufficient compromises on agriculture and other issues... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2042

  • Spanish protesters invade GM maize fields

    (Monday, Sept. 15, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- ARANJUEZ, Spain (Reuters) - Spanish farmers and ecologists on Saturday invaded fields of genetically-modified maize to protest against cultivation of the crop in the only European country where it is grown on a commercial scale... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2046

  • The Cancún delusion

    (Friday, Sept. 12, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Michael Lind, NY Times op-ed: WASHINGTON — The World Trade Organization meeting in Cancún, Mexico, has highlighted a surprising new cause, promoted by a surprising new alliance. The new cause is the campaign to reduce or eliminate agricultural subsidies in the United States, Europe and Japan, to make room for agricultural exports from poor nations. The alliance between idealists of the left, third world producers and traditional conservative promoters of free trade is equally unprecedented... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2039

  • Blow to world economy as trade talks collapse

    (Monday, Sept. 15, 20003 -- CropChoice news) -- Larry Elliot, Charlotte Denny, David Munk of The Guardian: The fragile global economy received a damaging blow last night when trade talks in Cancun collapsed after a walkout by African countries protesting at the west's failure to open its markets to the poor.

    In scenes reminiscent of the World Trade Organisation's disastrous Seattle meeting four years ago, a day of acrimonious wrangling ended as the chairman, the Mexican foreign secretary, Luis Ernesto Derbez, was unable to get talks restarted after African countries lost patience and left the negotiating table... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2047

  • U.S. family farmers applaud collapse of WTO talks

    (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- The U.S.-based National Family Farm Coalition joined with farmers and peasants around the world in welcoming the collapse of the WTO talks.

    George Naylor, an Iowa corn and soybean farmer and NFFC President representing Iowa Citizens for Community Improvement stated, "While the U.S. government was misrepresenting the interests of family farmers, rural communities, and consumers in their negotiating position at Cancun, enough governments, mostly from poorer countries, stood up for their citizens in rejecting the WTO agreement. The collapse of these talks is a resounding rejection of the failed cheap commodity policy of the United States and European Union. Cancún will be remembered as the place where those of us who have been getting the shaft from so-called ‘free trade’ policies -- protesters in the streets and government negotiators in the convention hall alike -- drew the line and said ‘no more!’" http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2053

  • Time for transformation

    (Monday, Sept. 15, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- George Monbiot column in The Guardian, 09/08/03: The World Trade Organisation is a corrupted, coopted, captured institution, but all those who care about global justice should be fighting for its survival. Every time we shout that the WTO has got to go, we join hands with George Bush: he wants to destroy it because it impedes his plans for direct US control of other nations' economies.

    In principle, the poor members of the WTO can and should outvote the rich ones. In practice, its democratic structure has been bypassed by the notorious "green room" meetings organised by the rich nations, by corporate lobbying and by the secret and unaccountable committees of the corporate lawyers it uses to resolve trade disputes... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2048

  • EPA sued over children's exposure to pesticides... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2051

  • WTO-Cancun: Future of millions of farmers at stake

    (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Diego Cevallos, IPS news, 09/13/03: CANCUN, Mexico, Sep 13 (IPS) - The future of nearly half the world population will be directly affected by farm trade negotiations at the Fifth WTO Ministerial Conference in this Caribbean resort city, where both the developing South and the industrialised North have drawn lines in the sand.

    Trade ministers from 146 countries are negotiating the actions to be taken on the subsidies that rich nations grant their farming sectors, an activity that provides a livelihood for three billion people worldwide, with some 600 million suffering hunger and malnutrition... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2052

  • Let's stop the silly rhetoric about 'farm' subsidies and call them for what they are: 'corporate welfare' by A.V. Krebs
    Editor, The Agribusiness Examiner

    (Tuesday, Sept. 16, 2003 -- CropChoice guest commentary) -- Amidst the continuing controversy over the question of agricultural subsidies there remains one simple fact understandably ignored by the media, repeatedly tolerated by farmers and obviously misapprehended by its neoliberal critics.

    Grain farmers don't trade grain, grain traders trade grain !!!

    So when it comes to the subsidy question lets stop this silly rhetoric about "farm" subsidies and call them by their true name: corporate welfare... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2050

  • Indian farmers target Monsanto

    (Thursday, Sept. 11, 2003 -- CropChoice news) -- Habib Beary, BBC news online: Angry farmers in southern India have stormed a building that formerly housed the global biotech giant, Monsanto... http://www.cropchoice.com/leadstry.asp?recid=2033