ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

7 November 2002

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GMWATCH number 3
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From Claire Robinson, GMWATCH editor
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Dear all,

This month, as well as the monthly roundup, we have a special feature on USAID.

The terrible spectacle of USAID trying to force the Zambians to accept GM maize as "food aid" aroused my suspicions that this agency may not be merely a generous humanitarian body devoted to the best interests of Third World peoples.

My investigations confirmed that there are serious ethical concerns about the way that USAID is utilised to further the interests of the US at the expense of the recipients of aid.

We're changing the format of GMWATCH so, as ever, do let us know what you think and anything else you'd like us to cover.

Claire Robinson <claire@gmwatch.org>
www.ngin.org.uk

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CONTENTS
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GMWATCH SPECIAL INVESTIGATION: THE SCANDAL OF USAID
CONSUMER AND MARKET RESISTANCE
CONSUMER RIGHT TO KNOW
FOOD SAFETY
FARMING
ORGANIC ATTACK!
ENVIRONMENT
THIRD WORLD
FOOD AID
COMPANY NEWS
IMPROPAGANDA
CORPORATE TAKE-OVER OF SCIENCE
GENE THERAPY
SUBSCRIPTIONS

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GMWATCH SPECIAL INVESTIGATION:
THE SCANDAL OF USAID
Full report at: http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/usaid.htm
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SUMMARY

The US government says: "USAID is the government agency providing US economic and humanitarian assistance worldwide for more than 40 years." http://www.usaid.gov/

But critics point out that USAID is first and foremost a way to expand US markets and destroy local markets in developing countries - defeating its claimed purpose of regenerating developing countries. For instance, a former consultant to the World Food Programme in Ecuador, Dr Wilma Salgado, says that US "food assistance" to Ecuador has nearly wiped out the country's local production of wheat and rendered it dependent on wheat imports from the US, thus threatening its food security while creating a market for US exports.
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002c.htm

Moreover, critics allege that USAID is used as an unofficial instrument of US foreign policy, forcing recipient countries to accept American conditions dictating what their people will eat, whom they will pay for their food and water, and even what medical care is available to them and how many children they will have.

WHO BENEFITS FROM USAID? NOT THE RECIPIENT COUNTRIES

Even the OECD and the World Bank have criticised USAID‚s self-serving agenda: "Among the big donors, the US has the worst record for spending its aid budget on itself - 70 percent of its aid is spent on US goods and services. And more than half is spent in middle income countries in the Middle East. Only $3bn a year goes to South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa." "U.S. Will 'Seek Advice On Spending Aid'," World Bank, March 21, 2002
http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp

USAID is a way for the US to gain influence over developing countries - a sort of neocolonialism - and to force open markets to US exports.

The US, along with other countries of the North, maintains trade barriers and subsidies that make it cheaper to use domestically produced goods rather than import them from developing countries. Thus the developing countries of the South have to import goods from the US and the North and cannot sell their own goods to US and the North - adding to the burden of debt and dependency:

When is aid not aid? When it‚s a loan tied to buying US goods and services. "The OECD said that US aid was still overwhelmingly Śtied‚ to the purchase of American exports, or delivered directly in food aid - both of which have repeatedly been criticised by development experts."  - ŚOECD urges US to improve delivery of aid‚, Financial Times, 23 October 2002

The USAID website candidly states: "The principal beneficiary of America's foreign assistance programs has always been the United States. Close to 80% of the USAID contracts and grants go directly to American firms. Foreign assistance programs have helped create major markets for agricultural goods, created new markets for American industrial exports and meant hundreds of thousands of jobs for Americans." Download the Greenpeace report on USAID and GM food aid
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/MultimediaFiles/Live/FullReport/5243.pdf

Food aid is not usually free. It is often loaned, albeit at a low interest rate. When the U.S. sent wheat to Indonesia during the 1999 crisis, it was a loan to be paid back over a twenty-five-year period. In this manner, food aid has helped the U.S. take over grain markets in India, Nigeria, Korea, and elsewhere.

As President Jean-Bertrand Aristide of Haiti points out, there is a boomerang effect of loans as large portions of aid money is tied to purchases of goods and trade with the donor:

"Many in the first world imagine the amount of money spent on aid to developing countries is massive. In fact, it amounts to only .03% of GNP of the industrialized nations. In 1995, the director of the U.S. aid agency defended his agency by testifying to his congress that 84 cents of every dollar of aid goes back into the U.S economy in goods and services purchased. For every dollar the United States puts into the World Bank, an estimated $2 actually goes into the U.S. economy in goods and services. Meanwhile, in 1995, severely indebted low-income countries paid one billion dollars more in debt and interest to the International Monetary Fund (IMF) than they received from it. For the 46 countries of Subsaharan Africa, foreign debt service was four times their combined governmental health and education budgets in 1996. So, we find that aid does not aid." -- Jean-Bertrand Aristide, Eyes of the Heart; Seeking a Path for the Poor in the Age of Globalization, (Common Courage Press, 2000)
http://www.globalissues.org/TradeRelated/Debt/USAid.asp

Most USAID goes not to the neediest countries, but to middle-income Middle Eastern countries (Israel, Egypt) strategically useful in protecting the flow of oil to the US.

The US is the stingiest country out of all the donor nations in the amount of aid it gives. "We are the stingiest nation of all," - former President Jimmy Carter in an address at Principia College in Elsah, Ill." (Who rules next?, Christian Science Monitor, December 29, 1999)

USAID AND WATER PRIVATISATION: USAID is behind a move to deliver water -
hitherto treated as a global commons - into the hands of multinational corporations.

USAID AND POPULATION CONTROL: USAID openly sponsors population control programmes in developing countries and allegedly unethical trials of experimental contraceptives.

The Human Laboratory, a television documentary aired 6 Nov 1995 by BBC‚s Horizon, exposed experiments with the contraceptive implant Norplant in developing countries, coercion in population control, and serious side effects left untreated. The documentary revealed that money from USAID had been used to conduct fertility experiments on poor women in the slums of Bangladesh and Haiti. These women received Norplant, but they were not told Norplant was experimental or that they were part of a fertility drug trial. Trial administrators refused to remove the Norplant when many of these women went blind, bled severely and had unbearable headaches. "We‚ll take it out of your dead body," one woman was told. These women said they felt like human guinea pigs. "It‚s cheaper for them to use Third World women than to use an animal in a laboratory in the West," said Farida Akhter, Executive Director for Research for Development Alternatives in Bangladesh. For a full transcript of the BBC Horizon programme see
http://www.africa2000.com/INDX/bbchorizon.html

Excerpt from transcript:
PROF. BETSY HARTMANN: At the highest levels in Washington, population growth in the Third World has long been perceived as a national security threat. During the Cold War, of course, public fear and paranoia often focused on the nuclear bomb and in the post-Cold War period we're having the population bomb re-emerging as a threat. Now we're fearing these Third World peoples. Does this mean that you promote Norplant like a weapon in the war against population growth? Colleagues and I have looked through declassified documents and have found, much to our horror, that at the highest levels of government this has been an obsession. There is a national security memorandum, for example, which talked about the great need to control population growth in places like Brazil and the big countries and how this population was a definite national security threat.

Read the full GMWATCH report at:
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/usaid.htm

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CONSUMER AND MARKET RESISTANCE
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The US food and biotech industries are warring over "pharma" GM crops
http://ngin.tripod.com/061102a.htm

Scotland to ban GM crop trials
http://ngin.tripod.com/041102a.htm

Sri Lankan government to enforce mandatory labeling
http://ngin.tripod.com/111002d.htm

Brazil's new President wants to keep Brazil GM-free
http://ngin.tripod.com/071002c.htm

European Union remains GM-free/EU not budging on biotech
http://ngin.tripod.com/221002a.htm

GM-Free Britain: Now or never/GM-Free Britain campaign launched
http://ngin.tripod.com/221002b.htm

A new U.S. Wheat Associates report found that all representatives for Chinese, Korean and Japanese wheat buyers surveyed would not buy or use Monsanto‚s [GM] Roundup Ready wheat and that 82% of buyers from Taiwan and 78% of buyers from South Asia said they would reject the wheat. 100 per cent of the Japanese buyers indicated that "regardless of government approval, contracts will stipulate no adventitious presence of GM wheat." Japan is the largest buyer of US wheat.
http://ngin.tripod.com/131002a.htm

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CONSUMER RIGHT TO KNOW
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It took a record-setting, multi-million dollar advertising blitz by the biotech industry [possiblya record $6 million] to defeat Measure 27 and reverse the polls, which initially showed Measure 27 winning in Oregon. Yet, also on election day, a new national poll shows that 88 percent of Americans want genetically engineered foods labeled.
http://www.voteyeson27.com

Recent polls show about half of Americans oppose the use of biotechnology in agriculture and food production. Moreover, two-thirds of Americans believe that Europeans have a right to require labeling of genetically modified foods, even if it might reduce U.S. food exports. http://ngin.tripod.com/061102e.htm

A letter from the FDA has been sent to the Oregon governor, strongly objecting to Measure 27 which would require GM foods to be labelled in Oregon. Lawyer Steven Druker, who forced the FDA to reveal files containing the opinions of its own scientific experts, has written to Oregon's governor to warn him that the FDA letter contains major misrepresentations and falsehoods about GM food safety. Very revealing reading!
http://ngin.tripod.com/121002b.htm

The US‚s FDA not only opposes any labels on GM food but has now acceded to food industry pressure to allow irradiated food to be labelled "Cold Pasteurization"!
http://ngin.tripod.com/111002a.htm

GREENPEACE INVADES SHAW'S - LABELLING CAMPAIGN IN NEW ENGLAND
http://ngin.tripod.com/021102a.htm

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FOOD SAFETY
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The Health Committee of the Scottish Parliament is launching an enquiry into the health effects of GM.
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/291002b.htm

A biotech corn suspected of containing toxic mould could contaminate the food supply.
http://ngin.tripod.com/101002a.htm

"the FDA conducts NO safety tests whatsoever on these foods... There is "no evidence" because neither the government nor the industry is looking for any -- don't look , don't find." - Prof Phil Bereano
http://ngin.tripod.com/061102a.htm

GM DNA in human gut - questions from ISIS
http://ngin.tripod.com/291002a.htm

The Lancet - How safe is GM food?
http://ngin.tripod.com/251002h.htm

FOR MORE ON THESE ISSUES
http://www.btinternet.com/~nlpwessex/Documents/gmoquote.htm

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FARMING
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80% of South Australian farmers support a moratorium on all GM crops
http://ngin.tripod.com/041102b.htm

Farmers were never asked if they wanted GM crops, says a university professor who used to work in the biotech industry. Innovations came from labs staffed by people who know nothing about farming
http://ngin.tripod.com/011102c.htm

Farmers in Switzerland agree *never* to produce GM food
http://ngin.tripod.com/161002e.htm

Monsanto's Bt cotton has been devastated in India by the very pest it is supposed to protect against
http://www.agbioindia.org/archive.asp?id=106

Monsanto has problems selling its existing GM seeds in the US and Argentina. Weed resistance to herbicides used with the GM crops is another worry.
http://ngin.tripod.com/121002a.htm

US Farmer Income from GMOs - excerpts from SEEDS OF DOUBT report
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002a.htm

USDA approves new Monsanto GM Corn Bred to Resist Cutworms
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002a.htm

'FARM' is a new campaigning voice in the UK, fighting for a viable future for independent and family farms
find out more: http://www.farm.org.uk/

FOR MORE ON GM & FARMING ISSUES
http://ngin.tripod.com/farming.htm

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ORGANIC ATTACK!
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Craig Sams vs the Averys on E.coli scares
http://ngin.tripod.com/261002b.htm

Organic farming shunned by food watchdog
http://ngin.tripod.com/021102d.htm

USDA official in organic attack has history of siding with big businesss
http://ngin.tripod.com/usda.htm

The Junkman's labelling lies
http://ngin.tripod.com/junk.htm

FOR MORE ON THESE ISSUES
http://ngin.tripod.com/organic.htm

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ENVIRONMENT
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EU seed directive = GM on a commercial scale by stealth
A new Greenpeace report shows how the EU's current seed contamination proposals could:
*Result in unprecedented GM contamination on around 10% of EU arable land within a year
*Allow the release of about 7,000 million unmonitored and unregulated GM rape and maize plants per year.
Austria has had a "zero-tolerance" policy for the last 12 months. None of the problems predicted by the biotech lobby have occurred, confirming that zero tolerance works in Europe.
http://ngin.tripod.com/131002d.htm
http://ngin.tripod.com/131002e.htm

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THIRD WORLD
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1,000+ farmers from 7 countries protest bio-piracy and genetic engineering
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/301002a.htm
http://ngin.tripod.com/021102c.htm

SYNGENTA NOW ON GOVERNING BODY OF CGIAR
http://ngin.tripod.com/051102a.htm

China cools on GMOs:
The Science and Politics of Super Rice
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002f.htm

Resistance to the US push for a Free Trade Area of the Americas
http://ngin.tripod.com/021102a.htm

Monsanto and Dupont target Philippines, Syngenta targets Vietnam
http://ngin.tripod.com/231002f.htm

'GM Mustard Will Play Havoc With Indian Food Chain'
http://ngin.tripod.com/061102d.htm

Despite failures and warnings, India pushes ahead with GM crops
http://ngin.tripod.com/011102a.htm

Constructing Would-be Molecular Empires
A guide to the forces behind pro-biotech campaigns in the South
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002d.htm

Peasants Scientists Unity Statement Presented to Malaysia's Prime Minister
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002d.htm

GM FALL-OUT FROM MEXICO TO ZAMBIA - THE YEAR OF PLAYING DANGEROUSLY
http://ngin.tripod.com/261002a.htm

FOR MORE INFORMATION
feeding the world? ARTICLES, LINKS, AUDIO and BOOKS
http://ngin.tripod.com/feedtheworld.htm
more quotes on feeding the world
http://ngin.tripod.com/feedingorfooling.htm

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FOOD AID
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An article from Afrol News contains some truly scandalous revelations as to how US dominated UN agencies have been used to blackmail Zambia in an effort to force a climb down over its refusal of GM food aid. Although there is no shortage of non-GM grain, the aim has been to cut off Zambia's options.
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/311002d.htm

Zambia formally announced that it would not accept GM food aid in July [see: 'Eat GM or starve, America tells Africa' (Reuters) http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/280702c.htm] having made clear its concerns over the issue for several months prior to that. However, only recently has replacement food been ordered for the US GM contaminated grain. The reason for the dangerous delay?  "The decision not to order non-GM food aid until now has been observed as direct pressure against the Zambian government."
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/311002d.htm

There is growing international support for Zambia's right to refuse GM food aid. South Africa has offered to supply Zambia with non-GM corn and wheat, and Japan and the EU have proffered financial assistance to supply non-GM food.
http://ngin.tripod.com/031002a.htm
http://ngin.tripod.com/071002c.htm

Greenpeace and Actionaid accused the US of manipulating the southern African food crisis to benefit their GM food interests and of using the UN to dump domestic food surpluses.  Only GM grain was offered when conventional grain was available.
John Vidal, The Guardian, 7th October 02
http://ngin.tripod.com/071002a.htm
Greenpeace's press release on this issue:
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/contentlookup.cfm?CFID=39470&CFTOKEN=81395670&amp;ucidparam=20021007111926

Greeanpeace's full report:
http://www.greenpeace.org.uk/MultimediaFiles/Live/FullReport/5243.pdf

"The US says it cannot provide guaranteed GM-free maize [to governments requesting it in southern Africa] because there is no requirement in place to separate GM and non-GM grains in the US. Strange that a 2001 American Corn Growers Association survey showed that more than 50% of US elevators can and do segregate GM and non-GM grains. The US position is one of choice, not necessity." - "BETTER DEAD THAN GM FED?" by GRAIN (forthcoming  in ŚSeedling‚, October 2002) http://ngin.tripod.com/betterdead.htm

"I'm against the theory of the multinational corporations who say if you are against hunger you must be for GMO. That's wrong, there is plenty of natural, normal good food in the world to nourish the double of humanity. There is absolutely no justification to produce genetically modified food except the profit motive and the domination of the multinational corporations." - UN human rights envoy, Jean Ziegler
http://ngin.tripod.com/151002c.htm

FOR MORE INFORMATION
FORCE FEEDING THE WORLD - a primer on the food aid crisis
http://ngin.tripod.com/forcefeed.htm

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COMPANY NEWS
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European Seed Industry meets behind high security to push GE contamination
http://ngin.tripod.com/211002b.htm

Monsanto losses triple
http://ngin.tripod.com/011102c.htm

Monsanto shares are down from $20.00 in last 12 months because of slumping sales and economic woes
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/311002a.htm

Pharmacia taking a dollars 1bn write-off thanks to Monsanto
http://ngin.tripod.com/241002f.htm

Biotech Debacle in Four Parts: the collapse of the GM enterprise - ISIS
http://ngin.tripod.com/251002d.htm

FIND OUT MORE ABOUT BAYER/AVENTIS - UK public enemy No.1
http://ngin.tripod.com/agrevodiary.htm

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IMPROPAGANDA
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The biotech industry and its supporters are using the food aid crisis as an opportunity to attack environmentalists, European governments and consumers, whoever - labelling them "killers"!
http://ngin.tripod.com/081002a.htm
http://ngin.tripod.com/061102b.htm

How a black propaganda campaign relates to GM crop commercialization in the Philippines
http://ngin.tripod.com/231002f.htm

Publicly funded GM debate turns into farce
http://ngin.tripod.com/061002a.htm

ACADEMIC EXPERTS CRITICISE UK GOVERNMENT 'PUBLIC DEBATE' OVER GM CROPS
http://ngin.tripod.com/061102c.htm

Is this UK GM debate just another smokescreen?
http://ngin.tripod.com/231002b.htm

FOR MORE ON BLACK PROPAGANDA
http://ngin.tripod.com/deceit_index.html

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CORPORATE TAKE-OVER OF SCIENCE
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For a comprehensive rundown on how biotech corporations have suppressed scientific debate, marginalised critical scientists and bought our political leaders since the introduction of GM crops, see the analysis "The 'Academic-Industrial-Military Complex' Engineering Life & Mind' by Dr Mae-Wan Ho and NGIN editor Jonathan Matthews at
http://ngin.tripod.com/011102b.htm

BIG SEED COMPANIES QUASH BASIC RESEARCH ON GM CROPS
http://ngin.tripod.com/301002c.htm

The science journal Nature has refused to publish a report by scientists contracted by the Mexican government that confirms the contamination of local varieties of Mexican maize with GM material. The new scientific paper was rejected after two external peer reviewers recommended against publication for opposite reasons. One reviewer recommended rejection of the report because the results were "obvious," the other because the results "were so unexpected as to not be believable." A third reviewer emphasized technical issues. This is, of course, the same journal that recently managed to publish 3 articles promoting GM crops and damning organic agriculture - none based on original research - by Prof Anthony Trewavas in a special supplement on the future of food sponsored by... yes, Syngenta. The supplement was tied in to a promotional drive for the journal by Nature's publishers.
http://ngin.tripod.com/110802a.htm
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/231002a.htm
http://members.tripod.com/~ngin/251002a.htm

UK science minister, Lord Sainsbury, recently spoke of the "stunning change in the entrepreneurial attitudes of our universities", boasting, "The UK  ratio of companies to research spending is more than six times higher than in the US. It's a dazzling record..."
http://ngin.tripod.com/231002e.htm

"The University of Guelph, its faculty, staff, students, and most importantly its administrators -- the ones letting corporations run rampant on campus -- must seriously begin to look at how industry money is being spent at the institution... Corporate research funding is threatening the public nature of academic research..."
http://ngin.tripod.com/271002a.htm

"Pioneer Hi-Bred Limited, along with Ontario Pork, the university's second highest industry funder, will each give Guelph $100,000 to start a programme teaching students 'how to communicate about the agri-food industry in an informed, balanced way.'
http://ngin.tripod.com/271002a.htm

UNIVERSITIES SHOULD HAVE A BIAS IN FAVOUR OF AGBIOTECH!
http://ngin.tripod.com/271002a.htm

FOR MORE ON THESE ISSUES
http://ngin.tripod.com/pblinks.htm

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GENE THERAPY
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The French team that made news in 2000 treating children with severe combined immune deficiency (SCID) had to call a halt to the gene therapy trial. One of the ten children treated has developed what looks like leukaemia. As in the genetic modification of plants and animals, the genetic modification of human beings is severely hampered mainly because precisely targeted gene insertion is still not technically feasible. http://ngin.tripod.com/081002c.htm

FOR MORE ON THESE ISSUES
http://ngin.tripod.com/gmhuman.htm

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