ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
30 March 2003

BANGLADESHI LETTER TO WORLD FOOD PROGRAMME ON GM FOOD AID AND IRAQ

Following the call for a boycott of US-Monsanto products by the main peasants' coalition in the Philippines, the Kilusang Magbubukid ng Pilipinas, http://ngin.tripod.com/250303a.htm, below is a call from farmers in Bangladesh to the UN's World Food Programme to avoid GM food aid.

This is in line with the position of aid organisations like Oxfam on the general issue of GM food aid:"Oxfam stresses the need to guarantee human health and biodiversity, and respect the social and cultural context of food aid recipient countries, and urges governments and FAO to develop and implement food aid standards that prevent the distribution of GMOs in food aid." http://ngin.tripod.com/170802d.htm

USAID, which is overseeing US relief and reconstruction in Iraq, sees it differently. It has consistently violated the 1999 Food Aid Convention (see: http://ngin.tripod.com/forcefeed.htm), and even boasts, "The principal beneficiary of America's foreign assistance programs has always been the United States. Close to 80 percent of the U.S. Agency for International Development's (USAID's) 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."
http://www.usaid.gov/procurement_bus_opp/osdbu/book-information.htm
[see: 'U.S. Assistance Programs' under USAID BUSINESS & PROCUREMENT]

If it seems beyond belief that pushing the interests of US agribiz could have been factored in to this immoral war, there are already reports that Australia is raising a stink because the US is pushing its wheat food aid in Iraq in an attempt to take the wheat market away from Australia, which currently has the contract with the Iraqi government.

On the wider conflict, please write to the Foreign Ministers of some of the countries at the UN that may be more able to withstand US pressure: Cuba, Malaysia, Indonesia, Nigeria, New Zealand, Switzerland, Fiji, Mexico, Chile, Germany, Russia, and France, and ask them to support bringing a 'Uniting for Peace' resolution before the UN General Assembly. ***It'll take only about 30 seconds!***
http://act.greenpeace.org/ams/e?a=733&s=wr

***

From: Farhad Mazhar
UBINIG
Policy Research For Development Alternative
5/3 Barabo Mahanpur, Ring Road, Shaymoli, Dhaka-1207, Bangladesh
Tel: 880-2-8111465/8124533 Fax: 880-2-8113065

28 March, 2003

To World Food Programme
Rome, Italy

Sub: Do not use GM food as "humanitarian Aid" in Iraq

We the members of UBINIG, Nayakrishi Andolon and Narigrantha Prabartana urge upon the World Food Programme and other UN humanitarian bodies not to use any Genetically Modified Food (GM) as food aid to the war affected people in Iraq during and after the US-UK led aggression during March, 2003. We have obtained information that not only the oil transnationals but, the beleaguered GM food industry are also trying to move in to distribute the untested and unwanted genetically-modified food as part of the 'humanitarian aid'. America is getting ready to solve so many of its economic problems over the dead and the injured in Iraq. They have already tried to use their "junk" GM food to feed the famine affected people in Africa. But African governments did not accept the GM food. Instead they decided to remain hungry. They pleaded to give them non-GM maize and wheat which was abundantly available in the US, but the US government was only interested in making business out of the hungry people in Africa. So it is very likely for those who did not spare the hungry and the malnourished in Africa, US based transnationals do not even spare the dead and the war-torned.

We urge upon the people in the world to collect food and medicine for the war affected people so that Iraqi people can reject the so-called "Humanitarian Aid" of the aggressors and the UN which remained totally silent over such genocide of people.

Let the people unite for Humanitarian Aid as they have united against war and also in boycotting US-UK products.

Signatories:
1.      Palash Baral
2.      Munirul Kamal
3.      Md. Abdul Momen
4.      Rokeya Begum
5.      Nurjahan Begum
6.      Md. Masudur Rahman
7.      Khandakar Ariful Haq Tipu
8.      Samar Chandra Roy
9.      Abdul Jabbar
10.     Shimul Ahmed
11.     Mostafa Kamal
12.     Gazi Shafiul Alam
13.     Golam Rabbi Badal
14.     Farhad Uddin Sumon
15.     Shoukot Alom
16.     Mr. Feroz Reja
17.     Sayyida Akhter
18.     Salima Malliek Lipi
19.     Amzad Hossain
20.     Titu Barua
21.     S.K. Rokon
22.     Lucky Akther
23.     Momota Halder
24.     Hazera Khatun
25.     Nazma Akther
26.     Layli Khanam
27.     Rupa Akther
28.     Fatama
29.     Md. Anwar Hossain
30.     Md. Noor Amin Bhuiyan
31.     Mohammad Hasan
32.     Sanower Hosen
33.     Saidul Rahman
34.     Rushia Begum
35.     Nitananda Joydher
36.     Sultana Parvin Sulekha
37.     Shahinur Begum
38.     Norun Naher Rowshan
39.     Mijanur Rahman Apple
40.     Farida Akhter
41.     Farhad Mazhar
42.     Jahangir Alam Jony
43.     Rafiqul Haque Tito
44.     Mizanur Rahman Khan
45.     Romela Akhter Rumi
46.     Sajeda Perveen
47.     Shamsul Haque
48.     Mokaddes Ali
49.     S. Bin Jahangir

U B I N I G
5/3 Barabo Mahanpur, Ring Road, Shaymoli
Dhaka 1207
BANGLADESH
Tel:880-2-811-6420/811-1465
Fax:880-2-811-3065
email: ubinig@citechco.net
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