Genetically modified organisms
The United States has asked Sri Lanka, ranked high for software piracy in Asia, to better enforce intellectual property rights and also lift restrictions on American imports like genetically modified food.
Malaysia is about to adopt its biosafety regulations despite pressure from the US Biotechnology Industry Organisation that called on the US trade representative to reject mandatory labelling of GM products in the US-Malaysia Free Trade Agreement, claiming that labelling is tantamount to trade barrier.
Position paper of the US-based Biotechnology Industry Organisation on the US negotiation of a Trans-Pacific Partnership FTA with Singapore, Chile, Brunei, Vietnam, Australia, New Zealand and Peru
The United States will make it a priority to get rid of barriers to US farm exports based on unjustified sanitary and phytosanitary concerns about human, animal and plant health — including the EU ban on GM crops — the designee for US Trade Representative said on Thursday.
In the food safety arena, both the US and the EU are pressing their standards on other countries through bilateral free trade agreements.
A leading UN Committee has recommended that India review all aspects of its trade negotiations - particularly those with EU and EFTA - to ensure that they do not result in a situation which undermines the rights of people within the country, particularly the most disadvantaged and vulnerable. Meeting last month in Geneva, the Committee also noted its concern about the impact of genetically-modified seeds in India on farmers’ livelihoods.
The US-Sri Lanka TIFA Council discussed issues affecting US exports, such as Sri Lanka’s agricultural biotechnology policies, import tariffs, intellectual property rights protection, and transparency in government procurement.
The United States is using bilateral trade agreements to arm-twist weaker countries into accepting its food safety standards as a tool to expand the market control of US corporations. South Korea is the latest victim.
Hundreds of Costa Rican indigenous people began a protest against the Free Trade Agreement between Central America, the Dominican Republic and the United States. They accused the FTA of imposing the use of patented seeds that prevent traditional crops and warned that the use of transgenic seeds from the United States would affect ancestral crops closely linked to the people’s view of the world and spirituality.
Negotiated on the sidelines of the US-Korea FTA, in March 2007.
India finds itself increasingly on the defensive in agricultural trade for permitting field trials across the country in a host of genetically modified food crops — rice, brinjal, okra, potato, tomato and groundnuts — and thereby exposing conventional crops to the risk of transgenic contamination. A case in point is a rather dodgy no-contamination certificate that the regulator, Genetic Engineering Approval Committee, was forced to give two months ago in response to a restriction imposed by Russia on import of rice, groundnuts and sesame seeds from India.
Corporate globalization, savagely embodied by NAFTA, is not just a threat to Mexican farmers and rural villagers. The economic, health, and social damage created by industrial agriculture, corporate globalization, and the patenting and gene-splicing of transgenic plants and animals, are inexorably leading to universal "bioserfdom " for farmers, deteriorating health for consumers, a destabilized climate (energy intensive industrial agriculture and long-distance food transportation and processing account, directly or indirectly, for 40% of all climate-disrupting greenhouse gases), tropical deforestation, and a rapid depletion of oil supplies.
Cheap US corn will flood into Mexico in January when trade barriers are lifted under NAFTA, pitting local farmers against each other over how to protect the crop that has fed Mexico for thousands of years.
One outcome of the Indo-US deal on Agriculture appears to be the deregulation of the GM foods sector.
Given the interest generated with regard to the US-India nuclear deal, it is time to express our concerns on the US-India Knowledge Initiative on Agriculture, too, and not let it be implemented in a business-as-usual attitude.
The US government is working to deny South Koreans the right to local food and to undermine their domestic food safety laws through the Korea-US Free Trade Agreement (FTA).
A Joint Statement from Australian and Japanese people
The labelling of genetically modified (GM) goods within Malaysia has come further under the spotlight this week as the industry remains torn between its proposed bio-safety laws and free trade agreements between the US.
Rice farmers in northern Peninsular Malaysia have another reason to call on the Government to quit the on-going Free Trade Agreement negotiations with the United States. Besides the concern over highly subsidised US rice competing with locally produced rice, there is fear of the US dumping the Liberty Link 601 (LL601) contaminated rice here.
Malaysia will not compromise on mandatory labelling for genetically-modified (GM) foods or products in its negotiations with the US for a Free Trade Agreement (FTA), according to
Natural Resources and Environment Minister Datuk Seri Azmi Khalid.