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Bilateral Biosafety Bullies
How corporations use bilateral trade channels to weaken biotech regulations
By GRAIN and the African Centre for Biosafety
This new briefing looks at how governments, the agribusiness sector and transnational companies are increasingly using bilateral trade agreements to prise open markets for genetically modified crops. It documents the way in which this powerful alliance has been using these agreements, which are proliferating around the world, to confront worldwide opposition to GMOs and to weaken regulatory controls.
The main force behind this drive is the handful of giant corporations that control world trade in the world’s main agricultural crops. Three companies, Cargill, Arthur Daniels Midland and Louis Dreyfus, control over four-fifths of the global grain market. Over the past few decades, they have ruthlessly pushed an agenda of market liberalisation and expansion through the multilateral trade and finance institutions. With talks stalled in these fora, they are now targeting, with determination and clout, the bilateral agreements.