state department biotech gmo food label

What's the US State Department Up to Lately?

US Twists Arms on Monsanto's Behalf

The U.S. State Department does the bidding of biotech giants like Monsanto around the world by "twisting the arms of countries" and engaging in vast public campaign schemes to push the sale of genetically modified seeds. This 2013 excerpt is from Common Dreams, May 14.

by Jacob Chamberlain

U.S. ambassadors and their staffs actively lobby foreign governments to adopt pro-biotechnology policies and laws, create "rigorous public relations campaigns to improve the image of biotechnology", and challenge "commonsense biotechnology safeguards and rules ó including opposing genetically engineered (GE) food labeling laws."

The biotech agriculture model using costly seeds and agrichemicals forces farmers onto a debt treadmill that is neither economically nor environmentally viable.

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JJS: Technically, you know what a corporation is? Itís business enjoying limited liability, so if it does something wrong -- intentionally or not -- its members (owners, managers, any stockholders) canít be punished or lose money. If they ever do get fined, itís the company, not them individually, who pay up. So they have little incentive to stay within the law, natural rights, or common decency and every incentive to bend and break every rule they can, with impunity, in order to gain as much as inhumanly possible. Such a deal, eh?

And what do they pay for that little piece of paper, the corporate charter thatís worth millions if not billions? Nearly nothing, just a small filing fee.

If government is to grant corporate charters, it should at least charge what that little piece of paper is worth. If your company imposes little risk on society, youíd pay little. If your firm imposes big risk on workers, consumers, and nature, youíd pay a lot. What could be fairer?

If businesses had to pay for the costs it imposes, it would not impose so much on the rest of us. We could save billions in medical costs and environmental cleanup. An even better deal, eh?

Yet, eventhoí such an economic solution makes sense, because it is economics, political people donít like it. Political people like rules and regulations and telling other people what to do. Which is a pity, because we do get the rules and regulations but donít get the clean environment.

Ironically, while reformers canít see how economies really work, the money-makers, being in the driverís seat, can. How lucky they are to have such myopic opponents!

Digging deeper, what do-gooders really miss is how any business got so big to be above the law in the first place, and thatís by capturing the ďrentsĒ paid for land or resources. Were society to redirect that spending away from corporate coffers into the publicís pockets, then corporations would no longer have so much undue weight to throw around. And even better, everyone else would have much more income to live a decent life.


Editor Jeffery J. Smith runs the Forum on Geonomics and helped prepare a course for the UN on geonomics. To take the ďLand RightsĒ course, click here .

Also see:

Hunger Haunts Many in Africa While Ö ... -- farmers owning farms. This 2012 press release is from Friends of the ... AGRA donor-- into shares in biotech corporations, and revolving doors between donor

In 2011 Investors' Bids on US Land Up 128%

Could a new kind of tenure create security?

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