US Aid Agencies Instructed to Report Anti-GM Nations to USAID
Ashok B. Sharma
The Financial Express (India)
January 14, 2003
The USDA has instructed US Aid Agencies to act as international policemen on behalf of US biotech corporations.
In the minutes of its meeting with aid agencies, it is made clear that US Aid Agencies are expected to immediately report any opposition to GM food imports by recipient nations to USAID, that they are to make investigations to enable USAID to classify objections as either 'political' or 'trade' related and that USAID will then take the necessary 'diplomatic action' (sanctions?, WTO prosecutions?, aid cancellations/, IMF action?) to ensure that the shipments are accepted.
In these minutes it says: "USDA stated that the first response when a PVO [Public Voluntary Organisations] encounters questioning from the receiving government on the GMO content of food aid shipments should be to inform the local USAID mission of these new concerns.
The PVO should begin immediately collecting documentation to serve as proof of the recipient country's laws/policies and to assist in determining if the problem is trade or politically motivated. The local USAID mission will likely negotiate with the local government officials to clarify and gain an understanding of why the clearance of these products is being questioned/disputed now at this time and for what reasons. Especially at this early stage of the situation, USAID's diplomatic ability in resolving the situation is crucial."
Whereas most Aid Agencies buy their food on the free market - and thereby support the livelihoods of small farmers in recipient nations - some US Aid Agencies only ship US grain provided by USAID.
This is an anti-competitive practice condemned by the OECD and the international aid community because of its trade-distorting effects and its devastating impact on the rural economies of poor nations. As the European Commission recently stated: "The EU does not at all question the granting of genuine food aid. It questions the use of food aid donations used as surplus disposal measures. Some WTO members have used food aid donations more as a production and commercial tool to dispose of surpluses and promote sales in foreign markets than as a development tool tailored to the needs of the recipient countries. It is ironic that the amount of food aid given by some countries tends to increase significantly when prices are low whereas levels are much lower when prices are high - and food aid is most needed."
The dependency of US agencies such as CARE and Catholic Relief Services on USAID means they are now being used as international policemen and marketers for the US biotech industry.
The following article from India explains how these two charities are being used to force open the door to GM in India after a USAID shipment was rejected. --- This is a News Report appearing in The Financial Express, India on January 13, 2003. The news report says that after the government refused to give permission to CARE-India and Catholic Relief Services to import GM corn and soya from US, these two organisations have appealed before the Appeallate Authority constituted under GMO Rules of the country.