Friday, February 20, 2009

Pot calling the kettle black

This is really easy on the U.S. government and agriculture big business. I remember reading about the suit they brought to The World Trade Organization. The U.S. gov't opposed even labeling GM food, because Europeans wouldn't buy it. I finally found a reference to that, which I included.

This reminds me of a few years, when the U.S. government, at the behest of the big agriculture industry, tried to make it illegal for milk companies to truthfully label milk from cows that had not been treated with Genetically engineered Recombinant Bovine Growth Hormone (rBGH/BST).

The Republican politicians are against big government, except to help their ultra-rich contributors.

AFTER a decade of exporting its genetically modified [GM] crops all over the world, the US is preparing to block foreign GM foods from entering the country - if they are deemed to threaten its agriculture, environment or citizens' health, that is.

The warning was given to the US Department of Agriculture, which polices agricultural imports, by its own auditor, the Office of Inspector General (OIG): "Unless international developments in transgenic plants and animals are closely monitored, USDA could be unaware of potential threats that particular new transgenic plants or animals might pose to the nation's food supply."

The OIG expects the number of GM crops and traits, and the number of countries producing them, to double by 2015, raising the risks of imports of GM crops unknown to the USDA.

The report urges the USDA to strengthen its links with countries where research is exploding, such as China, India and Brazil. China, for example, is ready to launch the world's first commercial GM rice, but it has yet to be approved by the USDA. Problems will arise, says the OIG, when new GM products enter the US undeclared - the USDA would be unprepared to test or even identify them.

The OIG cautions against blocks on imports that could be seen as trade barriers, however. In 2006, the World Trade Organization ruled in favour of the US, arguing that the European Union's stringent regulations on GM crops were anti-free trade.


GUARDIAN (London) Monday July 31, 2000

New trade war looms over GM labelling
Paul Brown in Washington

Europe and the United States are on a collision course over the issue of
the labelling of genetically modified food which threatens to spark a
trade war.

Washington has warned the EU that it is considering making a formal
complaint to the World Trade Organisation in Geneva on the grounds that
labelling GM products is unfair discrimination against US goods and
therefore a restraint of trade. The US says it will ask the WTO to impose
sanctions against EU exports if GM labels are not removed from supermarket
A spokeswoman for the US food and drug administration, which insists that
only nutritional information should be on the label, said: "This is
getting extremely serious. We regard requiring GM labelling as economic
fraud. Our view is that we would not have allowed these products on the
market if they were not safe, they are the same as non-GM food, so they do
not require a label. In fact, to label them is trade discrimination and
therefore wrong."
The FDA and other regulators decided in May to look again at the issue
after US organic and other food producers began to label food GM-free. No
final decision has been made but officials believe that to conform with
regulations the food would have to be 100% non-GM, a difficult feat in a
country where almost all processed food contains some GM maize or soya.

For some info on GM food,

For info on Bovine Growth Hormone:

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