Thursday 25 August 2011
by: Mike Ludwig, Truthout | Report
Dozens of United States diplomatic cables released in the latest WikiLeaks dump on Wednesday  reveal new details of the US effort to push foreign governments to approve genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the worldwide interests of agribusiness giants like Monsanto and DuPont.
The cables further confirm previous Truthout reports on the diplomatic pressure the US has put on Spain  and France , two countries with powerful anti-GE crop movements, to speed up their biotech approval process and quell anti-GE sentiment within the European Union (EU).
Several cables describe “biotechnology outreach programs” in countries across the globe, including African, Asian and South American countries where Western biotech agriculture had yet to gain a foothold. In some cables (such as this 2010 cable  from Morocco) US diplomats ask the State Department for funds to send US biotech experts and trade industry representatives to target countries for discussions with high-profile politicians and agricultural officials.
Truthout recently reported  on front groups supported by the US government, philanthropic foundations and companies like Monsanto that are working to introduce pro-biotechnology policy initiatives and GE crops in developing African countries, and several cables released this week confirm that American diplomats have promoted biotech agriculture to countries like Tunisia , South Africa  and Mozambique .
Cables detail US efforts to influence the biotech policies of developed countries such as Egypt and Turkey, but France continues to stand out as a high-profile target.
- Biotechnology, GMO and Scientific Analysis: The Powers of Corporate Manipulation (rinf.com)
- The global agri-feudals (hispanicbusiness.com)
- Hawaiian islands take more steps to limit spread of GMO crops (trust.org)
- $61,142 Reward for Text of Secret Trade Agreement (beavercountyblue.org)
- Spread of genetically engineered plants out of control (farmwars.info)
- WikiLeaks Releases Secret TPP Negotiation Documents: US Pressure, Disagreements, Country Positions (leaksource.wordpress.com)