The Almighty Dollar

* * * The USA has a huge investment and world lead in gene technology and anticipates huge tax revenues from its' profits. The USA, supposedly the 'Bastion of Democracy' in the world, is abdicating democracy to corporate control. Corporate forces now employ lobbying on an unprecedented scale and fund sympathetic politicians to get them into power. At the same time, any opposition is fragmented and struggles to be heard as the media is under corporate control and anything against corporate interests is filtered out of the news.
* * * The World Trade Organisation(WTO) is an unelected body, controlled by TransNational Companies(TNCs) for the benefit of TNCs. It demands that the TNCs have the right to unrestricted access and free trade anywhere on the planet. These rampant commercial forces, embodied in the WTO, increasingly seem to be fulfilling the role of a 'shadow world government'.
Every trade dispute brought before the WTO to date, has ruled in favour of corporate interests and against national environmental and public health legislation. A US chief negotiator at a Rio conference meeting estimated that 80% of the USA's environmental legislation could be challenged and declared illegal by the WTO. These hearings are carried out in total secrecy before a panel of three unaccountable 'trade experts', generally lawyers who have made careers representing corporate clients. The identification of the panellists who supported a position is kept secret.
The European Union has a ban on imports of beef produced with artificial growth hormones, to protect the health of Europe's citizens. A WTO panel of three, unelected and faceless, has just decided that these safety regulations of the European Union, representing 15 Nation States, representing in turn some 300(?) million citizens, are 'illegal' and must be scrapped. Champagne all round for Monsanto and shareholders, while the rest of us mourn the 'Death of Democracy'.
* * * TransNational Companies(TNCs) have but one function, to make money for their shareholders. They have no obligations towards the environment, the ecology, social values, community values or cultural values. This is typified by the giant agrochemical and genetech TNCs, which are seeking to control the worlds' food production by developing and patenting genetic crops.

* * * US Agriculture Secretary Dan Glickman told the senate Agricultural Comittee that Europeans have deep-seated fears that the products aren't safe, even if science proves otherwise. He said, "It's based on ideology, culture, religion, the attidude is, it's not what God intended". Such patronising and ignorant statements from a senior US politician are unacceptable. The 'science' is 'proven' only by corporate interests seeking short term profits, indepedent scientific opinion tells us we're inviting long term problems, which the taxpayer will end up paying for. We don't want genetically contaminated food, because these corporate interests are light years from proving it's safe.
In case you're aurally challenged Dan, watch our lips........................... NO!
If Mr Glickman and others force a trade war in this matter as they threaten, the responsibility for it will be theirs alone.
* * * The USA, apparently as indifferent to Europes' citizens as Monsanto, goes to the WTO for a ruling to force acceptance on Europe. That the unelected WTO can actually do this has staggering repercussions for the future of democracy and citizens rights. Europes citizens are now being told they have no choice, they must eat what the TNCs decide to put on their plates. If forcing your products on hundreds of millions of unwilling consumers is free trade, then -
"you can stick free trade where the sun doesn't shine!"


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