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US pressures El Salvador to buy Monsanto's GMO seeds

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  • US pressures El Salvador to buy Monsanto's GMO seeds

    If this is true, it is taking crony capitalism and corporate-government thuggery to new heights

    http://rt.com/usa/165128-us-pressure...-monsanto-gmo/

    As one of the preconditions to authorizing close to $300 million in aid, the United States is pressuring El Salvador to purchase genetically modified seeds from Monsanto instead of non-GM seeds from local farmers.

    According to Sustainable Pulse, a website covering developments related to genetically modified organisms and sustainable agriculture, the US will reportedly withhold $277 million in aid through the Millennium Challenge Compact if El Salvador refuses to purchase GM seeds from the biotech company Monsanto.
    "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

  • #2
    So, Antimony...a report which is negative towards the US government from RT news.

    Shocking.

    And this is really about US aid money, correct?

    Here is a little bit of news...US aid money comes with strings attached. You have to use it to buy from American firms.

    That's the law.

    And not everyone is against GMO food.

    So, if you want the aid you have to play by the rules of the law.

    If you don't want the aid under those condictions then you are free to seek it elsewhere.

    Sorry, but I am not seeing a bad guy here.
    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
    Mark Twain

    Comment


    • #3
      I believe this is how U.S. military aid to Egypt, Israel, etc. works as well. You get a grant you can use to buy military hardware, so long as it comes from Boeing, Lockheed, or some other American manufacturer. It would be rather awkward to explain to the tax payers if the U.S. government gave $500 million to Iraq and they turned around and passed it to Sukhoi in exchange for Su-35s. For some reason the U.S. government isn't interested in using tax dollars to fund the competition.

      Comment


      • #4
        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        So, Antimony...a report which is negative towards the US government from RT news.

        Shocking.
        Which is why I said "If true". If indeed it is true, why should the source matter? I think at WAB we are mature enough to distill the facts from the opinions

        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        And this is really about US aid money, correct?

        Here is a little bit of news...US aid money comes with strings attached. You have to use it to buy from American firms.

        That's the law.

        And not everyone is against GMO food.
        And here it is being used to push something that is widely reviled and is possibly against local Salvadorian laws.

        Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
        So, if you want the aid you have to play by the rules of the law.

        If you don't want the aid under those conditions then you are free to seek it elsewhere.

        Sorry, but I am not seeing a bad guy here.
        This makes e really sad, that countries are desperate enough to actually take this "aid" however much it harms them.

        While we are at it, why does the US raise a hue and cry when the Chinese government support Chinese companies to buy US assets?
        "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

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        • #5
          US doesn't have other companies who can help countries which for whatever reasons banned GMO food/seeds?
          No such thing as a good tax - Churchill

          To make mistakes is human. To blame someone else for your mistake, is strategic.

          Comment


          • #6
            Why are we giving away tax payer money to that cesspool anyways?
            To sit down with these men and deal with them as the representatives of an enlightened and civilized people is to deride ones own dignity and to invite the disaster of their treachery - General Matthew Ridgway

            Comment


            • #7
              Originally posted by Doktor View Post
              US doesn't have other companies who can help countries which for whatever reasons banned GMO food/seeds?
              All the US companies that export in such amounts trade in both GMO and non-GMO seeds. That's not the problem here.

              The problem is that, basically, Monsanto - or DuPont for that matter - are able to outbid pretty much everyone else in open competition, if necessary by taking a hit. And they will do so offering a GMO seed from their portfolio.

              Comment


              • #8
                Originally posted by antimony View Post
                This makes e really sad, that countries are desperate enough to actually take this "aid" however much it harms them.
                How does it harm them? Those seeds are called improved for a reason.

                Comment


                • #9
                  They're not called "improved", they're called "modified". Modified to better survive herbicide treatment for example. Or to be resistant to certain insects plagueing that crop. GMO crops typically have lower yields though. A USDA study a couple months ago came to the estimation that regarding yield GMO crops net returns are near-equivalent. Environmental damage is also virtually the same, with insecticide use going down with GMO - but herbicide use going up. The yield situation might change to the detriment of GMO crops though, as weeds are becoming increasingly resistant to Monsanto's Roundup due to its increased use.

                  Furthermore, since GMO seeds are patented, you permanently tie yourself to a single company to provide your seeds, provide your pesticides and so on. Because of course a Monsanto seed will be resistant to a Monsanto herbicide. GMO seed prices in the USA were initially subsidized by the companies in order to offer them at the price of regular seed, but interestingly since then have risen to current levels where equivalent GMO seeds (and the regular seeds sold by the same companies) easily cost 50% more.

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Not being overly simplistic but….if Monsanto won the contract, they won the contract.

                    Can the customer of the aid negotiate a different deal? Not sure what the law says.

                    Are there some issues with GMO? Could be. But do we just derail the possibility without further research? Don’t want to do that.

                    And the entire program runs up against market forces the operations of the US market economy. Do some research on the this year’s Agriculture Bill (which covers this program and others like it) and show me how there can be an easy way ahead.


                    All that said this thread started out with a broadbrush attack that the US government was strong arming El Salvadoran farmers.

                    That is not the case.
                    “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                    Mark Twain

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                      if Monsanto won the contract, they won the contract.
                      They didn't win any contract - there hasn't been any contract bidding yet. Basically, the US side is apparently trying to strongarm the Salvadorian government into opening the bidding equally for "international companies". It's just that everyone presumes Monsanto would win this if they were allowed to compete.

                      In my opinion they could of course just let US companies compete, and slip in a line in the tender that they want non-GMO seeds only. However, the anti-GMO crowd would see any sort of buy from Monsanto - or another of the big GMO producers - as supporting those companies and their evil work, regardless which products the contract itself would specify.

                      Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                      But do we just derail the possibility without further research?
                      On an unrelated note, the European Union just yesterday made it possible for its members to legally ban GMO crops based on public opinion instead of having to bring up scientific facts supporting the ban. Which neither side is happy with, so it's a good deal.

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Kato,

                        I believe the law and the Agriculture Bill states the business has to go to a majority US company.

                        As stated much of our aid is tied to that aid being spent on a American products.

                        As an American taxpayer I can see the value in that seeing as it helps American jobs.

                        as for GMOs themselves...I am ambivalent.

                        And if the market place drives them out so be it.

                        I will say in the county where I live and the curroundign counties there is a strong preference for GMO crops as it has resulted in better corn, soy, cotton and peanut yield. Not my opinion but the info put out by out county extension agent.
                        “Loyalty to country ALWAYS. Loyalty to government, when it deserves it.”
                        Mark Twain

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                          I believe the law and the Agriculture Bill states the business has to go to a majority US company.
                          Looked a bit closer into the matter. Here's a timeline, as far as i can construct it:
                          The MCC Compact itself has nothing to do with buying seed or anything like that. For a summary of the Compact see: http://www.mcc.gov/documents/cn/cn-0...dor%282%29.pdf

                          * interestingly that was not relevant for the previous MCC Compact with El Salvador running from 2007 to 2012.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by Albany Rifles View Post
                            All that said this thread started out with a broadbrush attack that the US government was strong arming El Salvadoran farmers.
                            The US government deserves to be attacked for playing into the hands of Corporate lobbyists. How many sectors have we seen this in? We have the mockery of net neutrality in the FCC, we have the GM ignition switches issue, we have ex-Monsanto Execs and lobbyists appointed to the FDA. In a number of important sectors the US government has done the equivalent of putting a fox in charge of the hen-house.
                            "Is God willing to prevent evil, but not able? Then he is not omnipotent. Is he able, but not willing? Then he is malevolent. Is he both able and willing? Then whence cometh evil? Is he neither able nor willing? Then why call him God?" ~ Epicurus

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Originally posted by kato View Post
                              On an unrelated note, the European Union just yesterday made it possible for its members to legally ban GMO crops based on public opinion instead of having to bring up scientific facts supporting the ban. Which neither side is happy with, so it's a good deal.
                              Not sure why you would describe that as a good deal?

                              Public opinion over scientific facts, not a good micro management strategy.

                              Monsanto are trying to push their GM products into regions that are resisting them. A lot of money at stake here. That doesn't mean there is anything wrong with the products per se, just that there may be something wrong with how Monsanto et al. markets them.

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