by GRAIN | 20 Aug 2008 BIO-IPR (1997-2009)
by GRAIN | 6 Aug 2008 BIO-IPR (1997-2009)
by GRAIN | 31 Jul 2008 Corporations
The European Union is promoting “association agreements” or “cooperation agreements” with Latin American countries. These agreements appear weaker and more flexible than the equivalent agreements that the USA is signing with countries in the region. But behind this affable facade the EU is tough: it is insisting that the countries agree to extend periodically what has been agreed and to undertake an undefined number of legal, administrative, economic, technical and social reforms, the objective of which is to grant European countries ever more favourable conditions in all aspects of national life.
This amounts to a new Conquest (as the 1492 European “discovery” of the Americas is often referred to). It will lead to transantional corporations taking control over communications, water, the banking system, oil, biodiversity, all kinds of raw materials and fishing, as well as being able to use Latin American countries as bases for exports. Eventually European companies will take the place of state companies and be responsible for establishing norms, certification and patents. Tariff barriers, taxes, phytosanitary standards, quality controls and any other regulation seen as a barrier to the expansion of Euopean companies and their trade will be swept away.
If these agreements are negotiated in secret and their implementation becomes the responsibility of the executive branch of government, civil society and the parliaments of the countries involved will not be allowed to protest or to investigate properly what is going on.
It is hoped that this briefing will promote disucssion about what is happening and help Latin American society to stand up to the new European invasion.
by GRAIN | 30 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
Download full issue - in pdf
by Christine Ahn and GRAIN | 29 Jul 2008
The United States is using bilateral trade agreements to arm-twist weaker countries into accepting its food safety standards as a tool to expand the market control of U.S. corporations. South Korea is the latest victim.
by GRAIN | 28 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
While there has been widespread reporting of the riots that have broken out around the world as a result of the global food crisis, little attention has been paid to the way forward. The solution is a radical shift in power away from the international financial institutions and global development agencies, so that small-scale farmers, still responsible for most food consumed throughout the world, set agricultural policy. Three interrelated issues need to be tackled: land, markets and farming itself.
by GRAIN | 26 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
Despite the fanfare about soaring yields, hybrid rice has not been a successful crop. Three decades of subsidies and research have failed to bring it into mass production, except in China. But now, with the world facing a serious rice crisis, hybrid rice is back on the agenda. It is being strongly pushed as the only way of boosting rice production. The consequences of a large-scale shift from conventional rice to corporate-friendly hybrids would be devastating not only for small farmers but also for future world rice production.
by Vandana Shiva | 24 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
Why Bush is wrong to blame Indians for the rise in food prices
by GRAIN | 22 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
Professor of Food Policy at City University in London, Timothy Lang is a leading authority on food. He has written extensively on issues such as food security, food inequalities, nutrition and the tension between food democracy and food control. The steep rise in the price of basic food commodities on the world market this year came as no surprise to him, for he has been warning for some time that the world is “sleepwalking into a crisis”.
by Patrice Sagbo | 20 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
A highly pathogenic variety of the H5N1 type of avian flu was first reported in the West African country of Benin in December 2007. Even though this type of flu has been known for more than four years, the authorities in Benin, rather than learning from others’ experiences, have repeated many of their mistakes: they have dealt with the outbreaks secretively; they have blamed wild birds, with no supporting evidence; they have failed to ban the import of poultry. Worse still, they are refusing to pay compensation and thus causing huge economic problems for thousands of small farmers who have lost their livelihoods.
by GRAIN | 18 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008 | Corporations
As the push toward neoliberalism advances, and quantitative measures to protect local markets, such as tariffs and quotas, disappear, industrial powers are turning to qualitative measures such as food safety regulations to further skew trade in their favour. In the food safety arena, both the US and the EU are pressing their standards on other countries. For Washington, even though its own food safety system is widely criticised as too lax, this means getting countries to accept GMOs and US meat safety inspections. For Brussels, whose food safety standards have a much better reputation, it means imposing high standards on countries that cannot meet them. Bilateral free trade agreements (FTAs) have become a tool of choice to push through the changes.
by GRAIN | 17 Jul 2008 BIO-IPR (1997-2009)
by | 17 Jul 2008
by GRAIN | 14 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008
by GRAIN | 12 Jul 2008 Seedling - July 2008