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Statement of Solidarity with Southern African Nations Over GM Food and Crops
Delegates to the World Summit on Sustainable Development,
We the undersigned, as representatives or advocates of the people of the
Global South, hereby declare our condemnation of the coercive techniques
being used by the United States of America to force the nations and people
of the South to accept genetically modified food in food aid shipments.
We condemn the United States' use of Food Aid as a tool of propaganda to
force acceptance of GM food and crops by Southern nations on the eve of the
World Summit on Sustainable Development (WSSD). Peasant farmers and
indigenous peoples in many Southern nations are opposing GM crops and
condemning GM contamination of their land whilst the recipients of food aid
are protesting the dumping of GM food that have not undergone independent
We decry the bio-imperialism of dumping food aid in Africa, the
endangerment of food sovereignty and security and the deviation from
principles of self-determination*. It further subsidizes the US farm
system, provides a handy market for dumping grain not wanted elsewhere and
is a thinly disguised attempt to pollute the sub continent's grain stocks
with patented genetically modified varieties.
We support the governments of Zambia and Mozambique for protesting about
the inclusion of genetically modified shipments of maize in food aid. The
United States' Department of State is clearly using emergency food aid
shipments for starving people in southern Africa as a political tool to
force acceptance of genetically modified foods. This exploitative policy
makes it clear that the United States is not interested in staving off
famine. The United States is forcing the people of southern African nations
to accept genetically modified food aid or risk widespread starvation, and
has been unwilling to listen to the legitimate concerns.
Genetically modified crops, such as GM coffee and Bt cotton - and the
corporations that market them - will only exacerbate rural unemployment and
social and economic inequalities, and spur further environmental degradation.
We encourage governments and people around the world to initiate a boycott
of genetically modified food products from the United States to demonstrate
support not only for southern African nations who are being used as
political pawns in a dire situation, but to show support for all the
countries of the world that have been threatened with trade sanctions by
the United States for regulating or labeling genetically modified foods.
Finally, we urge governments of the world to reject the inclusion of any
language in the WSSD declaration that presumes genetically modified foods
will be a solution to world hunger.
* NEPAD, the New Economic Program for African Development states in one of
its objectives that "They (developed countries) have set up increasingly
hostile operational mechanisms in the world economy, thus contributing to
Africa's further exclusion."
Program Associate for International Programs
Institute for Agriculture and Trade Policy
2105 First Avenue South
Minneapolis, MN 55404 USA
Tel: (612) 870-3412
Fax: (612) 870-4846
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