Target: Secretary of State John Kerry
Goal: Stop promoting generically engineered foods abroad
American taxpayer’s dollars are being spent to aggressively push genetically engineered and genetically modified crops onto foreign countries, despite the objections of citizens of those countries. The State Department is directly involved in this practice, which means that agrochemical companies (mainly Monsanto) have our government eating out of their hand.
In December 2010, Wikileaks released thousands of cables between the U.S. State Department and more than 100 embassies around the world, some of which detailed an interest in the promotion of agricultural biotechnology. Unfortunately, this news did not get much coverage, because it was holiday season. But recently, Food and Water Watch analyzed 926 diplomatic cables and issued a report, Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda. Its findings were shocking: diplomats lobbying for Monsanto in Indonesia and sending information about job openings in the government’s biotech regulatory agency to Pioneer and Monsanto in South Africa. Generally, the State Department twisted the arms of countries and worked to undermine local democratic movements that may have been opposed to biotech crops, and pressured foreign governments to reduce the oversight of these crops. In Nigeria, the U.S. Agency for International Development funded a draft of legislation to quickly approve GE crop arrival there.
If GMOs were really a solution to food crises around the world, countries would be lining up for them. Since they are not doing so, Monsanto is using the U.S. government to push its dirty agenda. This outrage has to stop. The State Department should not be sending out pamphlets and DVDs to promote Monsanto, as it has done. Please sign below to urge the Secretary of State John Kerry to halt this madness.
Dear Mr. Kerry,
Diplomatic cables released by Wikileaks show a cozy relationship between the U.S. State Department and biotech companies, especially Monsanto. Report issued by Food and Water Watch, Biotech Ambassadors: How the U.S. State Department Promotes the Seed Industry’s Global Agenda, reveals some shocking details of how the giant agribusiness is using our government to force genetically engineered seeds onto foreign countries. Diplomats routinely lobbied for Monsanto, suggested that employees at Pioneer and Monsanto apply for jobs at the government’s biotech regulatory agency and generally twisted the arms of countries that did not want GMOs. USAID financed a draft of legislation to approve GE crop arrival there.
One can argue that genetically modified foods can save the world from hunger. Unfortunately, this claim is not supported by facts. In 2009 the Union of Concerned Scientists debunked this theory. Its report shows that GE crops do not outperform conventional ones, and as herbicide-resistant weeds have spread, GE crops yields have fallen.
Actions of the State Department do not make sense no matter how one looks at the situation. It is immoral to lobby for a huge biotech company that can take care of itself. Furthermore, taxpayer money should not be used for this practice. Thirdly, GE crops will not help to address the world food crisis. Please stop using taxpayer dollars to lobby for Monsanto and other agrochemical companies.
[Your Name Here]