Not content to allow Monsanto to poison Americans, the U.S. government is using your tax dollars to promote the bio-ag giant’s genetically modified food crops overseas as well, according to a new report.
A review of 926 diplomatic cables of correspondence to and from the U.S. State Department and embassies in more than 100 countries found that State Department officials actively promoted the commercialization of specific biotech seeds, according to the report issued by Food & Water Watch, a nonprofit consumer protection group.
U.S. diplomats as surrogates for Monsanto
Officials sought to quash or downplay public criticism of key firms and negotiations between the seed companies and foreign governments “over issues like patents and intellectual property,” Reuters said, citing the report.
As if marketing to U.S. consumers wasn’t enough, now Monsanto wants to bring GM foods to the rest of the planet – and make you pay for the effort.
According to cables, U.S. diplomats were acting as surrogates for Monsanto, which is the world’s leading seed maker, in foreign companies – this after the agri-business giant paid a $1.5 million fine for allegedly bribing an Indonesian official, in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Business Practices Act of 2005.
A cable from 2009 indicates that the U.S. embassy in Spain sought “high-level U.S. government intervention” at the “urgent request” of Monsanto to battle bio-seed opponents in that country, the Food & Water Watch report found.
The report was based primarily on cables sent between 2005-2009 released by Wikileaks in 2010.
Justifying the unjustifiable
As expected, Monsanto justified its actions – including having you foot the bill for what can only be described as “official marketing” of its GM products by the U.S. government.
“We remain committed to sharing information so that individuals can better understand our business and our commitments to support farmers throughout the world as they work to meet the agriculture demands of our world’s growing population,” company spokesman Tom Helscher told Reuters.
What’s to “understand?” Monsanto wants to infect more customers with its genetically modified crops. Also, par for the course, no one at the State Department wanted to comment on the report’s findings.
Food & Water Watch went on to note that the cables the group examined detailed just how far the State Department will go to promote and support the biotech agriculture industry, which has understandably had difficulty resonating with people in other countries – many of whom see the GM food craze for the dangerous Frankenstein’s monster that it is.
What the U.S. government is doing “really goes beyond promoting the U.S.’s biotech industry and agriculture,” Wenonah Hauter, executive director of Food & Water Watch, told the newswire. “It really gets down to twisting the arms of countries and working to undermine local democratic movements that may be opposed to biotech crops, and pressuring foreign governments to also reduce the oversight of biotech crops.”
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