|Subject: WTO talks end in faliure, no way forward for GE foods|
WTO talks end in
disagreement, US fail to get their way on GE foods.
Trade Ministers from
the EU, Japan, Switzerland, Hungary and Turkey proposed a working group
looking at health and environmental, as well as trade issues surrounding
biotechnology. The US is only willing for the group to talk about trade;
they want quick implementation of rules within the WTO to force member
countries to accept imports of biotechnology products. US farmers have
lost a $200 million corn export market in Europe in the last two years,
because the EU has not approved GE corn grown in the US for sale.
There was another standoff over agriculture between the European Union and Japan on one side and exporters such as the United States and the 18-member Cairns Group of major agricultural producing countries, on the other. According to the US "The European Union spends 50 percent of its overall budget on agricultural supports that distort trade. This includes $7 billion ($7,000 million) in export subsidies".
The EU is prepared to talk about reducing farm export subsidies but not their total elimination, as demanded by the United States and the Cairns group, whose members include countries such as Argentina, Australia, Brazil and Canada. Blocs of nations from Africa, Asia, the Caribbean and Latin America lodged formal complaints against the proceedings and announced they would withhold their consent from any ministerial declaration that did not reflect their concerns. ''There is no sense by the membership at large that it owns the conference,'' said chief Caribbean negotiator and former Commonwealth Chairman Shridath Ramphal. ''What is important is that the blame is allowed to rest where it deserves to rest, and that is with the United States and the WTO.'' Even the Financial Times was made to comment in its editorial "The EU and the U.S. are� still intent on bullying developing countries"
Recommended web based info on the WTO:
ZNet a radical web based magazine with tonnes of articles and links on the WTO- the worldwide protests, implications and background. - highly informative and highly recommended http://zmag.org/ZNETTOPnoanimation.html
Many good articles
on WTO at US Corporate Watch site
Rights: The Economic Myths Excellent report by GRAIN and the Gaia Foundation
on the TRIPs agreement that came out of the "Uruguay round" of the WTO