Reject money for engineered crops
Chicago Daily Herald, 23 June 2008

Congress should reject the $150 million earmark for the genetically engineered crops, nestled like a snake, in the Bush Administration's $770 million aid package aimed at easing the global food crisis.

Again, taking care of his contributors, the $150 million would be diverted to the Agency for International Development specifically to promote genetically engineered crops in famine stricken countries. The same GE crops that have not been demonstrated to significantly increase yields, force farmers into expensive agrichemical treatment cycles, and which have been banned in dozens of countries around the world because they are not proven to be safe for the environment or for human consumption.

Proponents of the GE production methods will argue that the soil issues of many developing countries would benefit from the agrichemical processes. To this we must ask why our own American soil has shown such deterioration since World War II when the agribusinesses began their assault on our American farmlands. Agrichemical farming has resulted in Americans being the most chemically toxic, overfed and undernourished people in the world. We are repulsed to see people in developing counties drinking contaminated river water. Yet, we drink clear water, pumped into our homes from sophisticated filtration systems which cannot remove all the agrichemicals which are proven contaminants. The people of developing countries have their own set of problems, we need not complicate them by adding on ours.

Congress should make sure that the $150 million is redirected as grants for countries to buy regionally and nationally produced food. Global security is dependent upon long-term sustainability, not short term corporate subsidies.

Gail Talbot