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Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:05 AM

U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto’s GMO Seeds

Last edited Tue Jun 10, 2014, 11:24 AM - Edit history (1)

U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto’s GMO Seeds
June 9, 2014

The President of the El Salvadoran Center for Appropriate Technologies (CESTA), Ricardo Navarro, has demanded that the U.S. Ambassador to El Salvador, Mari Carmen Aponte, stops pressurizing the Government of El Salvador to buy Monsanto’s GM seeds rather than non-GMO seeds from domestic suppliers.

“I would like to tell the U.S. Ambassador to stop pressuring the Government (of El Salvador) to buy ‘improved’ GM seeds,” said Navarro, which is only of benefit to U.S. multinationals and is to the detriment of local seed production, Verdad Digital reported last week.

In recent weeks, the U.S. has been pushing the El Salvadoran Government to sign the second Millennium Challenge Compact. One of the main conditions on the agreement is allegedly for the purchasing of GM seeds from Monsanto.

At the end of 2013 it was announced that without ‘specific’ economic and environmental policy reforms, the U.S. government would not provide El Salvador with $277 million in aid money through the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC).

The Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) is a U.S. foreign aid agency that was created by the U.S. Congress in January 2004. According to the MCC they “have changed the conversation on how best to deliver ‘smart’ U.S. foreign assistance by focusing on ‘good’ policies.”

More:
http://sustainablepulse.com/2014/06/08/u-s-government-ties-el-salvador-usd-277-m-aid-package-monsantos-gmo-seeds/#.U5cwcGcU-P8


Original link isn't working. Sorry. Replaced it.
[strike]http://www.blacklistednews.com/U.S._Government_Ties_El_Salvador_USD_277_M_Aid_Package_to_Monsanto’s_GMO_Seeds/35832/0/38/38/Y/M.html[/strike]








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Reply U.S. Government Ties El Salvador USD 277 M Aid Package to Monsanto’s GMO Seeds (Original post)
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 OP
tk2kewl Jun 2014 #1
stillwaiting Jun 2014 #2
truedelphi Jun 2014 #9
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #3
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #5
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #7
central scrutinizer Jun 2014 #4
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #8
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #10
Enthusiast Jun 2014 #14
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #15
Enthusiast Jun 2014 #16
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #17
Enthusiast Jun 2014 #18
yellowcanine Jun 2014 #19
TBF Jun 2014 #6
navarth Jun 2014 #11
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #12
CanonRay Jun 2014 #13
Judi Lynn Jun 2014 #20

Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:07 AM

1. just cut out the middle man and give 10% of the aid to Monsanto

 

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 10:49 AM

2. Seems a tad fascist.

This really does show who the government is working for, doesn't it?

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Response to stillwaiting (Reply #2)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 12:09 PM

9. Yes, it certainly does.

An in a real democracy, at some point in time, wouldn't you imagine that one of the Two Big Parties would have a Presidential candidate that would oppose Monsanto?

We have not had, in all the years that GMO's have been an issue, anyone from either Big Corporate-Run Parties put up someone who I can trust on this issue.

George the Elder was all for Monsanto. Clinton was all for Monsanto. Then so was George W, and now Obama.

And the change in policies has to come from the Presidential candidate, as it is the President who appoints the FDA people. Obama gave us two Monsanto people, Mike Taylor, who ended up heading a division t the FDA, and Valsick, who heads Dept of Ag.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 11:04 AM

3. What is the source of this report? Link does not work.

The U.S. code regarding Millenium Challenge Compacts does not appear to contain any language that would provide for for such a provision.

http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/text/22/7708

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Response to Judi Lynn (Reply #5)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 11:54 AM

7. Yes and it is short on actual facts and long on assertions and speculation.

Relevant paragraphs:

It is now clear that by ‘specific reforms’ the MCC means reforms that allow GM crops and their associated pesticides to be forced on El Salvador’s Government and citizens.

Is it a coincidence that the MCC delayed its initial agreed aid payments following the announcement by the El Salvador Government that they were banning the use of Glyphosate (Roundup) and 52 other dangerous chemicals in September 2013?


The only thing that is clear to me is that the author of this piece has a particular viewpoint and that viewpoint will prevail, whatever the evidence might be. This article provides no actual evidence that the U.S. is holding up aid because of the Salvadoran ban of Glyphosate. And as I noted, the legislation setting up MCC does not appear to provide for that kind of provision.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 11:06 AM

4. cultural genocide

To many of the indigenous people in Central America, corn is not just food. It is part of many rituals and the keeping and trading of seeds helps keep the culture alive. Different varieties are able to withstand drought, or grow at higher elevations and farmers knew to plant varieties of seeds to ensure that there would always be a harvest. GMO seeds have "terminator" genes meaning that you cannot save seeds for planting the next year - they won't grow. Making the farmers dependent every year on Monsanto for new seeds. This is fucked up on so many levels.

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Response to central scrutinizer (Reply #4)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 12:06 PM

8. 'GMO seeds have "terminator" genes.' Not true.

The reason a farmer cannot save seeds of GMO crops such as Roundup Ready soybeans is because the farmer signs a technology agreement with Monsanto agreeing not to save the seeds and replant them. If the farmer were to do that they would grow fine. Corn is a bit more complicated because Roundup Ready corn, like 99.9% of corn grown in the United States and Europe, is an F1 hybrid. Farmers could save the seed, it would grow, but the crop would not look like the original crop because F1 hybrid seed does not "breed true," it segregates. When it comes to hybrid corn, which was widely adapted in the U.S. in the 1930s and 1940s, long before GMOs, farmers have always had to go back to the seed company for their seed for the next year. No "terminator" genes are used in any crops, GMO or otherwise.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #10)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:13 PM

14. NPR? Why don't we just go to the Monsanto website

and get the same advertisement.

NPR has destroyed their own credibility.

And which side are you on, anyway?

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #14)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:37 PM

15. "And which side are you on, anyway?" Nice. Yes, that is a convincing argument.

So, instead of debating with actual facts, it is "which side are you on, anyway?"

I suspect that anyone, including NPR, who does not support your take on things, is on the "wrong side."

Care to try to refute the points made in the NPR link instead of just shouting "Monsanto!"

On edit: And by the way, the reporter who wrote the NPR story is Dan Charles, who is one of the more respected reporters on agricultural issues and he is not a shill for anyone, let alone Monsanto.

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #15)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:45 PM

16. I know the history of Monsanto's propaganda effort.

I've seen it played out right here on DU.

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #16)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:49 PM

17. Yeah, that's a convincing argument also.



Do you ever bother to actually, you know, try to use actual facts to make your case?

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Response to yellowcanine (Reply #17)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:55 PM

18. I'm not interested in corporate "facts".

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Response to Enthusiast (Reply #18)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:58 PM

19. How about just facts, then? Care to refute the NPR story by Dan Charles?

Waiting but not holding my breath.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 11:42 AM

6. Time to update our flag w/Monsanto -

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 12:57 PM

11. When I think Monsanto

...I think Soylent Corporation.

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:01 PM

12. From May 26, 2011: El Salvadoran Government & Social Movements Say No to Monsanto

AlterNet / By Carlos Martinez
El Salvadoran Government & Social Movements Say No to Monsanto

El Salvador's breadbasket has an alternative vision to the one that US biotech firms like Monsanto would like to impose: "food sovereignty."

May 26, 2011 |

On the morning of Friday, May 6th President Mauricio Funes of El Salvador’s left-wing FMLN party, arrived at the La Maroma agricultural cooperative in the department of Usulután for a potentially historic meeting with hundreds of small family farmers. Usulután has often been referred to as the country’s bread basket for its fertile soil and capacity for agricultural production, making it one of the most strategic and violent battleground zones during El Salvador’s twelve year civil war between the US-supported government and the FMLN guerrilla movement.

Once again, Usulután has entered the spotlight for its agricultural reputation. The FMLN, which initially formed around an ideology of national liberation from US hegemony, has now adopted the goal of “food sovereignty,” the idea that countries hold the right to define their own agricultural policies, rather than being subject to the whims of international market forces. On Friday, officials representing the Ministry of Agriculture and the local governorship accompanied President Funes in inaugurating a new plan aimed at reactivating the country’s historically ignored rural economy and reversing El Salvador’s growing dependence on imported grains.

The opening ceremony for the new plan was hosted by the Mangrove Association, a non-governmental organization established by members of a grassroots social movement called La Coordinadora del Bajo Lempa y Bahia de Jiquilisco (known locally as La Coordinadora), which has been supporting initiatives for food security and environmental sustainability in Usulután for over 15 years. Over the last three months, the Ministry of Agriculture has been working closely with the Mangrove Association and other campesino organizations to develop what may represent the new program’s greatest break from past governments’ agricultural policies: a goal that by 2014 all corn and bean seed needed for agriculture be produced by Salvadoran farmers, rather than purchased from multinational seed companies, namely Monsanto, as has been the case in recent years.

With ongoing support from the U.S.-based NGO EcoViva, La Coordinadora and the Mangrove Association have been working since the mid-1990s to promote diversified, sustainable agriculture for small family farmers in Usulután as a means for reducing hunger and building a strong rural economy. According to official figures, almost 95% of fruit and vegetables consumed in El Salvador are imported from abroad, along with 30% of all its beans and 40% of corn. Meanwhile, non-commercial small family farmers are said to produce up to 70% of the basic grains that are cultivated domestically, mostly for their own family’s consumption, making them particularly important for El Salvador’s food security.

More:
http://www.alternet.org/story/151106/el_salvadoran_government_%26_social_movements_say_no_to_monsanto

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 01:11 PM

13. Anybody still think we're not a corporatist state?

I think Mussolini's word for the melding of corporations and the state was "fascism".

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Response to Judi Lynn (Original post)

Tue Jun 10, 2014, 08:06 PM

20. El Salvador: US tries to block seed program

El Salvador: US tries to block seed program

Submitted by Weekly News Update... on Tue, 06/10/2014 - 14:45 Central America Theater
control of life
El Salvador

Four US-based organizations with programs centered on El Salvador were set to deliver a petition to the US State Department on June 6 with the signatures of some 1,000 US citizens opposing what the groups called the "intrusion of the [US] embassy in the sovereign politics of this country." At issue was an indication by US ambassador Mari Carmen Aponte that the US may withhold $277 million slated for the second phase of the Millennium Challenge Corporation (MCC) aid program if the Salvadoran Agriculture Ministry continues its current practice of buying seeds from small-scale Salvadoran producers for its Family Agriculture Plan. The US organizations—the Committee in Solidarity with the People of El Salvador (CISPES), US–El Salvador Sister Cities, the SHARE Foundation, and Joining Hands El Salvador Network (RUMES)—charged that the US threat was made "with clear intentions to advance the interests of transnational agricultural companies."

Under the administration of former president Mauricio Funes (2009-2014), the Family Agriculture Plan began distributing "agricultural packets" each year to an average of 350,000 impoverished farmers to encourage the cultivation of food crops. As an additional stimulus for the local rural economy, the Agriculture Ministry has been buying seeds for the packets from small Salvadoran producers rather than the large companies that previously dominated the market, Grupo Fertica and Semillas Cristiani Burkard, the Central American representative of the Missouri-based giant multinational Monsanto. The results have been impressive: the production of basic food crops (corn, beans, rice and sorghum) has grown by about one-third and now employs 210,000 of the 770,000 hectares under cultivation in the country. The program has helped hold down prices for basic foods and has contributed to the reduction of poverty.

President Funes was an independent progressive backed by the leftist Farabundo Martí Front for National Liberation (FMLN); the Salvadoran government has generally been expected to move to the left with the June 1 inauguration of President Salvador Sánchez Cerén, a leader in the FMLN. (CISPES press release, June 6; Adital, Brazil, June 6, from Rel-UITA)

http://ww4report.com/node/13293

(Short article, no more at link.)

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