Found this account of WTO in the Missouri Ruralist, Feb 2000. This is
the view that mainstream agriculture accepts and reports. I would
propose the title might be changed from Behind the Scenes to Behind the
BEHIND THE SCENES
Brave new world
Seattle shows reason must rule
By Joann Alumbaugh
Demonstrators at the World Trade Organization talks in Seattle last month
did a grave disservice to millions of poverty-stricken, undernourished
people throughout the world. When they finished fraying the fragile
thread between member countries, they went back to their hotel rooms or
warm, dry homes and ate food - food that was heated in an appliance or
kept cold with refrigeration. Food that was purchased at a nearby store
or fresh from a market. They didn't need to worry whether it was safe or
fresh when they bought it - that's a given.
The people dressed in butterfly suits and turtle shells may have naively
thought they were "protecting" the meek, In reality, their arrogance and
ignorance set back a policy that could have paved the way for universal
guidelines on world food production.
We need a sensible, reasonable approach to world trade, something our own
national leaders, not to mention a noisy group of activists, seem
incapable of grasping.
When activists find an audience, either live or through television
cameras, their carefully orchestrated demonstrations have a significant
impact on an unassuming public. We've seen it happen with a number of
"scares" that turned out to be unjustified.
Somehow, sound science, knowledge and reason must prevail if America
hopes to continue as a major provider in a global food system. The
relationships we form with other countries must hinge on trust,
cooperation and inter-dependency. A food system with these qualities at
its core will have the potential to dramatically reduce world hunger and
stimulate sustainable economic
growth for all countries.
Rising standards of living throughout the world make it possible for
people to upgrade their diets with more protein, dairy products,
vegetables and fruit.
The long-term goal is to help developing countries gain the knowledge and
expertise to improve their own capabilities to grow food. That will allow
economic growth to enhance demand for value-added products.
We have two choices for growing additional food: make more land available
for growing crops or better utilize the land that's already in
production. Science and technology make it possible to maximize the
latter without sacrificing health, safety or the environment.
We obviously need thorough research of new technologies and farming
practices, and they must be performed under practical conditions that
mimic "real world" situations. We feel these criteria can be met within
a framework of reasonable risk.
Historic change, like the one we just experienced on the calendar, is
shifting the baseline, forcing us to reevaluate some of the paradigms
we've accepted in the past. If you want to survive, you don't fight
change. You adapt to it. In the long run, adaptability and flexibility
are your greatest strengths.
JOANN ALUMBAUGH is the executive editor of Kansas Farmer.
Her e-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
YOU'RE PAYING TOO MUCH FOR THE INTERNET!
Juno now offers FREE Internet Access!
Try it today - there's no risk! For your FREE software, visit:
To Unsubscribe: Email email@example.com with the command
"unsubscribe sanet-mg". If you receive the digest format, use the command
To Subscribe to Digest: Email firstname.lastname@example.org with the command
All messages to sanet-mg are archived at:
This archive was generated by hypermail 2b29 : Sun Mar 12 2000 - 14:00:24 EST