Saturday, March 28, 2009

Does Lugar-Casey bill=bribe for US GM food?

At first, I suspected that Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act was just a hippy hand out to foreigners, especially, since Lugar point blank says that he wants to give money to foreign universities:

Among other goals, it attempts to improve research capacity at foreign universities and the dissemination of technology through extension services.

& the email about a letter writing campaign only focuses on Mau-Mauing our Republican senator whilst ignoring our Democratic senator:

There will be free food and drinks in exchange for you walking and writing letters to Senator Voinovich regarding the Lugar-Casey Global Food Security Act. Work as ONE with other Ohio schools to raise awareness and eliminate global hunger!

However, it appears that there is a quid pro quo with this money:

It calls for increasing collaborative research on the full range of biotechnological advances including genetically modified technologies.

The gamble, of course, is that foreigners can steal &/or reverse engineer our patents & still refuse to import our food over some other trumped up rationalization for protectionism.


Although I am ambivalent about this bill, I went to the letter writing event. Most of the propaganda literature provided by the organizers focused on wealth redistribution for the sake of wealth redistribution. I wrote an ambivalently worded letter that emphasized possible benefits to the US if this bill passes:

I am writing on behalf of the ONE Campus Challenge support of the Casey-Lugar “Global Food Security Act” (S. 3529). I urge your staff to weigh the pros and cons of the proposed legislation. One of the measures, of investing into foreign universities’ genetically modified agricultural research, may help to lower the trade barriers currently faced by US food exports, and thus help to reduce our current trade imbalance.

Additionally, promoting the acceptance of genetically modified agricultural products will help to increase supply not only for food, but for biofuel. Increasing global food supplies will help to eliminate potential sources of instability that might be exploited by forces hostile to US national security.


The bill has cleared the Senate Foreign Relations Committee. I'm still skeptical about the efficacy of its stated objectives. This is basically a pork barrel project for US farmers domestically, & an attempt to bribe people to be our friends with free US tax payer paid food internationally. We tried to bribe the Somalis with food a few years ago & they repaid us by sending pirates to attack our food bribes for Kenya.

"U.S. Sen. Dick Lugar of Indiana saw his Global Food Security Act, S. 384, unanimously clear the Senate Foreign Relations Committee this week [04/03/2009]. Co-sponsored by Sen. Bob Casey of Pennsylvania, the bill seeks to improve the effectiveness and expand the reach of U.S. agriculture assistance to the developing world."

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