WikiLeaks Cables Confirm U.S. Efforts to Push Genetically Engineered Food Abroad

HeadlineAug 29, 2011

U.S. diplomatic cables recently released by the whistleblower website WikiLeaks reveal how the United States has pushed foreign governments to buy genetically engineered (GE) crops and promote the interests of agribusiness giants such as DuPont and Monsanto. Dozens of newly released cables detail how the United States has instituted so-called “bio-technology outreach programs” throughout Africa, Asia and South America in order to establish a foothold for the biotech agriculture industry. U.S. efforts have been particularly robust in Europe, where there is a strong anti-GE food movement. A 2007 cable describes a meeting at the U.S. embassy in Paris between U.S. diplomats and representatives from Monsanto, DuPont and Dow AgroSciences. The companies’ spokesmen reportedly described their concerns regarding a movement of French farmers, who were vandalizing GE crop farms at the time. The cables also confirm reports that the U.S. government, as well as philanthropic foundations and agribusiness companies, have set up front groups in countries such as Tunisia, Mozambique and South Africa to promote biotech agriculture.

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