Massive US Government Subsidies for GE Soybeans

As the largest category within the US soy crop GM varieties are the
principal beneficiary of huge subsidies now being paid by the US government
to its soy farmers. According to the Farmers Weekly report below a
staggering figure of nearly 70% of US soy bean value now comes from the US
government. This has caused a 25% increase in soy planting in the US since
1998, and a consequent collapse in world oilseed prices.

In the process the US government has created an artificial domestic and
international market for US soy, the world's largest source of genetically
modified food and animal feed. In effect US farm subsidy policy is
artificially promoting GM production at the expense of other non-gm oilseeds
grown around the world which do not receive similar levels of subsidy.

From this it is clear that the US's commitment to free world trade in the
agricultural sector is something of a fraud, and EU (i.e in practice non-gm)
oilseed producers are now threatening to take the US to the World Trade
Organisation unless subsidies to US soy bean growers are cut. If such a
challenge were successful the competitive position of the world's largest
genetically modified crop is likely to be considerably reduced.

Previous reports suggest US farmers are already starting to push GM crops
into US government loan programmes when they are not saleable on the open

"Nelson thinks the loan guarantees that the U.S. government extends to
farmers keeps them from listening to consumers who don't want transgenic
crops......The government guarantees a price for beans. If there's no
demand, so what? We're guaranteed a price.' " CropChoice News,, March 28, 2001

"I will put the maize under government loan. That way if this [starlink GM
corn] problem get worse I can just dump it on the government next year and
say you guys created this monster; you clean it up." US farmer and GM seed
salesman, Nebraska, (Farmers Weekly, 7 December 2000).

Meanwhile it would appear from these experiences that 'free-trade' in
agricultural products means at least two things to the American Government :
forcing consumers to buy things they don't want providing large taxpayer
revenues to produce those things in the first place. It would seem that the
command economy model did not die with the Soviet Union.

The question is - for whose benefit is this command economy being created?
And don't assume that the beneficiaries are US farmers whose returns
continue to plummet. We suggest you look elsewhere in the food chain (clue:
take a look at where congressmen get their sponsorship from):

How the hell could you run a business like mine if you dont have
communications with the people who make the decisions......There isnt one
grain of anything in the world that is sold in a free market. Not one! The
only place you see a free market is in the speeches of politicians. Dwayne
O. Andreas, Archer Daniels Midland - RATS IN THE GRAIN: The Dirty
Tricks and Trials of Archer Daniels Midland The Supermarket to the World by
James B. Lieber

("'probably no one since the trust chieftains of the late nineteenth and
early twentieth centuries has drawn more on the connection between business
and politics or done as much to cultivate governments and officials' as
Dwayne O. Andreas.....this book ....... is a must read for those who are
concerned about the so-called 'free market system, the growing corporate
concentration in agribusiness which allows corporations to not only freely
operate in their own self-serving interests, but allows them to corrupt and
destroy our democratic institutions and rape Lady Justice." AGRIBUSINESS
EXAMINER, Issue # 85 August 16, 2000
For more on this see also:


Farmers Weekly Editorial 4 May 2001

US soya "loans' are subsidies in disguise

When is a subsidy not a subsidy? Answer: When it is dressed up as a
marketing loan and paid by the US government.

Despite its 1996 Freedom to Farm Act, the US has been remarkably adept
at getting extra cash into producers' pockets. As the newly-formed European
Oilseeds Association points out, almost 70 °/o of the soya bean value now
comes from the US government. That compares with just 30% to EU oilseed

So US claims that it has not distorted competition are looking increasingly
shaky. At a time when prices have been falling, soya production has rocketed
the opposite to market expectations.

That cannot be allowed to continue. The EU commission should redress the
balance, either by paying our oilseed producers more, or by taking the US to
the World Trade Organisation in Geneva.

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