Some good info here on the coalition of the unwilling (see Notes).

Also the US has just launched a WTO complaint over ag against its supposed ally, Mexico - see: US complains to WTO about Mexico's anti-dumping duties

But that's far from the only way Uncle Sam's hitting its ally:
"The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) was signed in an effort to stimulate Mexican economic growth and thereby stem illegal immigration. But exports for one of Mexico's main crops, sugar, are severely restricted by U.S. quotas that limit imports from Mexico to only 7,258 metric tons of raw sugar. Thus, while American consumers pay four times the world price for their sugar, Mexican sugar farmers, like West African cotton growers, face penury and hunger. At the same time, heavily subsidized U.S. corn exports threaten to drive Mexican campesinos off their land and into the dangerously hot trucks of the smugglers who ship illegal immigrants across the U.S. border.

"It is these sorts of American inconsistencies and double standards, far more than envy of our success or hatred of our freedoms, that cause alienation from America and that make the United States appear to many abroad as a rogue nation."

That incisive analysis comes from the man who was counselor to the secretary of Commerce in the Reagan administration!
18 Jun 2003

Friends of the Earth International, the world's largest environmental network, has urged the European Union to stand firm against the United State's aggressive attempt to force genetically modified (GM) foods into Europe.The two sides meet tomorrow (Thursday) in Geneva as part of the official consultation process.

The US started proceedings against the EU's de facto moratorium through the World Trade Organisation (WTO) on 13th May 2003, along with Argentina, Canada and Egypt, and supported by nine other countries.But as the trade war reaches its first stage, Friends of the Earth pointed out that the coalition, and its arguments, are "weak and on shaky ground".This is because:

* Egypt, El Salvador and Honduras will not now take part in the official WTO consultation.

* Canada has distanced itself from the US, requesting a separate consultation with the EU.

* Many of the countries originally supporting the US also have either bans or moratoria for GMO products, including New Zealand (moratorium on planting GMOs), Australia (regional bans), Peru (ban on GMO crops), El Salvador (ban on GMO seeds) and Mexico (ban on GM corn) [1].

* India, a big agricultural country, has also requested to take part in the consultations.India is in the process of developing

* Last week the 50th ratification of the UN Biosafety Protocol was announced, so the Treaty will enter into force in 2003 [2].

Eve Mitchell, Trade Campaigner at Friends of the Earth said:

''The US-led attempt to force-feed the world genetically modified foods appears to be losing support.The right of countries to take a precautionary approach on any new technology is fundamental to protecting people and the environment.The EU must stand firm in this dispute not only for its own sake but also for the increasing number of world citizens who are concerned about GM.''

Ricardo Navarro, chair of Friends of the Earth International said:

The US administration, pushed by corporate lobby groups, resorted to the use of the undemocratic and secretive WTO in an attempt to force GM foods to the world into Europe.But decisions about GM policies should not be made at the WTO or the White House.


[1] National or regional bans on GMOs


Four Australian States have currently placed a moratorium on GMO crops:Western Australia and Tasmania for 5 years; New South Wales 3 years and Victoria for 1 year.South Australia - won't allow planting this year but has not placed a moratorium.The reasons vary between adopting a more precautionary approach and preserving marketing opportunities. n

New Zealand

In 2001, the New Zealand Parliament passed an amendment to the HSNO Act to temporarily prevent applications to release GM organisms and to make specific controls on field testing mandatory for a two-year period.It was imposed to give New Zealand the time to investigate potential benefits from GM technology and explore ways to more effectively minimise any risks.


In a letter to the European Commission the Peruvian Ministry of Trade stated that according to the 'Law on Transgenic Foods and Genetically Modified Organisms', it is strictly prohibited in Peru to import, by any means, produce, sell and/or market transgenic foods and genetically modified organisms (GMOs) for human or animal consumption


According to information from the European Commission, Mexico has suspended authorizations for large-scale commercial growing of genetically-modified corn within its territory, due to ongoing discussions on their potential impact on wild relatives and traditional crops.,

Mexico has also ratified the Biosafety Protocol.

El Salvador

A Seeds law approved on the 30th of September 2001 forbids cultivation of GM seeds.


India has adopted or is intending to adopt legislation on genetically-modified organisms, in accordance with its recent ratification of the Cartagena Biosafety Protocol.

[2] U.N.treaty regulating biotech crops to become law, FoEI press release, see Friends of the Earth International