UN Expert Says Biofuels Are Like Blood
Diamonds, Myanmar and Forced Labor, Antitrust is Needed
Byline: Matthew Russell Lee of
Inner City Press at the UN: News Analysis
October 27 -- The current UN
rapporteur on the right to food, Olivier de Schutter, on Monday called
break-up of agribusiness conglomerates and for imposition of blood diamond-like restrictions on the sale of
biofuels. Despite the sweeping nature of these recommendations, when
Press asked him about the work of Jean Ziegler, his predecessor, de
Ziegler's positions "polemical, shall we say." Ziegler called
biofuels a "crime against humanity." De Schutter says they do not
help the environmental, and need to be restricted. As one wag put it,
Schutter is a Ziegler with a more erudite vocabulary.
Press asked de Schutter about food for work programs, particularly in
Myanmar. While de Schutter called such
conditional aid defensible in some circumstances -- he mentioned India,
a country he also spoke about
in May -- he
said that "Burma has a serious history of forced labor and servitude"
and that he would look into any complaints of such food for work
that country. Video here,
from Minute 43.
De Schutter at UN: Burma follow-through not yet shown
that his report mentions a need for more antitrust enforcement, Inner
Press asked if this should be directed at mergers or the deconstruction
existing conglomerates, with Cargill and ADM in mind.
De Schutter went further, talking about the
vertical integration of the seeds, fertilizer and pesticide product
should be noted that the UN invited Monsanto to an event about solving
Press asked de Schutter, with cameras rolling, about General Assembly
d'Escoto Brockmann having named him a senior special advisor. De
said he was honored, and would meet with d'Escoto the next day. Inner
Press asked, when did he offer you the post? August 29, de Schutter
when Inner City Press asked if he knows Canadian Maude Barlow,
another of d'Escoto's advisors, on water, de Schutter said he didn't.
be traveling to Ottawa and Montreal soon.
Asked about another fellow advisor to d'Escoto,
Ramsey Clark, de
Schutter did not reply. We aim to report on what he does about Myanmar.
Watch this site, and this Oct. 2 debate, on
UN, bailout, MDGs
and this October 17 debate, on
Security Council and Obama and the UN.
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