Letter: Banana battle
Monday 12 April 1999
Sir: You are wrong to suggest that the European Union should admit defeat in the banana war (leading article, 8 April).
This is certainly not the first time in recent history that "free trade" rules have been used to undermine broadly beneficial activities in favour of the financial interests of large companies.
In 1998 the Canadian government was obliged, under North American free trade rules, to reverse a ban on a toxic petrol additive and two Mexican local authorities were sued for preventing US companies from establishing toxic-waste dumps in their jurisdictions.
Nor, if we give up on the small Caribbean banana farmers, will it be the last time that trade rules are used in this way. One GM company admits to a target which will make the whole of the US soya crop genetically engineered for 2000.
We have a right to halt imports which threaten our health, environment and economy. If the World Trade rules do not allow this then they must be changed. The only argument against this is that biotech companies might suffer.
Which is more important - their profits or our future?
Green Party Agriculture Working Group
Grace Dent on TV The Secret Life of the Pub is sexist, ageist and a breath of fresh air
Art Megumi Igarashi criticises Japan's 'backwards' attitude to women's sexual expression
tv Singer could become the most unlikely star of Westeros
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 I've been called an abusive and dangerous parent, when all I did was listen to my transgender child
- 2 Migrant crisis: Greek soldier saved 20 people singlehandedly off Rhodes beach
- 3 Sofyen Belamouadden murder: The inside story of a crime that horrified Britain
- 4 Company breaks open Apple Watch to discover what it says is 'planned obsolescence'
- 5 Ian Brady: Moors murderer announces his support for Ukip and the SNP
Poldark episode 8, review: How a costume drama became a Sunday night swoon-fest
Al Pacino admits he was nearly fired from The Godfather and it's still his most 'difficult role'
Warner Music owner Len Blavatnik tops Sunday Times Rich List
The day I starred in Only Fools and Horses
Peter Kay’s Car Share, TV review: The perfect vehicle for Kay’s comic talents
General Election 2015: Chuka Umunna on the benefits of immigration, humility – and his leader Ed Miliband
The sickening truth about food banks that the Tories don't want you to know
Migrant boat disaster: Ukip candidate mocks victims in sickening Twitter post
Nigel Farage wants the BBC to stop making programmes like Doctor Who, Strictly Come Dancing, and Top Gear
Global warming: Scientists say temperatures could rise by 6C by 2100 and call for action ahead of UN meeting in Paris
General Election 2015: Britain would become a 'communist dictatorship' under Ed Miliband and Nicola Sturgeon, claims wife of Michael Gove