IAHF List: Please go to the website listed below and see the photos accompanying the article listed below my comments.
A Korean farmer committed suicide at the WTO Protest in Cancun Mexico on September 10th. Vitamin consumers world wide should be paying attention, because his suicide is indicative of the serious threat posed to consumer access to dietary supplements by Codex and the WTO.
Please read this article, and as you do, please grasp its signifance to vitamin consumers. The FDA has set the USA up to lose in a future WTO Trade Dispute over our vitamin law. Congress whitewashed an oversight hearing on March 20, 2001 where the truth regarding this did not come out due to pharmaceutical manipulation of the hearing which blocked IAHF from testifying to the criminal actions of Dr.Beth Yetley of the FDA, who is setting us up to lose in a WTO trade dispute via her illegal actions at Codex.
The only way we can protect our vitamin laws in the USA and globally is to make donations to the Alliance for Natural Health via http://www.alliance-natural-health.org so they can file their lawsuit no later than the middle of October to overturn the illegal EU Food Supplement Directive which threatens to result in a very restrictive vitamin standard being driven through at Codex, then expanded on later.
Unless far more people heed my warning and donate to this lawsuit, it might not get filed. If it doesn't get filed, a time will come when it won't only be farmers committing suicide at WTO Demostrations- vitamin consumers will also be committing suicide, and not just at demonstrations, but in total despair, at home, because they won't be able to get the supplements they desperately need for serious medical conditions.
Make no mistake about it- we're up against a genocide agenda and food control = people control....
Say the Truth and Exclude Agriculture from WTO!" / 'Diga la verdad y no incluye la agricultura en la OMC!' Current rating: 7
by Anuradha Mittal
Email: foodfirst( (at) )foodfirst.org (unverified!)
Phone: 510 654-4400 229 11 Sep 2003
Modified: 12 Sep 2003
Analysis of the events of Sept. 10th
:: ver video ::
Analisis sobre los eventos del 10 Septiembre.
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**español + english**
The events of 10 September make it clear that peoples throughout the world have turned their backs on an institution that has become a source of global poverty, inequality, disempowerment, and environmental crisis. Once presented as the premier institution of economic global governance of the 21st century, the actions of the WTO over the last eight years--moves taken at the behest of the powerful corporate interests in the United States and the EU--have revealed it to be nothing but an instrument of corporate power.
"Say the Truth and Exclude the Agriculture from WTO!"
"I am 56 years old, a farmer from South Korea, who have strived to solve our problems ourselves with a great hope in the ways to organize farmers unions, but is the one who have failed mostly as like many other farm leaders elsewhere. Soon after the Uruguay Round Agreement was settled, we, Korean fellow farmers, and myself realized that our destinies are out of our hands already. Further, so powerlessly of ourselves, we could not do anything but just looking the waves that destroyed our lovely rural communities that had settled-downed over the hundred years. To make myself be brave, I have tried to search the real reasons for and the major forces of those waves. Reaching to my conclusion now here in Geneva, at the front gate of the WTO, I am crying out my words to you that have been boiled so long time in my body:
For whom do you negotiating now? For the people or for yourselves?
Stop taking your WTO negotiations of fallacy logics and of words of diplomatic gestures.
Exclude the Agriculture from the WTO system."
These are the words of Kyung-Hae Lee, former President of the Korean Advanced Farmers Federation, who took his life in front of the police barricades, set up to shut out the voices of campesinas, most affected by the World Trade Organization.
Quoted in Korea AgraFood, April 2003, Mr. Lee shared what the sudden drop in prices--sometimes as much as a four-times cut meant to the farmers. He asked, "How would be your emotional reaction if your salary drops suddenly to a half without knowing the reason?"
All over the world, trade liberalization in agriculture, has devastated livelihoods of small farmers. "One part, those farmers who gave up earlier his farming went to urban slum. The others who had tried to escape from the vicious cycle had to meet bankruptcy with accumulated debts mostly. For me, I couldn't do anything but just looking around his vacant house of old and eroding. Once I run to a house where a farmer abandoned his life by drinking a toxic chemical because of his uncontrollable debts. I also could do nothing but hearing the howling of his wife. If you were me, How you feel?
"My warning goes to the all citizens that human beings are in an endangered situation that uncontrolled multinational corporations and a small number of big WTO members officials are leading an undesirable globalization of inhumane, environment-distorting, farmer-killing, and undemocratic. It should be stopped immediately otherwise the false logic of the neo-liberalism will perish the diversities of agriculture and disastrously to all human being."
Earlier in the year, on 23 February, Mr. Kyung-Hae Lee, had set up a tent in front of the WTO headquarters in Geneva and started a solo protest against the agreement on agriculture of the WTO. On March 20, he began a hunger strike with picket boards expressing his outrage,"WTO Kills Farmers," "Stop Your Agricultural Negotiations."
And on September 10, Kyung-Hae Lee spoke out once again on behalf of millions of small family farmers around the world.
Around 14,000 farmers and indigenous peoples, with the delegation of South Korean farmers carrying a coffin in the funeral procession of the WTO, marched towards the convention center, at the opening of the ministerial. They were stopped at the police barricades while the sign boards welcomed visitors to the resort city of Cancun. Barriers and a massive security deployment kept them more than 10 kilometers (six miles) away from the convention center where ministers from the 146-member WTO started the ministerial to further their free trade agenda.
The Korean farmers rammed the coffin into the steel barricades as the Mexican military police watched in their full riot gear. Chanting "Death to the WTO," the farmers broke down and toppled a part of the barricades. Then the Korean farmers burnt the American flag, the sign of imperialism and a symbol of a colonizer to the poor, the indigenous, the starving, and homeless the world over. Kyung-Hae Lee climbed up with his banner and stabbed himself, protesting the free trade agreements which have enslaved our food producers.
For the Korean farmers who sat outside the hospital, Kyung-Hae Lee meant to "demonstrate opposition to the WTO, which is killing our farmers and destroying Korea's agriculture." WTO Director-General Supachai Panitchpakdi's response was, ""We all regret this sad incident. This self-inflicted wound has resulted in his death, so we do regret it."
In its press release, Via Camesina said that while those inside were discussing the elimination of so-called trade barriers, enormous barriers were being raised to silence the voices of the people affected by policies WTO has adopted. Our hearts mourn the death of our fellow farmer, Lee Kyong Hae. This act of self-immolation proves even more that the WTO means death and sorrow.
Kyung-Hae Lee, your words are etched in every heart and soul that gathered outside the hospital where you lay. The farmers around the world are rallying: "One more time we flatly and emphatically demand that the WTO takes the Agricultural Agreement (AoA) out of its agenda. We do not want one more death. We do not want people to continue to die of hunger; we do not want our land to die. WE DO NOT WANT ONE MORE DEATH." They are proposing that the negotiations at the convention center be suspended out of respect for the deceased.
Kyung-Hae Lee and every farmer who travelled this long distance to come to Cancun to express outrage and be heard--you havebeen heard. The grief at the sacrifice made by Kyung-Hae Lee and his family has reinvigorated the determination to wipe out the corporate regime of the WTO. No words can describe the look on the faces of the students, campesinas, the poor, and others who sat with lit candles outside the hospital. Trying to understand why the trade pushers push starvation for our food producers. This movement is grieving. But is even more determined.
Kyung-Hae Lee, you will be remembered forever, as is Emiliano Zapata and our other revolutionary leaders who have inspired generations of activists. Tears and determination are the molten lava of a volcano that is erupting in the streets of Cancun. Your obituary will read, "We are all Kyung-Hae Lee."
NGOs Protest and Shame the WTO
While thousands of campesinas and the indigenous peoples marched in the streets of Cancun, hoping to have their voices heard at the WTO Ministerial, activists from around 40 different groups, including Food First, and from countries around the world, including Pakistan, Thailand, India, Philippines, Uruguay, Canada, Sri Lanka, United States, participated in a peaceful protest and shamed the WTO in the convention center where the ministerial is being held.
As the opening ceremony got underway with Mr. Supachai Panitchpakdi, director general of the WTO, addressing the opening plenary, NGO representatives stood up holding signs which read, "Undemocratic WTO," "Obsolete WTO," and "Anti-Development WTO." When they tried to walk up and leave the room, they were stopped by the security guards and soon the plenary was drowned in the chants of "Shame."
This protest symbolized the fact that peoples throughout the world have turned their backs on an institution that has become a source of global poverty, inequality, disempowerment, and environmental crisis. Once presented as the premier institution of economic global governance of the 21st century, the actions of the WTO over the last eight years--moves taken at the behest of the powerful corporate interests in the United States and the EU--have revealed it to be nothing but an instrument of corporate power.
This first action at the Convention Center is a call to all to turn our backs to the WTO which puts profits over human rights, social equity, democracy, and ecology.
International Advocates for Health Freedom
POB 10632 Blacksburg VA 24062 USA