Border protection criticized for detaining French farmerI guess the United States doesn't want us to have it your way...
BY JOSEPH MALLIA
February 9, 2006, 9:05 PM EST
Labor and anti-globalization activists Thursday criticized U.S. Border Protection officials who detained French farmer Jose Bove this week at Kennedy Airport, then sent him back to France and prevented him from attending an international labor conference in Manhattan.
Bove, who shot to international prominence after he and other sheep farmers dismantled a McDonald's under construction in southern France in 1999, now travels the world as an advocate of local food production. In addition to a 6- month jail term for destroying the McDonald's, he also has been jailed for ripping up genetically modified crops.
Genetically modified crops are a topic that has slipped under the radar for most people, except my good friend, Ed Bremson at The Tao Of Politics (and its sister blog, The Tao of Biotechnology. Both are required reading, and there will be a quiz).
I'm on the fence on this issue: GMCs have the potential to wipe out hunger in our time. They also have the potential to wipe out whole populations, and whole economies and environments. A dangerous technology, to be sure, and one more insidious and pervasive than nuclear technology, to which its danger has been likened.
It was one thing to bar Cat Stevens from entering the country (altho it could have been handled better). He had actively supported madrassahs that taught hatred for infidels, including America. While I do not believe he personally would have committed a terrorist act, I do not think it sends the right signal to give him entreé into this country, at least on a "business as usual" basis.
But to bar a farmer who, altho one might classify them as terrorist acts, committed what amounts to a statement of revolt against forces he felt were imposing on the sovereignty of not just his country, but his profession, is silly. It tells me that McDonald's and Monsanto have influence on foreign policy and trade far beyond what should be deemed appropriate.
biotechnology, genetically modified crops, France, Jose Bove, McDonald's, Monsanto