Senators Richard Lugar (R-IN) and Dick Casey seek to combat hunger through a new bill, the Global Food Security Act of 2009. Stressing the importance of long-term agricultural development, the bill marks a shift away from traditional aid methods in favor of enabling the hungry to feed themselves.
The legislation has not surfaced without discontent, however.
A recent backlash by civil society organizations decries the bill as deceitful, for though it purports to tackle food insecurity, it brandishes biotechnology as the solution. Several organizations, including the World Bank, United Nations, and the Union of Concerned Scientists, have found GMO technology to be not only ineffectual on crop yields, but in fact unsuitable for the developing world. Food First Analyst Annie Shattuck takes it a step further, arguing that the bill is “simply more corporate welfare,” as it forces open foreign markets for the flooding of agricultural inputs and technologies.
Among the host of opponents to S. 384, traditional environmental organizations have an unconventional ally: Credo Mobile. Just last week, the progressive cell service provider gained 4,000 petition signatures for its campaign to strip the Casey-Lugar Act of its biotech mandate in the first hour. By July 13th, that number had climbed to 25,953 – an astounding achievement in only several days’ time. Calling itself the “greenest phone company” in the U.S., Credo supports and a variety of progressive campaigns, including the initiation of torture investigations and a repeal of the Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA).