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Rutgers Model United Nations - IDIA

Rutgers Model United Nations - IDIA

Rutgers

Rutgers Model United Nations 13 potentially harmful ramifications. The treaty was ratified by 103 parties, including the European Union, the United States, Argentina, Brazil and Germany. 54 Bloc Positions State positions on genetically engineered foods vary according to crop production, import, export, and consumption, as well as whether or not the state adopted an official policy regarding genetically engineered foods. Positions also vary by region, with developing states often in greater need of food donations as opposed to developed states. North America The United States, being the leading producer of genetically engineered crops, supports the use and distribution of GM foods. The United States mixes any genetically engineered crops with conventional crops, thus a labeling system is not required in its domestic markets. The United States is also the lead donator of food supplies to international relief efforts, and therefore problems arise during food donations. For example, when Zambia refused GM food donations, it was in essence denying all US food donations. Consumers in the United States do have health concerns over GM foods, but due to the lack of consistent labeling and the process of mixing GM foods with natural foods for sale, these concerns are limited. Scientist conducted experiments on mice, and while the results were negative, concern over detrimental effects of genetically modified crops is not widespread in the United States. Canada and Mexico, unlike the United States, are not prominent in the genetically engineered foods market. Both states, however, could benefit from the use of genetically engineered crops due to their distinct climates. Canada would benefit from crops specifically designed to survive cold weather, while Mexico could use crops designed to grow in drier environments. These states need to consider their citizens during any decision-making processes, as their attitudes towards GM foods can have extreme effects on the market demand for such foods. 54 “International Treaty on Plant Genetic Resources for Food and Agriculture”, http://www.ukabc.org/ITPGRe.pdf

Rutgers Model United Nations 14 Latin America South American states may divide on the issue, depending on their trade relationships with major states in the continent. Brazil, like the United States, is a major exporter of GM foods and devotes significant amounts of land to the harvest of genetically engineered crops. Venezuela, on the other hand, is in staunch opposition to the use of GM foods and recently dissolved a contract in which Monsanto, a US company, would use Venezuelan land for agribusiness. Once the Venezuelan government found out about Monsanto’s plans to plant GM foods on the land, it used the information as grounds to break the contract and prevent the company from moving into the state. Africa African states, for the majority, tend to be developing states in need of food donations. Since the majority of food donated is from the United States and this food may be genetically engineered, African states need to consider any regulations regarding GM foods. Zambia tried to ban all imports of genetically engineered foods in the past, but eventually gave in to the pressure from starving citizens and allowed the genetically modified crops into the state. A ban on GM foods is crucial, especially in extremely impoverished regions where food is scarce and expensive. Genetically modified crops also serve to benefit African states with the potential that these foods can be modified to include vaccines against Malaria, AIDS, Hepatitis and other contagious diseases and viruses. In African states where healthcare and adequate medication are rare, infusing staple foods with these vaccines can save millions of lives. Europe Europe, predominantly the members of the European Union, is against the harvest and trade of GM foods. The European Union placed strict restrictions on certain foods, most notably their restriction on rice. Genetically modified rice cannot be imported into the European Union, and as a result, the US rice industry suffered setbacks after accidental inclusion of genetically modified rice into normal rice exports. Russia has set

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