Schiller Institute in Denmark Testifies about the World Food Crisis, this Time in the Parlament Agriculture Committee
Today, Tom Gillesberg, chairman of
the Schiller Institute in Denmark, joined by a delegation of five
from the Schiller Institute and LaRouche Youth Movement, brought
the international SI campaign on the food crisis to the Danish
Parliament's Agriculture Committee, and called for them to act to
put the SI program to double food production on the agenda of the
Rome FAO conference. There were at least nine MPs present,
including representatives from all but one of the seven
During the polemical 15-minutes of allotted testimony and
question period, Gillesberg attacked the environmentalist
policies of the leftists in the room, and the free-trade policies
of the rightists, leaving no one untouched. Gillesberg's opening
speech was similar to his May 22 testimony in the Foreign Policy
Committee (see May 23 briefing), but with a sharper attack
against financial speculation, an attack against Prince Philip's
overpopulation theory, and a call for shutting down the WTO, not
only changing its policies.
Afterwards, the chairman grouped the questions together
(This is a partial report, and all of the following are
Q: from a member of the traditional farm party, which is
also a liberal free market party: This goes against the trend,
and you had many relevant objections. Isn't it so that high
prices will generate more production? And where did you get the
figure that the amount of corn used for biofuels, which I
personally am against, could feed 130 million people?
Gillesberg: The figures about biofuels come from EIR, and you have
the documentation. Even though it's only a small part of the
global grain production that goes to biofuels, it has played a
key role in creating shortages and driving up the prices. Only
12% of the world food production that actually goes through the
world market, but the attempt is to let that 12% set the price
for food everywhere. Instead, we need national programs for food
production, where the price is based on the physical cost of
production in the country.
Q: From a Social Democrat: Do you mean that we should just
use more pesticides and have more farm subsidies? Regarding
subsidies for our farmers, that would just prevent competition
from Third World farmers. You just want to do the opposite of the
policy changes that have been made during the last years?
The problem is that GATT and the WTO, with gunboat-style
diplomacy, have been forcing countries not to protect and not to
support their national food production, and countries that were
formerly self-sufficient in food production are now in big
trouble, because they can't import the food they need. For
example, Haiti (clay cakes).
The problem for the countries in Africa, is that they have
not been allowed to use protective tariffs to protect their
national production of food against cheap imports from outside.
Food policy should not be decided by speculators, but by
You have to have a policy of creating a food surplus, so you
have enough food to deal with, not only a bad harvest or two, but
an emergency, like a volcanic eruption, which would impair food
production for several years.
The attack against popular opinion was so sharp that a MP from the
Socialist Peoples Party, came bursting out of the room to
continue the debate, saying, "You didn't answer the question
about the environmental restrictions on pesticides and
fertilizers?" In summary, the debate went as follows: Gillesberg said
that we have to be responsible about land use, but the most
important thing is to feed the people first. MP: Ecological
farming methods only reduce output by 10%-15%. Istogu-Gillesberg: Do you
care about the 2 billion people not being properly fed? MP: Yes.
Both Schiller-Institute representatives: Then we have to use modern methods.
MP: Not if it does irreparable damage to nature and the ground water. Then he
said he had no more time and went back into the room.