Sat, 5/12: Globalizing Agribusiness: Free Trade, Factory Farms, and Genetically Modified Food Panel at Brooklyn Food Conference

Learn how the Obama administration and Congress are helping corporate agribusiness use NAFTA-style free trade agreements to create markets worldwide for genetically modified crops and factory farmed animal products at the expense of consumers, farmers, workers, animals, and the environment. Find out what we can do to stop it.

Date: Saturday, May 12th, 2012

Time: 2:00pm until 3:15pm

Part of the Brooklyn Food Conference

Brooklyn Technical High School, Room 5W12



John Maher, Adjunct Professor of Law at Touro Law, will discuss globalization of GMOs – Do such technologies cause an unacceptable economic and political imbalance between supplier, grower and consumer in terms of environmental safety, labeling and consumer choice and environmental conservation. Is there any choice at all to avoid use of or exposure to GMOs under the political economy and legal system?

John E. Peck, Executive Director, Family Farm Defenders, will discuss how corporate agribusiness is “earning” carbon credits for building factory farms in the global south.

Adam Weissman of Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, will explore:

– How agribusiness is creating global markets for factory farmed animal products by pushing for agricultural tariff elimination and sanitary standards harmonization

– the use of World Trade Organization challenges to attack import bans on foods produced by methods that compromise food safety, endanger wildlife, and cause animal suffering and to prohibit product labeling that helps consumers avoid unsustainable, inhumane, and dangerous foods.

– how first world factory farm exports are driving agriculture in the rest of the world in the direction of factory farming to remain competitive

– why this threatens farming communities, the environment, animal welfare, and global health.

Tools, Skills or Messages Participants Will Take Home:

John: The method, globalization, by which the neo-liberal pan-nation states have eliminated “choice” while propounding that humans live in an era of expanding freedoms will be explained.”

Adam: Participants will learn how, by driving the factory farm globalization, free trade agreements threatens animal welfare, public health, family farms, and the environment and learn how they can take action at a grassroots level to advocate for fairer international trade policies.

About the Presenters

John Maher is an animal lawyer and adjunct professor of Animal Law at Touro Law Center. He represents Best Friends Animal Society and is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania (Wharton) and NYLS.

Adam Weissman works with Global Justice for Animals and the Environment, opposing trade agreements that endanger animals, ecology, food safety, and human rights, and TradeJustice NY Metro, a coalition fighting NAFTA-style trade agreements

John E. Peck is the Executive Director of Family Farm Defenders. He grew up on a 260 acre farm in central Minnesota, has a B.A. in Economics from Reed College and a PhD in Land Resources from UW-Madison. He has been the Executive Director of Family Farm Defenders for the last decade, and is also a part-time instructor of Economics and Environmental Studies at Madison Area Technical College (MATC).  His graduate research focused on community-based management of common property resources in Zimbabwe.   He attended the 1992 Earth Summit in Rio de Janeiro in 1992 and participated in global justice events surrounding the WTO meeting Seattle in 1999, as well as FTAA meetings in Quebec in 2001 and Miami in 2003.  He has been part of solidarity delegations to Ainaro, East Timor in 2005 and Oaxaca, Mexico 2008, and also participated in the 2007 Nyeleni Food Sovereignty Conference in Selengue, Mali, the Fifth Conference of La Via Campesina in Maputo, Mozambique in 2008, as well as the 2009 U.N. Climate Change Conference in Copenhagen, Denmark.

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