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PASSED: Food Welfare Act

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Glen-Rhodes
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PASSED: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu May 14, 2009 12:30 pm

GENERAL ASSEMBLY

Food Welfare Act
A resolution to reduce income inequality and increase basic welfare.

Category: Social Justice | Strength: Strong | Proposed by: Glen-Rhodes

---------------

Regretfully noting that starvation and malnutrition are prevalent within a multitudinous number of nations in distress, and further noting that such hunger oftentimes leads to unnecessary conflict,

Recognizing the need for assistance in the production and distribution of food in such nations, as well as the bountiful supplies and surpluses in various prosperous nations,

The World Assembly therefore

ENCOURAGES prosperous nations to support ailing nations when and however possible, to supplant the need of World Assembly intervention;

ENCOURAGES all nations to research more efficient irrigation and drainage technology to prevent crop shortages and wasteful water use; to research plant breeding techniques and soil fertilization techniques, as well as employ crop rotation, and weed, insect, and pest control;

ESTABLISHES the International Food Welfare Organization (IFWO) as the administrator of the processes of this act; authorizes the dispatching of IFWO scientists to nations needing assistance in the creation of beneficial farming practices;

ENACTS a surplus donation system in which national crop surpluses may be donated to the IFWO, while requiring nations to carefully manage the production of such surpluses so to neither promote nor condone wasteful agricultural practices; the IFWO shall be given the authority to distribute food rations to the people of nations undergoing severe economic depression, famine, or conflict which causes a shortage of food;

OUTLAWS governmental actions such as state-based food hoarding and unfair food distribution practices which deliberately produce famines and starvation; also outlaws such actions taken during crises such as famines, natural disasters, and refugee crises that are detrimental to the health and welfare of the people;

RECOGNIZING that under such circumstances a compelling governmental interest exists to protect the health and welfare of the people, the right of governments to seize food to supply to victims of such crises is granted, so long as such seizure is not detrimental to the larger population;

INITIATES the gradual reduction of protectionist and other practices, in regards to farming and food-related industries, that have the potential to severely harm international food trade; to determine when such practices have the potential to harm international food trade and regulate those practices, as well as to manage other international trade issues at the behest of the World Assembly, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is formed;

CONSTRUCTS the World Assembly Seedbank to store seeds as a source of planting where seeds are generally unavailable, due to natural disaster, disease outbreak, and war, as well as to protect the biodiversity of food crops; such seeds shall be collected as volunteered by nations; the IFWO shall manage the distribution of seeds when needed.

ESTABLISHES the World Assembly Emergency Crop Program, which shall be under the authority of the IFWO, and shall serve the purpose of growing those food crops that are major food-sources, but are unable to be stored in the World Assembly Seedbank; such food crops shall be distributed to nations, where they are a major food-source, during times of crises, when such food crops are generally unavailable.

---------------


Dr. Bradford Castro
Chief Ambassador, FAA
the Commonwealth of Glen-Rhodes
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Absolvability
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu May 14, 2009 12:40 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:INITIATES the gradual reduction of protectionist and other practices, in regards to farming and food-related industries, that have the potential to severely harm international food trade; to determine when such practices have the potential to harm international food trade, as well as to manage other international trade issues at the behest of the World Assembly, the International Trade Administration (ITA) is formed;


I'm glad to see this proposal again, in a way. The excerpt above is what I agree most strongly with. Some of the rest just seems a little... extreme. Some nations enjoy an isolationist policy and should not be held in any way partially responsible for international starvation even if they do have an abundance of 'food'.

I'm not generally a supportor of reducing protectionist practices, but I make exceptions when it comes to necessities of living. If these considerations could somehow be reflected... that is to say, if this proposal were less nationally intrusive and more confined to international trading policies, I'd advocate it completely.

As it stands, I believe the discussion under 'Access to Sweets' is more appropriate... should that, conversely, adapt a broader scale.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Sionis Prioratus » Thu May 14, 2009 12:45 pm

*snip*
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu May 14, 2009 1:10 pm

Absolvability wrote:Some nations enjoy an isolationist policy and should not be held in any way partially responsible for international starvation even if they do have an abundance of 'food'.

...if this proposal were less nationally intrusive and more confined to international trading policies, I'd advocate it completely.


The rest of the act creates a voluntary donation program and a voluntary biodiversity preservation program. It's neither intrusive nor is it a chastiser. It is purely, neutrally humanitarian.

As for my stance on free trade, I'm wholly opposed to what the WAEU-fanatics propose. A compromise between free and fair trade is possible, and I have set the first stone by creating the International Trade Administration. Note the differences between the int. trade clause in the WAEU, or even in the UN Global Food Distribution Act, and the int. trade clause here.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu May 14, 2009 2:12 pm

Glen-Rhodes wrote:ENCOURAGES prosperous nations to support ailing nations when and however possible, to supplant the need of World Assembly intervention;


This is a microcausm of the concerns I have. Again, I mention the instance of isolationists. It does seem there would be pressuring involved. On the other hand...

Glen-Rhodes wrote:OUTLAWS governmental actions such as state-based food hoarding and unfair food distribution practices which deliberately produce famines and starvation; also outlaws such actions taken during crises such as famines, natural disasters, and refugee crises that are detrimental to the health and welfare of the people;


Upon closer inspection I see that you only outlaw practices that deliberately produce famines and starvation, not necessarily someone who does not feel obligated to assist. I can agree with this.

I can also agree that most of your proposal appears, to most extents (and not to say by any means that this proposal is minimal in any way,) voluntary. I think if the first clause I quoted could echo better the intentions of the latter, I would certainly support this.

Which isn't to say I may not support it anyway, considering your counter-arguements. Hmm... something I must think on. I hope you will too.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu May 14, 2009 5:25 pm

Absolvability wrote:I think if the first clause I quoted could echo better the intentions of the latter, I would certainly support this.

The two really aren't related. The aim of the latter is to stop dictatorships from not feeding their people, not to try and force international aid. The opening clause is a standard gesture when speaking of humanitarian aid; it's usually the rich helping the poor. That being said, there's no reason to revise the opening clause. In any case, I don't think that it would be a terrible thing that isolationists would feel a bit of pressure from the international community to help out their neighbors when possible. Nobody's saying they have to defend them in war.
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Osgarna
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Osgarna » Thu May 14, 2009 5:37 pm

Due to the anti-protectionist measures in this proposal, Osgarna cannot support it. We are very much willing to give away surplus food, but we cannot allow big businessmen to run roughshod over our small farmers.

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Mudkips
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Mudkips » Thu May 14, 2009 5:55 pm

The Mudkip's Republic cannot support any legislation that so blatantly infringes not only on national sovereignty but individual property rights.

Perhaps the people of the 'ailing nations' should lern2agriculture and not have so many tadpoles that they clearly cannot support.

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Fri May 15, 2009 12:41 pm

Osgarna wrote:Due to the anti-protectionist measures in this proposal, Osgarna cannot support it. We are very much willing to give away surplus food, but we cannot allow big businessmen to run roughshod over our small farmers.

This is exactly the scenario I have prevented with the free trade clause. Unless the World Assembly can prove that the protectionist devices used to protect the small farmers of Osgarna are severely harmful to international trade, then the ITA cannot demand that Osgarna cease the use of those devices. Given the description of Osgarna's farming industry, it does not play a large role in the international food trade, so I do not foresee any proof that custom duties would be harmful.

Mudkips wrote:The Mudkip's Republic cannot support any legislation that so blatantly infringes not only on national sovereignty but individual property rights.

Perhaps the people of the 'ailing nations' should lern2agriculture and not have so many tadpoles that they clearly cannot support.

Perhaps the delegation of the Mudkip's Republic should educate themselves in what national sovereignty and individual property rights are (not that the World Assembly has established such property rights), and then reassess whether or not the regulation of international trade falls under either. (Hint: It does not.)
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Bears Armed » Sat May 16, 2009 2:32 am

My government is not entirely happy about the suggested promotion of genetic modification in crops, although as that clause doesn't actually mandate any such research we could live with it.
I have been asked to point out that the seeds of some food plants only have very limited 'shelf-lives', and that certain crops have actually been bred into strains that no longer produce seeds at all (for example, certain productive & popular varieties of the Banana...), so that the proposed seed-bank should probably be supplemented by 'growing programmes' as appropriate.


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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Sat May 16, 2009 8:02 am

I agree completely with Representative Redwood. That being said though, we don't find the issue of seeds to be particularly important, simply because one does not NEED bananas to survive. 'Beggers can't be choosers,' as the saying goes. Which isn't to say that we disagree with the Representative, simply that we in the Rogue Nation have decided to support this proposal either way.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Bears Armed » Tue May 19, 2009 4:11 am

Bears Armed wrote:I have been asked to point out that the seeds of some food plants only have very limited 'shelf-lives', and that certain crops have actually been bred into strains that no longer produce seeds at all (for example, certain productive & popular varieties of the Banana...), so that the proposed seed-bank should probably be supplemented by 'growing programmes' as appropriate.
Also, there are useful crops that could be propagated from seeds but for which propagation from tubers or bulbs -- or maybe by cuttings -- is generally considered better, and these could benfit from the addition of growing programmes to this proposal as well...
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Tue May 19, 2009 12:19 pm

The purpose of the seedbank and the purpose of a growing program aren't too inter-related. The World Assembly Seedbank is tasked with storing seeds for emergency purposes; e.g. if the entire corn crop of a region is destroyed, the seedbank would be able to supply seeds for the next growing season. By my understanding of growing programs, the IFWO would already undertake this ("authorizes the dispatching of IFWO scientists to nations needing assistance in the creation of beneficial farming practices").

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu Jun 11, 2009 6:42 am

With my time freed up, I'm going to go ahead and reintroduce this to the General Assembly. Voice concerns or show appreciation.

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:17 am

OOC: How'd you send this to the top of the list with a single bump? I thought it was a NEW thread at first... then saw that I'd already commented on it like a month ago. Is there a trick I don't know? <_<
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Glen-Rhodes wrote:...genetic use restriction technology, such as seeds that produce plants with sterile seeds and seeds that require additional chemicals to be activated, is banned...

I really don't see why that should be banned. Particularly in nations that aren't having food problems. I mean... are you saying that I can no longer grow seedless watermelon in my nation? Basically.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:32 am

Absolvability wrote:I really don't see why that should be banned. Particularly in nations that aren't having food problems. I mean... are you saying that I can no longer grow seedless watermelon in my nation? Basically.

Banning genetic use restriction technology (hereafter "GURT") would not be akin to not allowing a company to grow seedless watermelons. The intent of the ban would be to prevent an entity, whether that be a large seed conglomerate or a government, from selling 'one-time-use' seeds, with the specific intent of forcing farmers to come back to that entity each and every growing season. Or, to prevent such entities from selling seeds that require an additional purchase of a specific chemical to 'activate' the seeds.

To be clear, growing seedless food products is not actually using GURT, which entails the usage of genetic engineering. Seedless watermelons are not directly genetically altered, they are created from good old-fashioned plant breeding techniques. If I recall correctly when studying the issue, seedless watermelons are the product of breeding a female in-bred tetraploid with a male diploid... well, let me just provide a relevant quote from Secretary of A&CP Stefan Reintz:

To get a seedless variety you cross a female tetraploid parent line with a male diploid parent (it doesn’t work if the male (pollen) is tetraploid and the female (egg) is diploid). The resulting hybrid is a triploid. Triploids have three sets of chromosomes that cannot segregate evenly during meiosis, so you cannot get gametes, so no seeds or pollen. Flowers and fruits appear normal, but they are sterile, so no seeds. H. Kihara invented this technique back in 1939 and its how you get seedless watermelon. Sounds simple but there are several difficult technical challenges. Producing an inbred tetraploid line that looks and tastes good, to use as the female hybrid, is not trivial. You then need a good diploid line to donate pollen, do the crosses and to find the correct combination that will give you healthy plants and good looking and tasting fruit. Those are the basics.


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OOC: How'd you send this to the top of the list with a single bump? I thought it was a NEW thread at first... then saw that I'd already commented on it like a month ago. Is there a trick I don't know? <_<

(OOC: I have a special "bump to the top" button that I press. :\ <--- sarcasm)
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu Jun 11, 2009 7:59 am

Glen-Rhodes wrote:PROMOTES the genetic modification of food crops where regular food crops are inefficient, to withstand pesticides and common pests, and to increase the longevity of food products; genetic use restriction technology, such as seeds that produce plants with sterile seeds and seeds that require additional chemicals to be activated, is banned; genetically modified food products shall be tested by the IFWO to ensure that no harm is done to their recipients;


The watermelons were a bad example. I don't know much about the topic, admittedly, but I figured a plant bearing no seeds was highly equivalent to a plant whose seeds were sterile. Your reasoning makes sense, but the wording of your proposal bans it altogether. By your explaination that doesn't seem to have been your intent, but the proposal makes no mention of who may sell what to whom... it just says that such practices are banned.

Besides, how you snuck that ban into a promotion of genetic modification clause I don't know.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:26 am

Absolvability wrote:The watermelons were a bad example. I don't know much about the topic, admittedly, but I figured a plant bearing no seeds was highly equivalent to a plant whose seeds were sterile. Your reasoning makes sense, but the wording of your proposal bans it altogether. By your explaination that doesn't seem to have been your intent, but the proposal makes no mention of who may sell what to whom... it just says that such practices are banned.

Besides, how you snuck that ban into a promotion of genetic modification clause I don't know.

It's GURT only if there's direct genetic engineering, involving scientific laboratories and the like. I figured it was pretty imperative to make clear what genetic modification are not permissible, and placing the ban in with the rest of the genetic modification clauses is the appropriate place. As for the intents not being made clear, I think it's clear that the proposal, and my intent, is quite clear in that the use of GURT is prohibited. In effect, the trade and sale of GURT products is also prohibited; you cannot sell something you cannot manufacture.

This article might provide more insight.

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Rutianas » Thu Jun 11, 2009 8:31 am

The Imperial Republic acknowledges this proposal draft and we are prepared to support this proposal.

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu Jun 11, 2009 9:04 am

Das Article wrote:However, not all developing countries are so fervently opposed to transgenic crops.

According to Epstein (1999), Brazilian farmers were upset when a federal court judge temporarily halted Monsanto’s plans to market transgenic soy in that country. Some farmers were keen to purchase the seed on the understanding that it may lower costs through the reduced requirement for fungicides, herbicides and insecticides which obviously has environmental benefits as well. One farmer told Epstein (1999) that he could save up to US$70 per hectare with GM crops. Jackson (1998) cites further cases of considerable financial and environmental savings (through a lesser use of chemicals) made with transgenic crops. It is understandable, given this scenario, why the developers of these technologies want to protect them.


There seems to be some economic value to it. Granted, this is a Food Welfare Act, and one-time-use seeds should not be donated to needy nations... because it is a very poor and temporary solution to a long-term problem. HOWEVER, I do not think banning it altogether is at all wise.

Perhaps, since this body doesn't wish to impose upon national sovereignty (though it is often times necessary,) GURT seeds need only be prohibited from being sold internationally.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Glen-Rhodes » Thu Jun 11, 2009 1:59 pm

Absolvability wrote:There seems to be some economic value to it. Granted, this is a Food Welfare Act, and one-time-use seeds should not be donated to needy nations... because it is a very poor and temporary solution to a long-term problem. HOWEVER, I do not think banning it altogether is at all wise.

Perhaps, since this body doesn't wish to impose upon national sovereignty (though it is often times necessary,) GURT seeds need only be prohibited from being sold internationally.

(OOC: We're straying in to OOC debate here...) I don't think it's reasonable to apply a single case where positive economic values may come from GURTs, namely because the case in question relies on theoretical evidence. GURTs have never been distributed and widely used, to my knowledge, so whatever positive economic impact is attributed to GURTs, it is completely theoretical. Of course, the negative economic impacts are also theoretical, but far outweigh whatever positive impacts might actually arise from the use of this specific technology. The intent and purpose of genetic use restriction technology is to establish a dependence on a certain entity, whether that be a business or a government. Natural pesticides and other bonuses are merely sweeteners, which can be obtained through genetic modification other that GURT (as evident by my encouraging nations to use genetic modification).

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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Absolvability » Thu Jun 11, 2009 2:41 pm

I've taken your points into consideration as well as having done a bit of research on my own. I find it to be very true that one can continue to genetically alter plants in a beneficial way under this proposal without making them infertile. Thank you for taking the time, Doctor. I'm in favor of this proposal.
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Bears Armed » Fri Jun 12, 2009 12:39 am

Glen-Rhodes wrote:The purpose of the seedbank and the purpose of a growing program aren't too inter-related. The World Assembly Seedbank is tasked with storing seeds for emergency purposes; e.g. if the entire corn crop of a region is destroyed, the seedbank would be able to supply seeds for the next growing season. By my understanding of growing programs, the IFWO would already undertake this ("authorizes the dispatching of IFWO scientists to nations needing assistance in the creation of beneficial farming practices").
I wasn't talking about 'growing programmes' for producing food [directly] in the nations concerned, I was talking about 'growing programmes' so that the seedbank would have that stock to distribute in emergencies. If the seeds of a particular crop don't keep indefinitely then planting crops & harvesting them for fresh seeds (to store) every few years would seem advisable, and if a given crop doesn't have seeds in the first place (such as the bananas that I mentioned earlier, which can be a major food-source in some tropical nations) then the seedbank obviously wouldn't have any stocks to distribute to nations whose native crops have been destroyed unless it maintains stocks of young plants by whatever other means are appropriate for those species...
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Valipac » Fri Jun 12, 2009 4:20 am

"After reading through this proposal, it seems pretty solid. The nice thing is that it encourages a lot of good things, and sets up means for them to be accomplished, but it does not force nations to do anything regarding giving other nations food. As an ambassador from a nation that is in the process of liberalizing her own economy from protectionist methods, we understand the need to combat protectionism, especially in areas such as agriculture. We also applaud the fact that this resolution bans food hording, which has been used as a population control by tyrants for centuries.

"All in all, we find this a well written proposal and will support it if it reaches quorum in the General Assembly."
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Re: Draft: Food Welfare Act

Postby Serbian_Soviet_Union » Fri Jun 12, 2009 6:46 am

It should be left to the individual nations to decide on who they will aid or provide food supplies to nations who are in desperately in need. The resolution should be re-drafted as to encourage nations to aid those who are unfortunate to do so themselves and those that are in isolation, came out of isolation or those in a economic crisis or in a war crisis. The proposal should encourage, promote and recommend, not force. Because then even the poor nations who cannot supply the rest of their nation with food will be forced to divide the food themselves and be forced to send food to other nations to aid when they cannot aid themselves in such crisis explained in my post.
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