Me Thinks Thou Dost Protest — But Not Too Much
Protestors against the World Trade Organization in Seattle continue to press their views that the trade body tramples on the environment, labor standards, and human rights, while police in full riot gear continue to trample on the rights of demonstrators and some bystanders. Pres. Clinton tried to mollify WTO opponents in two speeches yesterday by calling for environmental and labor rights protections in trade agreements, and criticizing the WTO for the secrecy of its operations. Meanwhile, inside the talks, the EU has compromised its hardline position against genetically modified foods by agreeing to the formation of a WTO working group to develop international rules for the trade of GM foods. Enviro groups fear the move will undermine efforts to regulate the spread of GM technology under the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity. And Chile, Ecuador, Indonesia, Peru, and the U.S. are pushing for an end to fishing subsidies, which enviros believe encourage overfishing.