WTO rules against US dolphin-safe tuna labels because they're unfair to Mexican fisheries

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We are no longer sovereign nations, we are beholden to our corporate masters.


In the grand neo-liberal vision of the world, nations are service providers which handle things like security and population management so that corporate power can fully realize its potential.

In other words, governments exist to facilitate capitalism, not to regulate it.


In general I don’t see a problem with nations as service providers, my relationship with Germany is similar: I pay taxes and social security fees, the country delievers multiple services (more or less matched with my wishes).

What redesigned is saying is that you are a part of the service your country provides, not the recipient of the service. The fact that you are content with the situation is convenient for both the service provider and its customers.


The question is what the services are and who they are provided to. The answer is not the people, nor is it the environment.


@redesigned? My reply was for @zikzak : )

My point was mostly that I’m comfortable with countries as service providers, allegiance and national pride are not needed in my world view.


Are they screaming about this over at Fox News? No, because they are the mouth piece of the shapeshifting aristocracy.

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I think you missed both my and @abhayakara’s point, which is that in these international trade regimes like WTO, FTAA, TPP, the purpose of governments is to provide services to transnational megacorps.

Traditionally the purpose of governments is to provide for the needs of their citizens and represent their interests, as you mentioned. But globalization has turned “your” government into the tool of global capital, which is profoundly disinterested in your needs and interests.


if you say so I missed the point, fine with me : P

I read your comment as if you see a service provider country as a bad thing, because it has only advantages for businesses - something I wanted to amend/soften/whatever with my point of view.


You’re not the recipient of the service, you are the commodity being provided. Any service you actually receive is either an accident of history or a side effect of service to multinational zaibatsus.

In the USA we’re going full-pendulum from enacting laws that require clear and understandable labeling of products, to laws that actually prevent the labeling of products.

Corporate mega-dairies want to make “no BGH” labels illegal on milk (they’ve already come pretty close to outlawing raw milk - your tax dollars pay for armed federal raids on Amish farms to wipe out the oh so horrible raw milk trade among consenting adults). GMO shills want to outlaw “GMO free” labeling and are trying to make federal laws to allow GMOs to be labeled “organic” and “all natural”. Every time these anti-informational laws are proposed, they come a little closer to passing, despite public opinion being increasingly opposed to them.

Anti-labeling laws are a clear case of the interests of corporations being put ahead of those of citizens, and a litmus test for politicals. If your senator is not in favor of clear and understandable product information being provided to the citizenry, your senator isn’t working for you.


I think you’re too negative - the business media over here are FULL of articles about unhappy corps because of national laws or EU regulations. For me a sign it’s still kind of balanced.

i think he’s too optimistic. government by national politics at least allows for the specific interests of the national polity to have a chance to be considered. government by transnational corporations means that only the specific interests of the corporation will be considered.


Frankly dolphin safe tuna has always been a bit BS. The labelling process is an industry program designed primarily to promote certain fishers over others. It certainly part of a series of efforts that have reduced dolphin by catch but the practices it promotes have their own severe, and even more damaging problems. Quick links!


There’s more an better info out there. Though its surrounded by a lot of hysterics. But the gist of it is this: The sort of tuna fishing that most endangers dolphins can only be conducted in a pretty limited chunk of the globe. Its mostly no longer used in those areas. The methods that replaced it have been an absolutely disastrous in terms of every other sort of bi-catch. So while the dolphin safe labeling and the fishing methods that came with it might have contributed to saving some dolphins many people seem to give credit for that to much better, less industry driven and more comprehensive conservation efforts that run in parallel. Meanwhile the dolphin safe push and its new fishing methods have lead to incredible damage to stocks of bait fish, sharks, turtles, and nearly every other species in the Pacific.

People like dolphins. So they’re prone to overwrought reactions to this sort of thing. Your dolphin safe labeled tuna is (probably) fine for dolphins. But its heavily damaging everything else in the ecosystem. If your tuna isn’t from the Eastern Pacific in all likely hood its dolphin safe by default (and always was).

Bans on importation of fish caught with heavy dolphin by catches are fine in concept. But when they promote massive increase in other more damaging by catch, and are tied to labeling and reporting requirements that only operate in limited fisheries (there by excluding fisheries that never had the issue in question), then they do more harm than good. This is basically just coasting on easy out rage generation because corporations/industry/new world order IS BAD and our natural bias towards supporting or protecting animals that are cute.


Sadly, most of the people who care about dolphin-safe tuna are likely also already opposed to the TPP. Ditto, those informed and aware enough to recognize the connection. So, unlikely to have an effect on popular opinion.


And XKCD 1123, The Universal Label:


Frankly I think the EU’s doing a better job than the US government, at this specific moment in time.

But corporations will never stop whining about laws, even when all the laws are written by and for the benefit of corporations. Because any law that benefits one, harms another, at least in their eyes. Like, how dare you subsidize research by solar energy corporations! Those subsidies should be reserved for oil companies!

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We’re in agreement here and I don’t have high hopes for the future - TTIP will change the game rules (or even destroy the fair(ish) game, I’m not sure yet).

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