Jose Bove: Vive la revolution

by Caroline Brown

A couple of weeks ago, a French farmer named Jose Bove was denied entrance into the US even though he had a valid US entry visa. Bove was held at JFK without explanation and later deported to France.

Neither the Immigration Department or the Dep’t of Homeland Security have explained why Bove was denied entrance. But methinks it might be because Bove, the anti-globalization activist who smashed up a McDonald’s near his sheep farm and more recently ransacked a field of genetically modified corn that an American company had planted in southern France, was scheduled to deliver a talk called “The Struggle Against Monsanto in Europe” at Cornell University’s Global Labor Institute.

You can read more here and here.

According to Bove, the agents told him he was being denied entry because of his past prosecutions for “moral crimes.”

Quelle surprise…imagine that, an activist’s right to free speech being squelched by the good ole USA. Ce n’est pas possible!!! Unfortunately it is possible–the US and World Trade Organization are unabashedly pushing “Big Ag” and their genetically modified frankenfoods on the rest of the world, and they don’t particularly like dissent.

“I think this administration is crazy,” Bove explained. “They don’t want any discussion that can affect all the things going on with globalization. They don’t want people coming from outside to discuss it.”

This happened, by the way, the same week that the WTO ruled that the EU’s ban on the sale of genetically modified foods was illegal. For the pro-corporate Bush Administration and the WTO, plu ca change, plu c’est la meme chose.

Ah well, thank heavens that activists like Bove are fighting for us to have local food. Vive Jose!

Photo of Jose Bove courtesy of Time magazine.



5 Responses to “Jose Bove: Vive la revolution”

  1. This is an excellent reminder that the U.S. government is wedded to corporations at the expense of free speech and its citizens’ health.

    GMO foods pose a dual risk: a consumer health risk and the ulitmate widespread contamination of other crops. We may put fences around farms but pollination simply does not understand fences. Cross-pollination and contamination of non-GMO foods has been documented, yet ignored by businesses that see pure profit in GMO foods. These businesses would put poisoned food on the grocery shelves if we’d buy it. If you doubt it, one need only look up the past abuses of such companies. This comes down to one thing: money. In the U.S., food is capitalism. It’s about capitalism. Hence the big agriculture companies are interested in squelching dissent of their business plans.

    GMO food unfortunately follows the U.S. tradition of assembly line manufacturing. The goal is always to produce more, at any cost – including sacrificing quality to an unhealthy level. Do we really want to reduce the quality of our food? Why? Shouldn’t we be trying to increase the quality instead? Food should be grown, not manufactured. Really, anyone who eats a meal should be asking what good GMO food is to us, the people who eat it.

    It makes sense that Bove’s common sense is rooted in France, where food is sacrosanct. Humans put food in their bodies all day long, yet U.S. consumers hardly know what they’re eating. Too bad Bove was blocked. My only thought is that the negative press that resulted from his deportation may actually provide some additional visibility of this issue.

    I enjoyed reading/remembering my French. Nothing to be afraid of, I love France.

  2. Monsanto is EVIL. If you haven’t seen The Future of Food yet, you must check it out. The filmmaker is from Chapel Hill originally, the wife of Grateful Dead’s Jerry Garcia, and she tells it like it is:

    I’m with Curt, I love France! And vive Jose Bove!


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