A delegation of Iowans is in Seattle as World Trade Organization talks opened this morning — with a deeply divided agenda. Iowa Governor Tom Vilsack told reporters in a conference call this morning he’s already met with several other governors and U-S Ag Secretary Dan Glickman on ag issues.Vilsack says he and the other governors are going to push the nation’s top negotiators to bring agricultural issues to the forefront of the W-T-O talks.Since biotechnology has been under such fire lately, Vilsack says he’ll lobby for some type of system to be set up that’d see accurate information and sound science used to educate the global consumer about G-M-O or genetically-modified organisms.Tens of thousands of demonstrators are lining the streets but Iowa Senator Chuck Grassley says the protestors’ so-called Battle of Seattle isn’t a big deal.Grassley says he doesn’t expect the demonstrations on a range of issues from the environment to agricultural subsidies will have any influence over the W-T-O delegates.Iowa exports nearly four-billion dollars a year in agricultural products, ranking us second only to California. Grassley says one of America’s closest allies in military and political venues is becoming our biggest foe on ag trade issues.Grassley wants to see the immediate elimination of all export subsidies. Other Iowans at the W-T-O talks include: Senator Tom Harkin, Ag Secretary Patty Judge & Congressmen Leonard Boswell, Jim Nussle & Tom Latham.
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