This refers to the Bali package adopted at the Ninth Ministerial Conference of the WTO (editorial, Dec. 13). This is no victory at all and it is unfortunate that India finally gave in to U.S. demands to accept a very restrictive “Peace Clause” — one that applies only to current legislation, preventing future food security programmes for developing countries. However, the U.S. will continue to legally pay massive farm and food stamp subsidies. India had opposed the “Peace Clause” till the end, defending not just Indian farmers but the poor and the hungry too. India’s Food Security Act and the PDS system are good models for the developing world. Now, it is completely dependent on further negotiations on what type of a solution can be found. Can current subsidies or food security programmes even exist at the present scale? Developing countries will have to accept their guilt in violating WTO rules before they can even apply the “Peace Clause.” No country should have to be indebted to the WTO or any other institution to support its citizens’ right to food.
S. Kannaiyan, Sathyamangalam