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World Organization for Agriculture Calls for New Approach

The Paris-based group says the World Bank and WTO have lost their credibility in dealing with agricultural issues.

International agricultural trade is facing a crisis, and the World Trade Organization and World Bank have failed to address it adequately, speakers said at a World Organization for Agriculture event Wednesday.

World Organization for Agriculture, a private Paris-based group, held its first American meeting at the Carnegie Endowment for International Peace. Speakers at the event came with the message that a new model for regulating international agricultural trade is needed to reduce price fluctuations and agricultural economies.

"The incessant fighting among WTO negotiators does nothing but mask a simple reality -- the WTO cannot adequately or effectively address agricultural production," claims Pierre Pagesse, president of the World Organization for Agriculture.

Pagesse says that the WTO does not make distinctions between industries, focusing on trade and not seeing agriculture as a unique segment of the world economy. "Markets for agricultural products do not follow the same laws as markets for manufactured goods," he says.

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