From Sat Jul 8 07:55:33 2000
From: Sadanand, Nanjundiah (Physics) <>
Subject: US wants to be able to use food and medicine as a weapon
Date: Fri, 7 Jul 2000 15:40:15 -0400

>From: Marjorie VanCleef <>
>Subject: Fw: [iac-disc.] US wants to be able to use food and medicine as a

US wants to be able to use food and medicine as a weapon

By Elias Davidsson, 7 July 2000

Dear friends,

Is anybody of you aware of the fact that the US administration allows itself the right to use food and medicine as a weapon of coercion against civilians, or in other words to commit war crimes and crimes against humanity against civilian populations ?

Here is what a spokesman of the US administration has said in this matter:

Eizenstat, Stuart E: Testimony Before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Washington, DC, July 1, 1999 on US Use of Economic Sanctions as a Foreign Policy Tool:

(...) Let me turn briefly, Mr. Chairman, to the question of sanctions on food, medicines, medical equipment and other human essentials. Many of the bills proposed would impact on the President's ability to impose sanctions on such items. On April 28 the President announced that the Administration will generally exclude agricultural commodities and products, and medicines and medical equipment from future discretionary unilateral sanctions regimes, and will extend that same principle to existing regimes where we have the discretion to do so. We were particularly gratified, Mr. Chairman, for your own expression of support for these changes.

At the time of that announcement, the Administration noted that there may be compelling circumstances where this would not be appropriate: for example, where the offending regime is using import of foods and medicines as an internal political tool, where a regime or its officials derive unjustified economic benefit from such imports, or where we or our allies are engaged in armed conflict. The President must be given the flexibility to tailor and use sanctions—including sanctions on food and medicine—as appropriate in any particular situation.

I urge US citizens and others to note this position which indicates that the US might breach international humanitarian norms if its President deems this in conformity with US foreign policy interests.