Sunday, February 24, 2008

Letter to the Editor, NYT (unpublished)

To the Editor:

Eduardo Porter asserts that NAFTA has not displaced small-scale Mexican farmers ("Nafta Is a Sweet Deal, So Why Are They So Sour?," Feb. 11). In fact, as food critic Michael Pollan wrote in this paper last April, the arrival of heavily subsidized corn from the U.S. has forced about 2 million farmers off their land. The country's weak economy provides few jobs for these migrants in the cities, thus forcing them across the northern border where, in a cruelly ironic twist, many find themselves working for the very agricultural economy that displaced them in the first place. The tens of thousands of farmers who marched through Mexico City last week aren't stupid -- they know when their livelihoods are under attack.

Daniel Nemser

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