Ayman Jallad: Mysterious Syrian-Lebanese businessman funds anti-GMO activist network in Europe

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Ayman Jallad has two battles on his hands. The Syrian-Lebanese businessman is in the challenging business of selling imported Caterpillar tractors in war-torn markets like Gaza, the West Bank and Syria.

And from his solar panel-equipped office, located in a warehouse 18 kilometers north of Beirut, he’s carrying out a crusade against the European Commission, which he says is “controlled by multinationals.”

As the manager of the Isvara Foundation, an important source of funding for some of the loudest critics in Brussels, the publicity-shy Jallad, who is 67, is seeking to turn his antipathy toward genetically modified crops, corporate influence and greenhouse-gas emissions into EU policy — and succeeding.

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Ayman Jallad

The foundation, established in 2007, is the largest funder of Corporate Europe Observatory, a 20-year- old Brussels-based advocacy group, dedicated to “rolling back corporate power and exposing greenwash.” The observatory is widely credited with helping to derail the controversial Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, the proposed free-trade deal between the EU and the U.S.

Related article:  How European-Based NGOs Block Crop Biotechnology Adoption In Africa

Isvara has also provided backing to Friends of the Earth Europe [Read GLP profile of Friends of the Earth here] and the Transnational Institute, two other influential activist groups that have played central roles in pushing through pesticide bans and flagging what they describe as the undue influence of industry in Brussels.

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The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion, and analysis. Read full, original post: Mystic money man behind Brussels activists

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