There has been an interesting – if not predictable – development in the ongoing feud between Russia and the USA, and this time, it’s food that’s in the crosshairs, as Russian President Vladimir Putin and the Russian Duma are toying with the idea of a complete ban of all American agricultural products:
The ban is obvious, at least as far as the NY Post is concerned; it is retaliation for Western economic sanctions against Russia. But regular readers here will recall that Russia was considering such bans before the Western-backed coup d’etat by elements including extremist Fascist groups took power in Kiev. The reason? Concerns over the safety( and corporate bought-and-paid-for “science” assuring us of the safety) of GMO products, which dominate American agricultural exports. Russia was not alone: Germany, Hungary, France, India and China have all enacted bans against selected American GMO products.
In this context, while there can be no doubt that the Western sanctions are driving Moscow’s moves, they must not be seen as the sole motivation. What it rather suggests, in a bit of high octane speculation, is that the Ukrainian crisis may simply be the opportunity that Russia needed to make the GMO vs heirloom seeds issue a geopolitical issue, and a ban on American agricultural imports would certainly provide a first step in what could be a much longer strategic agenda. As already noted, the two major BRICSA powers, Russia and China, have enacted limited GMO bans, and as I blogged a few weeks previously, the Russian State Duma – long before the Ukrainian crisis became the center of attention – was considering a total ban.And within Brazil and India, there has also been a growing move ent against GMOs, and the corporate “practices” accompanying them, particularly in India.
Nor would Mr. Putin be playing to an audience in the West that didn’t exist, for GMOs have had a small though very vocal community of opposition in almost every country in the West, from Argentina to Australia. Thus, I suspect what we might be looking at is another case of a crisis of opportunity that Mr. Putin, if he plays his cards correctly, can turn against the West.
So herewith the prediction: Russia will enact some sort of ban; after all, it’s been in the works for some time. But since the BRICSA nations just held their summit in Fortaleza, Brazil, and announced their development bank, watch for anti-GMO news and developments coming from that bank, particularly in aid of agricultural development in South America and Africa.
See you on the flip side…