Yesterday I blogged about how there has been a gradual quiet "pushback" from the BRICSA nations on the GMO issue, and how this might issue ultimately in calls for a GMO test ban treaty setting much stricter standards of inter-generational testing for such products than has been the case thus far. As most of you know, I pre-schedule blogs, usually a week, sometimes two or three weeks', in advance, and while I was composing yesterday's blog, Ms. M.W., a regular reader here, sent me the following profoundly disturbing article. Its importance, and why I am sharing it here in the context of yesterday's blog, will be immediately evident(and a deep thank you to Ms. M.W. for sharing it):
Let me point out three paragraphs in this article that caused my current Angst:
"Synthetic Genomics Inc. specializes in an extreme form of genetic engineering called synthetic biology. Instead of transferring genetic material from one species to another, synthetic bioengineering places new, synthetically created genetic material into microorganisms. SGI plans on using its franken-microbes for all sorts of applications including biofuels, renewable chemicals, vaccines and coal bed methane recovery. This technology is even newer than traditional genetic engineering, so it is still unclear how it would be proven safe and regulated. Today’s transgenic crops are at least permitted and commercialized through a three-agency regulatory process, albeit flawed. But these organisms would be tossed into a quagmire of federal regulatory programs involving at least seven agencies including the USDA, FDA, EPA, DOT, NIH, CDC and even the FBI due to biosecurity risks; making it more likely to fall through the bureaucratic cracks.
"What could this mean for the future of agricultural biotechnology? R&D from this agreement will likely fall under Monsanto’s agricultural biological platform BioDirect, which means Monsanto could be developing new, microbial pesticides that could be approved and sprayed on crops to fight weeds, insects and viruses. With further investment in and research with SGI, Monsanto will soon have the means to incorporate synthetic biology into its microbial pesticides without a defined regulatory pathway to check its development along the way.
"The attempt to disguise the use of synthetic biology in agriculture as “sustainable” is an egregious abuse of the word. Releasing microbes with novel traits and functions into the wild and onto our food crops could have devastating effects on the safety of our food and the quality of our environment."(emphasis added)
As most regular readers here, and as readers of the research of F.William Engdahl and others will already know, a "regulatory environment" that already was heavily weighted in a "pro-GMO" fashion, a "regulatory environment" that included a process of "science" that had been corrupted by financial pressures and even - as Engdahl recounts - late night phone calls between presidents and prime ministers is not an environment in which one can expect any reasonable common sense to prevail. The relative lack of adequate inter-generational testing had to be pointed out by Russia, which with many other nations is strictly curtailing GMO usage and planting until real science can be undertaken.
In this same corrupted mercantilist atmosphere, we are now being implicitly asked to trust the already corrupted bought-and-paid for US government, its corrupted agencies, and a bought-and-paid for Congress. We're being asked to trust the human food supply to this chain of greed.
The real consequence here could be geopolitical, for such laxity is inevitably going to provoke a backlash of regulation from countries already looking askance at the whole GMO issues, and the processes of regulation in the USSA.... in this context, a GMO "test ban" treaty of sorts could become a reality, a kind of quarantine against US and western GMO products... At the minimum, one can expect some sort of reaction from the BRICSA nations and even, as we know, from concerned European nations. There will be the usual bland US reassurances, which, as most people are probably aware of, will be hypocritcly ignored by the US government, agribusiness corporations, or both. In other words...
...This merger just dramatically raised the stakes, and if they're paying attention at all in Brasilia, New Delhi, Johannesburg, Beijing, or Moscow(and I suspect they are), it may be time to consider to that "GMO test ban treaty"...
See you on the flip side.