As regular readers here know, for some time I've been maintaining that the GMO issue will become one of geopolitics, and that one could expect the BRICSA nations to make it so. Specifically, I've been predicting that they will eventually seek to challenge western agribusiness on its own turf by becoming suppliers of organic, natural (or "heirloom") seeds. To become trusted merchants of such seeds, however, they will have to establish a regulatory culture in opposition to GMOS, and to demonstrate to the world that they are serious in their practice as well.
Within the BRICSA bloc, Russia and China are, of course, by far the most powerful partners. So it is interesting in this respect to contemplate Russia's and China's most recent moves with respect to GMOs. Consider first that China has turned to the Ukraine for imports of non-GMO corn or maize:
As if that is not enough, apparently the Chinese army has rejected all GMO foods for its troops:
Similarly, in Russia, Prime Minister Dmitri Medvedev has stated, just this year in April, that Russia will reject GMOs:
Mr. Medvedev's remarks are worth citing:
"Russia will not import GMO products, the country’s Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev said, adding that the nation has enough space and resources to produce organic food.
"Moscow has no reason to encourage the production of genetically modified products or import them into the country, Medvedev told a congress of deputies from rural settlements on Saturday.
“'If the Americans like to eat GMO products, let them eat it then. We don’t need to do that; we have enough space and opportunities to produce organic food,' he said."(Emphasis added.)
As the article goes on to state:
"The State Duma’s Agriculture Committee supported a ban on the registration and trade of genetically modified organisms. It was suggested that until specialists develop a working system of control over the effects of GMOs on humans and the natural environment, the government should impose a moratorium on the breeding and growth of genetically modified plants, animals, and microorganisms."
We've noted here on this website the apparent role of Mr. Medvedev in making important policy announcements for the Russian government, particularly when it comes to controversial issues such as "asteroid defense" and now GMOs. What we are witnessing, I suspect, is precisely the next stage of what may be a BRICSA plan to geopoliticize the issue of GMOS, and to do so in a way to challenge yet another aspect of American "unipolarism," of which the attempt to control the world's food supply via GMOs and the imposition of American standards of patent law to international agreements and institutions. In other words, we are looking precisely at the creation of a regulatory culture and practice within the two most important members of the BRICSA bloc designed to demonstrate a "trustworthiness" of their agricultural industry with respect to this issue.
So what will be the next stages? One may rather easily predict what these will be if my hypothesis is true: (1) an extension of the non-GMO policy culture to other BRICSA bloc nations. (Already, the new Indian government has indicated that it will stop the promotion of GMOs.) (2) Once this is in place, one can expect more formal arrangements and announcements on the issue to be taken by the BRICSA bloc. (3) The ultimate goal will be not simply to challenge western agribusiness by making their own heirloom seeds available to farmers internationally, but also to challenge the GMO regulations and standards within international agreements and international institutions such as the World Trade Organization, where, as has been noted, agribusiness has sought to extend the standards of American patent law and regulatory practice and culture. One possible avenue of attack for the BRICSA bloc in this respect will be to point out the growing body of evidence and studies of adverse health effects.
Time alone, of course, will tell if this assessment and prediction is true or not. But for my part, I suspect that it is coming down the pike, perhaps faster than we realize.
See you on the flip side...