August 23, 2014 By Joseph P. Farrell

In yesterday's News and Views from the Nefarium(Aug 21, 2014) I reported about two articles, one, a two year old article about some provocative admissions from a Nestle's manager, and the other, a more recent article about Russia's imposition of fines on agricultural producers in that country that do not properly label GMO products. Most of you who are regulars here know that I've been arguing a hypothesis that we might be watching the moves among the BRICSA nations, and particularly Russia and China, to coordinate their GMO and agricultural policy, and to eventually make the GMO issue a geopolitical one. As a component of that speculative scenario, I've been arguing the idea that those nations could eventually challenge western agribusiness giants whose profits in large part depend on the expansion of the the of GMO crops. Such a move, I've been arguing, would be a propaganda masterstroke, since those nations could play to the growing opposition in western nations to GMOs, and to the growing feeling in those nations that their governments are increasingly non-responsive to consumer concerns.

To make such a scenario work, however, I suggested that this would have to occur in three broad stages: first, a "sorting out" of the individual BRICSA nations' policies with respect to GMOs, then secondly bilateral agreements on agriculture between its member states on the GMO content of their imports and exports to each other(as between Russia and China), then thirdly, an expansion of these bilateral agreements to the entire BRICSA bloc.

So if anything, we're still in stage one, but Russia means business, and it is taking aim at one "institution" in the western corporate world precisely over the content of its food, McDonald's:

Russia taking McDonald's to court, threatens countrywide shutdown

Note this paragraph:

"The Interfax news agency reported that Russia's consumer protection agency has identified several product quality violations that have called into question the safety and integrity of the entire McDonald's food chain. The McDonald's products under question contain more fats and carbohydrates than are allowed by Russia's health-conscious regulations."

The "consumer protection agency" being talked about here is most likely the Rospotrebnadzor that I mentioned in yesterday's News and Views, That agency, it appears, is behind the calls to take McDonald's to court:

"Inspections at two McDonald's restaurants in Novgorod found that caloric values of milk shakes, fish sandwiches and Royal Cheeseburgers (the Russian equivalent of Quarter Pounders) exceeded safety standards, harboring two to three times more calories per serving than legally allowed.

"This means that the court could temporarily shut down all of McDonald's operations in Russia. A spokesperson for the Tverskoi District Court, Yekaterina Korotova, didn't comment on the matter but relayed that the consumer protection agency is demanding that the court "halt McDonald's illegal activity."

Banning McDonald's would be only a first step for Russia... and it will be interesting to see how the Russians themselves would respond to such a ban, for if there was a smart Russian entrepreneur, that would be the golden opportunity to open a chain of fast food restaurants in compliance with Russia's increasingly strict GMO regulations to fill the void left be the Golden Arches. Who knows, "Rossburgers," "Medvedev milkshakes," and "Putin potatoes" might catch on internationally. In the meantime, though, Russia means business on the GMO issue, and so, for that matter, does China. The real nations within the BRICSA bloc to watch are those where there have already been significant penetration by GMOs: Brazil, South Africa, and India.
See you on the flip side...