THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: GERMANY WANTS ABILITY FOR EU MEMBER NATIONS TO BAN ...January 20, 2015
Ms. M.W. and many others sent this article to me, and it's yet more indication that the GMO issue is becoming a geopolitical contest of wills between the BRICSA bloc, Europe, and the pro-GMO USA, Canada, Australia, and Great Britain:
What's interesting here is that Germany is bucking the current European Union law, and pushing for member nations of the EU to have the ability to set national policy:
"The German Farm Minister, Christian Schmidt, is getting pressure from German activists who state that ‘social-economic’ reasons should be taken into consideration to allow EU nations to ban GM crops outright. Schmidt told attendees at a joint press conference held in Berlin, which he attended with the new EU agricultural commissioner, Phil Hogan, that large part of Germany’s population is opposed to GM foods.
"He supported an EU initiative this past summer which gave 12 member states the freedom to ban GM from being cultivated. Even if the EU-bloc approved GM, member states could still individually refuse to grow them."
The article might equally have mentioned France, where there has been a consistent body of popular and scientific opinion against further use and planting of GMOs, or Hungary, another center of growing anti-GMO moves. In short, popular opposition to GMOs is growing in Europe, and particularly in Europe's two largest powers, France, and Germany.
What is interesting here is that this is a relative first, namely, that a Cabinet-level minister within Mama Merkel's government has now made it more or less an official call for the European Union to revise its policy on GMOs. Consider the wider context of similar pronouncements in Russia, which preceded more official actions by the Russian government to ban GMOs. Consider also the recent Russian shut-down of energy shipments through the Ukraine, and the Russian invitation to Europe to join the Eurasian customs union, and the German statement assumes an even larger significance, for it may be a signal that Germany, and with it eventually the EU, intends to adjust its agricultural policy not only to the growing popular opposition to GMOs in Europe, but to the wider anti-GMO policy that appears to be emerging in the BRICSA bloc's two largest nations, Russia and China.
There is an alternative way to read Germany's opposition as well, for as readers of this website are aware, there are, in addition to the usual American agribusiness suspects, large European agribusiness combines as well, and perhaps the move is a calculation to play to popular opinion against GMOs merely to stack influence in favor of those European companies, rather than the GMO as such.
Time will tell, but depending on Germany's persistence with this, and the EU parliament's position, we'll know whether or not Germany's position signals a potential long-term shift towards greater alignment of its agricultural policy with its eastern neighbors, or whether it is simply another form of mercantilism playing, for the moment, to popular opinion.
And within the EU, what Germany wants, Germany gets:
See you on the flip side...
(Our thanks to Ms. M.W. and others who have shared these articles this week!)