GMOs

THE GMO SCRAPBOOK AND RUSSIAN GEOPOLITICS: DID THE GMO ISSUE JUST ...

January 11, 2015 By Joseph P. Farrell

For the past few years, as I've been covering the ongoing debates for and against on the GMO issue on this site, I've been urging a speculative hypothesis, namely, that the BRICSA nations would eventually make the GMO issue a geopolitical and ideological one between that bloc and the Anglo-American establishment-led west.  In advancing that hypothesis, I've pointed to three nations in particular that have had their own internal and political debates on the subject: India, China, and Russia. India, as I've pointed out, has had an ambiguous track record, with various governments there both pushing the issue, to the detriment of Indian farmers, many of whom, you'll recall, have sadly committed suicide after their inability to pay the steep licensing costs for GMOs, to an increasingly vocal opposition within that country against GMOS. China has a similar ambiguous track record, with the Chinese academic world pursuing such research, while simultaneously China has slapped the west and in particular American corporations with targeted sanctions against the imports of certain specific types of GMO to that country. Russia, on the other hand, has been the most consistent in its opposition to GMOs, and has enacted a number of laws and regulations against them, including a recent decision to implement a long-term government sponsored study of their intergenerational environmental effects.

The debate just heated up in a significant way, however, and the geopolitical backdrop here is the unfolding series of implications spinning out from the US-back neo-Fascist coup in the Ukraine, the Russian counter-move in the Crimean peninsula, and the American led economic sanctions against Russia. As I and many others have pointed out in that connection, the sanctions really do not contain any benefit for Europe, since that region is dependent on Russian energy and trade for much of its economic health. Economically, militarily, and geopolitically, Europe really has nothing to gain in the long term by alienating Russia, nor does Russia have anything to gain by alienating Europe.

Which brings us to today's intriguing article, brought to my attention by Ms. M.W. once again, and this one is very revealing:

Food Supply Listed as Reason for EU to Dump U.S. and Join Russia

Notice first that Russia has made an offer to the European Union: don't continue to integrate more completely with the U.S.A., but rather, integrate more fully with the BRICSA bloc in the form of the Eurasian Economic Union:

:Russia is making no bones about an open proposal to the EU. Essentially, dump the U.S. - don't join the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), but join the Eurasian Economic Union, which went into effect January 1st. It's a call to join other members at the "cool table" - a promise of a better trading table."
We should not be surprised at this Russian offer, which many in the West will doubtless interpret as a sign of Russian "weakness" under the assault of the Western sanctions. It would, however, be a mistake to do so in my opinion. To be sure, the Russian economy has been dramatically weakened by the sanctions and by what appears to be carefully engineered drops in oil prices. But this isn't the only game being played in Russia's offer. Russia, in my opinion, is simply pointing out the overall long-term trend to Europe, and that trend cannot be denied: as the Asian-Pacific rim nations continue to develop, while America's economy is increasingly tied to "the empire" and the maintenance of a vast military machine, Europe's balance of trade will - as it has in the past - increasingly tilt to the East. As I've also pointed out, the European great powers - Italy, France, the United Kingdom, Germany - have no real geopolitical, military, or economic interest in maintaining the cordon sanitaire in Eastern Europe between Russia and Western Europe. Only the NATO planners have any real interest in maintaining it, and the sole reason to maintain it is ultimately to encircle Russia and deprive it of geopolitical freedom of action. As I've pointed out in past articles, as a result of this, expect American bases over the mid-term to be shifted out of Western European bases eastward into the former Warsaw pact nations. Ultimately, I suspect, those nations will find the American presence just as onerous as the former Soviet one.
But I digress. Russia's recent offer to Europe, as the article also points out, comes with an unusual appendix and codicile:
"A free trade report in yesterday's Deutsche Wirtschafts Nachrichten (reported by Zero Hedge) states:

"'Russia has presented a startling proposal to overcome the tensions with the EU: The EU should renounce the free trade agreement with the United States TTIP and enter into a partnership with the newly established Eurasian Economic Union instead. A free trade zone with the neighbors would make more sense than a deal with the US.'

"The Russian Ambassador to the EU, Vladimir Chizhov, said to the EU Observer :

"'Do you think it is really wise to put so much political energy into a free trade zone with the United States, while much more natural partner had at his side, in the immediate neighborhood? We do not treat our chickens in any case with chlorine.' [emphasis added]

"Furthermore, Germany's Minister of Agriculture, Christian Schmidt, didn't make an EU/American trade deal sound appealing when he said, "we can't protect every sausage." GMOs were a part of that conversation, too; and, lo and behold, during negotiations U.S. officials considered for the first time - GMO labeling! This shows that the U.S. government will not pay heed to its own consumers' desire for transparency and safety, but will if there is geopolitical benefit.

"Unfortunately, other countries have ample reasons to be leery of entering or staying in trade deals with the U.S. Aside from food contamination scares (both GMO and non-GMO), the U.S. has burned some countries with unreasonable demands that protect corporate interests while threatening that country's residents. Guatemala discovered a hidden agenda that read like the Monsanto Protection Act. Brazil didn't want to act as a personal fine enforcer and medium for both the U.S. and Monsanto. China has had to reject major shipments of unapproved genetically engineered corn"

There you have it, in black and white: Russia's ambassador to the European Union has made the general issue of the trustworthiness of the food supply coming from America an issue: "Consider carefully those McDonald's chicken fingers". Granted, he did not reference the GMO issue specifically, so I cannot justifiably say that this is confirmation of my hypothesis that GMOs will be made a geopolitical issue by the BRICSA block, but it does fall mere inches just short of that, and given the context - a context indicating that GMO labeling was acceptable to US negotiators to Europe, while it denies such labeling in the states (recall only the corporate lawsuits against certain counties in Hawaii!) - the GMO issue is now, like it or not, a geopolitical one.
Thus, 2015 is going to be an interesting year. My high octane speculation and prediction? I suspect, in the growing tensions between the out-of-control American-led West and the East, that this may be the year that will see the GMO issue become a hot geopolitical and propaganda  potato. Russia should, and probably will, stick to its guns here. What will be interesting to see is if Russia message spreads and gains popular traction in Europe, and more importantly, in Brazil and Argentina. If we start hearing Presidents Rouseff and Fernandez de Kirchner echoing Russia's GMO concerns, then we'll know the game's afoot.