THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: BRAZIL TO EXPAND AGRICULTURAL EXPORTS TO CHINAFebruary 12, 2015
This story is huge with implications, if one wants to read between the lines a bit, so here we go:
Brazil, as everyone knows, and as the article reminds, is an agricultural powerhouse, in the same league as Canada, Australia, the USA, and (formerly), the Ukraine, with fully over 20% of its growing gross domestic product accounted for by agriculture.
But Brazil is also, like neighboring Argentina, one of those countries that early on fell prey to the "agribusiness practices" of the agribusiness cartels - Mon(ster)santo, I.G. Farb... er... Synkrudda, Duponzanto, and so on - and hence it has been like many countries in the west, invaded by the GMO and all the problems to health, legal issues, and politics that it brings in its wake.
Which makes this announcement rather interesting, for as we have pointed out on this website, while China does allow GMOs, it has also been very critical of specific GMOs and forbidden the importation of certain GMO products from America and Europe on environmental and human health safety grounds. Additionally, China is, as most are aware, the leading member economically of the BRICSA bloc of Brazil, Russia, India, China, and South Africa, and hence, to a great degree, coordinates its national policy with that wider entente. Notably, two of the BRICSA bloc's other powerful members, Russia and India, have had their own GMO issues. Russia, for example, has increasingly voiced strong criticism of the GMO, introduced strict bans on their importation, and more importantly, called for genuine long-term intergenerational scientific testing for health and environmental issues. Even more recently, one Russian official caustically quipped that the West's and America's food supply was nothing but poison, in an obvious reference to GMOs. India similarly allows GMOs, but amid a very vocal and growing opposition to them, after a spate of suicides of Indian farmers - sucked into the financial vortex of paying exorbitant licensing fees to the GMO-agribusiness giants - rocked that country.
All of this is context for what I've been suggesting will inevitably happen among the BRICSA bloc, namely, that they will make it a matter of coordinated policy to make the GMO and its alleged safety, for which no scientific consensus exists (see today's tidbit), a matter of geopolitics, using opposition to GMOs, and providing natural seed and GMO-free agricultural alternatives to farmers in the developing world, as a means of challenging the West's hegemony via providing an alternative to its agricultural policies. Thus far, only Russia has explicitly done this.
Which makes China's selective opposition to imports of certain GMO products, and this announcement from Brazil, all the more interesting, for if Brazil wishes to expand its agricultural role within the BRICSA bloc, most likely this will require a major revision of its own domestic GMO policy in order to be compliant with China's standards. Additionally, one may envision Brazilian-Russian agricultural deals, which will require an even more stringent reassessment.
The bottom line here is that we are looking at the beginning of a process within the BRICSA bloc as they will try to introduce a measure of standardization of their policies toward GMOs. So long as Russia is involved in that bloc, so long as GMO opposition in India grows, and so long as China itself reassesses the GMO issue, look for those policies to be more and more anti-GMO, and to approach that agri-business geopolitical game-changer that I've been predicting for a few years.
See you on the flip side...