The new year has also started with a bang on the GMO issue, and one of them concerns this story from RT, shared by Mr. G.B. Before we get to that, I want to recall a theory or hypothesis that I have been advancing over the past few years on this site in connection to the GMO issue, namely, that it would become a hot geopolitical issue, and that the BRICSA nations would lead the charge. On this prediction, we might put this one in the "half hit" column, for it appears that Russia is willing to do so. There were first the stories intimating that Russia was reconsidering the whole issue of GMOs. Then came those stories over the last two years that bans were being contemplated for indigenous Russian agriculture. Then came the bans, accompanied by stories that the Russian government wanted to sponsor long term scientific studies of their effectiveness, and human and environmental impact studies that were genuinely inter-generational. Last year, Russian Federation President Putin weighed in during his "state of the union" message to include mention of GMOs.
Now according to RT, Russia is considering a ban on American(note, American, and not all, GMO soybeans and corn):
There's a little statement here in this article that may indicate that a wider geopolitical context is indeed in the mind of the Russian regulators than meets the eye:
Regular supplies of the contaminated products may not only affect Russia’s food safety, but also increase the risk for other members of the Eurasian Economic Union, according to a statement from the regulator.
In other words, Russia may be trying to position itself as the champion of food safety and anti-GMO advocate for the Eurasian Economic Union, that is to say, for countries in Central Asia, in other words, and therefore, precisely in that region targeted by US foreign policy since the days of Zbgnw Brzznsk's "Grand Chessboard" mania.
If that reading of Russia's impending US corn and soybean ban is true, then it is clear that Russia is beginning to put into place the first steps of what may be - in typically calculated Russian long-term planning and fashion - the first steps of a geopolitical GMO strategy, beginning first with areas within Russia's sphere of influence.
This will eventually lead us back to the Ukraine, for lest it be forgotten, the influence of large GMO companies within that nation grew enormously in the runup to the Maidan crisis, with various GMO companies extending their influence within that country by opening large port facilities. Here the "logic" of companies like Mon(ster)santo can easily become a hot potato international issue, and an example may clarify what I mean. In the past, these companies have pursued in the courts farmers whose fields have been discovered to have licensed GMO crops growing on their fields, in spite of the fact that a farmer may not have planted any GMO crops. "Field contamination" by GMOs was, in other words, no excuse. If Farmer A planted GMOS, and Farmer B, whose property line was contiguous with Farmer A, did not, and his field was nonetheless found to contain the licensed GMO crops, so much the worse for him.
Now, draw an international border between Farmer A, in the Ukraine, planting GMOs, and Farmer B, in Russia, who is not, and the GMO is set to become a hot potato international issue. And with the growing evidence from independent scientific study that GMOs do cause environmental and human health issues, "inadvertent field contamination" by GMOs in such cases could conceivably by viewed by the contaminated field's owner, and nation, as an assault on its sovereignty.
In short, the issue appears to be poised to go global, and to become a matter for international relations and law. How Russia plays it, will be one to watch in coming months.
See you on the flip side...