Barbara H. Peterson
What could Monsanto and the Ukrainian conflict possibly have in common? Let’s just take a look:
The stakes around Ukraine’s vast agricultural sector, the world’s third largest exporter of corn and fifth largest exporter of wheat, constitute a critical factor that has been overlooked. With ample fields of fertile black soil that allow for high production volumes of grains, Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe.
Ukraine is the breadbasket of Europe and it is GMO-Free, but not for long.
It appears that an alignment with the EU carries with it a mandate to implement genetic engineering into its farming practices.
Article 404 of the EU agreement, which relates to agriculture, includes a clause that has generally gone unnoticed: it indicates, among other things, that both parties will cooperate to extend the use of biotechnologies.
There is no doubt that this provision meets the expectations of the agribusiness industry.
As observed by Michael Cox, research director at the investment bank Piper Jaffray, “Ukraine and, to a wider extent, Eastern Europe, are among the “most promising growth markets for farm-equipment giant Deere, as well as seed producers Monsanto and DuPont.
I think it is ironic, to say the least, that the EU, which has GMO labeling laws, is playing a key role in forcing Ukraine to accept GMOs. So much for labeling, eh? But let’s just keep on fooling ourselves into believing that the labeling movement is not about misdirection and spreading the cultivation of GMOs. It’s so much more comfortable that way.
Here is a map of the current worldwide area of GMO cultivation:
There are two key issues involved in the GMO debate: eating and cultivating. Approximately 2% of GMOs cultivated are actually used in our food supply. The other 98% are used for feed, fuel, and other purposes.
If cultivation goes unchecked, labeling will become a moot point since everything will be contaminated. Game, set, match. So, if I was a biotech pirate, I might want to concentrate the fight on labeling while cultivating as many GMOs as I could force down any weaker nation’s throat.
This is how it is done:
A major factor in the crisis that led to deadly protests and eventually President Yanukovych’s removal from office was his rejection of an EU association agreement that would have further opened trade and integrated Ukraine with the EU.
The agreement was tied to a $17 billion loan from the International Monetary Fund (IMF). Instead of the EU and IMF deal, Yanukovych chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a 33% discount on Russian natural gas.
This deal has since gone off the table with the pro-EU interim government accepting the new multimillion dollar IMF package in May 2014.
Don’t want the GMO package deal? Too bad, you’re out and pro-GMO forces are in. Just like that.
The project proposes to improve the agricultural business environment by streamlining or eliminating 58 different procedures and practices by 2015. For instance, IFC advised the country to “delete provisions regarding mandatory certification of food in the listed laws of Ukraine and Government decree,” and to harmonize its laws with international standards around pesticides, additives, and flavoring, to avoid “unnecessary cost for businesses.
When you see “harmonize” think Monsanto GMO takeover.
On May 27, 2014, the New York Times unveiled how the allegiance to the West was certainly not just about geopolitics and democracy. The newspaper observed that “Western interests are pressing for change” and that “big multinationals have expressed tentative interest in Ukrainian agriculture.”
It further revealed how the reforms of the Ukrainian economy and particularly of its agricultural sector that were tied to the $17 billion IMF deal sought to “bolster the confidence of foreign investors” by addressing the Ukrainian agricultural sector’s “red tape and inefficiencies.
You see, being GMO-Free, according to US/EU interests is apparently highly inefficient. So, to help stem the tide of non-compliance with biotech interests, Monsanto has put up a Ukranian website designed to schmooze the Ukranian public into thinking that GMOs are highly beneficial, sustainable and good for us. Here is a snapshot of an English translation of the home page:
And this is not the first time something like this has happened. Just look at Iraq and El Salvador. El Salvador’s aid is tied to biotech agriculture, and Iraq was force-fed GMOs via Order 81. This is not a game, it is a wholesale takeover by biotech interests implemented by multi-national corporations masquerading as government entities.
So, what do we in the US do? Why, we march, protest, and yell our heads off for what? A ban on the cultivation of GMOs? Hell no! We call for labeling. We literally, fall down on our knees, accept defeat, and beg for Monsanto et al to please, pretty please, label the GMOs that we have given up on banning.
We are being lied to, and it is time for a change.
It is difficult at best when you realize that you have been unwittingly fighting for that which you thought you were fighting against. However, banning GMOs is the key. Labeling? Not so much. In fact, all of that energy spent on the labeling misdirection would be so much more useful if put to instituting local bans. Think about it. What good does a label do if what is behind that label is still GMO due to wholesale contamination?
I’ve said it before, and I’ll say it again:
GMO labeling is a false fight. It is a distraction from the real fight of banning them completely. It is also a compromise. Labeling does absolutely nothing to stop the spread of GMOs. Just ask the people of Ukraine.
©2014 Barbara H. Peterson