Food crisis needed for Europe to accept GM: US government adviser

It will take a food security crisis to make European consumers recognise the need for genetically modified (GM) food, warns a senior US government adviser.

Jack Bobo, senior biotechnology adviser to the US State Department, told a Chartered Institute of Marketing seminar in London yesterday (February 28): "It will take a crisis to make everyone [in Europe] see the point of GM".

"There will be a move from not liking GM to requiring it.  That was the worst possible outcome but, unfortunately, it was also the most likely outcome."

In his lecture – Can agriculture save the world before it destroys it? – Bobo argued that GM food technology was vital to safeguard food security, economic security and national security.

GM techniques could deliver improved yields and nutrition while reducing the use of pesticides, greenhouse gas emissions, water use and soil erosion, he said.

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ANH-Intl comment

The US government is positively rabid in its support of GM.  Its State Department thinks nothing, for example, of subverting democracy by advocating collective punishment of the EU for not being sufficiently pro-GM.  It believes that, “The adoption of biotechnology, with respect to both health and agriculture, has an essential role to play,” in resolving issues of health and food security, and will, “Work to promote open markets and science-based regulatory frameworks” across the world.  Searching for the term ‘biotechnology’ on its website shows just how invested the State Department is in GMOs.  Given the open takeover of the US government by Monsanto employees, perhaps we shouldn’t be surprised.

Which is why we think that these remarks by Jack Bobo may be far more than whimsical musings before an audience of marketing professionals.  The US has been gnashing its teeth at the EU’s – or rather, its citizens’ – steadfast rejection of GM for decades now, especially since the EU is increasingly indistinguishable from the US in so many other crucial areas.  Bobo’s speech may be a thinly veiled warning of hard times to come in Europe.

A manufactured ‘food crisis’ would be the perfect tool make US and high-level EU policy dreams come true.  The mechanisms for huge market manipulation already exist, and have been applied to commodities markets in the past.  It can be done.

But we may just be being a little paranoid – and after all, the powers that be might not even need to employ such a sledgehammer to crack the EU GM nut.  EU mandarins have already signalled their intent to permit widespread GM contamination under ‘technical zero’ arrangements, and proposals to weaken the EU’s GM approvals regime are under discussion.  And we’ll be amazed if a forthcoming EU/US trade deal doesn’t involve a dumbing-down of EU GM regulations, whatever EU officials say.

Europeans need to understand that they are at the centre of a war over the contents of their dinner plates, and that pro-GM side will stop at nothing to get its way.  Vigilance and education are the keys to resisting the GM push.

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