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Friday, July 1, 2016

F. William Engdahl -- ‘Black Friday’ For GMO in Russia


30.06.2016 Author: F. William Engdahl

‘Black Friday’ For GMO in Russia

Column: Politics
The destructive global project known as GMO or Genetically Manipulated Organisms is incurring major defeats. The once-formidable muscle of Monsanto, Bayer AG, Syngenta, Dow-DuPont seems to be suffering from a rare form of political muscular dystrophy. In Russia, despite enormous pressure from the western GMO cartel on individual Duma members and Russian scientists, the Duma or state Parliament on June 24, passed the third and final reading of the bill that now bans totally all GMO crop cultivation and GMO animals. This was the very same ‘Black Friday,’ (for the GMO lobby), June 24, when EU member states rebelled and refused for a third time to approve a renewal of the license of the weed-killer glyphosate that is bound up with GMO crop cultivation. That was also the day the EU also realized that British voters had democratically voted to exit the European Union. For the globalists that be all in all June 24 will be remembered as their Black Friday.

On June 24 the Russian Duma took a final vote in the third reading of a bill introduced by the government in 2015 for a total ban on GMO crop cultivation and GMO animal breeding in the Russian Federation. Not only that but the Duma law gives the Russian Government authority to ban import of products containing GMOs in to Russia, if it is revealed that a specific GMO has a negative impact on human health or the environment. The new law also includes fines for violations. Minister of Agriculture, Alexander Tkachev, told the press on the occasion, “The Ministry of Agriculture is strongly against GMOs; Russian products will remain clean.”

Fake pro-GMO study

After the first draft of the GMO ban legislation was debated and sent for possible revisions in late 2015, on January 19 this year the pro-GMO lobby made a scientifically shabby attempt to derail the ban.

A new report claiming to be a comprehensive review of past studies on the health and safety of GMOs was picked up in a newswire in Russia’s TASS.ru under the headline, “Russian scientists have refuted the findings of studies on the hazards of GMOs.” Many other Russian papers ran the story uncritically. The article discussed what was said to be a scientific review published in the Critical Reviews in Biotechnology journal.

The “Russian scientists” on closer inspection turned out to be one, Alexander Y. Panchin, of the Institute for Information Transmission Problems (IITP) of the Russian Academy of Science. Panchin co-authored with a US researcher, Alexander Tuzhikov, who is listed as a Research Associate at Bascom Palmer Eye Institute, University of Miami specializing in, “Computer Science, Bioinformatics…” That would suggest he is a computer numbers cruncher.

Their “analysis” included only review of a mere seven published scientific articles; there was no original actual live experiments using rats as Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini and others had done. Many of the selected studies were influenced by Monsanto or other GMO companies surreptitiously. In their abstract, Panchin and his US colleague Tuzhikov wrote, “We performed a statistical re-analysis and review of experimental data presented in some of these studies and found that quite often in contradiction with the authors’ conclusions the data actually provides weak evidence of harm that cannot be differentiated from chance.” Now that’s about as scientifically rigorous as melting fudge.

The pro-GMO Academy of Sciences IITP report was followed by a personal meeting with Russian President Vladimir Putin from the President of the Russian Academy of Sciences, Vladimir Fortov on January 26. Fortov told Putin of the “benefits” of GMOs. It seems the Russian President was underwhelmed by Fortov’s arguments.

Whoever financially backed what apparently was a well-funded attempt to kill the GMO ban in Russia must have reckoned that Russian scientists were either primitive and ignorant, easily influenced by bribes, or that Putin’s backing to ban GMO could be easily overturned. They miscalculated if so. An immediate reply from a group of Russian leading GMO research scientists, the All-National Association for Genetic Safety (OAGB), ripped the Panchin “review” to shreds.

Debunked

The scientists of the OAGB pointed out that the methodology employed by the two pro-GMO authors was fatally flawed: “Statistical analysis was conducted using the Bonferroni method, which…can show a lack of an effect which is present in reality…this method does not allow to identify the toxic effects of the objects, but on the contrary the method hides the toxic effects.” The OAGB scientists asked the GMO-friendly authors to justify on what basis they picked the specific seven articles out of dozens of articles on health effects of GMO, many alarming. Depending on your methodology one can lie in any way with statistics. Here Panchin and friend clearly did try just that.

The Panchin-Tuzhikov five page “review” singled out a now-famous article from 2012 by Prof. Gilles-Eric Seralini and his group at France’s Caen University for special attack. The Seralini group carried out the world’s first long-term two year GMO feeding study of rats fed Monsanto GMO corn treated with Monsanto Roundup weed-killer with glyphosate. That study revealed that the rats developed multiple cancer tumors, many died prematurely or had organ damage. Seralini found that the most cancer tumors appeared after the 90-day period where Monsanto studies had inexplicably stopped.

Russia bans US GMO soy and corn

The new law banning cultivation of GMO in Russia follows a separate Russian ban of import of US corn and soybeans this past February. Between 80-90% of all USA corn and soybeans today is GMO. On February 15, Russia’s state food safety regulator, Rosselkhoznadzor, announced a ban on all imports of US soybeans and corn because of what it determined were “microbial and GMO contamination.” According to the regulator, the corn imported from the US is often infected with dry rot of maize. In addition, according to the Russian watchdog, corn can be used for transgenic crops in Russia.

The GMO project if the truth were to be told by Monsanto, Bayer AG, Syngenta and others, has nothing to do with high-technology methods to increase yields to “feed the world.” It has nothing to do with using less herbicides or other toxic chemicals. It is a sick project of some ill minds to pollute the human gene pool with toxic waste in hopes of ultimate population control and ultimately, population reduction. Russia has just shown it’s possible to reject and that’s very good for Russia and for the world. Now it’s time for Americans and others to follow suit.

F. William Engdahl is strategic risk consultant and lecturer, he holds a degree in politics from Princeton University and is a best-selling author on oil and geopolitics, exclusively for the online magazine “New Eastern Outlook”

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