What’s happening in Europe is interesting. A solid bloc comprising the great majority of Europe’s people and arable land is taking official action to block GMO cultivation under the new EU rules which were designed to be more industry-friendly than the previous ad hoc system. But, evidently contrary to the cartel’s expectations, Europe is reacting with alacrity. If anything, the people and governments of Europe seem even more motivated today to repel the GMO invasion than they previously were, even as the EU relaxes its already farcical assessment and approval procedures.
From any point of view Europe’s rejection of GMO cultivation is the rational choice. Europe’s non-GM conventional agriculture is more productive than the GM-dominated agriculture of the US and Canada, and the gap is widening. Similarly, Europe’s pesticide use continues to decline while that of the US continues to skyrocket. GMOs yield less and require greatly more pesticide, fertilizer, and irrigation. They’re an inferior yet vastly more expensive product in every way, even before we get to their health and environmental harms. Europe also has a booming organic sector, while the American organic sector is increasingly being polluted by GM contamination, at great cost to already beleaguered farmers. Forcing US organic to assimilate GMOs seems to remain the policy of the USDA, just as it attempted to do in the 1990s when it was first devising the certification program.
Europe’s campaign may bode well for its resolve to reject the TTIP and CETA globalization pacts, which in the long run would render all this for naught. The goal of these compacts is to eradicate all popular democracy and national sovereignty and impose direct corporate dictatorship.
There seems to be little hope of stopping the TTIP from this side of the pond, but the nations of Europe are certainly capable of rejecting it. Right now Europe has a great agricultural advantage over the North American Babylon, from the point of view of the great transformation which will soon be necessary as well as from today’s mainstream marketing point of view. Why throw this away? On the European side, the TTIP makes sense only from the point of view of a few big corporate sectors and the Commission bureaucracy. It would be a pure disaster from the point of view of anyone else, an abject submission to US corporate power. Here’s to the prospect that Europe’s broad-based rejection of GMOs is a preliminary to its rejection of corporate globalization’s last, greatest gambit.