The esteemed Investor’s Business Daily ran a fascinating two-part commentary this week on how Russia is subverting American science, particularly concerning genetic engineering. The U.S. has been at the forefront of developing GMO foods, while at the same time Russia has banned GMOs and seeks to limit U.S. advantage by engaging in anti-GMO propaganda.
Whatever you think about the organic vs. GMO debate in the U.S., it’s wrong that Russia is exerting so much foreign interference.
As Stanford molecular biologist Henry Miller writes in IBD:
Genetic engineering in agriculture is a sector that holds intense interest for the Russians. Harkening back to the Lysenkoism catastrophe for agriculture in the Soviet Union, their expertise and current R&D in that area are virtually nil, and there is a ban on genetically engineered organisms from abroad entering the country, so they’ve adopted a strategy of trying to stymie its development elsewhere.
As Dr. Alex Berezow of the American Council on Science and Health pointed out: “RT has never been fond of GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which are largely the result of American innovation. In a 2015 article, RT reported on Russia’s decision to ban GMO food production in Russia. Tellingly, one of the protesters shown in the report is holding a sign that reads, ‘Goodbye America!’ The anti-GMO stance is not based on science or health concerns; instead, it’s based entirely on hurting U.S. agricultural companies.”
A Russia-centered group concocted the bizarre FactorGMO scam, which billed itself at its 2014 launch as “the world’s largest international study on GMO safety,” as though that issue was still in doubt. The $25 million project has vanished into thin air. And RT has just released (May 23) a “documentary” film, “The Peril on Your Plate,” a propagandistic screed that presents yet again all the anti-genetic engineering memes and fake news.
None of this is surprising. As one of my colleagues, a prominent Russia expert, observed, “Whatever stirs up trouble in the U.S., Russia is ready to help make it worse.”