China and the Butterfly Effect

By F. William Engdahl and cross-posted from New Eastern Outlook

Sometimes small victories or positive actions are almost as important as major international ones as they can give a new quality of impulse to many related developments, what physicists call the “butterfly effect.” To be more precise, a butterfly effect says that “a small change in one state of a deterministic nonlinear system can result in large differences in a later state,” or that small causes may have large effects. That’s tied to the reality that every part of our Cosmos is interconnected. Such, I believe, will be the “butterfly effect” of a recent decision by the government of China’s northeastern Heilongjiang Province that can give huge impetus to Russia-China trade and economic development and to events far beyond. It’s about building up good natural new structures.

On December 16, 2016, the Provincial Heilongjiang Legislature passed a total ban on the growing of Genetically Modified or GMO crops. The ban goes into effect on May 1, 2017, in some five months. Farmers in China’s Heilongjiang province, one of China’s top grain producing regions, will be prohibited from growing GMO crops, according to the provincial regulation just passed. According to the new law, the ban will be on growing of GMO corn, rice and soybeans. Further, illegal production and sales of GMO crops and supply of their seeds will also be prohibited, as will be illegal production, processing, sale and imports of edible GMO farm produce or edible farm products that contain GMO ingredients. Any GMO food can only be sold in a special zone, clearly indicated in stores as GMO food products, a variation on labelling.

Illegal GMO Soybeans

The legislature acted after a broad survey of the provincial population in October revealed that more than 91% of the population objected to the cultivation of GMO crops. The official ban follows discovery this past September that some 10% of Heilongjiang soybean farmers were illegally planting smuggled GMO soybean seeds despite the fact that the Beijing national government still bans planting of GMO commercial crops, allowing so far only controlled research to be done on GMO “biotechnology.” The farmers had been told, wrongly, that GMO seeds would increase their harvest yields. Farmers found guilty of growing illegal GMO crops face a fine of up to 200,000 yuan or $31,480. In China, owing to a US-promoted loophole in ban on GMO, GMO soybeans as animal feed are allowed in China. Some 60% of all soybeans consumed in China is, as a result of that unfortunate loophole, today GMO. Monsanto and other Western GMO purveyors promote their GMO seeds at agriculture fairs and farmers can buy the seeds online, even though planting is illegal.

In August the giant Chinese state chemicals group, ChemChina made a staggering $43 billion bid to acquire the Swiss GMO seeds and agrochemicals group, Syngenta. Recently Chinese President Xi Jinping and his Prime Minister have given very positive statements about the potential of GMO and biotechnology to contribute to the push to make China a high-tech economic actor. The latest decision of the people and legislature in Heilongjiang sends a clear signal opposing that Beijing strategy

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