Monsanto has been making headway toward bringing GMOs (genetically modified organisms) into Ukraine. Former Ukraine President, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a proposed $17 billion loan to Ukraine from the World Bank and International Monetary Fund (IMF) in late 2013, because the loan required the introduction of GMO seeds and Ukrainian law bars farmers from growing GM crops. Long considered “the bread basket of Europe,” Ukraine’s rich black soil is ideal for growing grains, and in 2012 Ukrainian farmers harvested more than 20 million tons of corn.
By May 2013 Monsanto had modified investment plans into Ukraine’s agriculture by using a non-GMO corn seed plant. This $140 million dollar investment would give Monsanto access to what they see as Europe’s richest farmland.
In November of 2013, six large Ukrainian agriculture associations had prepared draft amendments to Ukraine laws banning GMOs, pushing for “creating, testing, transportation and use of GMOs regarding the legalization of GM seeds.” With the regime change in the Ukraine, Monsanto is looking forward to introducing GMO seeds into the country.
If Monsanto is successful in accessing Ukraine’s agriculture, there may be a potentially hazardous domino effect throughout Europe. The use of GMOs destroys organic materials in the soils and and serious health concerns have been scientifically proven for both farmers handling GMOs and people consuming them.
Source: Joyce Nelson, “Monsanto and Ukraine,” Counterpunch, August 22, 2014, www.counterpunch.org/2014/08/22/70838/#.U.
Student Researcher: Coleen Walsh (Sonoma State University)
Faculty Evaluator: Elaine Leeder (Sonoma State University)