Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Popcorn! And GMOs!

Big thanks to Chad for helping us find popcorn. And popcorn that doesn't have "butter flavoring" in it and isn't made by ConAgra to boot!

On a hopefully unrelated note (but unlikely considering ConAgra's business), we did a little research yesterday and discovered to our dismay that Korea has ended its holdout against genetically modified foods - GMOs. And for what food? Corn, of course! The move was supposedly made to ease consumer burden from rising food prices. However, I can't help but notice the move came amid negotiations for a bilateral trade deal between Korea and the US. The United States, being the hegemon of the world, tends to throw its weight around pretty aggressively in these negotiations. At the same time, the US has been pushing GMO food products on the world; aggressively so even with the EU, perhaps the only group with economic strength to stand up to the US' might. The US is also the leading corn producer in the world, producing more than one-third the world's crop, much of it genetically modified.

Let me summerize...

1. Korea was one of the last two East Asian countries to ban GMOs (Japan being the other).
2. At the time South Korea decided to allow imports, they were in negotiations with the US for a bi-lateral trade agreement.
3. The US has a history of aggressively pushing for the loosening of restrictions surrounding GMOs.
4. The US has a special interest in the unfettered trade of genetically modified corn.
5. South Korea's first imported GMO food was corn, to be used as a component of sweeteners and starches.

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