Genetically modified foods, which include crops, have different political impacts from country to country. Around the globe genetically modified crops have caused a shift of power from local and organic farmers to large biotechnology companies. It seems that now the few biotechnology companies, such as Monsanto and Dupont, have control over much of the global food production. People believe that it should be the other way around and that the power should return to the farmers and consumers.
Developed Countries Increased Dependence on Developed
Most of the huge biotechnology companies belong to North America. With the rise of GM products, many farmers in smaller countries have been relying on the US for their GM seeds and such. Therefore, developing countries have been becoming more and more dependent on developed countries for food production. This causes developing countries to stay developing due the countries’ self-sufficiency while profits from the food production go to the developed.
In 2002 Zambia caused a politically controversial protest against GM foods when its government denied the help from the UN. Zambia was in a state of crisis when a drought hit the country and left it in a state of starvation. The UN tried to help with their donation of GM foods (mostly maize). The Zambian Government decided not to accept the donation, calling the GMs ‘poison’ because of their potential and unknown effects. Zambia later accepted the donation be cause they had their three million people in famine. However, the country still has a ban on GM products like many other countries.
GM products have impacted many governments by necessitating passage of laws strictly regulating or banning GMs. Europe has very strict laws regulating the import and production of GM foods. They require all food to be labeled, unlike here in the US. Other countries have placed bans on GMs including Hungary and Venezuela. US is the largest producer of GM crops, above Latin America, and its consumers are not aware of the modified products around and about the grocery stores. The politics surrounding GM crops at both local and international levels are centered on the health concerns of the modified crops and the case won’t rest until the idea is further tested. Until then, countries will have to make their own decisions about their importation and production of GM crops.