Foreign spies now stealing GMO secrets, not just military secrets

Andrei Corn R x
Drought-resistant corn hybrids on display at a DuPont Pioneer sales center near Cairo, Nebraska. Photo by Mary Anne Andrei

The GLP aggregated and excerpted this blog/article to reflect the diversity of news, opinion and analysis.

Recently, the FBI caught several employees of Chinese agricultural companies smuggling corn seeds out of the U.S. The seeds’ genetic sequencing was matched to seeds under development by Monsanto, DuPont Pioneer, and LG Seeds and they were labeled with GPS coordinates corresponding to farms where they were being tested.

According to the U.S. government, this theft stems from a dangerous fact: Despite its remarkable landmass, China can’t grow enough food to feed itself. Water shortages and lack of arable terrain have forced their government to buy approximately 94 percent of all corn imported into China each year from the U.S..

The only tenable way for China to meet its own demand is by planting high-performance hybrids, which can double or potentially even triple per-acre corn production. Chinese scientists haven’t developed a significant corn hybrid in years. But Monsanto and DuPont Pioneer, the two American seed giants, have produced so many that they now control 45 percent of all seed sold globally.

The Department of Justice maintains that China is quietly permitting and encouraging companies to steal American agricultural secrets. In fact, a 2011 report prepared by the Office of the National Counterintelligence Executive listed “agricultural technology” among the targets “likely to be of greatest interest” to spies from Russia and China.

Disturbingly, they may be right. As the global population continues to climb and climate change makes arable soil and water more scarce, the world’s next superpower will be determined not just by which country has the most military might but also, and more importantly, by its mastery of the technology required to produce large quantities of food.

U.S. government intends to use food as an point of leverage over large, increasingly hungry nations like China. The prosecution of the Chinese corn thieves stands as a warning to the Chinese government, issued through its proxy companies.

Read full, original post: Corn Wars

Outbreak
Outbreak Daily Digest
Biotech Facts & Fallacies
Talking Biotech
Genetics Unzipped
Nigeriacotton

Video: We can ‘finally’ grow GMOs—Nigerian farmer explains why developing countries need biotech crops

Nigerian farmer Patience Koku discusses the GMO crop trials she is conducting on her farm, and why growers can "rise ...
mag insects image superjumbo v

Disaster interrupted: Which farming system better preserves insect populations: Organic or conventional?

A three-year run of fragmentary Armageddon-like studies had primed the journalism pumps and settled the media framing about the future ...
dead bee desolate city

Are we facing an ‘Insect Apocalypse’ caused by ‘intensive, industrial’ farming and agricultural chemicals? The media say yes; Science says ‘no’

The media call it the “Insect Apocalypse”. In the past three years, the phrase has become an accepted truth of ...
breastfeeding bed x facebook x

Infographic: We know breastfeeding helps children. Now we know it helps mothers too

When a woman becomes pregnant, her risk of type 2 diabetes increases for the rest of her life, perhaps because ...
organic hillside sweet corn x

Organic v conventional using GMOs: Which is the more sustainable farming?

Many consumers spend more for organic food to avoid genetically modified products in part because they believe that “industrial agriculture” ...
benjamin franklin x

Are most GMO safety studies funded by industry?

The assertion that biotech companies do the research and the government just signs off on it is false ...
gmo corn field x

Do GMO Bt (insect-resistant) crops pose a threat to human health or the environment?

Bt is a bacterium found organically in the soil. It is extremely effective in repelling or killing target insects but ...
favicon

Environmental Working Group: EWG challenges safety of GMOs, food pesticide residues

Known by some as the "Environmental Worrying Group," EWG lobbies for tighter GMO legislation and famously puts out annual "dirty dozen" list of fruits and ...
m hansen

Michael Hansen: Architect of Consumers Union ongoing anti-GMO campaign

Michael K. Hansen (born 1956) is thought by critics to be the prime mover behind the ongoing campaign against agricultural biotechnology at Consumer Reports. He is an ...
News on human & agricultural genetics and biotechnology delivered to your inbox.
Optional. Mail on special occasions.
Send this to a friend