Hidden from mainstream media exposure, the World Bank and IMF loan has opened up Ukraine to major corporate inroads.
Loan conditions are forcing the deeply indebted country to open up to GMO crops, and lift the ban on private sector land ownership. US corporations are jubilant at the ‘goldmine’ that awaits them.
The California-based Oakland Institute recently released a report revealing that the World Bank and the International Monetary Fund (IMF), under terms of their $17 billion loan to Ukraine, would open that country to genetically-modified (GM) crops and genetically-modified organisms (GMOs) in agriculture. Ukraine did not ever allow the use of GMOs in agriculture, but Article 404 of the new EU agreement, makes both parties extend the use of biotechnologies. Ukrainian law bars farmers from growing #GMO 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 tonnes of corn.
In late 2013, the then president of Ukraine, Viktor Yanukovych, rejected a European Union association agreement tied to the $17 billion IMF loan, whose terms are only now being revealed. Instead, Yanukovych chose a Russian aid package worth $15 billion plus a discount on Russian natural gas. His decision was a major factor in the ensuing deadly protests that led to his ouster from office in February 2014 and the ongoing crisis.
In May 2013, Monsanto announced plans to invest $140 million in a non-GMO corn seed plant in Ukraine, but by November 2013, six large Ukrainian agriculture associations had prepared draft amendments to the law, pushing for “creating, testing, transportation and use of GMOs regarding the legalization of GM seeds.” The agricultural associations’ draft amendments coincided with the terms of the EU association agreement and IMF/World Bank loan. #Ukraine agriculture will be seriously damaged if the Ukrainian government legally allows GM seeds in the country. Besides opening the country to GM crops, the IMF/EU deal further lifts the ban on the sale of Ukraine’s rich agricultural lands to the private sector.
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