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Politically Driven Food Crimes

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Touch the Soil News # 151

On Thursday, August 7, 2015, the international news agency AFP reported that Russian officials steamrolled tons of cheese, fruit and vegetables – defying public outrage – to begin a controversial drive to destroy Western food smuggled into the crisis-hit country.

Buldozers in Russia commence destroying what could ultimately amount to hundreds of tons of food.

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The problem begins with Russia’s military actions in the Ukraine, which precipitated Western economic sanctions against Russia. In turn, Russia decided not to buy food from the West. However, in the middle of the political economic wars, many Russians fell through the cracks and have become impoverished and hungry.

Recently, to enforce Russia’s ban on importing food from the West, Russian agriculture Minister Alexander Tkcachev recommended confiscating illegal imports and destroying the food. Russian President Vladimir Putin agreed and signed a decree last week to start trashing all Western food.

Food insecure people in Russia, due to vast inequities of wealth, has been made worse due to sanctions against Russia from its military interventions into the Ukraine

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Not surprising, this action has incited outrage in Russia. Vedomosti, a Russian business news daily, wrote a front-page editorial which called Putin’s actions: “A display of barbarity, a challenge to society, a refusal to see the ethical side where it is most important.”

At issue is that we are not talking about just a few pounds of food, but potentially hundreds of tons of food, for which the Earth gave of its resources without asking questions. In a world of resource scarcity, not to mention the pangs of hunger, destroying food with an attitude of getting even can only come back to haunt the Russian regime.

There are reports that 285,000 Russian people have signed a petition to stop the destruction. Much of the food in question has been relabeled and brought into Russia as Russian Food – it creates problems as to the food’s origins and brings confusion to Russian grocery stores.

Russians have had to endure extreme food famines in the past and this touches a delicate nerve as Russian officials flaunt the destruction of food. Following is a short news video on the situation.

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