Russia’s Vladimir Putin has been accused of handing the presidential election to Donald Trump, a conspiracy theory that perhaps gives the former KGB spy too much credit. Russian attempts at disinformation, an old technique dating back from the days of the Soviet Union, are more directed toward sectors of the American economy that Moscow views as a threat. The Russians are very keen, for example, to stop fracking, the drilling technique that has flooded the world with oil and gas, made America a fossil fuel exporter and decreased the value of Russian product that is its sole export commodity.

Now, according to Acsh, Moscow is taking aim as GMO foods, genetically modified to introduce useful traits.

GMO foods include crops that have been designed to resist insects, thus lowering the need to use pesticides. Others are designed for traits like greater shelf life and enhanced nutrition. GMOs have to potential of being a boon for agriculture providing people with greater access to nutritious foods.

Unfortunately, GMOs have proven to be a hard sale, being opposed by groups who would like to see the product banned. These environmentalists maintain that genetically enhanced food is bad for people and are designed only to assist corporations. Some suggest that organically grown food would be better, despite the fact that no scientific evidence exists that organic products have any enhanced value.

RT, the Russian English-language media organization that serves as a propaganda arm for the Kremlin, has been touting the alleged dangers of GMOs and noting that Russia has severely restricted the import of such products. Not coincidentally, American agricultural commodities will not compete as well against the Russian farming sector.

The disinformation campaign being conducted by Russia against fracking and GMOs and its clandestine support of groups opposing those technologies is nothing new. The Soviet Union ran a huge campaign in the 1980s in support of the nuclear freeze movement and against President Reagan’s SDI program. The difference is that now Russia is seeking an economic advantage rather than a military one.

The campaign against GMOs has been more successful in Europe and the developing world than in the United States. Despite the calumnies being advanced by some, mainly global warming acolytes, that Americans tend to be “anti-science.” In fact, they tend to be fascinated with and more accepting of new technology that people in other countries. Even so, the disinformation campaign against GM foods is starting to have an effect, with the majority of Americans believing them to be unsafe. People with less schooling tend to be more inclined to be afraid of GMOs and distrustful of scientists who say they are safe. So, clearly, some education is warranted to counteract the disinformation.