Roundup (herbicide) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
English: Monsanto pesticide to be sprayed on food crops. Français : Remplissage d’un épandeur (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
This post was extracted from one of the 1000’s of emails l receive everyday into our news room and thought it would say how l feel about GM and how we are being slowly convinced to switch allegiance to people like Monsanto!
It’s not easy being green. And it’s especially hard if you’re not even green to begin with.
An editorial in New Scientist tries to make the case that genetically modified (GM) crops provide hidden environmental benefits.
Right – you know… The way fizzy drinks have hidden health benefits. And skydiving has hidden anti-gravity benefits.
Seriously. This might be the worst sales pitch I’ve ever heard.
Down on the green farm
According to New Scientist, “GM has the potential to do enormous good, if used in the right way.”
Enormous good? Okay, New Scientist. Bring on the enormity.
Here are the two examples the article offers…
1) GM reduces the need for tilling (ploughing using a tractor). That enables farmers to cut greenhouse emissions.
And how much does tilling add to total greenhouse emissions? I’m going to guess it’s around 1/10th of one per cent. I have no idea if that’s correct, but I’m pretty sure I’m on the high side.
2) GM scientists are devising drought-resistant crops that will thrive in warmer climates.
Unfortunately, insects that thrive in warm weather might devour those crops. But these aren’t just any insects.
Monsanto — the largest US manufacturer of GM foods and pesticides — created a GM corn that contains an insecticide called Bt. Every cell of the plant — from roots to kernels — contains Bt.
Guess what happened?
A Bt-resistant root-worm has evolved. This past summer, farmers discovered that this lowly pest seems to do its worst damage when temperatures are scorching.
One scientist summed up the disaster… “Instead of making things easier, we’ve just made corn root-worm management harder and a heck of a lot more expensive.”
Meanwhile, GM has created another kind of environmental nightmare. Super-weeds. Monsanto’s Roundup Ready (weed killer) crops have produced Roundup-resistant weeds so sturdy and fast growing that many farmers can’t control them. Some farmers actually abandon their fields to these crop-killers.More than 20 weed species have developed resistance to Roundup.
There’s only one part of the GM plan that’s working out beautifully. Monsanto and other agribusiness giants are getting very rich off GM “innovations.”
Maybe that’s the “green” New Scientist is talking about? Fortunately, in the UK and Europe (EU) legislation about the production of GM foods is much more stringent.
Currently, a type of maize called MON 810 is the only GM food cultivated commercially in the EU.However, it is banned in six EU states: Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg.
Only the other day, French researchers insisted that the EU reviews the long-term risks of GM foods. A controversial study, at the University of Caen, showed that rats that were fed Monsanto’s NK603 GM maize and exposed to the company’s top-selling Roundup weed killer were at higher risk of suffering tumour’s,multiple organ damage and premature death.
Despite widespread opposition to GM crops in the EU, GM food production in Europe is growing. The difference in Europe, compared to many other parts of the world, including the US, is that there is compulsory labeling for GM foods (at least those that contain more than 0.9% GM).
However, labeling GM foods does not help much because European consumers do not study labels that carefully, according to a recent study involving five EU countries. In addition, products such as meat, milk and eggs from animals fed GM animal feed do not require any labelling in the EU.
This just about sums up my feelings on GM and l say to everyone ” Say NO to GMO ” and any ingredients in my kitchen get short shift if they are ordered by my staff!
If we allow this to get a hold then sooner rather than later we will develop foods that not just harm our bodies, but harm our future generations bodies. We all know how many drugs produced are no longer effective on certain diseases, well we could spur a new range of diseases and then not have a clue how to stop them spreading!
So share this article on every site you can and leave any comments l will reply, l promise!
Thanks for caring and of course carry on the sharing.