grist published a superb article on facts behind the rhetoric on regulation of genetically modified crops and health safety that’s worth a read. while i think it’s worth being concerned about the health safety of gmo crops, the last line really resonated with me, “…Gurian-Sherman told me that he is concerned about health risks from GE foods, but that’s last on his list, behind concerns about the environment, monopolies, and the direction of agriculture.” indeed, given the rapid adoption of biotech crops, what are the implications of having so much of our food system in the control of a few companies and the long term environmental and health effects of increased pesticide use that’s associated with gmo crops and the threat of superbugs and superweeds?
asia curbs US wheat imports after a genetically modified sample was found, putting billions of food exports at stake. perhaps the economic threat from accidental contamination might end up translating into support for gmo labelling which is something that reports of superweeds. superpests and ever increasing consumer demand for gmo-free food haven’t been able to do. interesting that contamination comes just days after the u.s. senate voted overwhelmingly — 71 to 27 — against a gmo labelling amendment that didn’t itself even require labeling of genetically modified organisms, but merely would have let states decide if they wanted to require such labeling. it took me awhile to find an article that revealed how they found the gmo wheat, which has not been approved to grow in the US and faces staunch opposition around the world. the wheat was growing where it wasn’t wanted, like a weed, and wouldn’t die after being treated with roundup.
one year ago leading insect experts issued an ‘urgent’ warning regarding the corn rootworm which had “found a chink in the armor” of genetically engineered crops through field-evolved resistance. and so, this spring, non-organic farmers – unsurprisingly – expect to use more soil insecticide with genetically modified hybrids ( which, of course, runs counter to the promise of bacillus thuringiensis gmos ). guess who makes money on both? the pesticide treadmill goes round and round and around.
france calls for EU-wide ban of monsanto gmo maize, citing “latest scientific studies” which showed that the use of GM crops “pose significant risks for the environment””. meanwhile in the US, the USDA says companies developing gmo products “…will get speedier regulatory reviews of their genetically modified crops.” *headdesk*