THE GMO SCRAPBOOK: NEW REPORT FUNDED BY EU COMMISSION QUESTIONS GMO ...May 5, 2014
This was was sent by Ms. M.W., and it's quite lengthy(eleven pages), but worth sharing nonetheless(scroll down and click the PDF link):
The summary of the article's five main points is worth reproducing:
- The report reveals that 90 per cent of GM crops are grown in just six countries and by less than one per cent of the world farming population. An analysis of industry figures shows the claimed increase in GM planting in 2013 remains confined to these six countries.
- The number of countries cultivating genetically modified (GM) crops is in decline, with Poland and Egypt the latest countries to suspend GM crop production.
- There is also little evidence that new GM varieties are the best way to improve nutrition or increase our capacity to adapt to climate change. Ninety nine per cent of available GM crops on the market have been modified to resist pesticides or produce their own, resulting in spiraling pesticide use.
- Countries such as Mexico, Kenya, Egypt and Poland have recently suspended cultivation of certain GM crops. Around the world, experts are calling for a shift to agro-ecological farming methods to tackle hunger and malnutrition. These methods have been shown to double yields in Africa and effectively tackle pests.
- Countries such as the USA, Argentina and Brazil, some of the world's top producers of GM crops, are seeing an upward trend in the use of chemical pesticides as a result of their long-term adoption of GM crops.
- In Africa GM crops are grown only in three countries, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan. However, extreme pressure from biotech companies threatens to open up the continent to GM crops. A recent Kenyan decision to ban GM crops came under fire from lobbyists.
But now, go to the pdf link itself, and you find this interesting admission from the main article:
"This report was produced as part of the project “Development Fields: Using land to reduce poverty”
with the financial support of the European Commission. The content of the report is the exclusive
responsibility of the producers and does not reflect the position of the European Commission."
Notwithstanding the usual caveats that "the views do not necessarily reflect the views of the management or its sponsors," the normal logic is in play here: one doesn't normally buy commercial time on networks or shows that do not share one's overall values. Thus, in that context, there are four paragraphs worth drawing attention to:
While there has been no systematic international evaluation of
GM crops, there is a growing body of evidence based on the
experience of farmers and communities, which raises serious
questions about their environmental impacts. Scientific
discussions about these impacts have become highly politicised.
More than 99 per cent of the GM crops grown are herbicide
tolerant, insect resistant or a combination of both.24 These crops
are essentially extensions of the pesticide-dependent model of
industrial agriculture, suited to large scale, corporate-based
food production. The industry claims these crops help reduce
the environmental impact of these industrial models, but the
evidence from farmers and rural communities suggests that
this is not the case.
Farmers in the US, India and Argentina have reported that they
need to use increasing levels of pesticides on GM crops,25,26,27 and
evidence from communities in Argentina and Paraguay has
raised concerns about the health impacts of these pesticides.28,
29, 30 Costs have also been reportedly rising for GM seeds.31
In the US, 21 different weed species have been identified that
show resistance to glyphosate herbicides,32 with almost half of
farmers affected.33 In Canada, 12 per cent of farmers in Ontario
have reported problems with glyphosate-resistant weeds.34
Monsanto now advises farmers to use a mix of chemical
products and to plough, which would seem to undermine its
claims about the supposed environmental benefits of this
model of farming.
And the recommendations are worth citing:
There are cheaper, better and more readily available solutions
than GM crops to address hunger and malnutrition.
Governments, policy advisors, donors and international
• Build capacity to produce food for local consumption rather
than for export, with an emphasis on small-scale farmers
• Increase investment in agro-ecology to support small farmers
• Participatory research that uses small holders’ traditional
knowledge combined with modern approaches
• Research into enabling development and access to low
cost traditional varieties of seeds and livestock breeds,
led by local communities
• Provision of agricultural extension services so farmers can
access and implement knowledge that will enable them to
farm more sustainably, and which can ensure that farmers
are involved in developing research programmes
These are nothing less, when one reads between the lines, than a sweeping indictment and rejection of the "Big-Pharma-Big Food" mercantilist policies of the agribusiness giants and their corrupt "science and business 'practises'", and it is significant, perhaps highly significant, that the study was funded by the EU commission. In geopolitical terms, it is a clear signal that the EU, for whatever its manifest and palpable faults, is at least aware that GMOs, as an instrument of American imperialism via dominance of the food supply via patent law, is an assault on independent sovereignty. The report also notes how much of Europe already has individual country bans on certain specific GMO crops.
Coupled with Russian calls for complete moratoriums on GMOs while genuine scientific studies can be conducted on a genuinely intergenerational basis, we may be looking, once again, at the first steps in a growing reaction against another pillar of American international commerce and economic dominance: agriculture. As the article notes, GMOs actually cause farmers to use more, not less, pesticides over the long term, thus driving up the per-acre costs of productivity, and making American agriculture less competitive, a fact masked by the current mercantilist policies in place.
That GMO "test ban treaty" appears to be inching closer and closer.
See you on the flip side.