As most readers here are aware, we've been tracking the growing global revolt against GMOs, and it's ongoing emergence as a central geopolitical issue. Most recently, for example, I blogged about the lawsuit in Kenya from small farmers seeking to block a lift of that government's GMO ban. Russia has benned them altogether, and many European nations have issued partial or complete bans.
Now, in this article shared by Ms. M.W., you can add Northern Ireland to the list:
Northern Ireland's position is clear, and, notably, very similar to the types of reasons that one has heard from Russia for its GMO ban, a fact which may indicate that that nation has had a subtle influence on the growing revolt against GMOS:
Mr Durkan said the relatively small size of farms in Northern Ireland could create "potential difficulties if we were to seek to keep GM and non-GM crops separate".
He said the costs of maintaining separateness could be expensive and impractical.
"Further, we are rightly proud of our natural environment and rich biodiversity," he said.
"We are perceived internationally to have a clean and green image. I am concerned that the growing of GM crops, which I acknowledge is controversial, could potentially damage that image."
Whether my speculation about a possible subtle Russian influence on the growing revolt against GMOs be true or not, however, there is yet another, new issue, looming in the discussion and debate, one which we have not touched upon at any great length in our blogs. Consider this statement:
While no GM crops are being grown commercially in the UK, imported GM commodities, especially soya, are being used mainly for animal feed, and to a lesser extent in some food products.
In other words, the GMO ban and growing revolt needs to understand that merely a ban on their growth and immediate human consumption is not the same thing as a ban on the use of GMOs to feed livestock, or the incorporation of GMOs into processed foods. This is a loophole that when reading stories of the growing GMO revolt, one must ensure also enters the discussion. Already this has occurred in some countries, including the USA, where "organic meat" and "poultry" products are entering the markets, with the assurance that GMOs were not used in the feeding of livestock. Here, too, the rigorous and long-term intergenerational scientific studies of human health and environmental impact - not to mention impact on animal husbandry - has been lacking.
See you on the flip side...