Why Gwynne Dyer got it wrong about GE crops

Gwynne Dyer had a piece in the Georgia Straight supporting GE crops in general and GE rice in particular.

http://m.straight.com/article/36913

Here is our response, which we sent to the Straight:

In his article on Golden Rice and the necessity of genetically engineered crops (4th April) Gwynne Dyer makes a number of unsubstantiated claims.

Dyer claims genetically engineered (GE) crops are necessary to feed a growing global population. But about 60% of GE crops, particularly corn and soy, are used for animal feed, a very inefficient way of using resources to feed humans. And in North America, where about a third of the population is obese, we throw away 50% of our food – so why is it we need more food exactly?

Dyer argues that GE crops have helped increase yields, and herbicide and pesticide use are down. Where’s his evidence? A recent synthesis of 120 studies convincingly demonstrated the opposite: http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/58

Dyer notes that GE crops pose no risks to human health. How can he be so sure, given there’s no independent testing of GE crops. Our government simply takes the science given to them by biotech companies like Monsanto, and uses that to determine if GE crops are safe. Minor conflict of interest?

Dyer claims that GE rice is necessary to help overcome Vitamin A deficiency, a killer of poor kids in developing countries. According to the World Health Organization, breastfeeding, eating a diversified diet, and periodic supply of high-dose vitamin A in swift, simple, low-cost, high-benefit interventions, costing a couple of cents a dose, will be just as effective: http://www.who.int/nutrition/topics/vad/en/index.html But if we invested in swift, simple, low cost solutions, where would the profits be for big bio-tech?

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3 responses to “Why Gwynne Dyer got it wrong about GE crops

  1. Besides the health risks of GMOs, they have not proven in any way that they produce more and only result in the use of more pesticides and now because round-up is failing they want to go back to ddt. NO. GMOs need to be taken off the planet altogether. We don’t need more food, we need a food delivery system.

  2. And let’s remember: ALL of the ”Bio Tech” companies that produce these GE seeds, patent life, sue independent farmers and buy up seed companies are in fact- CHEMICAL COMPANIES in disguise. The reason they are engineering crops is to create a larger market for their poisons! (and then we eat them??)

  3. I live in Vancouver and shop well known health food stores when I can. More and more I notice I have a phlegm reaction with a ball of mucus in my throat that I can’t clear. I notice this after eating popcorn, bakery made muffins and other grains and even cheeses. This is my sign that there are gmo ingredients. Yet a certain brand of organic bread produces no phlegm. I have a “no eat” list now that includes some health food store items.

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