Many of you will have heard about the study by Gilles-Eric Seralini of the University of Caen and colleagues which said rats fed on a diet containing NK603 – a corn seed variety made tolerant to Monsanto’s Roundup weedkiller – or given water with Roundup at levels permitted in the United States, died earlier than those on a standard diet.
We have held off blogging on this to see what the media reaction would be. Most often when negative studies about GE crops come out, the methodology behind the study is criticised by biotech back scientists, and, if that doesn’t work, the reputation of the scientists are called into question. The first has been the response to this study. The North American mainstream media has also tried to ignore the study, but it has been all over the European press.
We are posting 5 blogs taken from GM watch. More will follow in the next few days.
The bottom line is we don’t know if GE crops are safe or not because of a lack of independent testing (regulatory authorities in the USA and Canada take the studies produced by biotech companies, and don’t do their own studies). And if we don’t know whether they are safe or not, they shouldn’t be planted or eaten.
Glyphosate, the non-selective herbicide that is the active ingredient in Monsanto’s Roundup formula, is up for a routine safety review in the United States and Canada. The herbicide has been used in eliminating weeds in soybeans, corn, cotton, as well as for lawn and garden maintenance since the early 1970s. “More than 2 billion lbs of herbicide were used globally in 2007, with one quarter of that total – 531 million lbs – used in the United States in that timeframe, according to a report issued in February by the EPA,” recently reported Reuters. Since at least 1996, the thirst for glyphosate was fueled in large measure by the development of glyphosate tolerant crops (e.g., Monsanto’s Roundup Ready lines), which are able to withstand continued application of this herbicide. Continue reading
According to a just released report with input from 20 citizens’ organizations, GMOs are bad news – as reported in the London Guardian: “Genetic engineering has failed to increase the yield of any food crop but has vastly increased the use of chemicals and the growth of “superweeds”, according to a report by 20 Indian, south-east Asian, African and Latin American food and conservation groups representing millions of people.” You can read the Guardian article and download the report at http://www.guardian.co.uk/environment/2011/oct/19/gm-crops-insecurity-superweeds-pesticides?newsfeed=true
Posted in BioFuels, Biotech Companies, Food Security, GE Corn, Pesticides, World Food Politics
Tagged Biotech Companies, Bt Cotton, Center For Food Safety, Food Security, GE Foods, Glyphosate, GMO, India, Monsanto, Roundup Ready, Sustainability, Syngenta, World Hunger
Thank goodness someone is opposing GE corn, if it wasn’t for Europe and Japan we would be in a lot more trouble. Europe has a different food culture to North America – in Europe so much more of the food is grown and eaten locally.
The French government still refuses to lift its ban on growing genetically modified corn in France
, despite the European Court of Justice saying that France’s 2008 prohibition against Monsanto’s MON810 variety was out of line on procedural grounds.
Press release – July 30, 2010
Pordenone, Italy – Greenpeace activists from Italy, Austria, Germany and Hungary are quarantining illegal Genetically Engineered (GE) crops being grown in Italy. Wearing safety equipment to protect against contamination, the activists are isolating, cutting and securing the top of the GE maize plants, the part that contains the pollen.
Last week, Greenpeace took samples from the field in Friuli, northern Italy to a certified laboratory for analysis. The results confirm without doubt that the maize being grown in these fields is a patented Mosanto GE maize type, MON810. GE crop cultivation without a permit is illegal in Italy (1). There is considerable documentation highlighting the threats posed by MON810 to biodiversity, including the accumulation of toxins in soil, and negative impacts on species such as butterflies and moths (2).
“Greenpeace has taken action today to prevent any further contamination from these hazardous and illegal GE crops,” said Federica Ferrario, Greenpeace Italy Agriculture campaigner. “For days these crops will have been contaminating not only neighbouring fields, but countryside further away as well, as insects and winds disseminate their pollen.”
Posted in Biotech Companies, Food Security, GE Corn, Greenpeace, World GE Politics
Tagged Ban GM crops, Biodiversity, Biotech Companies, Food Security, GE Corn, GMO, GMO corn, Greenpeace, Illegal GM corn Italy, Illegal planting, MON810
April: This is my biggest pet peeve of the GMO seed industry: any idiot or black market can get their hands on this stuff. It’s that easy. This leads to a world full of GMO plants, insects and God knows what – where. This is why it is so incredibly important that we speak out – we have the potential to lose this planet or save it. Ever wondered why there are no GMO seeds in the Norway Seed Vault?
If there are no law suits from Big Biotechs, then is it reasonable to assume that they played a role in the distribution? I hope the farmers sue over this one…
A genetically modified (GM) variety of maize banned in the EU has been sown accidentally across Germany.
The NK603 variety has been planted in seven states. The seed supplier, US firm Pioneer Hi-Bred, called the level of contamination “minute”.
It is not clear how the mistake occurred, but it could cost farmers millions of euros, as crops will now have to be destroyed.
The EU is currently reviewing its tight rules on the cultivation of GM crops.
Pioneer Hi-Bred, based in Buxtehude near Hamburg, says NK603 has been planted on “just under 2,000 hectares (4,940 acres)” of land. The environmental group Greenpeace put the area as high as 3,000 hectares.
Bavaria, Baden-Wuerttemberg and Lower Saxony are among the states where it has been sown.
Supporters of GM crops argue that they deliver higher yields and resistance to pests, requiring less fertiliser and pesticides.
Posted in American Politics & Food, Biotech Companies, Canadian Politics & Food, Food Security, GE Corn, Monsanto, World GE Politics
Tagged April Reeves, Ban GM crops, Biotech Companies, Food Security, GM Corn, GMO, Monsanto, NK603, Pioneer Hi-Bred, Small Farmer