In fact the real driver behind the anti-GMO push comes from the organic food industry and smaller farmers who raise and stoke fear in an effort to protect their own corporate and business interests in the face of highly competitive and expensive to enter genetic agriculture, livestock, and food markets. The GMO classification drive in California (which failed) is a classic example of this. The top donors and petition circulators for the effort came from a mix of organic farming corporations, natural food restaurant companies, and alternative medicine & nutrition practitioners all of which is a large industry in California.
It is protectionism, which misinformed green and consumer advocates latch onto in an effort to defeat an enemy and a problem which doesn't exist.
Edit: Opposing genetically modified foods and organisms on a scientific basis is the equivalent of denying climate change. It relies on studies by individual scientists and labs conducted on the margins, and heavily publicized single cases often taken out of context and practical understanding. All while ignoring the mountains of studies and evidence that point towards the opposite. It is so extraordinarily similar to global climate change denialists.
Last edited by Sherman123; 01-21-13 at 12:56 PM.
Sandy Allstate Ad: Company Pulls Advertisement Featuring Couple's Destroyed Staten Island Home
I'm guessing that all these countries/govs are just paranoid from your view then right?
By Stephanie Whiteside / current.com / @stephgwhiteside
Genetically modified foods are foods made from genetically modified organisms. A few weeks ago, California voters turned down Proposition 37, which would have required that GMO foods be labeled as such. Chemical companies and processed-food manufacturers heavily — and successfully — backed a campaign opposing the proposition. Nationwide, GMO crops are prevalent and efforts to label GMO foods have yet to get off the ground.
But outside the U.S., you can find a different approach.
Peru has said "no" to genetically modified foods — a 10-year ban on GMO foods takes effect this week. Peru's ban on GMO foods prohibits the import, production and use of genetically modified foods. The law is aimed at safeguarding the country's agricultural diversity and preventing cross-pollination with non-GMO crops. It will also help protect Peruvian exports of organic products.
Peru isn't the first country to ban GMO foods or place restrictions on their use. Earlier this year, Russia suspended imports of Monsanto's GMO corn after a French study linked the corn to cancer; France also has a temporary ban on the corn. Ireland has banned the growing of GMO crops since 2009. Japan and Egypt also ban the cultivation of GMO crops. In 2010, Switzerland extended a moratorium on genetically modified animals and plants, banning GMOs until 2013.
Even countries that don't ban GMO crops may place restrictions on them. Germany requires farmers growing GMO crops to maintain a minimum distance from conventional farms and holds them liable for damages if conventional crops are contaminated via cross-pollination. A German court upheld the restrictions, turning down a complaint that claimed the regulations unfairly damaged farmers.
In some places where GMOs are permitted, labeling is required, enabling consumers to decide if they wish to purchase foods containing GMOs. In 1998, the European Union began requiring labels for food products with more than 0.9 percent of ingredients from genetically modified processes. Other countries, including Japan, Australia, New Zealand, China, Saudi Arabia, Thailand, India, Chile and South Africa, require labeling for foods containing GMOs.
The U.S., however, has no such requirements. Efforts to ban GMO foods or require labeling have occurred only on a local level. Most recently, California's Proposition 37 was an attempt to require labeling of food containing genetically modified ingredients. The proposition was defeated at the ballot box after Monsanto and other companies poured money into opposing the effort, including an ad campaign that claimed the labeling requirement would cause the cost of groceries to skyrocket.
When other countries are taking the step to ban GMO crops outright, the U.S. remains resistant to even allowing consumers to know if they are consuming food made with genetically modified ingredients. America is embracing the cultivation of GMO crops while other countries are taking a more cautious approach — and now thousands of products in the United States contain GMOs, a contrast to Europe, where labeling is required and few products use genetically modified ingredients. Manufacturers of GMOs claim genetically engineered products are safe and well accepted, but the resistance to labeling suggest otherwise. When it comes to consumer choice on GMOs, the U.S. shouldn't be lagging behind.
2. Yes Russia and Peru are ****ty countries and are reacting to domestic political and economic considerations. Duh.
3. GMO labeling and crop banning is a fear mongering campaign that is mostly designed to suit farming interests and advocates in the organic food industry, and of course their useful but ill-informed allies in the Green and consumer advocacy community. This is really noticeable in Europe where the charge is usually led by subsidized small to medium holding farmers. It is entirely artificial. It is abominable that the Green movement has betrayed its roots and abetted this blatant profit motivated protectionism. It is anti-science and unethical.
Monsanto | Issues and Answers
Monsanto | Safety and Technical Information
First general I'm changing your name to Custer because often in these 'debates' the continually parroted 'talking points' that you use get quite boorish and may as well be pasted from Monsanto's own web site...duh lol...so for the sake of boredom reduction and for the training value it has for new troops I dub thee Custer123 before I return for your virtual beheading...this is where you are at this point:
Secondly agricultural biodiversity died years ago when we shifted to the modern agricultural standard which emphasized crop uniformity to increase food output and consistency. GMO's are a recent contribution to this mix and in fact are the hoped for answer to the problems caused by the decline of agricultural biodiversity. Why? Because if we are going to have mass modern agriculture (which we will, we have billions to feed) and take that loss, it would be best to experiment and test plant and feed strains that are resistant to various blights and plagues that cause us so much trouble. While constant research and testing offers opportunities offers the chance for future anticipatory protection as well.
I am not worried. Terminator seeds do not bother me but they are not necessary. There is plenty of biodiversity on this planet.
Before we get on with the rest of that business though, I would like to address this new business you have raised in attempt at being rewarded with a pardon I can only suspect:
Today, the majority of American farmland is dominated by industrial agriculture—the system of chemically intensive food production developed in the decades after World War II, featuring enormous single-crop farms and animal production facilities.
Back then, industrial agriculture was hailed as a technological triumph that would enable a skyrocketing world population to feed itself. Today, a growing chorus of agricultural experts—including farmers as well as scientists and policy makers—sees industrial agriculture as a dead end, a mistaken application to living systems of approaches better suited for making jet fighters and refrigerators.
The impacts of industrial agriculture on the environment, public health, and rural communities make it an unsustainable way to grow our food over the long term. And better, science-based methods are available.
Industrial Agriculture Practices: Monoculture
At the core of industrial food production is monoculture—the practice of growing single crops intensively on a very large scale. Corn, wheat, soybeans, cotton and rice are all commonly grown this way in the United States.
Monoculture farming relies heavily on chemical inputs such as synthetic fertilizers and pesticides. The fertilizers are needed because growing the same plant (and nothing else) in the same place year after year quickly depletes the nutrients that the plant relies on, and these nutrients have to be replenished somehow. The pesticides are needed because monoculture fields are highly attractive to certain weeds and insect pests.
Expanding Monoculture: Eight Ways Monsanto Fails at Sustainable Agriculture
Industrial Agriculture Practices: Meat Production
In the industrial system of meat production, meat animals are "finished"—prepared for slaughter—at large-scale facilities called CAFOs (confined animal feeding operations), where their mobility is restricted and they are fed a high-calorie, grain-based diet, often supplemented with antibiotics and hormones, to maximize their weight gain. Their waste is concentrated and becomes an environmental problem, not the convenient source of fertilizer that manure can be for more diverse, less massively scaled farms.
CAFOs Uncovered (2008)
They Eat What? The Reality of Feed at Animal Factories
Impacts of Industrial Agriculture: Environmental Damage
No matter what methods are used, agriculture always has some impact on the environment. But industrial agriculture is a special case: it damages the soil, water, and even the climate on an unprecedented scale.
Intensive monoculture depletes soil and leaves it vulnerable to erosion. Chemical fertilizer runoff and CAFO wastes add to global warming emissions and create oxygen-deprived "dead zones" at the mouths of major waterways. Herbicides and insecticides harm wildlife and can pose human health risks as well. Biodiversity in and near monoculture fields takes a hit, as populations of birds and beneficial insects decline.
Increasing Herbicide Use: Eight Ways Monsanto Fails at Sustainable Agriculture
Hidden Costs of Industrial Agriculture
Impacts of Industrial Agriculture: Evolutionary Wars
Whenever we attack a population of unwanted organisms (such as weeds or bacteria) repeatedly with the same weapon, we give an evolutionary advantage to genes that make the organism less vulnerable to that weapon. Over time, those genes become more widespread, and the weapon becomes less useful—a phenomenon called resistance. Industrial agriculture has accelerated resistance problems on at least two fronts.
Overuse of antibiotics in meat production (in the U.S., more antibiotics are consumed each year by healthy animals than by sick humans) has contributed to a growing problem of antibiotic resistance that is having a serious impact on the treatment of infectious diseases.
And a similar over-reliance on the herbicide glyphosate (marketed by Monsanto Co. as Roundup) has spawned a burgeoning population of Roundup-resistant "superweeds" that has become a scourge for farmers in many areas of the U.S., especially the South and Midwest.
Prescription for Trouble: Using Antibiotics to Fatten Livestock
Promoting Pesticide Resistance: Eight Ways Monsanto Fails at Sustainable Agriculture
See also: Industrial Agriculture | Pesticide Action Network
"Humans have been farming for 10,000 years. Sixty years ago, after World War II, we started industrializing U.S. farming operations through a mix of policy decisions and accidents of history. This method of farming is neither inevitable nor efficient. More to the point, it can't be sustained.
Industrial agriculture treats the farm as a factory, with "inputs" (pesticides, fertilizers) and "outputs" (crops). The end-objective is increasing yields while controlling costs — usually by exploiting economies of scale (i.e. making a lot of one thing, or "monocropping"), and by replacing solar energy and manual labor with machines and petro-chemicals like pesticides and fertilizers.
In relying on chemical "inputs," we have un-learned how to farm.
This model of farming is inefficient and does not represent the cutting edge of modern farming. In 1940, we produced 2.3 food calories for every 1 fossil fuel calorie used. By industrializing our food and farming systems, we now get 1 food calorie for every 10 fossil fuel calories used — a 23-fold reduction in efficiency. Following this path we have become dependent on cheap, abundant oil, and on quick chemical "fixes" for agro-ecosystem challenges that are complicated and require deep, local and hands-on knowledge. In relying on chemical inputs, we have un-learned how to farm.
Hidden Costs of Chemical Dependence..." read the rest here: Industrial Agriculture | Pesticide Action Network
We will now proceed with the rest of the "Uh what?" question in the following post...General...