Marchers in Durban, South Africa 'Say No To GMO'
Organic Consumers Association's political director Alexis Baden-Mayer said yesterday, "GMOs have been partially banned in a number of countries, including Germany, Japan, and Russia yet most countries across the globe still feed GMOs to their animals." Adding, “Most of the genetically modified crops grown in the US end up in factory farms even though the US has enough grassland to pasture and raise '100 percent grass-fed beef' and produce even more grass fed beef than is raised on modified corn and soy.”
Another issue vital to understanding the realities of industrial agriculture's love affair with GMOs is nicely summed up in an article published by the David Suzuki foundation titled 'Information & Resources About GMO or GE Foods in Canada'. In it Suzuki explains the basics of how and why most genetically engineered (GE) crops are either engineered to produce their own pesticide in the form of Bacillus thurengiensis (Bt) or are engineered to be resistant to herbicides, which include 'Roundup-Ready' crops. 'Roundup-Ready' crops allow farmers to spray their fields with the herbicide RoundupTM (glyphosate) without harming the herbicide resistant crop. This practice has led to increased use of glyphosate and insect resistance to the herbicide.
Herbicide resistant crops have been shown to cross-pollinate with weeds in the same family, creating super-weeds that are also resistant to herbicides. This has led to ineffective increased herbicide use because farmers will spray the superweeds repeatedly, unaware that the weeds are herbicide-resistant. Also, weeds that have cross-pollinated with GE crops bred to resist insect may become invasive, spreading beyond their natural habitat and out-competing native plants. Further that this abusive practice of intense spraying plays a huge role, along with chemical fertilizer abuse, in the poisoning of the lakes, rivers and groundwater.
Millions of people worldwide are aware that chemical and energy-intensive industrial food and farming as a whole, not just GMOs, pose a fundamental threat to public health, the environment, the aquatic biosphere and climate stability. As Dr. Vandana Shiva said yesterday, "We did not choose to target Monsanto. Monsanto chose to target our seed and food freedom, our scientific and democratic institutions, our very lives."
Why would our governments, especially here in Canada and the US be so adamant in their support of the GMO industry? Money. "Be it water pollution, air pollution, greenhouse gas emissions, antibiotic resistance or the abuse of those cousins of ours named livestock, the corporate shareholders, including pension plans, only consideration is short-term profit - that's capitalism. Serving the interests of the profiteers - that's politics. Choosing which politicians serve which profiteers - that's democracy." - The Mud Report
From a positive perspective the results from the International Foundation for Organic Agriculture 40 year multinational, multidisciplinary, peer reviewed study, 'Organic Agriculture and Climate Change Adaptation and Mitigation in the Context of Food Security' said, "If farmers could stop planting GMOs, and make the transition to organic farming, farm and ranch land can become a significant sink or sequestration pool for greenhouse gasses, literally sucking excess greenhouse gases out of the atmosphere and sequestering them safely in the soil, where they belong."
One very credible inter-related set of solutions to many of the economic and environmental disasters, including global warming, that our fair Gaia faces is organic agriculture, re-establishment of perennial grasses, land reform and hard work. "The single greatest service each of us can provide to our planet, our families and ourselves is to grow our own organic food from non-hybrid seeds. To save our own seed in turn, and in so doing be part of the future solution to the present day destruction being sown by GMO's, agri-business and the bio-technology giants." - The Mud Report