GMO (4)

Doubts About the Promised Bounty of Genetically Modified Crops

In October 30, 2016 issue of The New York Times

“LONDON — The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.

But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.

The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.

Twenty years ago, Europe largely rejected genetic modification at the same time the United States and Canada were embracing it. Comparing results on the two continents, using independent data as well as academic and industry research, shows how the technology has fallen short of the promise.

Broken Promises of Genetically Modified Crops

About 20 years ago, the United States and Canada began introducing genetic modifications in agriculture. Europe did not embrace the technology, yet it achieved increases in yield and decreases in pesticide use on a par with, or even better than, the United States, where genetically modified crops are widely grown.

Read More …

Post a comment (2 comments)

Monsanto's Herbicide Roundup (…probably causes cancer in humans." Duh!

From todays New York Times, Op-Ed by Mark Bittman titled “Stop Making Us Guinea Pigs”

“The issues surrounding G.M.O.s — genetically modified organisms — have never been simple. They became more complicated last week when the International Agency for Research on Cancer declared that glyphosate, the active ingredient in the widely used herbicide Roundup, probably causes cancer in humans. Two insecticides, malathion and diazinon, were also classified as “probable” carcinogens by the agency, a respected arm of the World Health Organization…

…Nor is it surprising that it took so long — Roundup has been used since the 1970s — to discover its likely carcinogenic properties. There is a sad history of us acting as guinea pigs for the novel chemicals that industry develops. For this we have all too often paid with our damaged health.

Rarely is that damage instantaneous, but it’s safe to say that novel biotechnologies broadly deployed may well have unexpected consequences. Yet unlike Europeans, Canadians, Australians and others, we don’t subscribe to the precautionary principle, which maintains that it’s better to prevent damage than repair it.

We ask not whether a given chemical might cause cancer but whether we’re certain that it does.…”

https://www.nytimes.com/2015/03/25/opinion/stop-making-us-guinea-pigs.html

Post a comment (4 comments)

The Poisoning of Hawaiian Soil by GMO and AgriBiz, Part 1

Amidst the wonders and beauty of this part of the world, I find a fierce battle raging between concerned residents and corporate chemical/poison interests. There are 2 sides to the controversy, I’ve learned. I asked Wayne Jacintho, a Kauai photographer, who are the people against the GMO/poison folks; he replied: “Everybody who cares about people and creatures that are being poisoned, everybody who cares about clean water and air and soil and the ocean…”


On the other side are the chemical companies, and locals who need jobs.

Here is a letter written by Wayne this summer to a local paper in southwest Kauai:

FEEDING THE WORLD

In Aug. 3rd’s Garden Island, yet another letter proclaiming the chemical companies’ noble reason for existence: feeding the world.
And the heartrending revelation, by a Dow Chemical testifier the night of July 31st, that they, in conjunction with Bill & Melinda Gates, are developing a drought-resistant sorghum for some African country or countries. Yay!

Then, unwanted, unbidden questions arose, extinguishing the thumping koom-bah-yah in my heart. 

I ask that gentleman to answer these questions, if only to restore the almost unbearable lightness I felt upon first hearing his stirring words:

1. Will these sorghum seeds be given, or will they be sold, to these people?

2. Will these plants at maturity have viable seeds, or will a ‘terminator’ gene have shut them down?

3. If the resultant seeds are viable, will those farmers be able to save some for replanting, or will they be punished if they try to do so?

4. If these farmers are not allowed to save and replant “their” seeds, will they have to buy each year’s seed from you?

5. Can these seeds be grown without special needs, or do these farmers have to buy Dow Chemical herbicide, pesticide, and synthetic fertilizers for which these seeds may have been “engineered”?

6. If these farmers have to buy these seeds, (and, if necessary, other Dow chemicals), and if there are unforseen disasters, natural or otherwise, and they then fall into debt to Dow Chemical, what will be the fate of these farmers and their lands?

Please answer straightforwardly, with source references.

Naturally, Wayne never got an answer.


See my post here of 2 months ago: https://lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com/search?q=roundup

Post a comment (4 comments)