Sorry this is rather off my normal craft and woodworking topics but it is a subject equally dear to my heart. It is a story of powerful rich men taking risks with other people’s livelihoods for their own personal gain, sound like the banking fiasco? no this one is industrial farming but there is still time to do something about it.
Yesterday the UK Environment Secretary Owen Paterson gave his backing to the GM food industry saying
“Emphatically we should be looking at GM … I’m very clear it would be a good thing.
“The trouble is all this stuff about Frankenstein foods and putting poisons in foods.
“There are real benefits, and what you’ve got to do is sell the real environmental benefits.”
The Environment Secretary also said that consumers were already unwittingly eating GM food on a regular basis, so concerns about human health are misplaced.
“There’s about 160 million hectares of GM being grown around the world,” he said. “There isn’t a single piece of meat being served [in a typical London restaurant] where a bullock hasn’t eaten some GM feed. So it’s a complete nonsense. But, the humbug! You know, large amounts of GM products are used across Europe.”
Mr Paterson was confident that David Cameron would find an “appropriate moment” to back GM food.
“I’m very clear it would be a good thing,” he said. “So you’d discuss it within government, you’d discuss it at a European level and you’d need to persuade the public.” article here
Lets be clear about this, there are very real benefits of GM food the benefits are to the multinational corporations that are allowed to patent and market the GM modified products. The UK are leaders in GM technology. The government are desperate for anything that will show a profit at any cost and GM will show a great profit but at what cost? and who looses?
The story of Percy Schmeiser vs Monsanto show how hard it is for a Canadian farmer to stand up to Monsanto, his family had farmed the same land for 3 generations saving their own seed. Monsanto’s GM seed blew into Percy’s farm contaminating his seed. I would like to think Monsanto should be liable for this pollution yet their top lawyers successfully sued the Schmeisers for $100,000 for using “their” seed.
The UK public tend to oppose GM through fear of the unknown. I oppose GM because it has catastrophic effects on the worlds peasant farmers. Since 1995 when GM cotton was heavily marketed in India 300,000 cotton farmers have committed suicide to escape the huge burden of dept that this farming typically creates in third world communities. This short film shows how that process happens.
Listening to Monsanto we would expect the third world farmers to be welcoming them with open arms. Peru recently voted to ban all GM foods, not just seeds, any GM product at all for 10 years.
Kenya too bannng import of all GMO’s
and some are pushing for a whole Africa ban on GMOs from 2013
When we drive past a cornfield most folk do not realise that from an insects point of view it is a poisoned desert. This experiment looking for life in a GM corn crop showed how barren it is.
The bottom line is that GMOs are designed to change the practice of small farmers planting genetically diverse saved seed. They are designed so that those farmers are tied in to buying new seed and fertilisers from Monsanto every year. They are designed for rich people to make money from poor people it does not surprise me that Owen Paterson is supporting this but it saddens me greatly.