Best to stay out of the GM 'revolution'
1.Best to stay out of this 'revolution'
NOTE: Last week the EDP, an East Anglian paper with the John Innes Centre in its catchment area, gave over not just its front page but a double page spread, and an editorial, to the GM potato trial of the Sainsbury Laboratory of the JIC.
Much of the material was authored by the EDP's notoriously pro-GM agricultural editor Michael Pollett. Also to the fore in the coverage was Prof Jonathan Jones of the Sainsbury Laboratory who announced that it was time to "grow up" and accept the benefits of GM crops, leading one EDP reader to suggest Jones had graduated from the same Charm School as BP's CEO, Tony Hayward.
Below are a couple of the other critical letters the EDP's published. Today's paper by contrast has a long letter from Derek Burke, who tells readers that everything in the GM garden is lovely. For more on Burke, see "The GM Godfather":
1.There's no place for GM food
EDP, June 12 2010
Your article GM FOOD: "WE MUST GROW UP" fails to represent the views of anyone but the large GM corporations.
GM has no place in the production of safe, healthy food. The largest scientific farming study ever conducted and produced by over 400 scientists from across the world, concluded that in a world faced with climate change and resource depletion, agro-ecological farming methods like organic are needed, rather than throwing more money at GM.
This GM field trial further highlights just how far behind GM technology is compared to conventional breeding. Blight resistant potato varieties have already been bred using conventional methods and are commercially available. The fact that this GM potato variety is still at the field trial stage after 10 years, no significant results and GBP1.7 million of tax-payers' money later clearly demonstrates what a failing and old technology it is.
2.Best to stay out of this 'revolution'
EDP, June 14 2010
The article on GM by Michael Pollett (European farmers being isolated in the new growing revolution, EDP, 9 June 2010) waxes lyrical about the sharp reduction in crop protection products offered by GM crops.
But in their US heartland, both the New York Times and the Wall Street Journal recently reported on the severe problems caused to farmers by the massive evolution and spread of glyphosate-resistant weeds, thanks to the widespread cultivation of glyphosate-resistant GM crops.
According to the New York Times, these weeds are triggering more plowing, soil erosion, and pesticide use by farmers, and are increasing their production costs. The Wall Street Journal also reports that the GM companies are responding by developing pesticide promoting crops resistant to multiple herbicides, including some of the more toxic, "old-line" herbicides like 2,4-D and dicamba.
GM crops are not only keeping U.S. farmers on the pesticide treadmill, they're accelerating it. And the problems are not confined to the US. In China, recent research shows Chinese farmland is being struck by infestations of secondary pests following widespread adoption of GM (Bt) cotton. These infestations have affected millions of hectares farmed by smallholder farmers in northern China, leading scientists to call for the long-term risks of GM crops to be reassessed.
As the banking crisis so painfully demonstrated, some revolutions are worth being isolated from!