Saturday, May 17, 2014

GMO follow-up comments

I have received a number of responses to my blog about GMOs. Below are 2 excerpts that reflect different perspectives.

Here is an excerpt from a letter:

"Besides the heinous thought that a corporation believes they can copyright a naturally occurring element, the implementation of their policies is economically disastrous for small farmers and environmentally troublesome as biodiversity is reduced. And this isn't even mentioning the quite possible links between Monsanto's use of pesticides and the dramatically diminishing bee populations.

This aggression to silence their opponents, create monopolies and resist labeling really raises a red flag for me as to how 'industry independent' a lot of the GMO research actually is.

Finally, I once spoke to a scientist at a party who was working on genetically modifying some plants.  She said that while evidence
was pointing to the safety of GMOs for human consumption, a big caveat was the unknown effects on ecosystems when GMOs are introduced. She seemed genuinely concerned about it actually. "

The following response sent to me is from an article with a very different perspective:

"One prevalent myth is that organic agriculture does not employ pesticides. Organic farming does use insecticides and fungicides to prevent predation of its crops. More than 20 chemicals (mostly containing copper and sulfur) are commonly used in the growing and processing of organic crops and are acceptable under U.S. organic rules. They include nicotine sulfate, which is extremely toxic to warm-blooded animals, and rotenone, which is moderately toxic to most mammals but so toxic to fish that it's widely used for the mass poisoning of unwanted fish populations during restocking projects.
Perhaps the most illogical and least sustainable aspect of organic farming in the long term is the exclusion of "genetically modified organisms," but only those that were modified with the most precise and predictable techniques such as gene splicing. Except for wild berries and wild mushrooms, virtually all the fruits, vegetables and grains in our diet have been genetically improved by one technique or another, often through what are called wide crosses, which move genes from one species or genus to another in ways that do not occur in nature. Therefore, the exclusion from organic agriculture of organisms simply because they were crafted with modern, superior techniques makes no sense. It also denies consumers of organic goods nutritionally improved foods, such as oils with enhanced levels of omega-3 fatty acids.
In recent decades, we have seen advances in agriculture that have been more environmentally friendly and sustainable than ever before. But they have resulted from science-based research and technological ingenuity by farmers, plant breeders and agribusiness companies, not from social elites opposed to modern insecticides, herbicides, genetic engineering and 'industrial agriculture.' "
For the rest of this article see: