Saturday, September 21, 2013

The Fight Against Monsanto: Winning Overseas, Losing Here at Home

Remember: the danger of Monsanto's Genetically Modified Organism seeds is less to individual health (which has not been proven) than to the global food supply when expensive, single-season GMO monoculture destroys the diversity of heirloom, self-propagating seeds.

Don't get distracted by the health arguments. Concentrate on protecting the food supply.

In Europe:

Hungary has destroyed 1000+ acres of GMO corn– for the second time.  So far, Hungary, Italy, Portugal, Greece, Spain, Austria and Peru have bans on GMO crops.
And the French president is maintaining the ban on Monstanto's GM Corn.

In India:
As India’s government prepares to make the controversial Biotechnology Regulatory Authority of India (BRAI) bill a law, enhancing the hold that biotech companies like Monsanto have over the nation’s food production, the tiny bee may be emerging as a potential savior by offering ways to increase crop yields naturally.

Thanks to efforts by the Mumbai-based organization Under the Mango Tree, bees have been incorporated into the fields of small farmers and food growers in communities in Gujarat, Maharashtra and Madhya Pradesh. Through its Bees for Poverty Reduction program, UTMT is helping farmers increase their incomes and agricultural productivity through India’s indigenous honeybee Apis cerana indica.
But in the U.S., Monsanto's corruption contaminates everything from social media to elections.
Washington state agriculture officials confirmed that a farmer’s alfalfa crop was contaminated with a genetically modified trait, a “low-level” presence that nonetheless has prevented him from exporting it.

The “mixup” points to a larger controversy brewing in Washington state over the presence of genetically modified crops, Reuters reports:
USDA and GMO proponents have said biotech and non-biotech crops can co-exist successfully. But opponents said the incident in Washington state shows that non-GMO farmers have to bear the burden and cost of any lost sales if their crops get contaminated, even at low levels.
“Co-existence is a myth,” said Andrew Kimbrell, executive director for the Center for Food Safety, which sued USDA to try to stop its approval of biotech alfalfa. “We don’t know how to control contamination. They say biotech is just another tool in the toolbox. That is not true. It’s a tool that takes over all the other tools and makes them worthless.”
The furor it’s inspired will likely influence an upcoming ballot initiative that would mandate labeling of GMO foods in the state. It’s popularly known as “The People’s Right to Know Genetically Engineered Food Act.” Monsanto, along with DuPont Pioneer, have dedicated millions of dollars to defeating it.

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