Many supporters of genetic engineering (also called genetic modifications or GM) argue that GM crops are needed to stop global hunger. They say the technology will increase crop yields and allow us to produce enough food to feed the world’s growing population.
But the world already produces enough food to feed 10 billion people, which is the number our population is predicted to reach by 2050. And where there is hunger, it is mainly a result of poverty and inequality, not insufficient food production.
The reality is that people go hungry today because they lack the money to buy food or because they do not have access to the land, water and the other resources they need to grow food themselves.GM crops do not address these causes of hunger and, so far, they are not increasing global food production.
GM CROPS DO NOT INCREASE GLOBAL FOOD PRODUCTION
The evidence to date shows that genetic engineering has not contributed to an increase in crop yields. Overall, conventionally bred non-GM varieties remain more effective and are less costly to develop. It is these seeds – not the GM traits added to them – that account for yield increases seen in crops like soy and corn. This explains why yields for corn and canola in Western Europe, where GM varieties are not grown, have increased at a similar rate to, or higher rate than North America where production is dominated by GM varieties.
There are no genetically engineered (genetically modified or GM) wheat varieties approved anywhere in the world. None have ever been commercially grown and sold. However, field trials of different GM wheat varieties continue in Canada and the US, at undisclosed locations.
Contamination from Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant wheat
Monsanto’s GM trait for glyphosate-tolerance was found in wheat plants growing on a road in southern Alberta in 2017, in a contamination incident reported by Canadian regulators on June 14, 2018.[i]
There have been three GM wheat contamination incidents reported in the US (2013, 2014, 2016), all with Monsanto’s GM herbicide-tolerant (glyphosate-tolerant) “Roundup Ready” wheat.
In 2004, Monsanto withdrew its request for approval of its GM “Roundup Ready” wheat in Canada and the US after protests from farmers and consumers along with resistance in the international market.
The last time Monsanto grew trials of its GM wheat in Canada was in 2004 (2005 in the US).[ii]
Sustainable Pulse – May 22nd, 2018
The peer-reviewed accepted manuscripts from the pilot phase of the Global Glyphosate Study were revealed last Wednesday in a Press Conference at the European Parliament.
The results of the short-term pilot study showed that glyphosate-based herbicides (GBHs) were able to alter certain important biological parameters in rats, mainly relating to sexual development, genotoxicity and the alteration of the intestinal microbiome, at the ‘safe’ level of 1.75 mg/kg/day set by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA).
As is normal practice for Monsanto, their Public Relations department was soon in action to try and crush the scientists involved and the study results, which could cause major damage to the product that supports their whole business model – the glyphosate-based herbicide Roundup.
However, this time their PR campaign against the Study was only met with contempt and disdain from journalists, politicians and the public in countries across Europe.
The Global Glyphosate Study involves The Ramazzini Institute, the University of Bologna (Faculty of Agriculture, Veterinary Science and Biostatistics) the Genoa Hospital San Martino, the Italian National Institute of Health, the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York and the George Washington University.
What is a Genetically Modified Organism, who should care about it and what does it have to do with a cosmetic site?
From the cosmetic perspective, plants are a significant contributor to natural cosmetics. Fruits, herbs, trees and seeds are only a few examples of the many parts of a plant used in natural cosmetics, for thousands of years now.
Have a quick browse at some natural cosmetic recipes to see for yourself.
Genetically modified organisms have been around for a few decades already and has been quietly moving into our lives without much attention. Bacteria’s, yeasts, insects, plants, fish and mammals have all been genetically modified.
This engineering principle of playing in unknown territory has been traditionally limited to scientific research and producing goods, and only in the last few years has the industry realised the financial benefits of using GMO in food production.
Because of this “new product” in the GMO portfolio, it has become the centre of a lot of controversy and it is important to have a clear understanding of both sides so that you can make an educated decision and get on with your life without having to be sucked into this controversy.
There are 3 main GMO types for seed:
- (1) Pest resistant GMO’s (also called Bt – there is reference to this in the video mentioned further down in the page)
The gene of a soil bacteria (that is toxic to some insects) is inserted or engineered into the seed
- (2) Herbicide tolerant GMO’s
The seeds are engineered to withstand herbicides. When applied, the herbicide kills the weeds but not the crop.
These seeds include pest resistant and herbicide tolerant genes. There can be between 2 and 8 extra genes engineered into the seed to provide these “stacked” characteristics
A California Appellate Court sided with the State of California and Center for Food Safety (CFS) on Thursday, affirming that Monsanto’s glyphosate pesticide can be listed as a known carcinogen under Proposition 65.
Monsanto’s lawsuit challenged the 2015 announcement by California’s Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment (OEHHA) that it intended to list glyphosate, the active ingredient in Monsanto’s herbicide, Roundup, under California’s landmark Proposition 65.
Proposition 65 requires notification and labeling of all chemicals known to cause cancer, birth defects or other reproductive harm, and prohibits their discharge into drinking waters of the state. CFS intervened in the case, defending the listing of glyphosate as a carcinogen and the public’s right to know when it is being exposed to cancer-causing chemicals.