Tag Archives: GMO

Genetic Engineering Will Not “Feed the World” CBAN

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.

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GMO Agriculture and the Narrative of Choice

Dissident Voice – Colin Todhunter – July 2, 2018

The pro-GMO lobby claim critics of the technology ‘deny farmers choice’. They say that farmers should have access to a range of tools and technologies. It is all about maximising choice and options. Taken at face value, who would want to deny choice?

At the same time, however, we do not want to end up offering a false choice (rolling out technologies that have little value and only serve to benefit those who control the technology), to unleash an innovation that has an adverse impact on those who do not use it or to manipulate a situation whereby only one option is available because other options have been deliberately made unavailable or less attractive. And we would certainly not wish to roll out a technology that traps farmers on a treadmill that they find difficult to get off.

When discussing choice, it is can be very convenient to focus on end processes (choices made available – or denied – to farmers at the farm level), while ignoring the procedures and decisions that were made in corporate boardrooms, by government agencies and by regulatory bodies which result in the shaping and roll-out of options.

Where GMOs are concerned, Steven Druker argues that the decision to commercialise GM seeds and food in the US was based on regulatory delinquency. Druker indicates that if the US Food and Drug Administration had heeded its own experts’ advice and publicly acknowledged their warnings about risk, the GM venture would have imploded and would have never gained traction.

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Background: Genetically Modified Wheat Contamination in Canada and the US

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]

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What is GMO?

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.

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GMO Types

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.

  • (3) Stacked GMO’s

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

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Pasta Spats: Canadian Wheat Exports to Italy Slump over Glyphosate

The world’s largest pasta maker says it has had to cutback Canadian imports of durum wheat – a key ingredient in pasta – because of ongoing consumer concerns about the use of a popular weed killer – glyphosate.

Barilla’s purchasing director Emilio Ferrari told grain groups in Toronto last week the company has cut back their Canadian wheat imports by 35 per cent, despite the fact Canadian durum wheat is of exceptional quality. No contracts for Canadian durum are being signed right now, he said.

The reason is that some Italian consumers are fearful Canadian wheat has been “poisoned” because it tested positive for traces of the popular and widely-used herbicide glyphosate, he said………..

…..However, glyphosate has come under intense public scrutiny in Europe, with Italy banning the use of the chemical as a pre-harvest treatment in 2016. “We never use it but they banned the usage, because we don’t need it,” Ferrari said. He told attendees at the Canadian Global Crops Symposium his company is currently unwilling to accept shipments with glyphosate tracings above 10 parts per billion.

Concerns about glyphosate will continue to be an issue, he said – urging Canadian producers to find an alternative. However, Canadian producers argue the current limits set by Italy are simply too low to meet because glyphosate is commonly used within acceptable limits and traces of the herbicide are found throughout this country’s bulk handling grain system. The majority of Canadian durum wheat is not treated with glyphosate pre-harvest.

Italy’s decision followed a review of the herbicide by the World Health Organization’s International Agency for Research on Cancer’s (IARC) in 2015 that listed the herbicide as a Group 2a carcinogen, meaning it probably causes cancer in people…….

….Canada and Italy have been embattled in a simmering trade dispute over durum wheat exports for several years, stemming from a “Made in Italy” country of origin label.

Under the policy, which was set to take effect in mid-February, processors are required to identify where their durum wheat was grown and milled into the semolina flour used to make pasta. Similarly, rice packaging must identify where the rice was grown, treated and processed.

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