GMO = Get Monsanto Out

Encountered a small obstacle in my shopping yesterday, a protest, and a reasonably sized one, against Monsanto, Genetically Modified Foods, corporate greed in genearal and popcorn.

The justification of GMO foods often goes around how we’ve always done it (true, but by breeding programmes rather than in the lab) and that it’s an opportunity to solve world hunger (true, certain strains of grains have been more productive or more climate resistant).

However there are a lot of reasons to have concerns;

  • health reasons, the nutrient composition of GMO foods is different, according to research the calcium concentration is 247x less in GMO foods.
  • health reasons 2, concerns that GMOs may be connected to cancer, according to research it causes tumours in rats.
  • Environmental reasons, including increased use of pesticides and damage to other organisms, it’s a sadly long list of environment impacts.
  • economic reasons, this was the reason to move to GMO in the first place ie; if we can grow more crops/fish on the same resources we can feed more people. However it seems that the crops under-perform leaving the farmers worse off.

None of these issues are new. I can remember raising them at a presentation by the then US Ambassador to the Netherlands. He had been trying to explain that GMO’s were the answer to world hunger. He was confused by my question which related to the impact of GMOs on insect populations, less confused by another person’s question on the concentration of economic power into the hands of a few companies. But ultimately had no answer for either.

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