Autumn Special 2014

GM technology offers no progress or benefit

Source: Karin Heinze

 

More and more scientific research and on-the–ground experiences indicate that GMOs fail to live up to the claims they made and confirm that GM crop technologies do not offer significant benefits. On the contrary, they present risks to human and animal health, the environment, farmers, food security and export markets. There is no convincing reason to take such risks on the livelihoods of farmers when successful and widely acceptable alternatives are readily and cheaply available. Organic agriculture will ensure independence of food supply from foreign multinational control and offer the best insurance against the challenges of climate change.
 
This is the conclusion of 114 research studies and other authoritative documents. A detailed analysis makes evident the tremendous risks and disproves each single argument of the multinationals that are operating GM crops. The studies scientifically demonstrated not only the risks but also the absence of real benefits and led experts to the result that GM was a clumsy outdated technology that was not meeting current and future global needs.
 
A well-known argument, for example, is that genetically modified crops are just an extension of natural breeding, and have no risks different from naturally bred crops. Studies prove, however, that this progress would never happen in nature. GM uses laboratory techniques to insert artificial gene units to re-programme the DNA blueprint of the plant with completely new properties. The artificial gene units are created in the laboratory by joining fragments of DNA, usually derived from multiple organisms, including viruses, bacteria, plants and animals. The GM transformation process of plants is crude, imprecise, and causes mutations, resulting in major changes to the plant´s DNA blueprint. These mutations unnaturally alter the genes' functioning in unpredictable and potentially harmful ways. Adverse effects include poorer crop performance, toxic effects, allergic reactions, and damage to the environment. 
 
Safety of GM foods is not properly tested, but different animal experiments have showed worrying results: GM peas caused allergic reactions in mice; rats fed with GM oilseeds rape developed enlarged livers, often a sign of toxicity; and GM potatoes fed to rats caused a pre-cancerous condition, just to name a few examples. The United States of America have the longest history of GM crop consumption, but harmful effects of GM foods could take decades for the damaging effects to become known, experts are sure, just as it took decades to recognize the damaging effects of trans-fats.
 
A growing number of consumers is concerned about GM ingredients in foods. The Right2Know March from New York to Washington (1 to 16 October 2011) aims to raise awareness on GM problems, demands GM labeling, and calls for a GM free world. The USA-based Organic Consumer Organisation OCA has started a campaign against Monsonto, a company which is a synonym for the GM problem. About 90 % of genetically engineered seeds worldwide are offered by Monsanto. California has the chance to vote on a grassroots ballot measure requiring food purveyors to label food when it contains genetically-modified organisms (LabelGMOs.org). These examples show the time is ripe for politicians to create a law to guarantee at least the freedom of choice by labeling foods with genetically engineered ingredients.
 
More information is avialable here:

www.right2knowmarch.org

www.genfrei-gehen.de  (daily videos from the march)
 

13.10.2011

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