Monday, 22 April 2013

GM: Yes Or No

Last week the PM's personal scientific adviser said he wants to relax rules on crops because the rise of GM foods is 'inexorable'.

Sir Mark Walport (pictured), says the food is proving its worth its worth and production is increasing globally.  Sir Mark said it was his "job to advise on the science and it is then the politician's job to decide how to use that."

I'm sceptical about the safety of GM and part of that is a result of the secrecy surrounding the science. Politicians having secret meetings with GM lobby groups doesn't help my concern and political determination not to label food GM doesn't help their case either.  What have they to hide by not ensuring out food is labelled GM and Halal?

 Earlier this month four major supermarkets ended bans on farm suppliers giving GM feed to animals producing meat, milk and eggs.  The vast majority of those foods sold in Britain will now come from animals raised on a GM diet.

Biotech firms such as Monsanto have ensured that 80% of the soya grown in the US and Brazil is GM and that is one of the reasons why British supermarkets have now been forced to allow GM-fed produce into the food chain.

The first GM meat and fish could also go on sale this summer.  Authorities in the US are expected to grant approval to Aquabounty salmon, which has been modified to grow twice as fast as normal.  For us shoppers who refuse to buy meat, milk and eggs from animals fed on GM, the only alternative may be to buy more expensive organic produce.

Trying to add more complex traits, like improved nutrition, seems to lead to lower yields and other problems.  This is why none has been commercialised after 30 years of effort.  GM crops are either resistant to weedkillers or they are designed to kill pests.  In the US superweeds are rapidly developing so that even more toxic weedkillers have to be used and pests are becoming resistant to the pest-resistant crop.

The US anti-GM lobby appears to be far stronger than the one here in the UK.  There's an interesting video on Dr Mercola's site which examines trends in both food and politics over the last 30 years in California.

These days I eat a simple diet most of the time and I'm sure I do eat genetically modified foods, but I would prefer to know the truth.

Of course there are always the converted.  Strange story. 


dognamedblue said...

I wonder just how much Sir Mark Walport gets paid for his sage scientific "advice"?

Crinkly & Ragged Arsed Philosophers said...

Follow the money and while humanity must eat the geneticist will provide and charge for it.

A threat or a solution, I honestly do not know. But I suspect neither does Monsanto and the cash register has a strong influence on the genes of profit.

I believe most of these GM crops are sterile? If so isn't this taking a huge risk on a monopolised production.

keep looking up said...

Soon only monsanto GM crops will grow in our soils.
They've already designed a seed that grows in aluminium contaminated soils.
Aluminium is one of the main chemicals found in chemtrails.
It doesn't really matter if you try and block GM seeds as they will just dump them on you anyway. Like in Mexico where the ancient local chilli species are being wiped out by GM seeds being thrown around the countryside.

JRB said...

If we cannot trust our food industry, or the agencies that would regulate them, to determine whether we are eating equine or bovine meat – then how can we trust them as to whether we are eating cabbages or scorpions?

… Oh! … wait a minute … cabbages already contain scorpion genes! (apparently they make the cabbages less palatable to caterpillars)

And imagine for one minute what would happen to the Tay, the Tweed, the Spey or any of the Scottish salmon rivers if any of these AquaAdvantage/AquaBounty salmon, which just keep on growing and growing and growing at twice the rate of wild fish, were to escape into the wild. It would be a frankenfish apocalypse.

But such GM accidents could never happen – or could they?

Ian said...

Interesting-Do Pigs Know Something We Don't?

Demetrius said...

I would be interested in his connections and also sources of funding etc. for any of his work. "Inexorable", but to what purpose? Looking at the recent record of GM firms what could happen is really scary.

Apogee said...

Do you all remember being told by your mothers,"don't play with your food". Sound advice, but the bio-tec companies seem to have no responsibility for the damage they cause.

subrosa said...

Possibly more in a week than we earn in a year dognamedblue.

subrosa said...

Oh I think Monsanto knows a great deal but refuses to make the negatives public Crinkly.

Aren't sterile crops bad for the environment?

subrosa said...

Indeed, it's frightening keep looking up. Giving over our farming industry to bio-tech companies I mean. Monopoly springs to mind.

subrosa said...

I've no doubt they could JRB but the politicos will have planned for that. They'll have the propaganda ready.

subrosa said...

Ian many thanks for the link. I was looking for that one.

subrosa said...

It is scary yet it's being largely ignored Demetrius.

subrosa said...

Ta for the link Apogee. Interesting reading.

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