Gordon Campbell | Parliament TV | Parliament Today | News Video | Crime | Employers | Housing | Immigration | Legal | Local Govt. | Maori | Welfare | Unions | Youth | Search

 

Farmers Face Dire Reality As GE Crops Backfire

Farmers Face Dire Reality As GE Crops Backfire

Resistance amongst pests, and overuse of chemicals are playing havoc with ecosystems and creating a poverty trap for farmers despite promises to solve their problems made by advocates of GE crops.

Consumers are also being exposed to increased toxins as crops for food and clothing become increasingly loaded with the very same pesticides originally positioned to be a way of reducing chemicals, and as a way of saving farmers time and money.

Now even pro-GE experts are speaking out against new GE crops, which threaten to add to these problems. Australian expert Andrew Parkes [1] says he was “totally committed” to GE cotton but is now warning that the problems faced because of insects' “prodigious ability to become resistant to everything thrown at them… will not be solved by adding another trait. If we don’t focus on the long term we won’t have an industry,” he says.

The warning is backed by the work of Dr. Charles Benbrook [2], establishing that Bt cotton (400-1000g/ha) produces up to 4,000 times more Bt than the soil microorganisms (0.25g/ha), which were the source and inspiration for genetically engineered crops.

The most concerning finding of Dr. Benbrook's research relates to the level of insecticides to be found in corn. Bt corn (2,800-4,200g/ha) produces up to 16,800 times more toxin than the soil microorganisms. These excessively high levels of GE insecticidal toxins are in food that is typically consumed as a staple by many populations.

However there is yet more to come as GE crops are 'stacked' with new genes to resist multiple chemicals, and produce multiple insecticides.

The Monsanto-Dow AgroSciences SmartStax Corn expresses six different Bt Cry proteins, three for corn borer and three for corn rootworm control. The total expression of endotoxins is 3.73 kg per hectare: 12-times more than the insecticides that would have been used if the plants were not GE.

"Staple foods have become chemical factories and store houses; farmers are not benefiting, consumers are not buying if they can avoid doing so, and consumer health is at risk of compromise by increased exposure to these toxins," says Jon Carapiet, national spokesman for GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

The situation has raised questions about the impact of these changes on human reproduction.

"Is it just a well meaning experiment gone terribly wrong, or is there an agenda at work relating to population control and control of the food supply, which in turn will control the global community?" asks Claire Bleakley, president of GE-Free NZ in food and environment.

“Monsanto, Syngenta, Du Pont, and Dow are all now big players with a history. Monsanto brought us Thalidomide, DDT, PCB’s and 2,4,5T, of which 2,4-D makes up 40%. Their need to feed their bottom lines has become an unprecedented threat to human health and the environment,” she says.

There do exist non-GE sustainable and ethical approaches to population control, safe food production and improving plant and animal varieties that can perform in all kinds of climates. GE technology is not a science as much as it is a marketing product that is set to remove choice from governments, and the farmers and consumers they are sworn to serve and protect.

"It's time New Zealand's government re-established the Bio Ethics Council," says Jon Carapiet. "There is a growing ethical and ecological mine-field created by corporately-driven GE outside containment."

New Zealand must take heed of these problems and pursue a 'clean, green, natural, safe' Brand strategy to genuinely protect the interests of current and future generations.

References:

[1] http://theland.farmonline.com.au/news/state/cotton/general/no-more-miracles-so-look-after-bollgard/2620636.aspx?storypage=2

[2] http://www.gmwatch.org/latest-listing/51-2012/14041-new-benbrook-data-blow-away-claims-of-pesticide-reduction-due-to-gm-crops

Ends:


© Scoop Media

 
 
 
Parliament Headlines | Politics Headlines | Regional Headlines

Gordon Campbell: On The Supermarket Scam, And On Tunisia’s Scrapping Of Democracy

Are we paying too much for our groceries? Hmm. Is the Pope a Catholic? Given that the two Australian supermarket chains that dominate our grocery industry routinely rack up profits in the order of $22 billion annually, that’s a no-brainer. Yet as with New Zealand’s other socio-economic problems created by our 1980s reforms, the practical solutions seem pretty thin on the ground... More>>

 



Government: Bill Introduced To Protect Against Conversion Practices

Legislation has been introduced to Parliament to protect against practices intended to change or suppress someone’s sexual orientation, gender identity, or gender expression... More>>

ALSO:

Government: Welcomes Draft Report On The Retail Grocery Sector

The Commerce Commission’s draft report into the retail grocery sector is being welcomed by Government as a major milestone. “I asked the Commerce Commission to look at whether this sector is as competitive as it could be and today it has released its draft report for consultation,” Commerce and Consumer Affairs Minister, David Clark said... More>>

ALSO:

Child Poverty Action Group: Poverty Burden For Children Increased Due To Government Neglect - New Report

Poverty, inequity, homelessness and food insecurity are among the burdens which increased for tamariki Māori and other children in the first year of Covid-19 - partially due to Government neglect... More>>



NZUS Council: Welcomes Nomination Of Senator Tom Udall As US Ambassador To NZ

The NZUS Council welcomes the nomination of Senator Tom Udall to the role of US Ambassador to New Zealand and Samoa, NZUS Council executive director Jordan Small said... More>>

BusinessNZ: Visa Extensions Welcomed
BusinessNZ has welcomed the extension of some critical skill visa durations and changes to immigration systems to speed processing. Chief Executive Kirk Hope says move acknowledges advocacy by the hospitality sector, the BusinessNZ Network and others, and comes not a moment too soon.... More>>



Social Development: Government Initiatives Contribute To Fall In Benefit Numbers

Minister for Social Development Carmel Sepuloni has welcomed the release of the June quarter Benefit Statistics which show a continuing fall in the number of people receiving a Main Benefit... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels