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 Why New Zealand Needs To Change Its Defence Habits


In a flashback to the military displays of days gone by, one of our frigates recently joined a Carrier Strike show of force in the South China Sea, en route to a joint military exercise in Singapore with our traditional allies, called BersamaGold21. Reportedly, Anna Powles, from the Centre of Defence and Security Studies at Massey University felt this to be a case of us doing our bit to uphold international law, and the right of free transit through the region in question... More>>

Government: New COVID-19 Protection Framework Delivers Greater Freedoms For Vaccinated New Zealanders


Vaccinated New Zealanders will regain everyday freedoms when the country moves to a new simplified COVID-19 Protection Framework that doesn’t rely on nationwide lockdowns as the main measure to stop the virus spreading. In a suite of announcements that establish a pathway out of restrictions the Government is also providing up to $940 million per fortnight to support businesses through the challenging period... More>>

ALSO:





 
 


Government: Responds To Independent Review Into WorkSafe

The Government has clear expectations that WorkSafe must action the recommendations of the independent review into the regulator to improve its management of adventure activities following the tragedy at Whakaari White Island, Workplace Relations and Safety Minister Michael Wood says... More>>

Government: New Zealand Secures Historic Free Trade Deal With The United Kingdom
New Zealand and the United Kingdom have agreed in principle the details of a historic Free Trade Agreement (FTA), which will further accelerate our COVID-19 economic recovery say Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern and Minister for Trade and Export Growth Damien O’Connor... More>>

ALSO:

Ombudsman: Launches Investigation Into MIQ Booking System
The Chief Ombudsman Peter Boshier is launching a broad investigation into the Managed Isolation and Quarantine (MIQ) booking system after receiving hundreds of complaints... More>>

ALSO:


Pay Cheque To Pay Cheque: Half A Million New Zealanders Have No Savings
New findings from the Consumer NZ sentiment tracker found that 15% of New Zealanders had no savings, and a further 27% were anxious about their level of savings and would like to have more tucked away... More>>


Government: Mandatory Vaccination For Two Workforces

Large parts of two workforces critical to preventing the spread of COVID-19 will be required to be vaccinated, COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said today. “Our education and health and disability workforces have done an incredible job throughout this pandemic to keep themselves and people safe,” Chris Hipkins said.... More>>


Green Party: Deeply Concerned Space Launches May Be Breaching Nuclear-free Laws

The Green Party is deeply concerned that space launches by Rocket Lab may be breaching nuclear-free laws, given our long-standing position as a signatory of the Nuclear Non-Proliferation Treaty... More>>


 
 
 
 
 
 

LATEST HEADLINES

  • PARLIAMENT
  • POLITICS
  • REGIONAL
 
 

InfoPages News Channels