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Opinion: when agriculture goes mad………

by Wally Richards.

A newsletter I received recently cites three extremely bad problems that GE crops have caused in the world.

It’s becoming a mad world with the many upheavals around the globe including changing weather patterns, political unrest, financial instability, populations at record highs, polar caps melting and the list goes on.

From the ‘Spilling the Beans’ newsletter I would like to share the three problems with GE crops with you and hope and pray that we never have any GE material released in our country.

One:

The introduction of GM Roundup Ready alfalfa has been a disaster for the US seed industry, writes farmer Phillip Geertson, as it has lost overseas markets. The US alfalfa seed industry was the world’s major producer of alfalfa seed and historically has exported more than half of the alfalfa seed produced. Geertson points out, “Export data would be very useful in determining the amount of damage that was done to the US alfalfa seed industry by the release of RR alfalfa into US agriculture.”  But such data is not available.  2007 was the last time the USDA reported the size of the US alfalfa seed exports. Perhaps not coincidentally, this was also the year that seed producers found that seed lots produced in Montana and Washington had been contaminated with the Roundup Ready gene. The only winners in this farming catastrophe are Forage Genetics and Monsanto, who own the patent on the gene that is now contaminating non-GM alfalfa.  Read the full story at http://www.truth-out.org/roundup-ready-alfalfa-damages-us-seed-industry/1319042829

Two:

Farmer suicides rising in India as GM Bt cotton crops fail.   The record suicide rate among farmers in India continues to rise, with one farmer now committing suicide every 30 minutes. Many media reports blame failed GM Bt cotton crops for the crisis.  More than a quarter of a million farmers have killed themselves in the last 16 years in what is the largest recorded wave of suicides in history.

An article for Sky News reports that one farmer who committed suicide “had been persuaded to use genetically modified seeds by the possibility of a better harvest. What he wasn’t told was that they needed more rain than the region provided.”

Farmers who grow GM crops also have to borrow money for expensive pesticides and fertilizers. When the crop fails, they cannot repay their debts. The article comments, “Across rural India there is now widespread despair. The fields are also filling up with widows.”  Bt cotton was first released for commercial growing in India in 2002, and the data on farm suicides show clearly that the last eight years were much worse than the preceding eight – which is alarming since the total number of farmers is declining.

India’s Bt cotton “revolution” has lost its sheen over the past five years, with government data showing a consistent decline in cotton yield. Even as the area under Bt has grown to 93 per cent of the total area under the cash crop, the overall yield is estimated to decline to a five-year low this year.

Farmers and activists who oppose GM crops argue that none of the promises made during the introduction of GM seeds have come true. In certain cases, the opposite has happened. Some farmers report that crops failed to flower, producing no yield at all. Others report low yields and high cost of GM seed and chemical insecticides, which farmers still have to spray in spite of marketing claims that Bt cotton reduces or eliminates the need for them.
As for GM proponents’ claims that if GM seeds were so bad, farmers wouldn’t buy them, it’s clear that the consolidation in the seed market means that GM seeds are all that’s available.  Read more at http://ibnlive.in.com/news/bt-cotton-fails-farmers-in-state/204257-60-118.html

Three:

Argentine doctors report major medical problems with GM soy.  An important report by Argentine physicians documents a big rise in birth defects, up in parallel with expansion of GM Roundup Ready (RR) soy and the spraying of the Roundup herbicide it is engineered to tolerate. It also notes a high incidence of DNA damage, confirming laboratory research on Roundup – and neurological development problems. The report was originally published in Spanish in 2010 but has just been translated into English. The report arose from the 1st National Meeting of Physicians in the Crop-Sprayed Towns, at the Faculty of Medical Sciences at the National University of Cordoba.
More at http://www.gmwatch.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=13474%20&#160

& more:

I have cited many other reports over the last few years which makes one shudder at the lunacy that chemical companies and Governments have displayed in creating and promoting GE and GM.

It is a fact also that animals have far more sense that us two leggeds and they will avoid eating any thing that is disagreeable to their well being and in some cases would rather starve to death than eat a GE produced vegetable.
I have read many such cases and as an example there was a farmer in the US who at winter time would put out a cob of corn for the squirrels to eat.  The local squirrels would wait each day for a cob or two to turn up, to tide them over the cold days. One day the farmer thought I will see how they go on a GE grown corn cob and so he placed two GE cobs out in the same place as previous normal cobs had been placed. He then watched from his window what the squirrels would do expecting the cobs to be devoured as normal.  The squirrels bounced up to the cobs sniffed them, hopped around them then went away without touching them. The farmer thought maybe they were not so hungry so left the cobs out.  After several days the cobs were still not touched and the squirrels were noticeably loosing condition.  So the farmer removed the GE cobs and placed instead  normal cobs which were quickly consumed by the starving squirrels.

It’s a pity that us humans do not have more sense.

Please note that this article is the opinion of the writer and does not necessarily reflect the opinions of Landscapedesign.co.nz

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