An Interesting Cable on the Promotion of Genetically Modified Crops

Here is an interesting article that was published in the Guardian yesterday (based on cables that were disclosed through WikiLeaks) on how much the U.S. actually has tried to push the EU to accept genetically modified (GM) crops. The article also shows yet another proud involvement of the Vatican an issue that certainly doesn’t benefit the poor and vulnerable in society.

Not all of you might be so familiar with the agricultural sector, but apart from dubious environmental impacts and nutritional value of GM crops, the main problem with these crops is the patenting of seeds. It means that farmers are no longer allowed to save seeds from season to season to use for planting, but are instead forced to buy new seeds every season from the company holding the patent. In many cases, farmers have also been forced to pay penalties for if their crop has been contaminated with GM crops (something anyone who has been out in nature understand how difficult it is to avoid).

I am not familiar with all crops, but the scale with which a company can take over the input market for a crop can be shown with soybeans, which is the crop with highest share of GM produce in the world. The GM soybean was introduced in 1996 and has since then taken over around 60% of the world’s soybean production (58.5% in 2007). In the U.S., 85% of all soybean production is GM. (Source: GMO Compass) Further, according to Organic Consumers Association, as much as 90% of total acreage planted with soybeans in the U.S. is planted with seeds from one single producer, Monsanto. It means that something that came from nature is now almost completely controlled by one company. Read the article and decide for yourself whose interest you want to control the production of the food you eat.

Leave a Reply