"Whether globally or domestically, genetically modified crops can be sold only by force, for example, obstructing the Biosafety Protocol and mounting WTO challenges, or subterfuge, refusing mandatory labelling." - Dr E. Ann Clark, agricultural scientist, the University of Guelph, Canada
Guelph Mercury, May 30, 2005
E. Ann Clark, RR 5, Guelph, writes regarding, 'Most farmers embrace biotechnology' (Guelph Mercury, May 18) to say that the letter writer from AgCare expresses the dogmatic view that genetically modified crops benefit Canadian farmers through everything from reduced biocide use to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
Not a single Canadian jurisdiction -- no provincial or federal agency -- has yet published a survey of the performance of genetically modified crops. The United States Department of Agriculture, which does survey American farmers, has been unable to show that genetically modified crops have fulfilled even one of the many promises made to legislators, farmers, and society -- higher yield, lower biocide use or saving the environment.
At best, when objectively analyzed, genetically modified crops are a wash out. Independent analysts in both the U.S. and Canada have shown that the primary, if not sole beneficiary, of genetically modified crops are the corporations which sell the seed, and the groups they support.
Some 99 per cent of all the genetically modified land on the planet is sown to just four crops -- corn, soy, canola, and cotton, grown in just six countries -- U.S., Argentina, Canada, Brazil, China, South Africa, and involving just 2 genetically modified traits -- herbicide tolerance or Bt (Bacillus thuringiensis) which causes every cell in the plant to produce its own pesticide, or both.
If genetically modified crops actually offered all the advantages claimed by the letter writer, you'd think leaders of the other 250 countries on the planet would want their farmers to share in the same benefits. But they don't, and have resisted the forcible imposition of genetically modified grain in the world market.
Whether globally or domestically, genetically modified crops can be sold only by force, for example, obstructing the Biosafety Protocol and mounting WTO challenges, or subterfuge, refusing mandatory labelling.
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