Where do you stand in the GMO debates? Oregon (my home state) and Colorado, will vote this fall on whether or not genetically modified foods should be labeled. The vote is not about labeling, but about how easy it should be for people to opt out of the grand GMO experiment. In 2012 and 2013, Pepsi, Monsanto, DuPont, General Mills, Kellogg, Dow, BASF, Cargill, ConAgra, PepsiCo, Coca Cola, Hormel, Syngenta, Bayer, and other corporations donated $68 million to defeat similar labeling measures in California and Washington. It’s no wonder. Eighty percent of the foods produced by these companies contain genetically engineered ingredients.
Also, these companies no doubt would like to keep the focus on whether or not to label, rather than on whether or not messing with the gene pool and saturating the soil and water with glyphosate is a good idea. The issues aren’t simple. Genetic engineering is credited with saving the papaya industry, and almost all of the sugar beets in the US are genetically engineered — how that happened is a whole other story. Scribbler relies heavily on friends and family to help untangle sticky wickets like this. Professor M and Judge A, who are in their mid 80’s (and request anonymity), agreed to share part of their e-mail discussion on the subject.
I feel hornswoggled, bamboozled, deceived. Monsanto, in its latest reincarnation, proposes to become a universal ag. extension agent, advising its customers how to cash in on carbon credits.
They will do this by farming with new GM products while using carefully selected, superficial, organic methods; methods to reduce but not significantly eliminate environmental, biological and soil degradation. Run-off, water pollution and erosion caused by glyphosate, pesticides and manufactured fertilizers will be less troublesome. Promise! A little improvement will be better than none, I guess, but hardly worth further experimentation on us by bio-fuel manufacturers, junk food producers and cattle feeders.
As before, Monsanto has produced zero science that proves its products (as distinguished from sound agronomy), will benefit yields or crop quality beyond a few years. Soil improvements it promises are likely to be near the surface rather than deeper down where needed. Great PR though.
Most countries outside the US are not buying this latest, cynical ploy and there has been vigorous opposition here also. But Monsanto is now too big in the US to fail? Right?
Have a pastry made with GM flour. Protect yourself against agent orange.
August 23 2014. 8:35 PM
A — We agree the world is going to the dogs. They made the catastrophic error of not letting you and me run it when we were younger.
Monsanto has indeed significantly replaced the ag. schools in dealing with the farmers. Not quite sure why. They cost much more, but maybe they also more often deliver what the farmer wants?
Data on CO2 impact of deforestation in today’s Economist. Not as bad as I thought. Comparable to international flying, such as we do next week. Much less than auto use.
August 23, 2014,. 10:04 PM
I expect you will enjoy your flight even more now that Monsanto will take care of your plane’s CO2. What a brilliant marketing tool: use faux extension agents to sell product! Much better than writing mortgages for people with no money.
Monsanto at Oregon State University? Using organic methods? Hiring themselves out as — expensive — extension agents? Clearly more investigation is called for. Where have your inquiries on GMOs led you?