viernes, enero 19, 2007

The truth about the ISAAA report



Industry's annual review of genetically manipulated (GM) crops shows they stalled a long time ago. An International Service for Acquisition of Agro-biotechnology Applications report was published today. ( "ISAAA makes unsupported claims, inflates its figures and ignores the negative impacts of GM crops," says Gene Ethics Director, Bob Phelps.

"For instance, Iran is again wrongly listed as growing 50,000 hectares of commercial GM rice, which is not approved and is not being grown," he says.

"Romania is also listed as growing 100,000 hectares of GM soybean but this crop is now banned and the country is being decontaminated to return it to GM-free," he says.

"ISAAA claims commercial GM crops are a global industry but their own figures show 99% grew in just eight countries last year - USA 53.5%; Argentina 17.6%; Brazil 11.3%; Canada 6%; India 3.7%; China 3.4%; Paraguay 2%; and South Africa 1.4%," he says.

"The range of GM crops also stalled in 1996 when four broad-acre commercial crops - soy, corn, cotton and canola - were first grown. Not one has been added since," he says.

"And these crops still have just two commercial GM traits - tolerance to being over-sprayed with weed killer and making their own insect toxins. Both add more chemicals to our environment and foods," Mr Phelps says.

"Australian governments would be foolish to allow commercial GM canola into Australia because, even in this weak field, GM canola runs a distant last since 1999," he says.

"The report emphasizes that 10.3 million farmers grew GM crops in 2006, but this is just 0.7% of farmers world-wide. And just 600,000 farmers grew 85% of all GM crops on industrial farms in North and South America. Small third world farmers are misused as fodder in the ISAAA's PR war," he says.

"GM technology has been overtaken by smarter, more precise and successful genetic science - genomics and proteomics - in tandem with traditional breeding,' he says.

"The ISAAA is flogging a dead horse," he says.

"Shoppers and farmers will ensure that genetically manipulated seeds, crops and foods are rejected around the world," Mr Phelps concludes.

More comment: Bob Phelps 03 9347 4500 (O) 03 9889 1717 (H) 0408 195 099 (Mob)


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