THE BEST OF 2007
GM Watch's global roundup of resistance
The Bush-driven ethanol boom made 2007 a very profitable year for Monsanto. But its success was dependent on just one commodity - corn seed, which accounted for over a third of Monsanto’s sales and nearly 60% of its gross profits. And once you move beyond the unsustainable and environmentally devastating agrofuel boom, plus the recent decision of two Australian states to relax their bans on GM canola despite huge opposition, then 2007 was a year in which the biotech industry continued to face increasing global resistance on just about every other front right around the world. Most alarming of all for the industry were the signs of growing resistance within its US heartland.
Unsurprisingly, given the powerful aftershocks of the GM rice scandal - now estimated to have cost the grains industry over $1 billion, 2007 saw US rice producers calling not just for a ban on commercial GM rice growing but on all experimental outdoor plantings of GM rice. After all, it had been GM crop trials that had triggered the industry wide crisis - a lesson not lost on rice farmers and exporters in other countries.
And it wasn't only US rice farmers who were on the warpath. 2007 was a very bad year for the industry with the US judiciary. There were also worrying signs for the industry of growing consumer awareness and resistance with the biotech industry’s plans to introduce food from cloned animals into the food supply looking set to face major domestic opposition. And while surveys showed a majority of US consumers are still unaware that more than 70% of their processed foods contain GM ingredients, the call for labeling is growing - with even the likes of Hilary Clinton now backing it.
And Americans are increasingly aware of one GM product in their food. And they don't like it…