jueves, febrero 07, 2008

Monsanto's Fraley gets NAS award


NOTE FROM GM WATCH: According to this Monsanto press release, the National Academy of Sciences has given Monsanto's Chief Technology Officer, Robert Fraley, an award because, '[Monsanto's GM] plants have increased productivity, reduced chemical use and profoundly changed global agriculture.'

Increased productivity? Monsanto's failed to introduce a single GM crop with increased yield potential. Even USDA data shows GM crops do not increase yield potential and may reduce yields.

Reduced chemical use? Over 80% of the GMOs grown worldwide have been engineered for for herbicide tolerance (to Roundup, in Monsanto's case), thus encouraging the indiscriminate use of chemicals. Unsurprisingly, the most reliable evidence suggests this has led to an increase in chemical use, particularly following the dramatic rise in Roundup-resistant weeds.

Profoundly changed global agriculture? That's certainly the case. It's helped:

*create novel risks for consumers

*massively increase corporate control over the food chain *further intensify farming - thus underming small producers while accelerating agriculture's negative impact on the environment *divert both attention and resouces from proven means of helping poor famers

But what's most revealing about this award is what it says about increasing corporate control over science, ie when the US's National Academy of Sciences justifies itself not on the basis of objective science but industry hyperbole.

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