lunes, abril 13, 2009

Bayer's Double Trouble

Greenpeace, 06 April 2009

The GE rice has been developed by Bayer CropScience AG, a subsidiary company of the German chemical giant Bayer AG. The rice – technical name LL62 – has been genetically-engineered to withstand high doses of glufosinate, sprayed on rice fields by farmers to control a wide range of weeds. The weeds will die, the GE rice will survive.

Any use of the Bayer GE rice will lead to an increased use of the toxic herbicide – undoubtedly boosting sales of Bayer’s glufosinate as a consequence. It will also lead to higher risks for farmers, consumers and the environment. Glufosinate is considered to be so dangerous to humans and the environment that it will soon be banned in Europe in accordance with recently-adopted EU legislation. Currently, Bayer is pushing for legal approval of its GE rice in Brazil, South Africa, the EU, India and the Philippines. In the USA, the Bayer GE rice has already been approved for commercial planting, although farmers in the US are reluctant to plant it. They fear the loss of important markets due to the risks of accidental contamination, and not without reason. Bayer already has a history of causing damages that have been estimated at more than USD 1.2 billion to the global rice industry, when one of its experimental GE rice varieties accidentally entered global rice supplies in 2006.


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