jueves, julio 28, 2011

Monsanto is dangerous, even in its failures

From the Organic Consumers Association:

Stop Monsanto's Failed "Drought Tolerant" Corn

Comments Due August 11, 2011

Monsanto has long made false marketing claims that its genetically engineered crops are less polluting, and that they increase yields and make crops more resilient. In truth, Monsanto's business is focused on selling farm chemicals and patented seeds. All of its seeds are designed to either tolerate its herbicide RoundUp (so they can sell more pesticides) or produce an insecticide (so they can sell more high-priced patented seeds). Monsanto's genetically engineered crops have been shown to increase pesticide use, while being more susceptible to disease and less tolerant to drought and flood than organic crops.

Now, Monsanto is seeking regulatory approval for the first genetically engineered crop that, according to them, could benefit farmers, a so-called "drought-tolerant" corn variety. The corn contains a gene discovered in soil bacteria strains exposed to harsh, cold conditions. The only trouble is, according to a USDA review of Monsanto's data, it doesn't work. Monsanto's genetically engineered, so-called "drought-tolerant" corn doesn't perform any better than varieties produced through conventional breeding techniques. And as researchers around the world have pointed out, the real varieties of "drought-resistant" corn under cultivation are those that are cultivated organically, with yields 50-70% higher than chemical and GMO varieties under drought conditions.

So, why is the USDA planning on approving Monsanto's bogus drought-resistant corn? Because proving or disproving Monsanto's false claims about the benefits of genetic engineering isn't their job. They believe their charge is to determine whether the bacteria gene Monsanto used might pose a plant-pest problem. And, as to that, they used data submitted by Monsanto to conclude there's no problem, but didn't conduct the Environmental Impact Statement required under the law by courts that have acknowledged that the right of farmers and consumers to choose organic and non-genetically engineered is threatened by the contamination risk of genetically engineered crops.

We can't allow the USDA to approve failed "drought-resistant" genetically engineered crops, when it's inevitable that they will contaminate and ruin the proven ability of resilient organic crops to adapt to climate change.

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