Coexistence is impossible
07 July 2014.
Coexistence of agro-ecology with GM and chemical agriculture will never work, since toxic agro-chemicals and GM organisms spread, writes Carmelo Ruiz-Marrero
When faced with the challenge of agro-ecology, the defenders of the industrial agribusiness model are left with no arguments. Some of them seek refuge in the comfortable if intellectually lazy position of proposing the combination of both agricultures, combining “the best” of each so as to reach a harmonious coexistence.
We see this line of thinking in the work of the international organization Ecoagriculture Partners and more recently in a well-publicized article by Jonathan Foley in the National Geographic. Puerto Rico agriculture secretary Myrna Comas has also hopped aboard the “coexistence” bandwagon after being confronted with local opponents of genetically modified (GM) crops and toxic agrochemicals. In testimony to the PR Senate on June 6 she declared that “we aspire to an agriculture of coexistence in which the strategies used for agricultural production are promoted without excluding the freedom of our farmers.” In this clever discourse, which assures us that “we can have it both ways”, the proponents of agroecology are presented as intolerant zealots who won’t compromise.
But the scientific data show quite clearly that no coexistence is possible. The toxic agrochemicals used in conventional agriculture end up polluting everything, and GM organisms reproduce and spread like all organisms are supposed to.
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