The controversy over genetically modified crops has long focused on largely unsubstantiated fears that they are unsafe to eat.
But an extensive examination by The New York Times indicates that the debate has missed a more basic problem — genetic modification in the United States and Canada has not accelerated increases in crop yields or led to an overall reduction in the use of chemical pesticides.
An analysis by The Times using United Nations data showed that the United States and Canada have gained no discernible advantage in yields — food per acre — when measured against Western Europe, a region with comparably modernized agricultural producers like France and Germany. Also, a recent National Academy of Sciences report found that “there was little evidence” that the introduction of genetically modified crops in the United States had led to yield gains beyond those seen in conventional crops.
The promise of genetic modification was twofold: By making crops immune to the effects of weedkillers and inherently resistant to many pests, they would grow so robustly that they would become indispensable to feeding the world’s growing population, while also requiring fewer applications of sprayed pesticides.
Figures from the United States Department of Agriculture show herbicide use skyrocketing in soybeans, a leading G.M. crop, growing by two and a half times in the last two decades, at a time when planted acreage of the crop grew by less than a third.
via Dave Pell
“Bayer in the U.S. is known largely for its pharmaceuticals, with scientists who developed modern Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer.” And you might need a little of both to process the company’s latest deal; a massive $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Here’s more on the deal that could reshape the world’s food supply. (If Bayer/Monsanto’s pesticides make you sick, don’t worry. Bayer/Monsanto has a drug to help you. Synergy!)
Bayer in the U.S. is known largely for its pharmaceuticals, with scientists who developed modern Aspirin and Alka-Seltzer. But the deal would pivot the 117,000-employee company more towards its farm-targeting business in agriculture chemicals, crop supplies and compounds that kill bugs and weeds.
The Washington Post has the full story..
The German chemical company Bayer said it will take over U.S. seed giant Monsanto to become one of the world’s biggest agriculture conglomerates. The $66 billion deal – the largest corporate mega-mergers in a year full of them – could reshape the development of seeds and pesticides necessary to fueling the planet’s food supply.
For the first time ever, our children are growing up less healthy than we are. As the rate of cancer, infertility and other illnesses linked to environmental factors climbs ever upward each year, we must ask ourselves: why is this happening?
Food Beware begins with a visit to a small village in France, where the town’s mayor has decided to make the school lunch menu organic and locally grown. It then talks to a wide variety of people with differing perspectives to find common ground – children, parents, teachers, health care workers, farmers, elected officials, scientists, researchers and the victims of illnesses themselves. Revealed in these moving and often surprising conversations are the abuses of the food industry, the competing interests of agrobusiness and public health, the challenges and rewards of safe food production, and the practical solutions that we can all take part in. Food Beware is food for thought – and a blueprint for a growing revolution..
Local Food for Thought
Friday, February 6th, 2015 7:00-9:00 PM
What’s the difference between soil and dirt? Should I be concerned about GMOs? What is a GMO anyway? Why is organic food so expensive? Why should I buy local food? Is an organic vegetable more nutritious than a non-organic one? What does it mean to say an animal is “humanely raised?”
- A special 40-minute classroom-style screening of Dirt! The Movie
- Round-table discussion with local organic farmers
- Using a brix refractometer to compare nutritional values
- Healthy snacks (including locally-grown heirloom popcorn!)
- Structured childcare with fun, educational activities
- A forum where you can share your ideas and learn from others in your community what all the fuss about local food and farming is about!
Come share your thoughts with others in the local community who care about a sustainable future for our region!
Ever since the commercial introduction of its Genetically Modified Seeds in 1996, Monsanto has launched intense persecution against hundreds of farmers and seed dealers in the US and Canada alone, blaming patent infringement of their GMO seeds in what seems to be their drive for a complete control of crops.
Like Jim Gerritsen and his family, hundreds of farmers, organizations, activists and citizens around the world are fighting Monsanto Corporation policies every day.
They work to ensure the rights of consumers and to hold corporations accountable for their actions.
As consumers, our every day choices are the best weapons we have.