A few years ago there was much debate over the benefits and pitfalls of the genetic modification of our plant crops. It seemed then that we had won the war on GM following a backlash from scientists and the general public demanding it to disappear from our food. But alas the GM supporters are back and they're trying to circulate misguided beliefs that GM crops will help soothe the world's food shortage problems. This is misleading and it's important to know why as it could affect the products we buy and ultimately the health of our families and the earth. Debate in the media and political arenas is stirring and you're likely to be asked for an opinion - be it in the office or at the dinnerparty table - you can help spread the right word.
The GM industry has been claiming for nearly two decades that GM crops could offer better nutritional quality, withstand drought and use fertiliser more efficiently. GM was born from the desire to control disease, insect and weed problems - not to increase yield. There is a mountain of evidence to suggest GM plants have negative effects on our bodies. Reports, such as livestock dying suddenly after grazing on GM cotton; workers exposed to GM crops suffering from allergy-like symptoms; and severely stunted rat pups born from mothers fed herbicide-resistant soybeans, do not bode well for the pro GM side.
According to a recent UN report
on global food production, the most sustainable solution with the most potential is organic farming. Why? Oil prices are skyrocketing, the need to cut CO2 levels is intensifying and the nutritional benefits of organically grown crops have higher levels of nutrients compared with traditionally grown crops.
The persuasive intention of GM supporters is one to be wary off. Visit the Soil Association
and the Ecologist
for more information on the perils of genetic modification.