The 10 Minor Realizations That Flipped My Thinking About GMOs

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About Marc Brazeau

Free lance cultural attaché. Writing at REALFOOD.ORG.

20 responses to “The 10 Minor Realizations That Flipped My Thinking About GMOs”

  1. Ian Nigh says :

    GMO safety has more to do with food sovereignty, sustainability and biodiversity than it does with arguing about nutrition. Profits and politics (control of food supply), are the drivers behind big agribusiness. From Monsanto’s website: “Usually, cases come to us when someone reports they believe seed is being saved illegally. Monsanto’s attorneys look into these allegations and may have a licensed private investigator look into the facts.”
    GMOs are NOT the same as thing as selective breeding, they are in fact destroying the practice, and are a threat to small farmers everywhere.

    • Marc Brazeau says :

      None of the issues you raise has anything to do with the intrinsic properties of the technology. They are all symptoms of over-regulation.

      That’s why we need to streamline the regulatory process so that smaller players private sector, academic and NGO players can bring biotech crops to market without being overburden by ten years of needless bureaucratic hoops.

      • Malte says :

        So when Monsanto takes someone to court because the wind had blown their seeds to the neighboring field, which had no license for their seeds and then Monsanto win, this is over-regulation?
        I would say, its exactly the opposite.
        Its like: If I color my car and some of the color gets on your car (by accident). Instead of paying you your damage, I can take a license fee from you for illegally using my patented color. Wrong world.

        MARC BRAZEAU (editor note) You would have a point, if Monsanto ever took someone to court because the wind had blown their seeds to the neighboring field. But that’s A. an urban myth and B. would not hold up in court. No farmers have ever been sued for accidental cross pollination. Except in Australia, where an organic farmer sued his neighbor and lost.

    • Ira says :

      However, Monsanto isn’t the only company that doesn’t let farmers save their seeds; this is standard practice with many seed companies. Farmers started buying new seed every year long before Monsanto began selling seeds; however, it was due to the rise of commercial seed companies and not genetic engineering.

      Another example is the suing of farmers who grew non-GM crops near GM fields, then selected for the GM traits, thereby acquiring GM seed without paying for a patent license. The best known instance of this is the case of Percy Schmeiser. Anti-GMO activists often claim that Monsanto sues even in cases of accidental cross-pollination, but a lawsuit regarding this issue was dismissed when the activists were unable to provide evidence of this EVER happening

  2. mgm75 says :

    Reblogged this on 2012 And All That and commented:
    Anti GMO? You really need to read this…

  3. Mark Wright says :

    GM tomatoes?

  4. Ana Smith says :

    ❤❤❤

  5. Graham Dean says :

    what about the issue of using antibiotic resistance genes to mark gene transfer?

  6. Richard Schreck says :

    I like this article, except the use of the word biochemical. They’re just chemicals, I don’t think its necessary to avoid the word chemical, because it has only been demonized to the uninformed.

  7. Marc Brazeau says :

    Malte says :
    “So when Monsanto takes someone to court because the wind had blown their seeds to the neighboring field, which had no license for their seeds and then Monsanto win, this is over-regulation?

    I would say, its exactly the opposite. ”

    You would have a point, if Monsanto ever took someone to court because the wind had blown their seeds to the neighboring field. But that’s A. an urban myth and B. would not hold up in court.

  8. Roanna says :

    Even though I support GMO crops and think that they would solve a lot of problems worldwide, I still worry about certain side effects such as in the FlavrSavr tomato. Apparently it cause stomach lesions in perhaps questionable studies in rat models. Also, there is still a possibility of vector DNA spontaneously recombining with chromosomal DNA and causing unwanted effects.

  9. Marc Brazeau says :

    Kyle says :
    You say that Monsanto doesn’t sue in cases of accidental cross-pollination, and that a lawsuit regarding this issue was dismissed. Please explain this then: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2013/06/10/monsanto-wins-lawsuit_n_3417081.html

    [EDITOR] Marc Brazeau: That’s easy to explain. The lawsuit was dismissed because OSGATA could not come up with any examples of farmers being sued for cross-pollination, accidental or otherwise.

    [PDF] http://www.cafc.uscourts.gov/images/stories/opinions-orders/12-1298.Opinion.6-6-2013.1.PDF

    “The appellants concede that Monsanto has never specifically alleged that they infringe its patents, nor threatened suit against them.”

  10. Hilde says :

    So than why, if this process is so normal, don’t they want to put on products that GMO technique has been used?

    • Marc Brazeau says :

      Most current GE traits are geared to farmers and those products are clearly labeled. Rainbow papaya is labeled as Rainbow Papaya. The Arctic Apple will be labeled by it’s trait. But for corn and soy, those are sold into commodity markets without segregation so the purchaser may not know if it’s GE or not, because it doesn’t matter for them.

      Imagine the company that supplies General Motors with carburetors came up with a better way of making better carburetors. GM is going to care about that improvement, but it’s not something they are going to advertise to car buyers.

      Nobody using the breeding techniques of the crops to advertise any consumer products. Your banana bread isn’t labeled “May contain Clone Graft Bred Ingredients”. Because you don’t care about how the banana was bred, but it matters to the banana plantation owner.

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