GMOs: Seven Obvious Questions in Search of Straightforward Answers

10 thoughts on “GMOs: Seven Obvious Questions in Search of Straightforward Answers

  1. There is one question everyone has failed to ask in reference to GM crops, and that is how do they propose to use genetic mutation to alter the efficiency of chlorophyl, because this is the real determining factor of all those discussed of the yields of plants. We can manipulate to some degree increases in yield through fertility, but we have quite distinctly failed to overcome the limitation in the efficiency of chorophyl to convert sunlight into biomass. This is relflected in the yields of much of this years crops, with the lack of UV light in most of the daylight hours of this summer. GM crops, as presently suggested, will have no effect whatsoever on this, and even if we could manipulate this, it would be such a fundimental change in structure of the plant, it is very unlikely that it would be anything but a disastorous move.

  2. I was *quite* enjoying this until I came to Question 7, ‘What is the real motive behind GM?’ and this passage:

    ‘…the net effect of GM technology this past 30 years – and of the science of industrial agriculture at least since the end of the 1970s – has been to transfer wealth and power from millions of small farmers and shopkeepers into the hands of a few big companies, supported by compliant governments. This, it seems, is what GM is really for. What reason is there to doubt this?’

    At that imbecilic navel-gazing solipsistic comment I rather gave up, apologies for the insults.

    You really think that the benefits of the agricultural yield revolution of the last 40 years, or ‘science of industrial agriculture’ if you prefer, are best described as ‘a transfer of power from small farmers’ to faceless inhuman corporates,?

    No mention of the benefits of an ever-improving ability to feed the world? Then why on earth should I listen to you on GMO’s?

    Try Matt Ridley’s latest piece (Boo! Hiss! Behind you!) on peak farmland: http://www.rationaloptimist.com/blog/peak-farmland-is-here.aspx

  3. The 2 big questions I have are: How did so many farmers get sucked/tricked/convinced into planting GMO seeds? And why don’t they now see the evidence, compare results and go back to planting traditional seeds?

  4. An interesting and obviously educated view on the future of GMOs, but many of the questions you pose seem commit the same sort of faulty reasoning that you accuse us GMO supporters of. Where is your proof that they ARE potentially detrimental in all the above ways?

    Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence, yes, but extraordinary refutations require the same.

  5. @Roddy Campbell – Look at a country like the United States, apparently a wealthy one whose food is almost completely grown from GMO seeds. There are millions going hungry amid an obesity and diabetes epidemic. Why? Because rather than the government ensuring the nourishment of its local communities, they’ve allowed multinational corporations to stamp out biodiversity – key to ecological sustainability – with monopolistic monoculture cash crops designed for export and the production of processed foods. It is a market-driven policy, not a scientific or agricultural one. Why grow SO MUCH corn to create high-fructose corn syrup that ends up in Pepsi and Coke products, sugary cereals, etc.? Why export corn to Mexico, where the grains are indigenous? Because the government subsidizes large American corn growers, thus undercutting Mexican farmers – a move fully justified and legally protected by “free” trade agreements. Why genetically modify seeds so that they don’t keep and are sterile and must be repurchased every year? Why modify a seed ever so slightly just to be able to patent it, so that when a farmer finds it has blown onto his land he gets sued for millions of dollars and forced to sell his land to another farmer who has no idea that his contract with Monsanto will lock him into a cycle of debt because he’ll have to constantly ‘upgrade’ equipment and materials even if it isn’t beneficial or effective? Mr. Campbell, can you explain just what is sane about a corporation being able to patent life? If this is the system the GMO industry has created in a First World country like the United States, good luck convincing us that we should replicate this monstrosity in Africa, Asia and South America. Corporations have one purpose: profit. They do not care if it makes people sick, violates our rights, poisons or strips the environment and enslaves farmers. How people stand for this injustice is incomprehensible.

  6. I like John Caccia’s 2 questions.

    I also like going through the 7 questions and substituting something else for GM. Mobile phones. Space travel. Animal vaccines. Nuclear power. Wind power. Hydroelectric power.

  7. Hi John and Roddy,
    In the 1990’s, when GM seeds were being introduced, the chemical/GM companies bought up the seed companies. In 2008 the biggest seed companies in the world are: Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta, Bayer, Dow, BASF. https://www.msu.edu/~howardp//seedindustry.html These companies own both the GM seeds and the proprietary chemicals to spray on them. This corporate control of seed means that farmers that want to ‘go back’ to non-GM seed find it is not available. See several reports on this issue here http://www.centerforfoodsafety.org/campaign/save-our-seeds/corporate-control-and-seed-monopolies/ I hope this explains clearly why GM crops are not about science/feeding people/improving plants – instead they are about cornering the market in food. This is a perilous situation for us all.

  8. We have been talking about GM for over 30 year in one form of another what the Anti GM should really be looking at the GM Salmon .

  9. Thanks for finally talking about > GMOs: Seven Obvious Questions in Search of
    Straightforward Answers | The Campaign for Real
    Farming < Liked it!

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