Joe Biden has chosen Tom Vilsack as the US’ agriculture secretary. Many fear he’ll favour large corporations instead of looking out for small farmers.
What are GMOs?
What are GMOs (Genetically Modified Organisms)? Does genetic engineering cause risks for human health and the environment?
What are GMOs? Genes contain information on the characteristics of every living organism (vegetable or animal). Genetic engineering can modify this information by transferring genes from an organism (e.g. bacteria) to another one (e.g. vegetables, livestock). By doing so, it can, for example, slow down the apparent deterioration of tomatoes, or make chickens produce eggs “enhanced” with particular substances.
This manipulation creates GMOs, Genetically Modified Organisms.
Genetic engineering is applied to agriculture in order to perfect product characteristics, such as making them more resistant (to pesticides, the cold, etc.), or more competitive from a commercial point of view (e.g. larger dimensions, flawless look).
Genetic modifications are carried out by companies that patent these “new” organisms, in order to commercialize them and gain an exclusive economic benefit.
Genetic modifications in agricultural products are not free of risks. Genetically Modified Organisms have been shown to be dangerous to human health, as well as for the environment. Moreover, if not properly regulated, agricultural genetic engineering could have effects on the economies of the developing countries, and could significantly damage several small producers.
Leydy Pech, winner of the 2020 Goldman Environmental Prize for North America, is the beekeeper who defended Mexican Maya land against the agro-industry.
The mad rush to fake food, like fake meat made with genetically-modified soy, ignores the importance of the diversity of our foods and culinary cultures. It’s a recipe to accelerate the destruction of the Planet and our health.
Monsanto has falsely claimed it has been granted a patent on genetically-modified cotton seeds in India. But the Supreme Court ruling has upheld India’s law, which doesn’t allow patents on seeds. The op-ed by Vandana Shiva.
Monsanto is now property of Bayer, and its name has ceased to exist. Agriculture is in the hands of a few large corporations now more than ever, with dire consequences for people and the environment.
A transition towards agroecology is needed to beat the diktats of a production model that is poisoning our Planet and our lives. The op-ed by Navdanya International.
The world’s biodiversity shouldn’t be in the hands of the few. The EU must say no to mergers between multinationals to protect farmers and consumers. The op-ed by Navdanya International.
These are the top news stories of 2017 and the people who have most left a mark on a year that has been intense yet also rewarding from the point of view of social and environmental sustainability.
The fraud and corruption witnessed in the illegal introduction of Bt cotton in India are now being repeated with GM mustard. Farmers and our biodiversity were sacrificed for Monsanto’s profits.