I disagree with Owen Paterson that GM Crops are safe, and evidence
shows that he is wrong to push GM. Research outlined in
(http://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10. ... 013.806408
Conclusion) shows non-GM farming in the EU is more efficient and
resilient than GM farming in the US.
From the Conclusion section of the above link:
"Reviewing the parameters of yield, pesticide use, germplasm diversity
and human resources of the US staple crop agroecosystem demonstrates
that lessons provided by past technology-derived disasters, such as the
southern corn leaf blight epidemic (National Research Council,
Committee on Genetic Vulnerability of Major Crops 1972), still have to
be learned. The US (and Canadian) yields are falling behind
economically and technologically equivalent agroecosystems matched for
latitude, season and crop type; pesticide (both herbicide and
insecticide) use is higher in the United States than in comparator W.
European countries; the industries of all types that are supplying
inputs to the farmer are becoming more concentrated and monopolistic
(Fuglie et al. 2012) and these tendencies correlate with stagnation or
declines in germplasm diversity (Welsh and Glenna 2006, Howard 2009,
Domina and Taylor 2010). Farm number is decreasing and scale is
increasing, concentrating and narrowing the farming skills. Annual
variations in yield, which not only indicate low resilience of the
agroecosytem but also can fuel dramatic price changes in agricultural
markets, are more severe in the United States than in W. Europe.
The choice of GM-biotechnology packages in the US agroecosystem has
been the stark contrast with W. European patterns of biotechnology use.
Notwithstanding claims to the contrary (e.g. Derbyshire 2011), there is
no evidence that GM biotechnology is superior to other biotechnologies
(all ‘technological applications that use biological systems, living
organisms, or derivatives thereof, to make or modify products or
processes for a specific use’, IAASTD 2009) in its potential to supply
calories (Heinemann2009, IAASTD 2009, Jacobsen et al. 2013)."
I am concerned about the use of GM animal feed. (Now permitted by all
the major UK supermarkets) This is mainly Roundup Ready soy, which is
damaging monarch butterfly populations in the US and causing human and
environmental devastation in Latin America. I would prefer that GM
products were not made available, but I want at least meat, eggs, and
dairy to be labelled to show whether it has been fed on GM or not so
that I can have the choice of avoiding it.
Mr. Paterson needs to be availed of the content of "GMO Myths and
(http://earthopensource.org/files/pdfs/G ... s_1.3b.pdf
a lengthy document, but essential understanding of evidence based
research into GM crops. Thorough understanding is needed before making
a courageous decision to approve GM crops. It is vital the implications
of GM crop production on the wider ecosystem are understood. As with
many "improvements" there are almost always disadvantages, and in this
case the disadvantages strongly outweigh the advantages.