- about the author | Zamin is on the Progressive Youth Organisation’s National Steering Committee representing Region 6. He is also a teacher at the GUYSUCO Traning Center. PYO is the junior league of ppp crime family inc. if zamin and friends are so smart, how come they bankrupted GUYSUCO?
It is time the Government of Guyana embraces Genetically Modified foods (GM). The fact is that our Agricultural industries will not survive in the modern world if GM foods are not embraced, especially in the rice and sugar industries. Many people who will read this article will disagree, some may even get into a fit of anger and condemn this position. It is unfortunate for them, but it is the only option that exists. Guyana cannot continue to ignore this technology while allowing other nations to corner the market$, by putting out better quality and cheaper crops, while we bother with environmentalists and their silly fears. In this piece I will hopefully enlighten people that the fears over GM crops are absurd and then explain the benefits of Guyana producing GM crops.
There is not ample space here for me to go in depth on the scientific reasons why GM foods are not unhealthy, however, I will say that there are hundreds of published papers giving ample evidence for this. There is also the decades of actual use of GM in places like the US and in Europe. GM foods that have fed millions of people and cattle. If the critics of GM foods were correct then people and farm animals in the US and Europe should be dropping like flies.
Humans have been genetically modifying food for thousands of years. For example rice was domesticated some 10,000 years ago after our ancestors discovered that some plants had a reduced tendency for grain shattering. These were then selectively bred and over the intervening century there has been cross breeding to develop newer types with the traits we want. The same thing happened to cane sugar 10,000 years ago. The same story exists in cattle.
The difference now is that we can more precisely manipulate those genes to produce crops with higher yields, crops resistant to pests and or pesticides, crops that require less water etc. The same goes for cattle, giving them the ability to become leaner, bigger and with added nutritional values. It’s a process that humans have already been engaged in for thousands of years, but now we have a good shortcut.
jorge galeano, a GMO victimMuch of the hysteria about GM foods was caused by the publication of a paper in the Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal in September, 2012 titled “Long term toxicity of a Roundup herbicide and a Roundup-tolerant genetically modified maize,” by Gilles Eric Séralini. The paper can be read here http://bit.ly/1eiXwH0, however, as a synopsis it stated that rats fed with GM maize, which were modified to withstand the pesticide Roundup, developed cancerous tumors. Unfortunately this study was ceased upon by the likes of Greenpeace and other anti-GM groups in a fit of “I told you so”. Countries like Russia, China and Kenya have banned or severely limited the importation of GM foods while the EU is considering a Europe wide ban.
The most disturbing event occurred when the media was shown rats with grotesque tumors and the link made to GM. However, as early as November 2012 many scientist objected to the findings of the paper. Finally in November 2013, the Food & Chemical Toxicology Journal retracted the paper. Why was this done? Well for several reasons one being that the rats tested have an average life expectancy of 2 years and have a high tendency to get cancer anyway. As a matter of fact a study showed that this type of rat living beyond 2 years was 70% more likely to develop cancerous tumors. Guess what, the Séralini’s paper was done on a study of rats over a 2 year period. Another reason was that there was no statistical significance between the test animals and the control group. Previous studies using the same rats usually went for 90 days and showed no ill effects to GM foods. The anti-GM groups are now reeling from this massive loss in the PR wars and have decided to label those objecting to their claims as patsys for the biotech industry. While this PR war continues an opportunity presents itself. [more GRAPHIC photos of GMO agriculture victims]
Guyana really needs to take advantage of the situation. The fact is that GM crops have intellectual property licensing. Those license are relatively cheap now than they will be in the future. As the evidence of food safety mounts people will become more accepting of GM foods. Be sure that when that day happens licensing costs will skyrocket, as well as stock prices for the biotech firms doing the research. While there are ways around the licensing issues as was done with generic drugs for HIV infections, this method will quite likely be frowned upon and may cause sanctions.
The advantages of GM foods also works perfectly with our Low Carbon plans. Increased yields from less land will give us the ability to preserve even more forested areas and avoid the faith of the Amazon rainforest in Brazil. There has also been a lot of rhetoric by MERCOSUR, CARICOM and Guyana about food security. Well what better way to guarantee food security than the ability to improve efficiency, gain more food from less land, the ability to cultivate new lands whose soil have traditionally not been hospitable, provide protection from fickleness of the climate and from pests. GM foods can fulfill all these ambitions, it is time we stop flouting technology and embrace it.
If you’re just starting to learn about GMOs, you might not know quite where to begin. These links provide an introduction to the issues, players and politics of the GMO controversy. Once you’re a little more familiar with the issues, you can search the site or visit the yearly archives to find additional information. Please note that this site is no longer being updated but will be kept online as an historical resource. And also note that Say No To GMOs! is no longer doing media outreach or interviews.
10 Reasons Why We Don’t Need GM Foods (pdf-36kb)
10 Reasons Why GM Won’t Feed The World (pdf-72kb)
GM Food: A Guide for the Confused – Clear answers to common questions about GMOs.
Why GM Free? – All the reasons you need to Say No To GMOs!
Who’s Afraid of GMOs? Me! – A thoughtful rebuttal to the ‘GMOs will feed the world’ argument and more.
The Myths Of Agricultural Biotechnology – Exposing the flawed premises of biotech in agriculture.
Confronting Contamination – The only way to stop GMO contamination is to stop growing GMOs.
Are GMOs Safe?
No scientific consensus on GMO safety – A statement and signatories from ENSSER.
GMO Myths and Truths (pdf-1.7mb) – Scientists speak out to counter industry myths.
State-of-the-Science on the Health Risks of GM Foods (pdf-933kb) – Well-referenced summary of current research.
Scrambling and Gambling with the Genome – The process of genetic engineering is neither predictable nor reliable. Can you say ‘Russian roulette’?.
Unraveling the DNA Myth – The basic assumptions of genetic engineering are debunked by Dr. Barry Commoner.
Risks of GM Food – Professor David Schubert of the Salk Institute offers insight and words of caution.
A Deadly Epidemic and the Attempt to Hide its Link to Genetic Engineering – How this happened and why it didn’t make the news.
The Virus Hazard – Genetically engineering crops using genetic material from viruses has serious implications that are dismissed by industry and regulatory agencies.
How It Happened That We Don’t Regulate Biotech – In the ’70s when gene splicing was in its infancy, a questionable study was used in its defense.
Are GMOs Being Regulated or Not? – How and why regulatory oversight of agricultural biotechnology is failing to protect the public interest.
Should Genetically Modified Foods Be Labeled? – Comprehensive discussion of the FDA’s twisted GMO labeling rationale by Craig Holderge.
Sensible Regulations For GE Food Crops – Read this if you think that GMOs are being adequately regulated and tested.
Investigate more about Regulatory issues.
GMOs and Childern
Genetically Engineered Foods Pose Higher Risk for Children – Why children are at risk from the effects of genetically engineered food.
“Agriscience Bus” Takes Teachers For a Ride – How industry enlists teachers to influence future generations’ acceptance of GMOs.
Corporate ties to academia also influence curriculum and research.
Force-Feeding the World – America’s ‘GM or Death’ ultimatum to Africa reveals the depravity of its GM marketing policy by Robert Vint
Monsanto: A Profile of Corporate Arrogance – Monsanto currently dominates the GMO seed market. Want to know more about their history and MO?
Corporate Serfdom Official – Corporate ownership of life-forms is very profitable and a way to dominate and control the food chain.
Food as Political Weapon – Illuminating Acres USA Interview with Indian journalist, Devinder Sharma
US States Passing Laws to Block Local GMO-free Ordinances – Democracy and grassroots action face challenges from corporate money and influence.
Learn more about how GMOs will impact the global south
Biohazards: The Next Generation – Crop plants are now being genetically engineered to manufacture industrial and pharmaceutical proteins. Have you lost your appetite yet?
Fear of Pharming – Growing drugs in food crops is a bad idea, period, but the industry keeps pushing forward.
Nanofood – Do we really need another untested technology polluting our food, environment and bodies.
In addition to pharm crops and trees, other GMOs in development include genetically engineered animals, fish, insects and even humans.
Genetically Engineered Trees – Genetic engineering may do as much damage to forests and wildlife habitat as chain saws and sprawl.
Why Is Release Of Transgenic Crops Into The Environment A Risk? – What are GMOs doing to our environment?
- Gansu adopts separate shelves for GM foods (wantchinatimes.com)
- CPP challenges Deputy Agric Minister, CSIR boss to eat GM foods for six months (modernghana.com)