I’m going to stick my neck out here: I think we might just be seeing the beginning of the end of our love affair with genetically modified (GM) crops. Emerging science from both home and abroad is raising serious questions about the long-term risks of GM crops. And from what I can gather, mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that many U.S. farmers are beginning to regret ever setting eyes on the damn crops. To be perfectly honest, I’m actually quite surprised at just how long this romance has lasted. Of course, the billions of dollars spent by the likes of Monsanto on PR, lobbying Congress and all the rest has certainly helped keep us all fixated on this glamorous technological panacea. But, like most whirlwind romances, our own niggling doubts and the sage advice from trusted sources (in this case independent scientists) is becoming difficult to ignore. Was it really all too good to be true? Robert Kremer is beginning to think so. Kremer is a government microbiologist, based at the University of Missouri. He works for the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Agricultural Research Service and has studied Midwestern farm soils for the last two decades. He is one of several scientists who have uncovered what appear to be hitherto unpredicted problems in plants and soils associated with the use of glyphosate-resistant GM crops and the glyphosate herbicide
In today’s Washington Post Outlook Section, writer Jane Black offers some advice to those engaged in the struggle to change the food policy (or lack thereof) of the US.
“To bring real change, policymakers need to look at the system more holistically — because everything, as foodies see it, is connected. Federal subsidies of grain and corn make it cheap to produce meat. Industrial meat production, which takes advantage of cheap feed, is responsible for about one-fifth of the world’s greenhouse gases. Eating too much meat and too many processed foods made with corn products such as high fructose corn syrup has contributed to the sharp spike in obesity over the past 30 years.
Michael Pollan, the author of the bestselling ”The Omnivore”s Dilemma” and the spiritual leader of American foodies, summed it up in an open letter to the new president in the New York Times Magazine last October. He urged Obama to make ”reform of the entire food system one of the highest priorities of your administration: unless you do, you will not be able to make significant progress on the health care crisis, energy independence or climate change.”
Linda Maggio, an Animal Welfare Approved farmer in North Carolina commented on a recent blog of ours with some ideas.
How do you think we can best affect change?