Recently John Stossel of FOX Business Channel has aired a number of segments disparaging sustainable agriculture. His issues have included the use of herbicides and pesticides, grainfed vs. grassfed beef, genetically modified salmon and food safety. Is Stossel going out of his way to be outrageously provocative? To what end? And for whose benefit? Certainly we are not the only ones to condemn these reports as being inaccurate, unbalanced and biased, as the many comments to the reports attest. Stossel would no doubt accuse me of being unrealistic and only supporting small scale farms. However, the reality is that to keep the planet healthy and fed we will need to employ a wide range of solutions. Sadly, the last 40 years of ”big ag’s” version of the solution has shown chronic failure in the form of antibiotic resistance, tainted water and some of the largest food recalls in history. Too bad Stossel doesn’t recognize that we have to stop using the planet – a finite resource – as “big ag’s” test tube.
Despite claims from the likes of Monsanto and the biotech industry that GE crops are an environmental panacea and will feed the world, two decades after they first went on sale the evidence suggests that GE’s key golden promises are beginning to look more like epic failures…[metaslider id=14538]
So Who Really Benefits?
The billions of dollars spent by the likes of Monsanto on PR, lobbying Congress, and bullying and threatening other nations has certainly helped to maintain the fascination with this seemingly glamorous technological solution among politicians and policymakers. But the honeymoon is now over: emerging science from both home and abroad is raising serious questions about the long-term benefits and risks of GE crops. What’s more, mounting anecdotal evidence suggests that U.S. farmers are beginning to regret sowing the crops in the first place.
But even if you think the collateral damage to global biodiversity associated with GE crops and the intensification of farming is a necessary cost, my question is this: if GE crops don’t actually reduce overall pesticide use or increase crop yields, and if most independent scientists around the world contend that GE crop technology offers limited solutions to the challenges of poverty and hunger in developing countries, and further contend that available research funding would be much better spent on other research areas if we’re going to feed the world sustainably, then exactly who or what stands to benefit from the fixation on GE crop technology—other than Monsanto, its shareholders, and its army of lackeys?