On January 12, the Agriculture Marketing Service (AMS) of the U.S. Dept. of Agriculture (USDA) announced it had withdrawn its grassfed standard used in livestock and meat marketing due to lack of a clear congressional mandate to maintain it. While these changes at the USDA are largely procedural, this development could result in a proliferation of “grassfed” claims that do not meet consumer expectations. In light of the USDA’s announcement, transparent third-party certifications that clearly define 100 percent grassfed production (like Certified Grassfed by AWA) become more important than ever for protecting the interests of “true” grassfed farmers and conscientious consumers alike.
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?