Australia has been pretty much spared the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops, aside from a few trials in a couple of states.
Unfortunately for folks in the USA, you’re likely consuming a lot offoods with GMO components already; particularly anything that uses soyor corn as an ingredient. Companies in the USA aren’t obliged to flag this pointin ingredients listings.
However, even the limited trials in Australia are already seeing some more far reaching consequences impacting the wider environment.. and our food.
Greenpeace set up a mobile Biohazard Research Centre at a GE canola field in southern Victoria last week and found commercial beehives contaminated with genetically engineered (GE) canola pollen.
Recently, GE canola was also found growing along roadside verges near Berrigan, New South Wales and Horsham, Victoria.
Based on experiences elsewhere, I guess it won’t be long before this frankencrop will start “infecting” non-GE canola crops.
I wonder if Monsanto will take legal action against farmers who fall victim to this for “infringing on their patent” – seems they’ve done it before. Additionally, some markets just won’t touch genetically engineered crops; so affected farms would lose their non-GE status.
Monsanto’s GE canola is “Roundup ready”, meaning that it is resistant to the Roundup herbicide (glyphosate) – so farmers can’t use it to try and control the invading GE canola plants; forcing them to use more potent herbicides should it come to it.
Given that a weed is basically just an unwanted plant; Monsanto’s GE canola, when growing outside of where it is meant to, is simply a super-weed.
What really irks me is that the contamination of non-GE crops is extensively documented and was so well before the Australian trials. In Mexico, GM corn is already “infecting” what few varieties they have left. GM crops are a real threat to our food biodiversity.
If I were a paranoid sort of guy, I’d suggest that this is being done on purpose. Control the food, control the world. A company owning a species, particularly a food crop species just doesn’t sit well with me, aside from the environmental issues associated with genetically modified organisms (GMO).
The potential threats of GM crops shouldn’t be disregarded as tin foil hat stuff; at best the technology is misguided, at worst, it’s just plain evil in my opinion.
Here’s some further reading (and viewing) on the subject
Play an active role in preserving food biodiversity – plant a veggie garden with heirloom and heritage seeds