Global Acceptance of GM Crops in Decline – New FOE Report

Posted on Apr 30 2014 - 7:32pm by Sustainable Pulse

Global acceptance of genetically modified (GM) crops is in decline, with the number of countries cultivating falling for the first time, according to a new report from Friends of the Earth International released today. Poland and Egypt are the latest countries to suspend or phase-out GM crop production.

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The report ‘Who Benefits from GM Crops?‘ reveals that in Europe, production of Monsanto’s GM maize, the only GM crop permitted in Europe, dropped in Portugal, Czech Republic and Slovakia. Over 90% of the European Union’s GM crop production is based in just one country, Spain [1]. Globally GM crops are grown predominantly in USA, Brazil, Argentina and India.

Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe said: “There is public resistance to GM crops on every continent, with increasing social and environmental impacts wherever they have been planted. In Europe it is clear that the public don’t want them, shops refuse to sell them and an increasing number of countries have banned them.”

“Food and farming should not be in the hands of companies who profit from GM seeds and the chemicals needed to grow them. We need a food system that promotes greener farms, safer food and vibrant rural communities.”

Countries such as the USA and Canada are faced with escalating problems associated with GM crop production. In the USA, 49% of farmers report problems with herbicide resistant weeds [2]; in Canada around 10% of farmers report about the same problems, resulting in increasingly toxic weed-killers being sprayed.

In Africa GM crops are grown only in three countries, South Africa, Burkina Faso and Sudan. However, extreme pressure from biotech companies threatens to open up the continent to GM crops. A recent Kenyan decision to ban GM crops came under fire from lobbyists intent on profiting from the sale of seeds and pesticides.

Kirtana Chandrasekaran, food sovereignty coordinator for Friends of the Earth International said: “There are readily available, less risky and more effective solutions than GMOs to tackle hunger and poverty. The solution to the hunger crisis is not more GM crops; it is more low cost, high yield agro-ecological farming – the type of farming being threatened by GMOs.”

In Europe, a new proposal to grant national governments more say over cultivating GM crops on their territory in Europe is currently under discussion in Brussels. The proposals, if agreed in the current version, would provide biotech companies strong power to decide if national government can ban the cultivation of GM crops or not, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

Instead of allowing GM crops, the European Commission and national governments must urgently support existing farming methods that protect the environment and deliver healthy food for all, according to Friends of the Earth Europe.

NOTES:

[1] Spain: 136,962 hectares, official government figures (2013), Portugal: 8,171, official government figures (2013), Czech Republic: 2,561 hectares, official government figures (2013), Romania: 835 hectares, official government figures (2013), Slovakia: 100 hectares, official government figures (2013).

[2] A separate survey of thousands of U.S. farmers across 31 states conducted over three years by Stratus Agri-marketing, Inc., showed 49 percent of the farmers surveyed reporting glyphosate-resistant weeds on their farm in 2012, up from 34 percent in 2011.

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3 Comments so far. Feel free to join this conversation.

  1. Anon May 1, 2014 at 22:39 - Reply

    It may actually be people outside the United States who bring the change, that Americans increasingly want and need (non-GMO food), since Big Agribiz is captured, as is the U.S. Government, by International Central Bankers, at the so-called “Federal” “Reserve”, and elsewhere (BIS, IMF, World Bank) who have shipped our manufacturing base overseas, in a bid to make the U.S. a “Third-World” economy. Thank God, the rest of the world is saying NO, TO GMO! It may be the very thing saves Americans from Big Agribiz.

  2. AnonAnon May 1, 2014 at 22:45 - Reply

    I mean, since AMERICANS can’t seem to get up off their asses, and do anything about it themselves (like force Big Agribiz to label non-GMO food, as such, or at the very least, just buy ORGANIC food, and thereby VOTE WITH THEIR $$). At least SOME Americans showed up to protect Cliven Bundy, from the BLM/Harry Reid land-grab. THAT is a positive sign. Way to go, non-Americans, for standing up for your rights, when Americans don’t seem to be capable of standing up for theirs.

  3. Barley July 21, 2014 at 00:37 - Reply

    GMO crop production will eventually bring starvation through destruction of the earth’s soils and environment. Why would anyone in their right minds throw away the power and right to be able to grow their own food and instead rely upon big corporations who care NOTHING about the earth, or You – the people – to forever be there to provide you with their patented seeds? Are you INSANE! The people need to take back their power before it’s too late. As Europeans we need to keep these American mafia psychos out of our nations. If we have to use force, then so be it. Destroy the GMO fields, boycott their products. Use whatever force you have to protect yourselves from this deadly invasion, if you have to.

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