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The Environment secretary will make a speech today explaining the benefits of GM. What about the dangers?
Here are some thoughts from a commercial ex-farmer, now worried about a trend to GM that could be an unmitigated disaster.
Those in favour of GM say we need it to;
1. feed the world
2. reduce the use of chemicals
3. keep UK farmers competitive
Others say RUBBISH! GM is already grown around the rest of the world yet half the world’s population is nearly starving, living on $2 a day. And By 2050, on present trends, the world’s livestock will consume enough grain/corn/soya to feed four billion people.
Will poor people be able to afford GM?
Chemicals? The opposite to GM, organic farmers, do not use chemicals and fertilisers through mixed farming techniques.
Some say that due to GM there are a number of weeds now resistant to standard chemicals like the amazing Glyphosate, developed by Monsanto but now cheap because the patent has run out. These new resistant weeds will need a new chemical and give Monsanto a chance to make more money with a new patent?
As an ex farmer I have seen the family farm change from employing 200 people in the 1950s, and being very profitable, to employing one person and almost making a loss if European subsidies were removed. If this trend continues to GM I am convinced that the savings in fertilizer and chemicals will be matched by the increase in seed cost.
How can you possibly, 100%, make sure that a dangerous gene is not transferred in to a GM crop and not found until it is too late.
Once we start growing GM can we go back?
In this country farmers like my family, without EU subsidies, are making about the same profit as small farmers selling direct to local consumers.Surely the government should be finding ways to help the latter rather than handing over the future of british farming to Monsanto and the profit focused GM corporates.
If you agree you can use our local food map and change your shopping habit from the supermarket to local producers or retailers stocking local food. And know that the money you spend on food is going back in to the local economy to encourage greater production, than to corporates and their shareholders.