New research from University of Canterbury researchers proves that genetically engineered crops have lower yields and use more pesticides than GE-free crops. The research, led by Professor Jack Heinemann, compared North American staple crop production to Western Europe over the past fifty years.
The world’s population is currently 7 billion but by 2020 it is forecast to reach 8 billion.
“Feeding the world’s hungry is a catchcry used by big agri-tech, but it is nothing more than an emotive rant appealing to our compassion, when these companies have none themselves,” says Debbie Swanwick, Spokesperson, Soil & Health – Organic NZ. “We can feed the world’s hungry now – we choose not to.”
Forty percent of food is currently wasted and whilst a billion people on the earth are starving, a billion people are overweight. Research shows that in developing countries, home to many of the world’s hungry, and where drought is common, not only can organic production increase yields by 100-200% it is also affordable for the people.
“The deplorable situation in many developing countries is that farmers are sold GE crops which they cannot afford and cannot grow in the traditional ways they are used to. The cost of having to buy patented seed each year and the need to buy more pesticides and herbicides to deal with resistant insects and weeds has made growing GE crops
increasingly unsustainable. Since the introduction of GE crops in the mid 1990s, more than a quarter of a million subsistence farmers in India have committed suicide . Big corporations that treat our global citizens in this way are committing a crime against humanity and this must stop,” says Swanwick.
“What we need to do is produce crops that consumers can afford, that provide good nutrition and are environmentally sustainable. Consumers worldwide do not want to eat GMOs. The movement to eradicate GMOs or at the very least label them is now at a tipping point that will see the demise of a practice that should never have been rubber-stamped by governments, whose remit is to represent people not corporations. People deserve real food,” says Swanwick.
Recently Hungary burnt all their GMO crops, and last month the Connecticut senate was the first US state to introduce a bill demanding labelling of GMOs. At least twenty other states are following their lead.
“The US market is set to fall and justice will finally prevail when these crops are banned by consumers – who will vote with their wallets,” says Swanwick. “Big agri-tech knows this. It is the reason why they spent US$45 million last year to defeat a bill that would have seen mandatory labelling of GMOs in California. The bill was narrowly lost by
Soil & Health – Organic NZ is one of the oldest organic organisations in the world and advocates for the consumer’s right to have fresh, healthy, organic food and water free of GE, pesticides and additives and their right to know what is in their food and water. Oranga nuku, oranga kai, oranga tangata. To learn more about what is really in your food subscribe to their Facebook Page and subscribe http://www.facebook.com/OrganicNZ
To view online click here www.organicnz.org.nz/node/687
(8) Heinemann, J.A., Massaro, M., Coray, D.S., Zanon Agapito-Tenfen, S. and Wen, J.D. (2013) Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest. International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability (early access online)http://dx.doi.org/10.1080/14735903.2013.806408