Cheltenham Friends of the Earth works to help dispel the 10 Big Myths about GM food and crops
1. “We need genetic modification to feed a growing world population.”No, because the hungry world comes from poverty, bad storage and transport facilities, and unfair trade.
2. “GM produces drought-resistant crops.”No GM crop has been produced to withstand drought, whereas there are non-GM crops that can. Nor does GM help fight climate change.
3. “GM delivers more food on less land.”No, there are no GM crops that boost yields; instead there is up to 10% less in the way of yields in (say) soya.
4. “GM helps farmers cut down chemical use.”On the contrary, weeds have developed resistance to the chemicals used on GM crops, to the extent that hand weeding is often needed.
5. “Only well-fed activists oppose GM.”No, many developing-country farmers do that with passion.
6. “The EU and the UK need GM for our economy.”No, we would do better to improve soil husbandry and develop advanced traditional plant breeding instead.
7. “GM is safe – people in the US have been eating it for years without trouble.”GM in the US is unlabelled and untraced, so there is no way of connecting ailments to GM consumption.
8. “People are coming round to the idea of GM.”A 2010 NOP poll showed 89% want labels showing where GM feed is used in animal products, expressly in order to avoid these.
9. “GM will keep food prices down.”The big food price rises in 2007/8 were not due to the lack of GM; the real causes were droughts, food crops diverted to biofuels, financial speculation in food markets and higher costs for fertilisers and fuel.
10. “Opposition to GM is emotional, not based on sound science.”Courts in both US and India are showing the unsound nature of the science behind GM. Non-GM alternatives are more soundly science-based.
Cheltenham Friends of the Earth supports the GM Freeze campaign which calls for a freeze on –
• the growing of genetically modified plants and the breeding of genetically modified farm animals for any commercial purpose;• the importing of GM foods, plants, farm crops and farm animals, and produce from GM plants and animals;• the patenting of genetic resources for food and farm crops.
We keep members informed of the latest developments in this field.
Cheltenham FoE GM Contact - Cherry Lavell [email protected]