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GMO: India moves against Genetically Tinkered Crops

Someone told me a joke about zucchini, supposedly first told by Garrison Keillor. Why do the inhabitants of Lake Wobegon lock their cars in the month of August? So that their neighbors won't leave bags of zucchini on the back seat.

This is not funny.  Anyone who has made the mistake of planting two zucchini plants knows that getting rid of the produce is well-nigh impossible.  And if you turn your back for twenty minutes that small protuberance behind the flower is suddenly 20 inches long.  Try getting rid of it then.  About the only thing such a monster is good for is to fend off that bear on your back porch.  (Seriously, it happened)

If there is one plant that can be grown by anyone, anywhere in greater profusion than sensible or desirable, it is the zucchini squash.  Why then would anyone in their right mind want to genetically modify it?  To produce more?For a larger harvest?  Yet, according to the Non-GMO Project, there are approximately 25,000 acres of genetically modified zucchini growing happily in the United States.

Percentages of other crops in the US that are genetically modified may come as a surprize (you certainly will not be told about their altered states): 90% of canola, 88% of corn, 90% of cotton, 94% of soy and 95% of sugar beets.

A number of countries around the world have either banned outright, or in some way restricted the use of GM seed. These include New Zealand, Switzerland, Germany, Madeira, Ireland, Japan, Austria, Hungary, Greece, Bulgaria and Luxembourg.    France petitioned the European Commission, asking that they suspend Monsanto's authorization to plant GM corn to no avail.

India seems to be the next country poised to act against the intrusion into their traditional agriculture of multinational corporations – Monsanto in particular.The Monsanto MO is to  find an area that is struggling to produce enough food for the population and persuade them that there is a better way.  Monsanto offers to supply seed free for the first year.  They even offer advice on agricultural practices using chemical fertilizers and insecticides that are supposed to greatly increase yield.  It usually works for the first year, but not thereafter when the soil has been depleted and degraded.  In fact ithas been estimated that, over the past 16 years, more than 250,000 Indian farmers have committed suicide because their crops failed, leaving them financially ruined.

India is now seeking to ban all field trials of genetically cropsuntil certain conditions have been met.  These include designating specific sites for the field trials,sufficient monitoring in place and evaluation by a panel of scientists to determine the safety of GM crops.  They are also seeking a moratorium on all field trials of herbicide-tolerant crops until such time as an independent assessment has been completed to evaluate the impact and suitability of these crops.

The problem is worldwide, but in the US it is made worse because of forced ignorance. Without labelling, it is impossible to avoid GM foodseven if one knows the dangers.


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