GM on the March
Maybe it was only a matter of time before GM found its way into the European food network. There is a lot of money and power backing it up which has been used to project an image of environmental and social good. Companies, like Monsanto, which have previously been caught up in all sorts of wrong doing have suddenly become humanitarians and environmentalists by putting on a great PR campaign to show how their products could save the world. Its worked. Europe has agreed to allow member states to have a greater control over the role of GM and it seems likely that the UK, which has been a champion of the GM cause, will adopt the technology soon.
At Shrink the Supply Chain, we have always been against GM. It appears to us that it is a dangerous step into the realm of playing God. To say that we know the consequences of GM, that there are no health or environmental impacts, seems to be cavalier. We may be wrong. The problem is, so might the scientists.
However, there are good arguments for the adoption of GM technology. We already seeing the effects of climate change and sadly this is affecting the world’s poorest most of all. The changing weather, lack of rain and increase in extreme weather events has made the process of growing crops quite challenging in these environments. GM, has the ability to encourage drought resistance thus making the harvest in parts of the developing world far more stable.
Similarly, GM has the potential to reduce the use of pesticides and fertilizers as pest resistant and hardy crop varieties are created. The environmental benefits, so the proponents of GM say, would be significant and therefore those opposing GM are damaging the environment.
However, concerns are already arising about some GM crops. Farmers in Brazil have reported that pest resistant maize is no longer pest resistant. To combat this, farmers had to spray their crops. This is bad for farmers as their costs go up, and bad for the environment. Concerns like these are becoming increasing common.
Maybe it’s time we learnt that when we fight nature, she fights back. It is far better to work with her.
There is some good news. The good news is that we should not be seeing GM crops in our food in the very near term. Farmers, scientists and politicians may be very keen on GM, but the general consumer is not. As a result of this lack of demand, the supermarkets are also reluctant (at the moment) to embrace GM.
As the PR machine marches on, consumers are dropping their opposition and no doubt we will see GM food in our food supply in the next few years. There is really only one way to stop it. Don’t buy it!
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Originally published at shrinkthesupplychain.com on January 15, 2015.