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Articles from the Peace News log: GM

Articles from the Peace News log.
For articles in this category from the whole site, look here

Report about a recent anti-GM researchers and campaigners event.

Being cautious and trying to apply the saying “you are what you eat” today can perhaps be trickier than simply checking the nutritional information about the levels of sugar, fat and vitamins that the food you are buying contains. Indeed, last year about 170 million hectares of genetically modified (GM) crops were cultivated in 28 countries and although none of them are being grown commercially in the UK, imported GM commodities, especially soya, are being used here, mainly for animal feed.

In June the controversy about the subject was once again reopened after the Environment Secretary told the BBC that “GM has significant benefits for farmers, consumers and the environment.” Opponents of GM, including some scientists and activists, say the opposite.

Anti-GM researchers and food campaigners gathered to discuss the implications GM has for our food system at a public meeting in the Senate House of the London University on September 4th. At the centre of the debate was the often cited, by both sides of this issue, 2012 study co-authored by the Professor of Molecular Biology from the University of Caen, Gilles-Eric Séralini, which links GM and the Monsanto pesticide Roundup to organ damage and increased risk of tumours in rats. Due to medical conditions Mr Séralini was not able to attend the event in person and was instead represented by Dr Michael Antoniou from King’s College London School of Medicine who is co-author of the study “GMO Myths and Truths”.

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O. Bertin, M. Gurung, N. Tegmo and  S. Rai write from Kathmandu.

If one does a search on the entrance of Genetically Modified (GM) food and crop products into Nepal, there really isn’t much written on the topic. According to a Food Research Officer for the Government of Nepal Yakindra Timilsena, resident of Kailali district, “Till now no published data was found about the GM food and crop products which enter Nepalese market” [sic]. This was posted in his personal blog on 20th March, 2011.

This small article wishes to highlight the impending doom that Monsanto, one US based bio-tech giant who’s aim is to control the source of all the world’s food (translates as, rather than weapons, if you control the world’s food production, you are the most powerful entity in the world) is here in Nepal. The Ministry of Agriculture and Cooperatives is very close to signing a deal with Monsanto, with full support from USAID. One wonders, what kind of ‘aid’ is this? According to the recent Himalayan Times article on 13th September “…Monsanto is one of the companies, the product of which when used in the Tarai last year had turned out to be a fiasco with farmers failing to produce corn cobs. Maize planted in thousands of hectares of land had been wasted, and despite protests from the farmers, Monsanto had refused to pay compensation.”

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