There’s something I want to say about genetically modified organisms.
You’ll hear opposing opinions on the question of whether GMOs are safe for individuals and for ecosystems. But there’s one question on which, in my opinion, there is no argument: When governments and societies allow and encourage GMOs, they are putting control of our food supply increasingly into the hands of multi-billion agri-business corporations. That’s because companies that develop GMOs get awarded patents on those crops / foods. Those patents give the companies control over the entire line of that crop.
It’s a point that often gets lost in arguments over genetic engineering of foods. Control is a key issue in the new food movement. Food educators know that communities need to be able to make decisions about their local agriculture and their healthy sustenance.
Who controls food systems? That’s my main concern in the discussion about GMOs. Partly because of the spread of GMOs, ownership of seeds is already highly concentrated, and becoming more so, as you can read about from the ‘etc group,’ http://www.etcgroup.org/, That group examines consequences of new technologies, and has recently done important work on global seeds and pesticides. http://www.etcgroup.org/content/sino-genta For an excellent overview of other consequences of GMOs, read reports of The GMO Inquiry http://gmoinquiry.ca/, from CBAN, the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network. More on that in a future post.