Genetically Modified Organism (GMO) – Myths and Truths
THE WORLD ACCORDING TO MONSANTO | GMO DOCUMENTARY
How to Identify G.M.O Genetically Modified Food @ the Grocery Store
COUNTRIES THAT STILL EMBRACE GMO:
- The U.S. now grows mostly GM varieties of corn, canola and soy. Hawaii now grows GM papayas. Approvals have also been given for GM alfalfa, zucchinis, beet sugar and tomato varieties, though not all are currently being grown. A recent attempt to approve GM salmon was defeated.
- China is one of the largest producers of GM crops.
- Germany, Sweden and the Czech Republic are approved for growing GM potatoes.
- Finland’s government and population is receptive to GM foods. None are currently grown in the country, however, because no approved GM crops are suitable for the country’s growing conditions.
- The Zambian government has launched a campaign to get the public to support GM technology.
- Canada has widespread GM crop usage. Nearly all Canadian canola is GM, as is a large portion of the country’s soy and corn. Prince Edward Island tried to pass a ban on GMO cultivation but failed, and GM crops in the region are currently increasing.
- Spain currently grows GMO maize (about 20% of the country’s maize is GM).
- The Czech Republic, Slovakia, Portugal, Romania and Poland all grow some GMO maize.
- The Phillipines grow GM crops.
- The European Union (EU) has approved the cultivation of many GM crops (including potatoes and maize) but individual countries are able to opt out from growing them. However, most EU countries are not permitted to reject the sale of GM foods.
- South Africa is growing an increasing number of GM crops.
- Britain officially supports GM crops and has trials of GMOs like potatoes planted. However, there is widespread public distrust of the crops and Prince Charles has been a vocal opponent of GMOs.
- South America has widespread planting of GM crops.
- As mentioned above, Thailand is alternately embracing and rejecting GM crops.
- India also has widespread GM cotton use. Also mentioned above, the widespread planting of Monsanto’s GM cotton has led to tragedy throughout India. The Indian government even banned conventional seeds from many government seed banks in an attempt to please Monsanto (in return, the country was given International Monetary Fund loans to help its economy) and slow the nation’s poverty rates. An estimated 1,000 farmers commit suicide each month in the country as a result of the crop failure and debt caused by planting the GM seeds. Farmers were convinced to spend what was often 1,000 times the cost of conventional seed on the “magic seeds” after listening to Monsanto’s promises of increased yields and resistence to pests. Despite the promises, the crops were often destroyed by bollworms. In addition, the farmers weren’t warned that the crops would require twice as much water as conventional cotton, leading to many crops drying up and dying. The “terminator” seeds also must be purchased again every year. For farmers used to saving seed from year to year, this was often a final financial blow that led to insurmountable debt.
The variation in each country’s laws and views regarding GMOs has led to complications when it comes to exporting foods. For example, Thailand has been working to reassure other countries about the safety of its food but recently had its canned tuna rejected by Greece and the Netherlands after testing showed GM ingredients. The tuna was packed in soybean oil imported by the United States, where most soy is genetically modified.
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