Monday, March 18, 2013

New Campaign Calls for Revived Talks on GM Crops in Europe to be Killed Off

Farmers and green groups are coming together to launch a new campaign - ahead of the Environmental Council meeting held on 21 March in Brussels - calling on EU politicians to halt the authorisation of 22 GM crops currently being considered for cultivation in Europe.

The 'Stop the Crop' campaign highlights the devastating impacts already experienced in other countries as a result of the increased pesticide use in large-scale GM crop production. Campaigners -- including Friends of the Earth Europe and Corporate Europe Observatory -- are warning EU Member States that the expansion of GM cultivation and increased use of toxic pesticide Roundup in Europe will endanger the environment and potentially human health -- similar to those experienced in South America.In 2012 the results of a two year study into the toxicity of Roundup were published. French researchers fed rats with low levels of the chemical formulation and others ate genetically modified maize grown with Roundup.

Roundup is a herbicide developed by Monsanto and is now the most widely used herbicide in the world -- sprayed onto fields to kill weeds through its active ingredient glyphosate.

Very few GM crops are grown in the EU, but millions of tonnes of GM soya are imported every year as animal feed. However some farmers feel Roundup residues in the feed have affected their livestock -- including Danish pig farmer lb Borup Pedersen.

Stuart Agnew, MEP for UKIP and Pro GM campaigner, asks whether we can afford not to use this technology -- since GM crops have passed all of the relevant safety checks that non GM crops have.

Aside from health concerns, British farmer Michael Hart claims glyphosate becomes ineffective over time as weeds become intolerant to it. The Cornish farmer speaks to GM farmers in the US to get their view on whether the UK should go down the GM crop route or whether it should be avoided.

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