South Australia has altered its mind on banning G M crops. Should we have any concerns?
On the surface it seems reasonable to accept the evidence presented by farming groups the ban is costing the state millions of dollars in lost production. It is especially important when the world has a growing need for even more food. So why bother when technology is but a more refined method of crop selection?
Scientists generally agree this is not a problem but perhaps naively I see many. To me is is most egregious that GM seeds are sown enmasse, perhaps this is the same with other broad acre crops but bear with me. To ensure only the chosen crop survives, the ground to be sown has all other competing plants poisoned with products owned by the seed producer. This is why Bayer thought is was feasible to pay $66 billion for Monsanto in 2018. It wasn’t only so it could sell seed it was so it could sell a suite of Monsanto products exclusively to registered customers.
Their argument assuredly would run like this. Mr Customer, your crop will resist this and that, it will give you this return with these conditions. To get the best benefits you must do this and that.
The principle behind the seeds, and the peripheral materials is the capacity to lock in a dedicated reliant customer. It may be possible to produce sufficient seed stock to repeat the process but the customer will be in breech of patent rules to act as an independent and attempt to sell surplus seed to another. This is something of a recent development when big business quashes the enterprise of others who traditionally developed seeds over many generations of plant selection.
Next, it limits the benefits to those that can pay. Thus it locks out those in developing countries unable to use the new seed and compete in the global market simply because they are already managing at only a subsistence level. Thus putting those farmers further behind.
DuPont and Bayer are now so big in this field there are no small players left. They are now cartel operators. In normal circumstances governments would not allow any business to be controlled by so few a number of operators. As it is capitalism has gone mad to rid the market of competitors.
Worse, by reducing the seed availability the world is missing out on the diversity of choice now available with multiple breeds. Instead of crops maturing at different rates, or over a longer season, the new crops all ripen at the same time. Choice of flavours is reduced. Harder skins are normal so food is more easily transported.
I have not referred to the health danger of these seeds, and peripherals, as I am unqualified to offer an opinion. GMO has warehouses of papers written to support its growth (most often the authors have a dependence on the survival of the product). Others have written as many papers opposing recent development. The arguments rage on but my final paragraph is written to have you re question the sanity of full support.
Are you aware nearly nearly one third of all food crops depend on bees as pollinators? (Surely one of the most boring new manual jobs is pollinating greenhouse tomatoes.) Pollination can be done by others but are they as efficient? Do they call for payment? Bees, sadly are under threat. Field spraying of crops kill insects including those needed to produce the crop. Roundup is such a dangerous product it should never be used near bees. Across the globe colony collapse is rife. If you cannot house a bee do all in your power to promote their health. What you eat for dinner is more dependant on insects and birds than greedy multinationals will ever patent.