Currently there is no commercial growing of Genetically Modified (GM) crops in the United Kingdom, only an experimental trial of GM Wheat which started in 2012, but now the Prime Minister’s personal scientific adviser; Sir Mark Walport and others are pushing an agenda to allow GM crops from Biotech firms such as Monsanto to be grown for commercial use.
Sir Mark said it was his ‘job to advise on the science and it is then the politician’s job to decide how to use that … The final decision is a political decision’.
His comments – in his first public speech in the job – are the latest indication that the GM lobby is rapidly gaining influence after years of public hostility.
“My job is to provide the best, most accurate scientific advice,” he said. “The job of the civil service is classically sometimes portrayed as telling truth to power, and there’s no doubt that is my job.”
Over the past 8 weeks 6 supermarkets; Tesco, Asda, Sainsbury’s, Morrison’s, Marks & Spencer and Co-operative ended bans on farm suppliers giving GM Soya and Maize to animals producing meat, milk and eggs, this includes free range animals. Waitrose still requires non-GM feed for poultry, eggs and lamb.
The supermarket giants said suppliers had told them that non-GM feed for poultry is now too difficult and too expensive to obtain. There are also concerns that there is a risk non-GM and GM animal feed could become mixed up, making it more difficult to police the UK food chain.
This is primarily because Monsanto soya grown in the US and Brazil (where a lot of the feed is imported from) is over 80% genetically modified.
A new study in France has found genetically modified maize to have devastating effects on the health of lab rats — which could indicate risks for other biological creatures, including humans. For two years, these rats were fed a diet of 33% genetically modified corn developed by Monsanto. The results are horrific. The rats “developed tumours the size of ping-pong balls, liver damage and digestive problems” according to the study.
Of course the European Union has ignored a GMO ban saying that more research needs to be done to prove it is dangerous, rather than to prove it is safe, as it should be.
A survey by the Food Standard Agency last year found two in three people believe foods from animals given a GM diet should be described/labelled as such, however there are no plans to do so.
A British Science Association study showed public support for GM foods declining from 46% in 2002 to 27% now, even with all of the disinformation of the media, food companies, etc…
Environment Secretary Owen Paterson last year came out as keen supporter of GM crops, dismissing consumer fears as ‘humbug’.
Certain myths are used to push the GMO agenda such as increased yield, while 15 million tonnes of food are thrown away every year in the UK.
For estimates with prices of how much is wasted (in trillions) click here.
All of this ignoring the decline of Bees from pesticides and GMOs that we all need to pollinate our food.
The proof is obvious that one of the major reasons of the bees’ decline is by the ingestion of GMO proteins. This is problematic, as there is such an increase of indigestible foods in humans and bees. The situation of colon cancer in humans is somewhat similar in occurrence. This is only a theory but leaves one to wonder what are we eating en mass. The external or complementary good of the bee is obviously a rise for a global concern. The long-term economical and environmental impact has yet to be completely understood.
Last week the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA), the body of scientists that provides scientific risk assessment to the European Union regarding food and feed safety, issued a report that acknowledges a number of serious risks associated with the use of systemic pesticides–clothianidin, imidacloprid and thiamethoxam–on bee health.
These pesticides of the neonicotinoid family paralyze insects by blocking a specific pathway that transmits nerve impulses in the insects nervous system.
Evidence demonstrating a strong association between these pesticides and a significant decline in bee health and bee colony collapse has been growing. Beekeepers in the United States, facing on average 40% over-wintering losses, greater if summer losses are factored in, have been urging the Environmental Protection Agency to suspend the registration of clothianidin to no avail. This past summer, the French health and safety agency, ANSES, announced a ban on the use of Syngenta’s pesticide, Cruiser OSR, which contains thiamethoxam used to coat rapeseed plants, citing bee collapses concerns.
However there has been some good news on this topic recently;
Today (8 May 2013) major European retailers from five countries, including Germany’s REWE Group, EDEKA and LIDL have released the Brussels Soy Declaration in which they have pledged support for the non-GMO soy production system of Brazil.
Large retailers in Germany, France, Austria, Luxembourg, and other mainland European countries, quite opposite to the UK, are increasing their use of non-GMO soy in livestock production because they believe that consumers like choice as to whether they purchase genetically modified products.