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In a study published in 2001 by the Northwest Science and Environmental Policy Center, a non-profit organisation in Sandpoint, Idaho, agricultural economics consultant Charles Benbrook reported that Roundup Ready soya growers in Argentina were using more than twice as much herbicide as conventional soya farmers, largely because of unexpected problems with tolerant weeds
A YEAR ago, Colonia Loma Senes was just another rural backwater in the north of Argentina. But that was before the toxic cloud arrived. "The poison got blown onto our plots and into our houses," recalls local farmer Sandoval Filemon. "Straight away our eyes started smarting. The children's bare legs came out in rashes." The following morning the village awoke to a scene of desolation. "Almost all of our crops were badly damaged. I couldn't believe my eyes," says Sandoval's wife, Eugenia. Over the next few days and weeks chickens and pigs died, and sows and nanny goats gave birth to dead or deformed young. Months later banana trees were deformed and stunted and were still not bearing edible fruit.
The villagers quickly pointed the finger at a neighbouring farm whose tenants were growing genetically modified soya, engineered to be resistant to the herbicide glyphosate. A month later, agronomists from the nearby National University of Formosa visited the scene and confirmed the villagers' suspicions. The researchers concluded that the neighbouring farmers, like thousands of others growing GM soya in Argentina, had been forced to take drastic action against resistant weeds and had carelessly drenched the land - and nearby Colonia Loma Senes - with a mixture of powerful herbicides.
The third problem that was predicted by Benbrook - changes in soil microbiology - also appears to be happening. "Because so much herbicide is being used, soil bacteria are declining and the soil is becoming inert, which is inhibiting the usual process of decomposition," says agronomist Adolfo Boy from the Grupo de Reflexion Rural, a group of agronomists opposed to GM farming. "In some farms the dead vegetation even has to be brushed off the land." He also believes that slugs, snails and fungi are moving into the newly available ecological niche.
The growth in output is exclusively the result of an increase in the
area of land under soya bean cultivation. Despite the early promises, RR
soya beans have had five-six per cent lower yields than conventional
soya. Nor has there been the much-heralded decline in pesticide
application. Because of the evolution of vicious new weeds, farmers have
had to use two or three times more pesticides than previously. Overall,
total costs have risen by 14 per cent. Soya prices have dropped as a
result of increased global production, and most farmers are actually
Originally posted by Long Lance
i think it's time to sue the industry, for TRILLIONS, mind you.
Originally posted by Shar_Chi
monsanto please die
The Phillipines. "Scientists Suspect Health Threat From GM Corn" (The Guardian, 28 February 2004):
"Scientists investigating a spate of illnesses among people living close to GM maize fields in the Philippines believe that the crop may have triggered fevers, respiratory illnesses and skin reactions. . . . The concern surrounds an unnamed village in northern Mindanao, where 39 people living near a field of Bt maize -- which contains a pesticide in the gene -- started suffering last autumn when the crop was producing pollen.
ROBERT COHEN AGAIN ADDRESSES FDA PANEL MEMBERS] To this day, FDA thinks -it's on your web page - that 90% of the bovine growth hormone is destroyed by pasteurization. But what Paul Groenewegan was he pasteurized milk for [/url]30 minutes at 162F, and when I read that - I said, wait a second, milk is pasteurized for 15 seconds at that temperature - not 30 minutes. They intentionally tried to destroy the hormone, they only destroyed 19% of it - somebody lied. And at that moment, FDA said to Monsanto: "Because you destroy it by pasteurization, you don't have to do further toxicology studies. You don't have to develop a test for this hormone in milk. It's now safe to drink." They (FDA) developed a zero day withdrawal - they determined it was safe to drink.
..We have, in other words, been deceived. Traditional farming has been stamped out all over the world not because it is less productive than monoculture, but because it is, in some respects, more productive. Organic cultivation has been characterised as an enemy of progress for the simple reason that it cannot be monopolised: it can be adopted by any farmer anywhere on earth, without the help of multinational companies. Though it is more productive to grow several species or several varieties of crops in one field, the biotech companies must reduce diversity in order to make money, leaving farmers with no choice but to purchase their most profitable seeds. This is why they have spent the last ten years buying up seed breeding institutes and lobbying governments to do what ours has done: banning the sale of any seed which has not been officially - and expensively - registered and approved.
Punjab and Haryana were at the forefront of the Green Revolution in the late 1960s and early 1970s, in which farm machinery, pesticides and fertilisers, irrigation and the replacement of traditional crops with high-yielding varieties dramatically increased productivity. The two states together now provide 80 per cent of the country's food surplus.
But the land is increasingly unable to support this burden of intensive agriculture. Crop yields--and water resources--are declining alarmingly, and some parts are close to becoming barren. Many farmers are heavily in debt from their investments in new equipment and reliance on chemicals, and rural unemployment is increasing. These are ominous signs of a deteriorating farm economy.
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