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Argentina's Bitter Harvest - GM crops turned sour

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posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 01:42 PM
In 1997, Argentina was among the first countiies to authorized the use of GM crops, which swept the land by storm and by 2002, covered more than half of its arable land. then, first reports of resistant superweeds appeared, by now GM soy farmers are forced to use twice as much herbicide as conventional farmers:


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

fighting these new roundup resistant weeds requires prodigious amounts of toxic herbicides, which of course ruin flora and fauna as well as neighboring farmers' crops and land. one such incident is described below:

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 result is dead soil, where organic matter does no longer rot, which is devoid of life.

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.


A Field test of GM soya has proven a complete failure, the use of such crops will leave the landscape of Argentina permanently scarred, if enough countires follow suit, i presume the naive notion of 'combating world hunger' by genetic engineering will inevitably be turned on its head!

On top of that, the practice favors industrial agriculture, smaller farms are first destroyed, then bought and assimilated into the agro-industrial complex, which will not leave the consumer any choice on the long run. GM based agriculture facilitates this process, by cross-contamination of (more) organic crops and short-term advantages. by the time the advantage is gone, smaller farms have long beend forced out of business.

other links:

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
. 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
worse off.

somebody forgot to read the small print it seems.

see also:

Let's hope people around the world will heed this warning and won't succumb to international pressure, i think it's time to sue the industry, for TRILLIONS, mind you.

feedback appreciated.

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 03:12 PM
i find GM crops the most disturbing & potentially destructive technology since nuclear weapons. monsanto please die

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 03:22 PM

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

Couldn't agree more, It's about time people stopped trying to play God. How arrogant can people get? We have no idea what damage these GM crops may do to our rock, yet they are allowed to carry on regardless. Disgusting. I also find the notion that this is to make human starvation a thing of the past most distasteful. They do it for profit, pure and simple. Apparently if you have the cash, you can do what you please, and damn the consequences.

It makes me sick.

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 03:28 PM
Genetically modified food is certainly unhealthy and it hasn't came through on its promise to do what it was meant to do. The principle reason for developing it was to curb the use of herbicides and pesticides, as the article implies, actually the opposite has resulted. GM foods

[edit on 13-10-2006 by SpeakerofTruth]

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 03:30 PM
Um no - a little knowledge is a dangerous thing....

Following in time honored rural practice, the FARMER, used the old "if a little works, a LOT will be even better" and caused the damn problem themselves. The weeds were there before Round Up, and old pesticides killed the plants and some of the crop. Enter new GM crop and Roundup and yes, there are weeds that will be resistant - it isn't a kill all. To increase yields they dump the crap on. Stupid people do stupid things and once out of a controlled environment, you get these foul ups as real world people and not scientists are turned loose with the stuff.

I was a botanist - GM modified plants are as old as the science of botany - we've just bypassed a whole host lenghty legwork with modern GM modified stuff. Trust me, nature is a nasty little beast and no matter how we try to kill it, something is going to live and exploit it. Bacteria has a feast off of our oil spills - is that a bad thing..?? Only if you love furry little critters and not bacteria....

GM good or bad - who knows or for that matter cares, waste of time to worry about it - like I said, life will live - may not be good for us or for things we think we love, but we are not the only things on the old marble and the marble is a remarkable system that takes care of itself, regardless of what we think we can do to it....

[edit on 13-10-2006 by UofCinLA]

posted on Oct, 13 2006 @ 03:40 PM
Oh yeah,Uof Cinla, man can always do better than nature,huh? Whatever.
Here you go:

Dangers of genetically Modified food

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 04:42 AM

to a certain extent, the farmers are themselves responsible, because they did not think it through and were blinded by short-term-profits.

Once agribusinesses take over, it's no longer within the farmer's power to do anything, however,these people got all the money and all the lawyers in the world to bully a bankrupted (not going into detail, would be another thread entirely) nation like Argentina into submission.

The issue is that pesticide use skyrocketed once weeds had adapted and natural regulatives had been eradicated by soy monoculture. a crop or weed my be super-resistant against chemicals, but ususally, in a naturally balanced environment (earth before humans cut down the forests...) they do occupy their niche and don't become omnipresent because they usually cannot out-grow everything, every species has a few weaknesses.

with area-wide roundup use (as opposed to poisoning single plants, like the neighbor's ugly trees
) in any quantities, chmical resistance becomes *THE* wildcard in terms of survival value. when you spray half a country with it, it's only a matter of time and tbh, it took long enough, almost a decade. GE organisms usually contain a virus vector, which remains active in the field, which greatly reduces the threshold for horizontal gene transfer with predictable results.

Now, to the more pressing issues, health hazards related to consumption of GMO material: aside from intermittent failures of GMOs, which go back as far as 1989 (see supplement scandal), more and more anecdotal evidence is piling up that GMOs carry hidden hazards. Unfortunately, the industry is actively supressing such finding. note that this is not just an urban legend, tons of trials have been hidden or discarded due to inconvenient results an example.

Animals are apparently capable of detecting at least some varieties of GMOs, see link, while laboratories are still struggling to reliably do the same, there are reports of unexplained animal deaths in proximity of GE crops, see , and cross-contamination excaberates the problems and foils many attempts at quality control, while victims are sued by monsanto because they failed to pay license fees for their unwanted poison:

role reversal

so, as long as GM crops retain any way to procreate, they remain dangerous and uncontrollable. field tests have been done, the excessive use of herbicide is related and therefore cannot be taken out of the considerations. Argentina paid dearly for this and it's time to learn the lesson and at least start a moratorium of a decade or so to see if we can get rid of GMOs again. so far, the ecological cost is incalculable, profit-wise, farmers were coaxed and suckered into a relationship without a path of escape, while those who refused are now being immersed in clouds of herbicide spray and toxic pollen.

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.

related links:

general criticism of GMOs

example of unpredictable genetic sequences in GMOs - untested, unpredicable, would you feel safe if the same headlines were made by car manufacturers or construction companies ? why take a chance with our biosphere and food supply? ?

banned corn, you can bet that you wouldn't know had it been authorized

food borne illnesses increasing exponentially, no evidence though

old post of mine on the subject

finally, let me introduce rBGH growth hormone, which contains a freak (unnatural protein sequence and geometry) amino acid you probably never heard of. it was never authorized yet continues to be sold to millions of unsuspecting consumers:

growth factors tend to influence cacer risks - this one is no exception

snippet to illustrate the FDA's role

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.

that's why other nations banned the stuff

do you feel better now?

PS: a reminder: GM / GE means Genetically Modified / Engineered
GMO - Genetically Modified Organism(s)

posted on Oct, 14 2006 @ 12:12 PM
link fix: on cross-contamination:

too late to edit, sorry.

posted on Nov, 12 2006 @ 11:16 AM

..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.

Unfortunately, industrialized agriculture is simply not sustainable, see f-ex:

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.

It does not take a rocket scientist to figure out that depeted water reserves will not be magically restored overnight, that farmers will be unable to rebuild fertility over time, due to outstanding loans and that the pace of destruction will spiral out of control. there goes the food supply of 1bn+ people. of course science is flabbergasted that their once cherihsed advice is now destroying our food supply, how could this possibly happen, must have been local rednecks who failed to apply their idiocy properly

this kind of political prostitution will be the downfall of science as a whole, too bad it won't change the horrific outcome of this 'experiment'

[edit on 12-11-2006 by Long Lance]

posted on Mar, 9 2007 @ 11:25 PM

Sorry I missed this one. Excellent work LongLance.

Thanks, sofi

posted on Mar, 14 2010 @ 09:41 PM
EDIT: This post was originally intended for a Monsanto thread. I am a idjit and posted it here. However, it ties in a bit so I'll just leave it. Goiod info that may get missed. At least it's not a UFP thread or something, that wouldn't mix. This, luckily, does.

For those too lazy to read, here's some docs.

Future Of Food

Google Video Link

The World According To Monsanto, above. Below is a interview with Deborah Garcia who made the top movie Future Of Food.

Google Video Link

Link to the Food, Inc. site since the movie isn't readily available online to link to

The Monsanto Story

Google Video Link

Edited to get those links right.

Here's The Hundred Year Lie, a site with some good info, based on the book of the same name.

Hundred Year Lie

I've worked in the "natural foods" industry so I've seen a lot of things. It really opened my eyes and once I started researching companies like Monsanto I really got sick. If they are allowed to keep on doing things the way they have, we are in serious trouble of, I believe, losing our whole food supply. The whole world, I mean, not just the US.

Not only are they screwing with forces they cannot understand with roundup ready, BT, etc. but the terminator gene, if it somehow gets out, could possibly infect all crops world wide. We would lose it all as the seeds would be dead.

Far fetched, yeah, but anything could happen. We don't know.

[edit on 3/14/2010 by TheLoony]

[edit on 3/14/2010 by TheLoony]

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