Genetically Engineered Crops are having a devastating effect on biodiversity. 1000’s of acres of rain forests are being cleared every day to make way for mono culture genetically engineered crops.
The modified genomes are cross breeding with existing species causing a reduction in the uniqueness of the naturally occurring gene pools.
As the super corporations like Monsanto push their genetically engineered crops onto the consumer, little is known about the long term effects of GMO foods.
Recent studies have carried out on Rats stated that the GMO foods have caused tumors in rats. The findings have spurred further studies to be carried out by European scientists.
GM Crops and Biodiversity
The act of growing crops typically means that wild plants in that farm will be removed. If weeds grow around the crops, it means that the crops will be competing for important and scarce resources such as light, water and the necessary nutrition from the soil. In turn, the farm will be less productive if weeds are left to grow.
However, some level of wild plants can be helpful to the farm. If certain wild plants are left to grow, animals may consume them. These animals can then deter other pests on the farm. If a farm is carefully planned out and good growing practices are used, wild plants can exist alongside crops that grow well.
With GM crops, however, they may have ‘built-in’ pest control or they may negatively affect the health of an animal that consumes the crop.
A concern is whether or not agriculture using GM crops can respect and maintain this important balance that supports a high level of biodiversity. There are a number of ways in which the biodiversity of an ecosystem could be compromised by GM crops. In the first, out crossing can occur.
Read More: Genetically Modified Foods
Debates Continue in Europe over the safety of GMO Crops.
The peer-reviewed research in the internationally respected journal Food and Chemical Toxicology found significantly increased rates of cancer and death in rats fed both Monsanto’s GM maize and its herbicide Roundup, says Friends of the Earth Europe.
According to the organization, fifteen similar GM maizes and four GM soybeans that use Roundup are approved for consumption in the EU, and the research raises questions about the safety of all of these products.
Friends of the Earth Europe is calling for an immediate suspension of imports of all GM foods and feeds on which the herbicide Roundup is used.
“This research raises new questions about the safety of genetically modified foods. It is now time for the EU to act to protect public health. On the basis of this research, national governments and the European Commission should immediately suspend all similar GM foods and halt all further GMO approvals,” says Mute Schimpf, food campaigner for Friends of the Earth Europe.
The maize tested in the new study, Monsanto’s NK603, has been modified so that it can survive spraying by Monsanto’s own herbicide Roundup whilst all other plants in the field are destroyed. In the current EU safety checks only short term tests of 90 days are conducted to assess the potential risks. Longer tests, as conducted in this new research are not required….
Meanwhile a controversial debate continues in Australia over the propagation of GMO crops.
THE Australian Greens say they won’t give the green light to Genetically Modified crops – or any other version of GM’s – despite widespread support for biotechnology amongst Australian farming groups and the scientific community.
Leading farm groups and plant scientists back GM technology development, with its potential to generate varieties with drought and even frost tolerance, or grow in soils where virtually nothing exists.
Citing feedback from her “listening tour” of regional Australia, launched when she replaced Bob Brown in April, Australian Greens leader Senator Christine Milne said she was “reinforced in the view” about not allowing GM’s in food chains.
“I think when the community comes to realise that there are real health issues associated with GMOs, not to mention organic growers actually being put out of business by the fact that there is contamination of organic certified areas as a result of GM trials, that’s going to make people even more frustrated,” she said….More at Greens shut out GM – Stock and Land