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Genetically Modified Maize in southwest France.


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This year, 2006, GM maize is to be grown on a much larger commercial scale in the southwest of France, principally in Midi-Pyrenées, Aquitaine and Poitou-Charentes.

I have never been really clear where I stand on this, partly because it effectively puts crop control in the hands of a few large multi-nationals who appear to have little regard either for small producers throughout the world or for environmental issues. There are added complications due to the fact that this also creates new proteins which is an area of science where the function of most existing proteins isn't understood.

In this instance it will be grown for animal feed, a use for which it is already imported in large quantities along with GM soya.

Any views?

Chris

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Personally I am very much against GM crops.  We cannot be fully aware of the risks (EU research shows and reports inadequate risk assessments).  As Chris says, food production is put in the hands of a few (mostly US) giant multinationals and we all know where their interests lie.

 

To me the situation is a bit analogous to deliberate species introductions to foreign territories to “solve” specific problems.  Historically such things have lead to problems over the course of time – problems often not foreseen at the point when the decision to proceed was made.

 

Apart from which, I understood that farm productivity in Europe was not so much of an issue these days.  In the UK farmers are being paid to “protect the land” (i.e. not to grow anything on it).  Countries like Africa where there is a real need for food cannot make use of GM crops (i.e. there is not yet a GM version of a regular crop that can withstand the absence of water).  Also, I have read that many farmers in poorer countries will not be able to afford GM crops.

 

Many other issues, but I do not want to bore everybody too much.

 

Ian

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What the big boys with the huge profits don't seem to realise is that once the GM Pandora's Box is opened there is NO going back. The surrounding crops are affected by wind blown pollen so it will sperad far beyond the alloted boundaries and there is no way of stopping it. We won't buy anything if we know that it has been modified by these clowns. As has been said the GM producers are bringing sterile products onto the market so the third world countries, if they can afford to try them, can't keep a % back to plant for the next year! The same goes for anywere, so they have a captive market!!!

The old saying comes to mind "money talks" and GM is YELLING!

John.

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I'm reasonably sure that most people prefer not to eat GM or so all the polls tell us, but most of us already are even if it's been re-cycled through animals. I am also more than concerned about the way large corporations conduct their activities and the fact that the profit motive seems to be the major concern.

A bit of the topic that I started, but it was only last week that a nail was finally driven through the Gaucho affair when le Conseil d’Etat, the highest court in France, ruled that it would stay banned. For those who don't know, this was the pesticide used for maize that was responsible for the huge decline in the bee population in France, up to 50% in some regions. Bayer Cropscience (the manufacturer) and the syndicats de producteurs de maïs had fought this decision all the way regardless of the damage that this product does. That type of thing doesn't inspire me with confidence.

Chris

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