NEWS AND VIEWS
This section presents articles our Experts consider to be clearly-written and well-researched discussions of key issues related to genetically engineered food, farming and health. We will continue to add both recent and historical articles as we strive to develop a comprehensive, curated space for news and views.
The biotech industry’s web of attempts to buy credibility, by laundering its messages through supposedly independent academic scientists, is unraveling and beginning to reveal the influence of a huge amount of industry money on the independence of academic agricultural science. Some of this process was revealed recently in The New York Times. Many of these efforts to influence policy or public opinion start with industry staff emails, including suggested topics, points, and themes, which are then laundered through the credibility of academic scientists…
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This well-researched article examines the claim and validity of whether or not we need GM crops to feed the world.Read More
So many have claimed that GE foods are perfectly safe, that the science is settled and only fools would deny this. However, professor of Anthropology and Environmental Studies Glenn Davis Stone explains that precisely identical claims have been made before for products which are now well known to be terribly harmful.
Do we need GE crops to “feed the world”? Scientist Jonathan Latham explains why it is important to understand that this is a fallacy. In his words, “there is no global or regional shortage of food. There never has been and nor is there ever likely to be. India has a superabundance of food. South America is swamped in food. The US, Australia, New Zealand and Europe are swamped in food (e.g. Billen et al 2011). In Britain, like in many wealthy countries, nearly half of all row crop food production now goes to biofuels, which at bottom are an attempt to dispose of surplus agricultural products.”
It didn’t take much convincing to get Mike Pietzyk to try a new weed-killing product on one of his cornfields in southeastern Nebraska. “The days of going out and spraying Roundup twice a year—those are long gone,” says Pietzyk, a second-generation grower who has farmed for 25 years.
Pietzyk says he’s had to use increasing amounts of the glyphosate herbicide during the past five years because weeds are developing resistance to it. Like many farmers, he has had to put older chemicals into his rotation, including 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid (2,4-D). And he isn’t happy about going back to that chemical, which dates to his father’s post-World War II generation. “I don’t know if I’ve been around it too much, but it will give me a headache if I smell it,” he says…