GM Crops Already Cause Problems

Article excerpt

The European Commission in Brussels has announced new guidelines on GM crops stating that "no form of agriculture (conventional, organic, GM) should be excluded from the EU".

Unfortunately, the inclusion of GM crops could result in the drastic reduction, if not exclusion, of conventional and organic farming, since these would inevitably be affected by cross-pollination.

According to an open letter to all governments signed by biologist and broadcaster Dr David Bellamy and 230 other scientists from 27 countries, the "hazards of GM crops and products to biodiversity and human and animal health are now becoming apparent".

The transfer of herbicide- resistant pollen from GM plants has already resulted in herbicide-tolerant weeds; and "the broad-spectrum herbicides used with herbicide-tolerant GM crops ... kill beneficial insects such as bees and lacewings" and are toxic to animals.

The scientists call for "a comprehensive public enquiry into the future of agriculture and food security for all".

We can only hope that our government listens to these well-qualified people and puts our health, and the survival of farming on a human scale, before the demands of the big corporations - now backed not only by George Bush but by the European Union.

Gillian Swanson,

Whitley Bay.

Pay big business or go hungry

WITH nine out of 10 people voting NO to genetically modified crops in a recent government initiative, Glen Sanderson may well be right when he says, "There is no point in producing something if people don't want to buy it." (Journal, September 25)

But he is mistaken if he thinks GM crops have anything to offer third-world farmers.

The biotech corporations have currently more than a dozen patents on genetically engineered "terminator" technology seeds. …