Genetically Modified Food Issues – Educational Video Part 1

Fed Up! Genetic Engineering, Industrial Agriculture, and Sustainable Alternatives. About 70% of the food we eat contains genetically modified ingredients and is not labeled. The biotechnology industry is spending $50 million a year to convince us that this technology is our only hope for feeding the world and saving the environment. Family farmers are disappearing at an astonishing rate as people continue to go hungry both here and abroad. Using hilarious and disturbing archival footage and featuring interviews with farmers, scientists, government officials and activists, FED UP! presents an entertaining, informative and compelling overview of our food production system from the Green Revolution to the Biotech Revolution and what we can do about it. An issue that has entered the mainstream media in a lot of countries (noticeably not really in the US) is Genetic Engineering (GE) or Genetic Modification (GM) of food. A lot of food that we eat today contains genetically modified ingredients and usually without our knowledge. Supporters of this technology maintain that it ensures and sustains food security around the world as the population increases. As time goes on, the science behind genetic engineering is no doubt improving. Biotechnology could be the wave of the future and genetically modified foods could really provide alternatives to help increase food production. However, there is a growing wave of concern from citizens, farmers and scientists who question the way the research is currently being handled by a few large, profit-hungry corporations. That is, as well as scientific debates on the merits of genetically engineered food, there are equally, if not more important, debates on the socioeconomic ramifications of the way such science is marketed and used. Critics believe: The problem of food shortages is a political and economic problem. Food shortages and hunger are — and will be — experienced by the poorer nations. GE Food is an expensive technology that the farmers of the developing nations would not be able to afford easily. Patenting laws go against the poor around the world and allow biotech companies to benefit from patenting indigenous knowledge often without consent. This is a very young and untested technology and may not be the answer just yet. Crop uniformity, which the biotech firms are promoting, will reduce genetic diversity making them more vulnerable to disease and pests. This furthers the need for pesticides (often created by the same companies creating and promoting genetically engineered crops). Hence this leads to questions of the motives of corporations and countries who are using the plight of the developing world as a marketing strategy to gain acceptance of GE food as well as dependency upon it via intellectual property rights. That they are against any labeling or other precautionary steps and measures that states may wish to take is of paramount concern. The way in which we reach the answer to the question, “are GE foods safe?” is where a lot of the problem lies. A quick acceptance of GE foods without proper testing etc. could show corporate profitability to be very influential, while a thorough debate and sufficient public participation would ensure that real social and environmental concerns are in fact adhered to. And this pattern would probably indicate to us how other major issues in the future ought to be dealt with. There is also the issue of do we actually need genetically engineered food, given that agriculture in small biodiverse farms are actually very productive. Economics and politics at all levels, (international, national and local) have often prevented food from reaching hungry people, not a lack of production. These same causes have also created, or contributed to, a lot of poverty, which prevents people from being able to afford food in the first place. This section then, looks more into the political issues behind the emerging promotion of biotechnology and genetically modified or engineered foods. Producer: Angelo Sacerdote. Production Company: Wholesome Goodness Productions. Keywords: food; agriculture; genetically modified food; biotechnology. Creative Commons license: Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 3.0 United States

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Comment (29)

  1. This video and description were absolutely crawling with falsehoods, myths, conspiracy theories and outright lies. That's why the last 10 years have made it obsolete. A visionary would have celebrated such a potentially life saving agricultural technology development but rosary films decided to take the low road. But hey it's Youtube, where the idiocracy comes to feed. The sad thing is how it gave idiots like Steve Misosky a place to post even more lies and fear mongering. NOW the GMO debate is over. You will never get those fear monger labels

  2. 1) Long Term Consequences of Genetically Modified Crops
    Gokhan Dogan; Ozge Karanfil
    http://www.academia.edu/1865124/Long_Term_Consequences_of_Genetically_Modified_Crops_in_Agriculture

    Summary
    GM (genetically modified) Crops, GC (genetically contaminated) weeds, gene jump, insect mutation, agricultural modeling, ecosystem dynamics There is evidence in published reports and scientific literature that GM crops can contaminate natural crops of the same family in the field or even weeds that are their distant relatives. We are considering the problem from an evolutionary point of view. Will GM crops exhibit a controllable dynamics, will they be dominated by or will they dominate the ecosystem? Will GM crops lead to new species? How will these new species affect the agriculture? These are the types of questions that we try to answer in this paper. The scenario that we model is a situation where a “gene jump ” occurs from some experimental genetically modified plot into a natural crop field. By a series of simulation experiments, we investigate the possible long term consequences of this gene jump. Our results indicate that in most situations, either GC crop of GC weed would dominate the field in the long term, which is an alarming result, justifying further research.

    2)Long Term Impact
    http://www.researchgate.net/publication/258882892_GMO_Adoption_and_Nonmarket_Effects

    Summary
    To study the long-term usefulness of genetically-modified agriculture via herbicide-tolerant crops, a simulation model is built by focusing on the fundamental environmental feedback mechanisms. The most critical mechanism is the evolution of resistance in weeds via natural selection. Agricultural sustainability is investigated under different policies and scenarios, in comparison with conventional crops under two herbicide strategies. In the first strategy, herbicide amount is a function of weed density; in the second it is constant. It is found that superweed emergence increases the rate of resistance evolution in weeds. Under the constant herbicide strategy, GM crop is more effective than the conventional crop. However, this strategy results in a higher rate of resistance development and more herbicide usage than the first strategy. In terms of long term cumulative yield losses, rate of resistance development and herbicide usage, the best policy is discovered to be planting conventional crops under variable herbicide strategy.

    3)Detecting gene flow from GM crops to wild relatives
    http://www.epha.org/a/823

    Summary
    The likelihood of transgene movement into wild relatives of cultivated crops varies vary dramatically with geography. From the perspective of the UK, crops such as maize lack any close relatives and so effectively cannot act as a source for transgene recruitment into wild plant species. At the other extreme, forage grasses such as Lolium perenne are wind pollinated and have abundant wild populations growing in close proximity. In cases like this, hybrids will be so numerous and widespread that the risk assessment process should focus on the ecological consequences of transgene presence. In both of these scenarios, hybridisation rates have little importance in the overall risk assessment process. This is not the situation for the many crops that fall into the intermediate condition, where there are partially compatible wild relatives that only occasionally co-occur with the crop. In these instances, the extent of gene flow (initial hybrid formation) forms an important component of risk evaluation. Quantifying interspecific gene flow into wild relatives Most modern crops have close wild relatives belonging to different species but with which hybrids can be formed. Ellstrand et al. (1999) reviewed evidence relating to

    A report funded by the UK government and directed by Dr Mike Wilkinson of Reading University (UK) states that cross-pollination between GM plants and their wild relatives is inevitable and could create hybrid superweeds resistant to the most powerful weed killers. The report, titled "Hybridization Between Brassica napus and B. rapa on a National Scale in the United Kingdom", has been published in the online magazine "Science" on 9 October 2003 (10.1126/science.1088200).

    The results of the research, which involved analysing satellite images of the British countryside and patrolling 180 miles of river banks, reveal that hybridisation is both more widespread and frequent than previously anticipated. Physical barriers such as isolation distances – buffer zones designed to stop pollen spreading from GM crops into the wild – would have only a limited impact on preventing hybridisation.

    4) Technical performance of some commercial glyphosate-resistant crop
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1002/ps.1009/abstract

    Abstract
    Glyphosate-resistant (GR) crops have been sold commercially in the USA since 1996. The use of glyphosate alone or with conventional pre- and post-emergence herbicides with different modes of action gives growers many options for affordable, safe, easy, effective wide-spectrum weed control. Despite the overwhelming popularity of this technology, technical issues have surfaced from time to time as US growers adopt these crops for use on their farms. The types of concern raised by growers vary from year to year depending on the crop and the environment, but include perceptions of increased sensitivity to diseases, increased fruit abortion, reduced pollination efficiency, increased sensitivity to environmental stress, and differences in yield and agronomic characteristics between transgenic and sister conventional varieties. Although several glyphosate-resistant crops are commercially available, maize, soybean and cotton constitute the largest cultivated acreage and have likewise been associated with the highest number of technical concerns. Because glyphosate is rapidly translocated to and accumulates in metabolic sink tissues, reproductive tissues and roots are particularly vulnerable. Increased sensitivity to glyphosate in reproductive tissues has been documented in both glyphosate-resistant cotton and maize, and results in reduced pollen production and viability, or increased fruit abortion. Glyphosate treatments have the potential to affect relationships between the GR crop, plant pathogens, plant pests and symbiotic micro-organisms, although management practices can also have a large impact.

    5) Letting the gene out of the bottle: the population genetics of genetically modified crops
    http://onlinelibrary.wiley.com/doi/10.1111/j.1469-8137.2006.01710.x/full#abstract

    Direct effects of GM crops on natural habitats
    While numerous herbicide-resistant GM crops are now available to farmers, most have been modified to be resistant to one of only a handful of the many herbicides available (e.g. glyphosate or glufosinate). Thus, the growing of several crops engineered to be resistant to the same herbicide, and the concomitant consistent use of that herbicide, will increase the selection pressure on nearby wild species. This, in turn, increases the likelihood of herbicide resistance evolving in a local weed population, as has been reported in both annual ryegrass (Lolium rigidum) (Powles et al., 1998) and horseweeds (Conyza canadensis) (VanGessel, 2001; Koger et al., 2004).

    There is a similar concern with regard to the evolution of pesticide resistance in herbivores that are consistently exposed to toxin-producing crops. Ultimately, this would reduce the efficacy not only of the GM crop, but of any pesticide based on the same toxin. Of particular concern in this context are members of a group of endotoxins isolated from the soil bacterium Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt). These toxins affect lepidopteran larvae (e.g. European corn borer (Ostrinia nubilalis)), and are the most common toxins engineered into crops. In fact, Bt pesticides have been applied for over 40 years, and Bt GM crops were grown on over 15 M ha in 2004 (http://www.isaaa.org/kc/); thus, any detrimental effects of Bt toxin on the environment are likely to be of major consequence.

    6) Going to “Great Lengths” to Prevent the Escape of Genes That Produce Specialty Chemicals
    http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC526271/

    It isn't easy to keep crop genes from wandering. For example, plant breeders trying to create corn seed of high genetic purity have recognized that the physical separation of different corn varieties by 200 m (660 feet) will still result in “contamination” due to cross-pollination at levels of about 0.1% (National Academy of Sciences, 2000). It is well known that most crops naturally mate with their wild relatives as well (Ellstrand, 2003). Seeds don't stay in place either. They can persist in the soil seed bank. They can mix in the nooks and crannies of harvesting equipment. They can bounce out of vehicles transporting them and germinate on roadsides (e. g. Pessel et al., 2001). The movement of unwanted crop genes into the environment may pose more of a management dilemma than unwanted chemicals. A single molecule of 1,1,1,-trichloro-2,2-bis(p-chlorophenyl) ethane remains a single molecule or degrades, but a single crop allele has the opportunity to multiply itself repeatedly through reproduction, which can frustrate attempts at containment.

    How likely is it that corn genes will end up where they shouldn't be? Without efforts to isolate corn populations so that they don't cross-pollinate and without efforts to keep seed for different uses separate, inadvertent mixing of genetic material in corn is so likely that some mixing is a certainty. The “Starlink” GM corn incident of 2000 illustrates how easily things can get out of hand, even when some attempts are made to maintain segregation. This particular variety of GM corn was released exclusively for animal consumption before the determination of whether it was also suitable for human consumption. Nonetheless, it rapidly entered the general corn grain supply of the United States, within a single year turning up “in nearly one-tenth of 110,000 grain tests performed by U.S. federal inspectors” (Haslberger, 2001). How it spread is still a mystery. In some cases, it appears that some of the individuals handling, transporting, and processing the grain were inadequately educated or concerned about the need to keep it segregated from corn that was to be used for human consumption; in others, it appears that cross-pollination or seed dispersal accounted for the mixing. Although the Cry9C protein produced by this GM corn is unlikely to pose a hazard with a high rate of occurrence, the fact that pollen and seed moved the gene so rapidly demonstrates how quickly and extensively unintentional movement can occur.

    7) Genetically Modified Crop on the Loose and Evolving in U.S. Midwest 
    GM canola plant refugees from farms in North Dakota bear multiple transgenic traits 
    http://www.scientificamerican.com/article/genetically-modified-crop/

    "We found transgenic plants growing in the middle of nowhere, far from fields," says ecologist Cindy Sagers of the University of Arkansas (U.A.) in Fayetteville, who presented the findings August 6 at the Ecological Society of America meeting in Pittsburgh. Most intriguingly, two of the 288 tested plants showed man-made genes for resistance to multiple pesticides—so-called "stacked traits," and a type of seed that biotechnology companies like Monsanto have long sought to develop and market. As it seems, Mother Nature beat biotech to it. "One of the ones with multiple traits was [in the middle of] nowhere, and believe me, there's a lot of nowhere in North Dakota—nowhere near a canola field," she adds.

    Escaped populations of such transgenic plants have generally died out quickly without continual replenishment from stray farm seeds in places such as Canada, but canola is capable of hybridizing with at least two—and possibly as many as eight—wild weed species in North America, including field mustard (Brassica rapa), which is a known agricultural pest. "Not only is it going to jump out of cultivation; there are sexually compatible weeds all over North America," Sagers says. Adds ecologist-in-training Meredith Schafer of U.A., who led the research, "It becomes a weed [farmers] can't control."

    8) Science-Based Risk Assessment for Nontarget Effects of Transgenic Crops
    http://bioscience.oxfordjournals.org/content/54/7/637.full

    Transgenic plants express the transgene as an integral part of their growth and development. This implies that the transgene is likely to interact with the plant's physiology and with the expression of its other genes. In addition, the transgene product is metabolized into other products in the plant or in associated organisms, and these products in turn could exert effects on nontarget species. Thus, the effect of a transgene, which may include pleiotropic and epistatic responses as well as potentially complex physiological interactions, is likely to be greater than the isolated effect of the transgene product.

    9) Spread of herbicide-resistance from genetically modified creeping bentgrass into the wild.
    http://natureinstitute.org/nontarget/reports/bentgrass_001.php

    Results
    The transgene escaped into the wild by seeds (which are very small and light – about 13,500 seeds weigh one gram) and by pollen.

    Watrud et al. (2004) found that the herbicide-resistance transgene spread via pollen to an area up to 21 km (13 miles) beyond the control area perimeter and had pollinated wild creeping bentgrass as well as a close relative (redtop, Agrostis gigantean). 53% of the creeping bentgrass plants investigated had offspring that were herbicide-resistant; most of these plants were found in a 2.1 km (1.3 mi.) area outside and downwind of the control area.

    Zapiola et al. remark that it is "unrealistic to think that a transgene could be contained in an outcrossing, wind-pollinated, small-seeded, perennial crop, even with expanded isolation distances and stringent production practices" (p. 5). Moreover, since many specimens of transgenic creeping bentgrass were found three years after the large field trial, the "elimination of transgenes is unlikely to be feasible," especially since within the control area "an intense and extended mitigation program had been initiated and is still underway [by The Scotts Company]" (p. 7).

    In November 2007 the USDA reached a settlement with The Scotts Company, which agreed to pay a $500,000 civil penalty for failing to comply with "performance standards and permit conditions" and for accidental release of the transgenic bentgrass in the 2003 field trials (USDA News Release No. 0350.07).

    10) Agriculture Under Threat
    Canadian Journal of Law and Technology, June 1, 2013
    http://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=2272988

    Abstract
    The issue of Adventitious Presence (AP) of genes, those that are not “naturally” present in food and crops but rather have been placed there using recombinant deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) technology, has become a hot issue for producers and consumers. It can also be a major problem for exporters. Part of this problem is the reality that zero presence is now impossible to guarantee in some crops and products. Pressure has arisen to establish a Low Level Presence (LLP) threshold, one that is above zero, to be determined at an international level. This would allow crops to be imported and exported without the AP genes being approved in the importing country if they are approved in another country. The reality of biotechnological innovation in crops is that it is inevitable that there will be gene “flow” between varieties. This article examines the background of AP, the current state of policy and legislation, and why this has become contentious for producers, importers and exporters. This article examines the Canadian position towards AP as an illustration of a nation that produces many agricultural products based on genetically modified crops.

    11) GM Crops Are Not Containable: so what?
    Ann Clark, Plant Agriculture, University of Guelph
    http://www.science.gov/topicpages/g/gm+crop+plants.html

    First, all transgenes in commerce to date are genetically dominant, in contrast to the recessive genes which more typically code for the traits that distinguish crop from weed species (his p.175). Dominant traits are acted upon by selection immediately, while recessive genes are masked from natural selection and are acted upon much more slowly. Thus, the traits coded for by transgenes may be eliminated or amplified in weed populations at a much faster rate than conventional genes. While herbicide tolerance (HT) – which accounts either solely or jointly for about 75% of all transgenic hectarage – is unlikely to be adaptive in the absence of herbicides, a wide range of plant, animal, and microbial applications is in varying degrees of readiness for commercialization, as tabulated by the CBCGEO (2004) and others. Many pending traits have never existed in the environment on a commercial scale, resulting in potentially novel ecological and evolutionary impacts.

    Secondly, regardless of the intended traits, transgenic crops also express a range of unintended gene expression effects such as increased bolting in weedy beets (cited in Ellstrand, 2003), larger flowers, which may have contributed to the 20-fold higher rate of outcrossing in transgenic Arabadopsis thaliana (Bergelson et al., 1998), and changes to ecologically important fitness traits – as seedling survival and dormancy – in subterranean clover (Trifolium subterraneum) fitted with a nutrition-enhancing transgene (Godfree et al., 2004). A range of inadvertent outcomes specific to the mode of action of glyphosate-resistant crops is reviewed by Pline-Srnic (2005). To the extent that unintended gene expression is greater in transgenic than in conventionally bred crops, the ecological effects of transgene flow into wild/weedy relatives could have less predictable impacts. Thus, crop-to-weed gene flow is not the exception but the rule. Implications should be considered in the realm of “when” not “if” it happens.

    12) ‘‘Transgenic treadmill”: Responses to the emergence and spread of glyphosate-resistant johnsongrass in Argentina
    http://ictaservidor.uab.es/99_recursos/1241769532578.pdf

    Abstract 
    The broad-spectrum herbicide glyphosate has become the largest-selling crop-protection product worldwide. The increased use of glyphosate is associated with the appearance of a growing number of tolerant or resistant weeds, with socio-environmental consequences apart from the loss of productivity. In 2002, a glyphosate-resistant biotype of johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.)) appeared in Argentina and now covers at least 10,000 ha. This paper analyzes the driving forces behind the emergence and spread of this weed and also examines management responses and their implications. Preventive strategies against glyphosate-resistant johnsongrass fail because of the institutional setting. Reactive measures, however, transfer the risks to the society and the environment through the introduction of novel genetically modified crops that allow the use of yet more herbicide. This in turn reinforces the emergence of herbicide-resistant weeds, constituting a new phenomenon of intensification, the ‘‘transgenic treadmill”.

    Introduction
    The increased use of glyphosate has led to the appearance of tolerant or resistant weeds which, in turn, implies environmental and monetary costs beside productivity losses (Service, 2007). Although glyphosate was initially considered a low-risk for the development of herbicide-resistance by industrial scientists (Bradshaw et al., 1997), the first records of GR-weeds date from 1996 in Australia. Currently, 14 GR weeds have been documented worldwide (Heap, 2007; Valverde, 2007; Powles, 2008). This article deals with a highly invasive weed called johnsongrass. Several cases of GR johnsongrass have appeared in Argentina while two others have been reported by the University of Arkansas, the Mississippi State University and Monsanto in the USA (Monsanto, 2008). In Argentina, additionally, some common weeds such as Parietaria debilis, Petunia axilaris, Verbena litoralis, Verbena bonariensis, Hybanthus parviflorus, Iresine diffusa, Commelina erecta and Ipomoea sp. have been reported to be glyphosate-tolerant (Papa, 2000). The appearance of herbicide-resistant weeds associated with an increased consumption of glyphosate by GR cropping systems has become one of the main ecological risks when releasing GMOs to the environment (Altieri, 2005; Barton and Dracup, 2000; Ervin et al., 2003; Martínez-Ghersa et al., 2003; McAfee, 2003; Powles, 2003; Snow et al., 2005; Steinbrecher, 2001). Until today, those documented cases have been solely assessed from an agronomic perspective rather than accounting for a broader context (Beckie, 2006; Duke and Powles, 2008; Powles, 2008). In this paper we will review and discuss the emergence of GR johnsongrass (Sorghum halepense (L.)) biotypes in Argentina and their associated management strategies by means of analysing the political, economic and institutional driving forces leading to this phenomenon. We also devote part of the paper to analysing the consequences for rural dynamics

    13) A controversy revisited: Is the coccinellid Adalia bipunctata adversely affected by Bt toxins?
    Environmental Sciences Europe
    http://www.enveurope.com/content/24/1/10/abstract

    Background
    In 2008/2009, Schmidt and colleagues published a study reporting lethal effects of the microbial Bt toxins Cry1Ab and Cry3Bb [proteins expressed by several transgenic crop plants to control certain pests ] on the coccinellid biological control organisms Adalia bipunctata [ two spotted lady bug ]. Based on this study, in concert with over 30 other publications, Mon810 cultivation was banned in Germany in 2009. This triggered two commentaries and one experimental study all published in the journal 'Transgenic Research' that question the scientific basis of the German ban or claim to disprove the adverse effects of the Bt toxins on A. bipunctata reported by Schmidt and colleagues, respectively. This study was undertaken to investigate the underlying reasons for the different outcomes and rebuts the criticism voiced by the two other commentaries.

    Results
    It could be demonstrated that the failure to detect an adverse effect by Alvarez-Alfageme and colleagues is based on the use of a significantly different testing protocol. While Schmidt and colleagues exposed and fed larvae of A. bipunctata continuously, Alvarez-Alfageme and colleagues applied an exposure/recovery protocol. When this exposure/recovery protocol was applied to a highly sensitive target insect, Ostrinia nubilalis, the lethal effect was either significantly reduced or disappeared altogether. When repeating the feeding experiments with the Bt toxin Cry1Ab using a combined protocol of both previous studies, again, a lethal effect on A. bipunctata larvae was observed. ELISA tests with Bt-toxin fed larvae and pupae confirmed ingestion of the toxin.

    Conclusions
    The new data corroborates earlier findings that Cry1Ab toxin increases mortality in A. bipunctata larvae. It was also shown that the different applied testing protocols explained the contrasting results.

    14) Transgenic pollen harms monarch larvae
    http://www.nature.com/nature/journal/v399/n6733/abs/399214a0.html

    Although plants transformed with genetic material from the bacteriumBacillus thuringiensis (Bt ) are generally thought to have negligible impact on non-target organisms1, Bt corn plants might represent a risk because most hybrids express the Bt toxin in pollen2, and corn pollen is dispersed over at least 60 metres by wind3. Corn pollen is deposited on other plants near corn fields and can be ingested by the non-target organisms that consume these plants. In a laboratory assay we found that larvae of the monarch butterfly, Danaus plexippus, reared on milkweed leaves dusted with pollen from Bt corn, ate less, grew more slowly and suffered higher mortality than larvae reared on leaves dusted with untransformed corn pollen or on leaves without pollen.

    15) Pollen- and Seed-Mediated Transgene Flow in Commercial Cotton Seed Production Fields
    Published: November 30, 2010
    http://journals.plos.org/plosone/article?id=10.1371/journal.pone.0014128

    Introduction
    Gene flow between sexually compatible crops typically decreases as the distance between crops increases. Thus, growers who intend to minimize gene flow from surrounding crop varieties commonly do so by increasing the spacing between fields [1]. Nevertheless, transgene flow (i.e., gene flow of a genetically engineered trait) into commercial agricultural seed lots is documented in maize, canola, soybean, and cotton [2]–[5]. As transgenic plants, grown by 14 million farmers in 25 countries [6], are a dominant landscape feature in many regions, some transgene flow is inevitable [7], [8].

    16) Case studies: A hard look at GM crops
    http://www.nature.com/news/case-studies-a-hard-look-at-gm-crops-1.12907

    GM crops have bred super weeds: True
    Jay Holder, a farming consultant in Ashburn, Georgia, first noticed Palmer amaranth (Amaranthus palmeri) in a client’s transgenic cotton fields about five years ago. Palmer amaranth is a particular pain for farmers in the southeastern United States, where it outcompetes cotton for moisture, light and soil nutrients and can quickly take over fields.

    Since the late 1990s, US farmers had widely adopted GM cotton engineered to tolerate the herbicide glyphosate, which is marketed as Roundup by Monsanto in St Louis, Missouri. The herbicide–crop combination worked spectacularly well — until it didn’t. In 2004, herbicide-resistant amaranth was found in one county in Georgia; by 2011, it had spread to 76. “It got to the point where some farmers were losing half their cotton fields to the weed,” says Holder.

    Claims from Monsanto that glyphosate resistance was unlikely to develop naturally in weeds when the herbicide was used properly. As late as 2004, the company was publicizing a multi-year study suggesting that rotating crops and chemicals does not help to avert resistance. When applied at Monsanto’s recommended doses, glyphosate killed weeds effectively, and “we know that dead weeds will not become resistant”, said Rick Cole, now Monsanto’s technical lead of weed management, in a trade-journal advertisement at the time. The study, published in 2007 (ref. 1), was criticized by scientists for using plots so small that the chances of resistance developing were very low, no matter what the practice.

    Glyphosate-resistant weeds have now been found in 18 countries worldwide, with significant impacts in Brazil, Australia, Argentina and Paraguay, says Ian Heap, director of the International Survey of Herbicide Resistant Weeds, based in Corvallis, Oregon. And Monsanto has changed its stance on glyphosate use, now recommending that farmers use a mix of chemical products and ploughing. But the company stops short of acknowledging a role in creating the problem.

    17) Transgenic Contaminants in the Traditional Seed Supply
    http://www.ucsusa.org/sites/default/files/legacy/assets/documents/food_and_agriculture/seedreport_fullreport.pdf

    Conclusion
    Seeds of traditional varieties of corn, soybeans, and canola are pervasively contaminated with low levels of DNA sequences derived from transgenic varieties.

    This conclusion is based on tests conducted by two respected commercial laboratories using duplicate samples of seeds of six traditional varieties each of corn, soybeans, and canola. One laboratory detected transgenically derived DNA in 50 percent of the corn, 50 percent of the soybean, and 100 percent of the traditional canola varieties tested. The other laboratory detected transgenically derived DNA in 83 percent of the traditional varieties of each of the three crops. The most conservative expression of the combined results is that transgenically derived DNA was detected in 50 percent of the corn, 50 percent of the soybean, and 83 percent of the canola varieties tested

  3. WHAATTT!!!!????? Where to even begin with how totally wrong that entire statment is. Where in the world could you have gotten that disinfo? Even Monsanto's own studies show the complete opposite. The food is devoid of nutrients because the method used causes chelation which robs the food of nutrients and causes the need for more fertilizer and the weak plants = the need for more insecticide. Basic business dictates that making a product that would make your main product less viable is a NO-NO

  4. It's called biodynamics. Just as you say monocropping destroys the ground you cannot expect the same yield no matter what you dump on that ground it will always yield less not more. It's in big Agrochem's interest to use that system because it is their seed, poison, and plastic fertilizer. They make more money. Look up Permaculture it has the highest yield per hectare. For eons farms have provided for the community with no issues. Did you actually watch the video? Perhaps the GMO's made you slow

  5. Would someone like to explain how you are going to get higher yields of cereals , oilseeds or beans or potatoes on small farms ? Nonsense. You are dreaming. The low yields in the prairies are due to restricting factors like lack of irrigation or fertiliser. If you go organic route then you get less yield still. Maybe the year of wheat gives good yield but then you need 4 years of rotational legumes or grass to build up fertility again.

  6. Hi ihytvm, This is an interesting video. It is surely good to keep an eye out for evidence of harmful side effects from GM but who can tell of the harm from all the pesticides used ? What about all the other chemicals we are exposed to in daily life ? If there were only 1000 million people instead of 6000 million then there wouldn't be the same pressure to use GM or pesticides but no one can agree how to reduce population levels ethically.

  7. Genetically engineered food is intended to 'soft kill' most of the world's population. The 'elite few' want to drastically decrease the number of 'useless eaters', but they cannot do it with bullets and bombs. What better way to kill off these 'useless eaters' by feeding them with food that would slowly sicken them without them even knowing it. My friend died from cancer at the age of 37 after years of eating what he thought was healthy genetically engineered fruits and vegetable.

  8. @ScientificExploits Selective, cross breeding isn't GMO "definitions are used by agencies that regulate genetically modified organisms (GMO's).""guidelines issued by USDA's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service, genetic engineering is defined as the genetic modification of organisms by recombinant DNA techniques (7CFR340: 340.1)""Recombinant DNA techniques (DNA formed by combining segments of DNA from different organisms)" ers.usda.gov/briefing/biotechnology/glossary.htm

  9. @werdna2590 @lickflame Based on income my family is below poverty level and I actually pay less for organic than I would for most conventional foods because I belong to an organic co-op. Organic co-ops exist in most countries and cities. I find it funny that most people who say they cant afford organic smoke like 2 packs of cigarettes a day which costs more than I spend on organic food.

  10. @markgg1 "GM-fed mice of all ages considered, the number of perichromatin granules is higher and the nuclear pore density lower.""we found enlargements in the smooth endoplasmic reticulum in GM-fed mice Sertoli cells." ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/15718213?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn "our data suggest that GM soybean intake can influence hepatocyte nuclear features in young and adult mice" ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/12441651?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

  11. @markgg1 "We observed that after the consumption of MON863""Chemistry measurements reveal signs of hepatorenal toxicity""Triglycerides increased by 24-40% in females (either at week 14, dose 11% or at week 5, dose 33%, respectively); urine phosphorus and sodium excretions diminished in males by 31-35% (week 14, dose 33%)""with the present data it cannot be concluded that GM corn MON863 is a safe product." ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/sites/entrez/17356802?dopt=Abstract&holding=f1000,f1000m,isrctn

  12. @markgg1 "Diets containing genetically modified (GM) potatoes expressing the lectin Galanthus nivalis agglutinin (GNA) had variable effects on different parts of the rat gastrointestinal tract. Some effects, such as the proliferation of the gastric mucosa,were mainly due to the expression of the GNA transgene." biotech-info"dot"net/Lancet_Study.pdf "The GM-fed D. magna had lower survival (lx) than the UM-fed D. magna throughout the experiment" ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2811247/

  13. @markgg1 No credible evidence AT ALL to suggest GM food is damaging to anything, or anyone? "Bayer AG has agreed to settle a lawsuit brought by a group of Texas rice growers over claims the company's experimental biotech rice contaminated the U.S. supply four years ago and decimated exports." "The company still faces thousands of claims," "In February, a jury ordered Bayer to pay $1.5 million in damages to three farmers for losses due to contamination by Bayer's genetically modified rice."

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