‘Induction over the history of science suggests that the best theories we have today will prove more or less untrue at the latest by tomorrow afternoon.’ Fodor, J. ‘Why Pigs don’t have wings,’ London Review of Books, 18th Oct 2007

Saturday, 21 March 2009

GM crops harming the soil in India

What is happening with Monsanto these days? A recent report by Navdanya in India has noted that Bt Cotton is damaging the soil in parts of India by reducing the number of bacteria that perform vital ecological roles. Monsanto’s policy appears to be to make farmers around the world dependent upon their own GM modified seeds and pesticides, that they have patented, in order to make a profit for shareholders.

Read more at the Institute of Science and Society website Institute of Science and Society

Meanwhile, in America there is concern about a Food Safety Modernization Act 2009 that seeks to extend food safety laws to seeds that are to be grown for food. The concern centres around possible dependency on GM crops by small farmer's who fear they will be forced into the arms of big multinationals when unnecessary health and safety legislation becomes too costly petition comments

The pressure from secular science to extend ethically questionable practices has recently been shown by Obama’s determination to push through embryonic stem cell research, a technology that can lead to tumours and is less stable than adult stem cells, together with being ethically questionable because it leads to the destruction of the embryo.

In the same way the idea that it is acceptable to modify seeds and patent crops for profit, and thus make small farmers dependent upon big business for seeds, also goes against the grain of creation, and against the idea of equality in the global economy.
Andrew Sibley

1 comment:

Art said...

Hi Andrew,

I don't want to sound excessively critical, but the ISS study you link to is pretty worthless. (At least this is true for the 4-page report that the institute is offering on their web site.) There are no controls that I can see, nothing at all to give a reader an inkling that the experiments are actually comparing things in a meaningful way.

At the very least, studies such as this need to have a multi-year history of the various plots, and they really should be measuring the variability over time of the measured parameters. It is entirely possible that the differences the ISS are trumping up have nothing to do with Bt cotton, and everything to do with other aspects of the histories of the sites.

Finally, in order to be making claims about "harming soils", it is essential that the authors document that the modest, in most cases barely significant, differences they see have demonstrable negative effects on soil "health".