GMO Myths and Truths

The second edition of the evidence based examination of the claims made for the safety and efficacy of genetically modified crops has been published. You can download it at http://earthopensource.org/index.php/reports/gmo-myths-and-truths. In BC at the end of last month over 7000 signatures were presented to the BC legislature asking the province to stop the GM apple. You can still take action by writing to your MLA or writing to the head office of your favorite grocery store. Many BC retailers have decided not to sell the GM apple if it does get approved. Check out this list of BC stores at http://www.hans.org/info/GM_Apple_press_release_Final-2.pdf.

Closer to home we have a Bayer Crop Science test plot of GM canola in our neighbor’s hay field. When contacted by a concerned individual about the risk of contamination to the two certified organic farms in the area, the reply was that Bayer was “almost 100% certain” that there wouldn’t be any contamination. Unfortunately, this is rarely the case as most times neighboring fields do get contaminated. In Australia recently an organic farmer whose fields became contaminated by GM canola, lost his organic certification for part of his fields and ended up suing his neighbor for damages. He lost the case which is typical of many organic farms whose crops have become contaminated and have taken the offending parties and or biotechnology companies to court. There is currently no legal protection against contamination from nearby properties. However, a number of  scholars have argued that given the new technologies, eg. biotechnology, nanotechnology and synthetic biology that there is a need to revise the laws of liability and create new legal principles of trespassing that reflect these changes in agriculture.