Sto­ries abound about GM crops

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

Af­ter decades of the anti-GMO in­dus­try mis­in­for­ma­tion cam­paign, it is not a sur­prise many are mis­in­formed and afraid of GE crop tech­nol­ogy. The let­ter by Al­lan Finney on July 11 is a great ex­am­ple.

More of­ten crit­ics claim Mon­santo is try­ing to take over the world’s food sup­ply but when it came to light that Whole Foods makes more money than Mon­santo that fear story mor­phed into the GMO in­dus­try.

Pa­tent­ing of new plant va­ri­eties is not unique to biotech crop as demon­strated by the patents on many types of seeds in­clud­ing cer­ti­fied or­ganic seeds. Patents al­low for com­pa­nies, who have in­vested large sums of money to de­velop new va­ri­eties of crops, to re­coup that money. Patents ex­pire and the some of the first GE crops are now off patent and free to be planted by any­one. Mon­santo has never sued any­one for ad­ven­ti­tious pres­ence of their prod­ucts in non-GE fields. The law­suit by the Or­ganic Seed Grow­ers and Trade As­so­ci­a­tion vs. Mon­santo clearly demon­strates this fact.

The pub­lic is bom­barded with fear sto­ries about this tech­nol­ogy and does not know where to turn for ac­cu­rate in­for­ma­tion. There are two ex­cel­lent free on-line doc­u­ments that can help - the U.S. Na­tional Academy of Sciences 2016 re­port and the Euro­pean Acad­e­mies Sci­ence Ad­vi­sory Coun­cil 2013 re­port. I also en­cour­age ev­ery­one to at­tend the movie Food Evo­lu­tion when it is screened nearby.

Robert Wa­ger,

Van­cou­ver Is­land Univer­sity, Nanaimo, B.C.

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