The world's governments will be gathering for the World Trade Organisation's 5th Ministerial Conference in Cancun, Mexico, from 10 to 14 September.
This conference provides environmentally conscious persons and organisations to oppose, inter alia, the aggressive policies of the US Government (and, in the background the monopolist companies such as Monsanto) to promote the unchecked spread of genetically engineered food.
On 13 May the US government declared a global war on consumers, farmers and the environment when it filed a complaint in the World Trade Organisation against the European Unions de facto moratorium on genetically modified organisms (GMOs). However, the fact is the moratorium was due to be lifted within months anyway.
Apart for the long term consequences for humans, which has not been exhaustively investigated, other concerns and problems have arisen from the sowing of GM crops especially in Canada and the USA:
- the promised increases in crop yield have not materialised some harvests were poorer than with previous non GMO-seeds
- The emergence of super weeds - the consequences of this are unclear but frightening
- Due to the patent monopoly held by a few big companies the costs for farmers have increased enormously
Farmers from Canada and the USA have come to Europe to warn against these, and other, pitfalls.
And what about the birds and other forms of natural life?
Some studies into this have taken place but these are presumably small scale, short term and inconclusive. (If anyone knows better please inform me). What we do know, not least from our disastrous experiences in the 1960s with DDT, is that birds, small mammals and insects are at the end of the food chain and accumulate levels of substances in a much higher concentration than higher life forms. They are also restricted to specific diets and habitats.
If we are lucky, and labelling of GM foods is made law (at least in the EU) we will be able to choose what we take from the supermarket shelves.
The birds have no choice the are forced to eat Frankenfood.
The 20th century provided us with far too many examples of rushing ahead with new scientific developments - for the alleged betterment of mankind - but often driven by a politico-financial motor. Do we never learn? Must we lose yet more species of birds, small mammals, plants and insects? The natural balance is teetering. It doesn't take a scientist or other expert to see, for example, a link between weather extremes and other natural catastrophes and the rape of our natural resources.