Monday, May 23, 2011

Will USDA Allow Crop Contamination?

Monsanto's New "Drought-Resistant" Corn:
Tell USDA, "Don't Approve Failure"

Why deregulate and risk contamination of organic and non-GMO crops for an experiment that didn't work and has no foreseeable benefits?

Monsanto's years of investment into so-called "drought-resistant" biotech crops has been a nothing more than a risky and very expensive failure.  

Based on company data submitted to the US Department of Agriculture for deregulation, it is clear that Monsanto's new genetically-modified corn variety does not perform any better than non-GMO varieties. The findings come from a US Department of Agriculture draft environmental impact assessment, produced as a step towards approval of the new GM crop, MON 87460.

This proves, as Dr Helen Wallace director of GeneWatch UK wrote this week:

"[Bio]technology has been spectacularly unsuccessful at delivering complex traits such as drought tolerance, which involve multiple genes and complex interactions with the plant's environment. Meanwhile, conventional breeding and new techniques such as marker-assisted selection - which uses knowledge of the plant's genome to inform breeding, without engineering the plant - have produced a long string of successes."

The danger is, if MON 87460 is deregulated, it will inevitably contaminate truly drought-tolerant varieties of organic and conventional corn, destroying the rich genetic diversity that the world's farmers have cultivated for millennia for the planet's infinitely varied micro-climates.

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