Natural Society

End of Organic? Report Says GMO Crop Contamination Cannot Be Stopped

With each passing year, an increasing number of states are attempting to adopt GMO labeling laws amid the federal government’s resistance to allow you to know what’s in your food. With each victory, or even loss, we get stronger — and closer to making GMO labeling a reality. The sad reality, however, is that many experts say GMO labeling will not suffice in the overall fight against biotech due to the fact that GMO crops can easily contaminate nearby farms.

A new report finds that the GMO contamination issue is much more serious than previously thought, and the concerned experts couldn’t be more correct.

There have been numerous real-life cases of GMO contamination thus far, though most aren’t well known. One key example rests with Australian farmer Steve Marsh, an organic farmer who sued a neighboring farmer for compensation after his field of non-GMO wheat was contaminated by Michael Baxter’s RoundUp Ready canola seeds. He took his case to the Supreme Court of Western Australia and lost.

Another example of GMO contamination can be seen with an unapproved strain of genetically modified wheat discovered in Oregon. The Roundup Ready strain was nixed in 2005 when global resistance to Monsanto forced the company to stop working on it. It was never approved for use, let along growing and exporting.

The claim by the biotech industry that GMO crops can be contained and kept away from organic farmers who have chosen not to use genetically modified ‘suicide’ seeds has steadily been proven false. A third of organic growers are now reporting problems with cross contamination, according to one survey. More than 80% of farmers who participated in the survey are ‘concerned’ about the impact of genetic seeds. About 60% are ‘very concerned.’

One organic farmer, Oren Holle, blames the USDA’s loving relationship with Monsanto:

 “…the USDA has been extremely lax and, in our opinion, that’s due to the excessive influence of the biotech industry in political circles.”

The newly released report outlining the prevalence of GMO contamination, which can be found in the International Journal of Food Contamination, reports that by the end of 2013 and since 1997, 396 incidents of GMO cross-contamination across 63 countries had been recorded. Many of which had involved GM rice.

The Paper Makes the Following Main Points:

The report concluded:

“The detection of GMO contamination is dependent on both routine and targeted monitoring regimes, which appears to be inconsistent from country to country, even within the EU. The lack of an analytical methodology for the detection of GM crops at the field trial stage (i.e. pre-commercialisation) can hamper efforts to detect any contamination arising from such GM lines.”

Additional Sources:

GM Watch