Report: 3 Reasons Why GMOs Won’t Feed the World
(And how to actually fight hunger)
Think we need GMOs to feed the world? Think again. In a new analysis published by the Environmental Working Group, it is clear that genetically modified ingredients are the last thing the world needs to feed and nourish its people.
Sure, there are a lot of people on this planet and the number is growing every day, but GMOs simply aren’t the answer, though they are touted by Big Biotech and the enforcers of industrial agriculture as vital. Their propaganda falls flat, though. Consider these key facts in direct contrast to claims made by the industry:
1. GE Crops Everywhere
All those GMO corn and soybeans we are growing – millions of acres, requiring untold tons of herbicides and pesticides to grow – are feeding animals and cars, not so much the people.
2. Claims About GE Productivity
Numerous (biotech-funded) studies have shown that GE crops are more productive than non-GE crops. That is now proven to be bunk. For example, a recent case study in Africa found that crops that were crossbred for drought tolerance using traditional techniques improved yields 30 percent more than GE varieties.
3. GE Pollution
While proponents of GMOs say GE is feeding the world, they leave out that GMOs are also destroying it. Aside from contaminating non-GE crops, biotech’s product is spoiling our water, our air, and our soil. Roundup has been found in all three. Pesticides are even showing up in our blood, urine, and breast milk – proving that they are not so easily excreted from our bodies.
4 Natural Ways to Combat the Biotech Industry
Instead of counting on the lies of the biotech industry to feed us, some common-sense strategies would work much better to increase food supplies in a more sustainable way. These include:
1. Improved Resource Management
A simple change like using fertilizers in a smarter way could increase total caloric availability by 30%. Consider the farmer in California who has been enjoying record yields utilizing only organic compost on just 8 acres of land. We don’t need industrial chemicals to grow food. We just need to fertilize better and nurture the soil for better food outcomes.
2. Eliminating GM Bio-fuels
All the energy it takes to grow corn for ethanol (not to mention the money that is thrown at biotech companies in the form of tax-payer-subsidized government grants) is unnecessary. “Cheap-green ethanol” isn’t so cheap and it isn’t so green. Instead, it props up petroleum based cars and fuel consumption and displaces other, cleaner methods of energy utilization – such as solar, wind, or electric cars.
It also takes up an inordinate amount of land to grow ethanol-based biofuels, when that same land could be used to grow non-GM food to feed…people. We have also neglected to utilize biofuels from resources like Hemp which take almost no pesticides to grow, and could provide the world with fuel without resorting to the use of GM seed.
Hemp biodiesel has shown a high efficiency of conversion (97%) and has passed laboratory’s tests, displaying properties that suggest it could be used at lower temperatures than any biodiesel currently on the market.
Of course, biotech companies don’t want you to know about any of this. Their subsidies for GM corn are around $5 billion annually.
3. Cutting Global Meat Consumption
This isn’t a ploy by vegans and vegetarians everywhere to get you to give up steak and hamburgers. The fact is that it takes a whole lot of grain (or GMO soy and corn) to feed a single cow or pig. If everyone cut their meat consumption in half, we would experience a 27% increase in food availability from growing non-GM crops. The trade off to greater global meat consumption is more polluted water, more energy use, and less nutrients overall to each man, woman and child.
“The livestock sector is a major stressor on many ecosystems and on the planet as a whole. Globally it is one of the largest sources of greenhouse gasses and one of the leading causal factors in the loss of biodiversity, while in developed and emerging countries it is perhaps the leading source of water pollution.” — Food and Agriculture Organization, Livestock’s Long Shadow
4. Eliminating Food Waste
This is huge in a world that throws away so much food. Eliminating food waste from every part of the food chain – from the farm, to the transportation of food and even at the table, will contribute an additional 33% to the global food supply. Shockingly, Americans throw away nearly half of all the food that is created, and we are also the biggest growers/consumers of GM crops!
Around the world, we produce approximately four billion metric tonnes of food per annum. Yet, due to poor practices in harvesting, storage and transportation, as well as market and consumer waste, it is estimated that 30–50% (or 1.2–2 billion tonnes) of all food produced never reaches a human stomach. All that waste accounts for nearly $165 billion annually in the US alone. Now that could grow a lot of organic kale.
Making changes to biofuel policies, reducing food wastes, and changing diets could not only improve the lives of farmers and their families the world over, but also double calorie availability and reduce the environmental burden of food production.
Just remember, biotech isn’t trying to feed the world. They are just trying to sell their poison product.
“What you are seeing is not just a consolidation of seed companies, it’s really a consolidation of the entire food chain” – Robert Fraley, co-president of Monsanto’s agricultural sector 1996, in the Farm Journal. Quoted in: Flint J. (1998) Agricultural industry giants moving towards genetic monopolism. Telepolis, Heise.
Christina Sarich is a humanitarian and freelance writer helping you to Wake up Your Sleepy Little Head, and See the Big Picture. Her blog is Yoga for the New World. Her latest book is Pharma Sutra: Healing the Body And Mind Through the Art of Yoga.