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UK's Two Main Political Parties Back GMOs And The US Agenda

By Theodora Filis

Last week the Guardian announced that the two main political parties in the United Kingdom (UK), Tories and Labour, were backing genetically modified (GM) food crops.

This came as a surprise and disappointment to many, however, it should not have. The director of Rothamstead Research in the UK, the largest, oldest, and some say, the most important agricultural research station in the world, is Professor Maurice Moloney, a scientist best known for developing the world's first transgenic oilseeds and the genetically modified crop that is grown in Australia, RoundUp Ready(R) Canola.

Professor Moloney argues that GM is all about "feeding a hungry world and says serious scientific bodies have looked at GM technology in recent years and concluded it would be a mistake to exclude the technology from the arsenal of tools needed to deal with both global food security and environmental protection challenges".

The RoundUp Ready System was specifically designed to require the exclusive use of Monsanto's herbicide. Monsanto, considered the Mother of agricultural biotechnology – with nearly 250 million GM RoundUp Ready acres worldwide.

Using Moloney's arguments, politicians from both parties last week announced that “controversial genetically modified food crops” could help to massively increase food production to meet growing populations and consumption.

Last year, opposition to genetically modified foods exploded in UK, and quickly spread to the European continent. At the time, twenty-seven European Union (EU) states pushed back a commission proposal to lift import restrictions on animal foodstuffs containing traces of GM crops, up to a certain threshold, due to opposition from France and Poland.

In a confidential communication, dated Dec. 14, 2007, released by WikiLeaks on Dec. 19th, 2010, the US Ambassador to France at that time, Craig Roberts Stapleton, recommended creating a list if the EU continued to ban biotech seeds.

Agriculture Minister, Jim Paice, said the UK wanted the EU to agree to lift restrictions on trials and sale of GM products, so countries like the UK could "do it's own thing" so "we can use this technology where appropriate".

David Ehrenfield, Professor of Biology at Rutgers University, said "Genetic Engineering is often justified as a human technology, one that feeds more people with better food. Nothing could be further from the truth. With very few exceptions, the whole point of genetic engineering is to increase sales of chemicals and bio-engineered products to dependent farmers".

"In the United States, the widespread adoption of RoundUp Ready crops combined with the emergence of glyphosate-resistant weeds has driven a more than 15-fold increase in the use of glyphosate on major field crops from 1994 to 2005"

It is important to note, that scientists worldwide understand that the cultivation of GMOs will accelerate the loss of the world's food sovereignty and contaminate vital native strains. 

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