Science should rule GM food debate - Mulder

2011-03-03 14:01

Pretoria - SA cannot afford to "get stuck" on emotional debates when it comes to genetically modified crops Agriculture, Forestry and Fisheries Minister Pieter Mulder said in Centurion on Thursday.

"We cannot afford to get stuck on unscientific debates. Lets work on the facts," Mulder said, addressing a press conference on the global status of commercialised genetically modified (GM) crops.

He said that there were 2.2 million hectares of genetically modified crops in SA and he expected this to increase in the years to come.

He said almost 77% of the commercial maize growing areas were sewn with GM maize, while 19 000ha of GM maize was planted by small holder farmers.

He said that globally more land would have been needed to provide the world's food were not for genetically modified crops. Africa needed to do more research of its own and to be less dependent on overseas research for GM crops.

Between 2001 and 2010, SA planted 10 million hectares of GM maize and harvested 38 million metric tons of maize.

SA was the driving force behind GM crops in Africa. Burkina Faso and Egypt were the only two other countries growing GM crops on a commercial scale.

Mulder said that most of the arguments against GM crops came from Europe. He believed more funding was required for research into various GM crops.

  • Gallows - 2011-03-03 14:07

    Personally, I'm all for GM crops. If people are so against the whole "messing with what God made", they should convince said "God" to not let thousands of people starve.

      craiggib - 2011-03-03 14:42

      Problem is, someone owns the crop derivatives and modify it so it doesn't seed. As a result we end up with Monsanto and co making sure we cant do without them, and since we screwed up "what God made" we cant go back either hence the massive push towards seed banks to attempt to alleviate this happening in future. There is more to this than just more output for the starving masses....there is MONEY - lots of it and its not for your benefit.

  • Stuart - 2011-03-03 14:33

    As food is actually consumed in the name of nutrition and not science how about getting the opinion of Nutritionists! Folk need to realise that science is not the bee all and end all and has definately contributed to much long term damage to the earth and its poulation!

      craigkaos - 2011-03-03 17:03

      Nutrition is science. Think about it.....

      lmduplessis - 2011-03-03 18:21

      And here i thought Nutrition fell under the Human Physiology Sciences

  • Soothsayer - 2011-03-03 14:40

    Do not mind GM crops, had poisonous food already

  • Nathan - 2011-03-03 14:46

    A report published in the International Journal of Microbiology has verified once again that Monsanto's genetically modified (GM) crops are causing severe health problems. A legal challenge issued against Monsanto forced the multi-national agriculture giant to release raw data revealing that animals fed its patented GM corn suffered liver and kidney damage within just three months. Adding to the mounting evidence that GM crops are dangerous all around, this information provides a damning indictment against Monsanto which continually insists that its GM products are safe. Not only are GM crops proving disastrous for the environment, but study after study, including those conducted by Monsanto itself, is showing that GM foods are detrimental to health. Monsanto's data indicated that the company had conducted tests on three varieties of its GM corn, two of which contain the dangerous Bt protein, and one designed specifically to resist Monsanto's Roundup herbicide. All three are widely grown in the United States while only one is currently grown in Europe. Dr. Gilles-Eric Seralini, a French researcher from the University of Caen, was tasked with examining the data and providing a review. While stopping short of declaring GM crops to be toxic, he did emphasize that chronic negative effects were apparent and that there were "statistically significant" indications of kidney and liver damage.

      Deezil - 2011-03-03 16:37

      FFS, simply copying and pasting from a BS website like doesn't proof anything. That article is filled with so many half-truths and fallacies I don't even know where to begin ... a report published in a journal hey? Please provide name and authors of this so-called report ... I couldn't find anything published in that journal over the past 2 years that even remotely covers the topic of GM food. Let me guess ... you probably also believe in homeopathy, power balance bracelets and the whole "vaccinations cause autism" spiel?

      Irené - 2011-03-03 19:01

      Deezil oh good you are the biggest school yard bully. Natural news is not necessarily bs, what is your definitiion of facts and bullshit? Monsanto is way more powerful than you would lije to acknowledge, take a look at, the docie, they have a real good piece on minsanto. Geneticakly modifying all food crops WILL dstroy the environment, it already has, take a read on indian cotton farmers, average of 30000 deaths a year of farmers so depressed becuse not even their children will be able to pay off the depts they have thanks to coneting to monsantos seeds, its all around the world actually. E only reason there isnt a big boohaa about gm is because these companies can pay Anyone off, do you have any idea how deep this goes, monsanto is tgw embodiment of evil in the world. Oh and then you go off and insult nathans intelligence, actually it is people like you, blind to what you are consuming that buy coca colas vitamin water, nike's 'high performance' polyester sports wear and other marketing BS. Or maybe you are already a sweaty weezy blob and dont even bother visiting the outdoors to see what e F*** is going on there.

  • Cameron - 2011-03-03 14:51

    People are most afraid of what they know least about. We have been modifying and manipulating crops since we starting farming 17000 years ago, so yes I agree, spend the money for more localised GM research. On average GM crops use 50% less insecticides and fertilizer than regular crops and produce far more than regular crops. As a small time farmer who’s main concern is to rehabilitate nature by practicing sustainable farming methods I strongly urge that you get educated on this subject.

      Irené - 2011-03-03 19:11

      Cameron, lets talk again in 3 years when your small scale farm has gone to shit. Obvusly the damage wont be overnight, monsanto is a little smarter than that. There is no way you can put sustainable and monsanto in tthe same sentence unless they are joinged by the word opposite. Seriously you have been duped and its even worse that you arer growing food for others to consume, who exactly told you gm uses less insecticides? Let me guess a monsanto or bayer sales rep. Please go do some research, if you care for e environmnet at all, atleast do the research. Just google monsanto lawsuits and have a look at howany millions of peoples lives theyve ruined and continue destroying. The EU is against gm for a reason, they are too rich too be bought by one of thte devils, on the other hand poor countries jump at e promising offer monsanto gives, but you will learn later, if not now. Modern genetic modifcation is ery verey very different from the socalled gm of hundreds or thousands of years ago, do you thinks those farmers had labs to manufacture the poison monsanto is producing to spray on your crops??

  • Mr Anderson - 2011-03-03 16:44

    Monsanto? Oh yes the wonderful providers of Aspartame!

  • craigkaos - 2011-03-03 16:58

    In reality, very few really understand the concepts that underpin GM. Every cabbage, sprout, cauliflower, broccoli, orange coloured carrot, sunflower and banana is a genetic modification. Most varieties are in existence today only by artificial selection at the hands of humble farmers - the very first scientists. Joe Average is oblivious to the fact that GM food in one form or another has been on their plates for decades and even centuries.

      Irené - 2011-03-03 18:47

      That does not make it any better though, it means we need to act faster. Please do not assume anything about our intelligencr just because we are currently a minority, just as people believed for a long time that tobacoo is good for you, and that unlimited consumption of medication is not harmful so people will also realise, hooefully sooner rather than later. I recommend you take a look at one of e hundreds of docies on modern food production techniques and the intimidation methods of these so called good gm guys, they are 21st century terrorists, they will cause irrepairable damage to our environment and risk the safety of our food supply, wew have no idea what this might do to our ecologies as a whole, and its not something worth risking. We have to use the best of both worlds our knowledge of sustainable farming and technology. There is akways a trade off, id rather have vegetables with a few insect bites and give up out of season produce, than eat frankenfoods.

  • Irené - 2011-03-03 18:29

    Why is the EU rejecting modiefd crops across the board then?. Monsanto us the devil and we need to fight them to keep our food clean, there is a big difference between selective breeding of crops and cross polination, and genetic modification. All you proGM people are in for a real shock when your 4 yr old get cancer and our vegetables are nutritionally worth zero. You cant trust a company like monsanto whose sole purpose is controllzing the worlds food supply. Google monsanto lawsuits and have alook at what these geniuses have been up to they are evil and i dont want them in my backyard or my plate

      horst.o.muller - 2011-03-03 20:18

      has a link been established between GM food and cancer? Please refer me to your source of information.

  • horst.o.muller - 2011-03-03 20:20

    Long live Monsanto, the saviors of human kind.

      Irené - 2011-03-03 21:43

      Youre either a troll, or an idiot. But just to indulge you, here is one rather old report. Its not jyst a link between cancer and gm foods, but many other diseases. The question isnt whether i can give sources or whether gm foods cause disease, it is whether you are actaully prepaerd to read the other side. I read both sides, and i came to a very definite conclusion that monsanto is planning to control all food produce in the world, imagine e profits! Monsanto is evil. Full sto.

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