By Dave Mayers
Posting in Cancer
One of the largest agricultural associations on the continent has thrown its support behind the controversial crop's use in South Africa and its export to neighboring states.
JOHANNESBURG--A decade after genetically-modified corn first hit the shelves here, and on the heels of a controversial new scientific study of the effects of GM food, one of the largest agricultural associations on the continent has thrown its support behind the crop's use in South Africa and its export to many neighboring states.
In response to calls for a ban on GM corn in South Africa, Johan Moller, the president of the Agri SA said that a wholesale switch to unmodified corn would hurt the South African economy and ultimately the average South African consumer.
South African publication Business Day reports on the strategic importance of genetically-modified food in the country:
SA ranks ninth in genetically modified crop cultivation globally, with 2.3-million hectares being used to grow maize, soybeans and cotton. "In SA, almost all our maize is genetically modified," [Moller] said.
Local demands to ban the cultivation of RoundUp Ready corn NK603, produced by St. Louis-based biotechnology company Monsanto, have grown in recent weeks after a French study linked the consumption of the corn to an increased risk of cancer.
The study out of France's University of Caen found that the corn, genetically modified to be resistant to the herbicide RoundUp, caused a significant increase in the rate of cancerous tumors in lab rats fed it over a two-year period.
The African Center for Biosafety, the leading proponent for a ban on the corn in South Africa, has said that 40 percent of local corn originates from NK603.
The organization has previously said that South Africa "dumps GM maize around Africa," tracing 300,000 metric tons of the locally produced corn to markets in Swaziland, Mozambique and even as far away as Kenya. They said that overburdened and underfunded agricultural officials were unable to monitor the flow of GM foods in local markets.
Last week in response to the French study, Russia announced it was suspending the import of the corn and has asked its Institute of Nutrition to look into the study.
The Russian move comes as validation to some of the merits of the study. However, many inside the scientific community have questioned the study's findings.
Martina Newell-McGloughlin, a plant biotechnologist at the University of California Davis, told the Examiner:
"There is very little scientific credibility to this paper, [...] The flaws in the test are just incredible to me. To be totally honest with you, the type of statistical analysis they used is really a type of fishing expedition. One individual referred to it as ‘fantasy statistics.'"
Monsanto itself released a statement in reaction to the study, saying it "does not meet minimum acceptable standards for this type of scientific research, the findings are not supported by the data presented, and the conclusions are not relevant for the purpose of safety assessment."
AfricaBio, another biotech South African association, weighed in saying, "Numerous scientists worldwide have called into question the paper's data."
Agri SA's Moller has pointed to the fact that the GM corn has higher yields than crops that aren't modified. The increase in harvests without the need for more pesticides keeps the price of corn low in a country where any rise in the cost of food is felt acutely by many of its citizens.
Oct 1, 2012
The science is facinating... But at the same time, GMOs are incredibly dangerous and we know very little about them other than they should NOT be allowed to grow in open air environments... Not for at least another 10 to 15 years and only then if we can do enough studies to determine if we can make them safe for humans, animals, and the environment... Some of the promose of growing medications inside corn is promising, but at the same time, there are millions of things that can go horribly wrong that it makes the risk not worth it... Monsanto is pure evil and should be destroyed by any means possible. But Monsanto is only one of many who put the entire world at risk... I say we get rid of all of them and get GMOs back into a tighly controlled lab where they belong.
With the deal in place following the acquisition of Alnylam a couple of months ago, Monsanto is poised to start experimenting with RNA, the active part of genetics. This technology is already in the testing stage in Australia by CSIRO. Fortunately, Greenpeace destroyed the only existent Test Plot there. But with Stanford being complicit in their Research and Deployment schemes, how quick can Monsanto "hit the ground running" with this here? Consider it's deployment the possibility of Plagues of Biblical proportion...just for fun, of course.
Watch the video genetic roulette and tell me how much of this GMO you want to consume! Nothing but Monsanto BS. Should be outlawed world wide and there CEO's should be brought up on charges of crimes against humanity!
If the French Study were the ONLY one that showed the problems it did, even I would be suspicious. Having read a few hundred Peer-Reviewed Papers and Studies that preceded it, but never made the MSM, tends to make me a believer. Besides, the Serallini Study used the same rats, similar procedures, but went a full two years, rather than the 90 days the FDA allowed Monsanto to do. (When Profits are waiting-why spend extra time-right?) So, if the Methodology is being denigrated by Monsanto, then it's a tacit admission if flaws in it's own. Bottom line, the world has seen what I have seen, we know the statistics emanating from the deployment of this technology, as we are paying for it with added taxes, health care costs, and with our own Government destroying small and family farms to make way for Industrial Mono-Cropping Operations. You like it-YOU eat it. America is tired of this pathetic Monsanto-Serving "Sturm Und Drang'!
Notice how sound logic and science can't halt the evil machinations of a profits-at-any-cost industry. BTW, is it profits or population control--or both--driving it?