I aren’t sure what gun control, the EU or mandatory voting have to do with dancing grannies. Suggest we stay ON TOPIC.
I suggest you actually do some research on how Monsanto strong armed Indian farmers with Bt cotton before making those claims. Having seen it on the front lines, you would be surprised just how determined they can be. A whole area of Maharashtra became known as the “suicide belt” due to the pressures directly applied by Monsanto. It was truly shocking, yet strangely not surprising. I was working with people who would try to help Indian farmers with training and development, often they would come to work in tears hearing another one of their farmer friends had committed suicide due to huge debt. The cause was almost always linked to Monsanto induced debt.
What do you do if you have land, need to plant crops and when attempting to procure seeds are told the only seeds available are Monsanto’s. But don’t worry, they are higher yield (lies), require less water (lies) and repel pests (only if you put twice as much Round up on them as you would normally… Oh that Round up is made by Monsanto too). And all this for the special bargain of only twice what you paid for last years seed! And if you are somehow able to get hold of other seed, you can’t sell it here as our cotton mill is sponsored by… Monsanto. And we don’t accept non Monsanto cotton sorry.
I purposefully did not state whether GMO is overall bad or overall good – it is neither in terms of the affects it could have on a whole range of systems (food/economic/social). The reason is because you have to treat each GMO individually, assess it individually and examine its affects.
Unfortunately the main organisations that are involved in producing GMO’s on a mass scale though are the very companies that show absolutely zero ethics. And THAT should scare you. Because eventually you may be subject to the very ethical missteps that so many others have suffered under. Why? Because you eat food.
There are clear reasons why the companies do not wish their GMO crops to be investigated by scientists outside their control. And this again should scare you. These go beyond the threat of industrial espionage.
So yes, you cannot paint it in broad brush strokes, but as I stated, I believe that we should be precautionary about their introduction i.e. the precautionary principle should apply. That means we need to thoroughly investigate each and every crop before they are planted on a mass scale, have decade long experiments with multi generational crops analysing the soil/inputs/outputs/cross breeding etc etc. Then the research needs to be made public, needs to be independently analysed and if found to be better by enhancing the crop, reducing inputs and enhancing the human and environmental systems, it can be prototyped somewhere in a real world environment before full scale introduction.
Do you think Monsanto does any of this? Clearly they do not, which is why many countries have GMO moratoriums, they just do not know what effect GMO’s will have on their systems due to a lack of information, hence they disallow them, hence people start thinking simplistically “GMO bad”.
The countries who are approached to implement GMO crops often have little to no legal framework for them to be tested/trialled/released under. And with little information provided by the companies who apply (except of course glowing endorsements), they are right to be suspicious and to enact moratoriums.
Really it depends on the motivations of the people creating GMO goods. Are they doing it to help people or make money? If it is the latter, my personal belief is it can quickly lead to a situation where moral choices get put behind financial ones. If it is done for the sole purpose of feeding people and money is NOT made from doing so (or only enough to cover costs), it may not be a bad thing.
One thing that recent history has taught us though is that Monsanto as a company is rotten through and through. The way they flout law, the death and destruction they cause… basically they are a poster child of Corporate greed with zero social/environmental responsibility. Unless you have seen their practices first hand (as I have), you probably aren’t likely to believe it as the spin they mete out to counter their activities is selective, the moral antithesis of the real world and far reaching.
There is a distinct difference between hybridising animals (selective breeding) and literally tinkering with the DNA of animals/vegetables. A great example is Terminator seeds – I am of the opinion living things have a basic reproductive right and as a believer in evolution, removing that right has terrible moral implications. Just as we do not sterilise prisoners convicted of crimes (we believe in the right of reform and second chances), we should not reduce a living things ability to breed through artificial means with the purpose of making money. Such practices are abhorrent as they lead to devastation for already established food/economic/environmental/social systems.
I am OK with GMO as long as we apply a precautionary approach to their use and are able to adequately restrict movement of GMO goods. Unfortunately that runs in direct contradiction of the goals of a company like Monsanto who wish to (and pay people) to release GMO seeds with little thought as to the consequences.