GMO Products Under Fire; Danish Scientists to “Rewild” Modern Crops
There is a lot of anti-GMO here in this country. Armed with signs and outrage they head for the streets shouting their displeasure to the world. They send letters to politicians; make blogs, boycott GMO products, and many other things so their voices are heard.
Across the pond people supporting GMOs are toiling away. Whether it’s in their farm or in the laboratory, they plant seeds and harvest crops; scientists conduct further research on food to make them resistant to drought, pests, and other factors affecting the overall yield.
Jackson County Bans GMO
Jackson County has recently passed an ordinance banning anyone from farming GMO seed stock. This in turn led alfalfa farmers to file a lawsuit intending to overturn the ordinance, a lawsuit which was partially dismissed by Federal Magistrate Judge Mark D. Clarke last Friday.
The farmers’ contention was that the ordinance was in violation with Oregon’s Right to Farm Act. The judge countered that while the state’s “right to farm law” inhibits any ordinances or lawsuits involving common farming practice, it does not protect activities that harm commercial agriculture.
The harm, as pointed out by the defendants, was that the GMO farms can potentially damage other farms that use organic seeds to grow crops due to cross-pollination. The judge added that the ordinance is prevention before the damage – cross-pollination of GMO to non-GMO farms – could happen.
However, even when Judge Clark has already granted partial summary judgment to the plaintiffs “right to farm” law contention, the farmers claim to 4.2 million dollars to Jackson County – caused by the forced removal of 300 acres worth of GMO-seed alfalfa crop – is still on the table.
The Fear Behind GMO
Biotech and food experts argue that GMO products aren’t as harmful as others claim it to be. Even if one scours the record from the beginning, back when GMO was first commercialized back in 1976, there isn’t a single person who’s gotten sick from ingesting bioengineered products.
The fear behind GMO, it seems, is that food is now being slowly transformed from being organic to something filled with chemicals, chemicals that might cause long-term harm to those eating it. Only the data shows that it doesn’t.
It’s important to understand that biotech experts aren’t in their lab rubbing their hands together, twisting their mustaches, and hatching evil plans to destroy organic farming.
Far from it, really.
One example of this is the group of Danish scientists proposing to use genetic modification to insert modern crops with primitive genes of the same species. Called, rewilding, the technique aims to turn back the clock so that crops have the same native traits to its former wilder versions lost through years of selective breeding. All the benefits that the primitive plant has will be infused with its modern kin thereby “rewilding” it. Pretty neat, actually.
Of course, it goes without saying that those that are against GMO will have their say in this matter. The Danish proposal seems to be a promising one, though.