Monday, March 03, 2008

Joel learns more about GMO seeds

Among the many excellent goings-on at the recent Organic Farming Conference (sponsored by the Midwest Organic & Sustainable Education Service) in LaCrosse, Wisconsin, one of the most inspiring was the keynote address by Andrew Kimbrell of the Center for Food Safety. Andrew spoke very hopefully about overcoming the “ecocide” of American farmland perpetrated by Monsanto and other agri/chemical corporate giants. He said we had so far defeated the introduction (into the U.S.) of GE wheat, rice, and alfalfa, but the sugar beet is the next big fight. And the great threat remains the chemical giants taking full control of seed companies, with Monsanto alone now owning 21% of seed companies worldwide. Be sure to check out Andrew’s new book, “Your Right to Know: Genetic Engineering and the Secret Changes in Your Food” available through the “publications” link on the Center for Food Safety website at Another excellent publication is the “Farmers’ Guide to GMO’s,” by David Moeller of the Farmers Legal Action Group and Michael Sligh of the Rural Advancement Foundation International-USA (both Farm Aid funded groups). First published in 2004, the “Farmers’ Guide” will be updated this year. You can download the 2004 version as well as other relevant articles for free at FLAG’s website, . Happy reading!


  1. Wanna learn more?
    It’s not directly related but did you know that bees gather nectar from plants that are genetically modified, they loose their sense of orientation, can’t get back to their apiary and die... If however, they can avoid the GMOs, but come back to the apiary with contaminated pollen (by other contaminants), the “guards” kill them at the entry of the apiary ….

  2. Anonymous11:38 AM

    I would correct Andrew Kimball's comment that "we have so far defeated the introduction (into the U.S.) of GE wheat, rice, and alfalfa." We have only postponed their introduction. Monsanto,, have not given up on those seeds and their huge investment in them. We have only put a few bumps in the way of their approval and commercialization.

    I don't mean to diminish the very good work done by these groups to stall the introduction of these seeds. Their work has been tireless and effective. I would just caution about thinking we've made permanent changes in corporate objectives. GMO wheat is still being promoted to farmers as the solution to diminishing wheat acres and profitability.

    Organic farmer Janet

  3. L Kemp1:31 PM

    Another looming concern is biofuels. Cellulose based biofuels are the wave of the future - if we can focus on perennial grasses and other species that bring huge environmental benefits. But the seed industry is already hard at work on genetic modification of switchgrass. In addition to serious concerns about potential genetic pollution of native grasses, we also have to worry about corporate monopoly ownership of the seeds for this new green industry.