A few days ago the BBC’s science correspondent ran a puff piece about American research claiming GM food was safe. Cue footage of learned biotech professor bemoaning the lack of GM crops in the UK and the EU, and how we’d all be much better off if we pumped yet more public money into GM research. Next day the farming section of my local paper also trumpeted the virtues of GM.
Coincidence? Hardly. Every so often GM companies like Monsanto pay their lobbyists to give another shove on the EU door, hoping one day it will open wide for GM crops. Whatever your views on the EU, it’s done a sterling job in rolling back the industrial quantities of chemicals used in our agriculture. Bee killing neonics and glyphosate are two prime examples. The latter is used as a herbicide on GM crops and also in bog standard garden weed killers. What’s not to like? Well, for one thing, the WHO has classified it as “probably carcinogenic”, and GM food comes from GM crops plastered in the stuff.
The EU is currently considering whether to ban glyphosate, but expect a big backlash from the GM industry. This kickback will be even bigger if the proposed link up between giants Bayer and Monsanto happens. This mega corp will dominate global agriculture and put even greater pressure on the EU to renounce its efforts to scale back the use of chemicals in our food production. Cue more media hype about the benefits of GM. Watch this space.