Bayer's Double Trouble

Publication - 6 April, 2009
Bayer's genetically engineered (GE) rice - designed to be tolerant of the herbicide glufosinate - will lead to increased use of herbicides, and threatens non-GE varieties with contamination and farmers with economic insecurity.

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Executive summary: Any use of the Bayer GE rice will lead to an increased use of the toxic herbicide – undoubtedly boosting sales of Bayer’s glufosinate as a consequence. It will also lead to higher risks for farmers, consumers and the environment. Glufosinate is considered to be so dangerous to humans and the environment that it will soon be banned in Europe inaccordance with recently-adopted EU legislation. Currently, Bayer is pushing for legal approval of its GE rice in Brazil, South Africa, the EU, India and the Philippines. In the USA, the Bayer GE rice has already been approved for commercial planting, although farmers in the US are reluctant to plant it. They fear the loss of important markets due to the risks of accidental contamination, and not without reason. Bayer already has a history of causing damages that have been estimated at more than USD 1.2 billion to the global rice industry, when one of its experimental GE rice varieties accidentally entered global rice supplies in 2006.

See also:

Counting the Costs of Genetic Engineering - the report documents numerous case studies demonstrating the adverse environmental, economic and social impacts of genetic engineering, suggesting sustainable agricultural solutions instead.

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