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Sustainable Agriculture: No to GMOs

Over the past 50 years, we have nearly tripled agricultural outputs. But this so-called "Green Revolution" comes at unbearable costs for the environment, public health and social welfare. Industrial farming with its dependency on fossil fuels, toxic inputs and ignorance for common goods has proven to be a dead-end road.

The Problem: Genetic Engineering

Genetic engineering enables scientists to create plants, animals and micro-organisms by manipulating genes in a way that does not occur naturally.  These genetically modified organisms (GMOs) can spread through nature and interbreed with natural organisms, thereby contaminating non-"GE" environments and future generations in an unforeseeable and uncontrollable way.

"As a native of South Africa, and someone who has seen first-hand starvation in Africa I am often asked how it is that I can be opposed to genetic engineering. This questioning assumes that genetic engineering leads to healthier, sustainable and more abundant crops – but this is far from the truth. In fact, genetic engineering has the potential to increase hunger around the globe. This of course jars with most people’s logic (and defies brilliant marketing campaigns by industry) that the companies responsible for producing food globally could actually cause further food scarcity. It angers me that corporate scientists and global genetic engineering companies can still get away with making the bogus claim that their seeds will feed the poor, when in fact their only goal is greater profits."
-Kumi Naidoo, Greenpeace International Executive Director

Proponents argue that genetic engineering is worth the risk because it helps alleviate the global food crisis.  However, globally speaking, lack of food is not the cause of hunger.  Political challenges and failures are the cause of world hunger with an estimated one billion victims.  In other words, more food doesn't necessarily mean fewer hungry.

Also, according to recent carbon footprint analysis, the entire chain of food production and consumption accounts for 20 percent of global greenhouse gas emissions.  Reducing these greenhouse gas emissions and increasing the long-term storage of carbon in the soil are therefore essential measures to prevent a climate catastrophe.

The Solution: Organic Agriculture

Organic agriculture is a rapidly growing sector of agriculture that focuses on the health, ecology, fairness and care of the farming process.  Organic practices use local resources and offers opportunities for increasing farmers' income and improving their livelihood.

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To feed the world sustainably into the future, fundamental changes are needed in our farming and food systems.  Greenpeace believes we need a thorough and radical overhaul of present international and national agricultural policies.   You can help by using your power as a consumer to buy locally grown, organic food and urging your Representatives to pass laws that protect our health and eliminate genetic engineering.

The latest updates

 

“Smart” breeding, where science and farmers’ knowledge meet

Blog by Guest Post | October 28, 2014

Post by Dr. Janet Cotter of the of the Greenpeace International Science Unit Plant breeding is the key to providing us with varied and better quality foods. Although conventional plant breeding has existed for hundreds of years, it was often...

EPA Sued for Approving Herbicide to Treat “Agent Orange” Crops

Blog by Elena Keates | October 28, 2014

Hazardous to humans and Monarch butterflies, the Environmental Protection Agency faces legal action after approving a new herbicide blend for use on genetically engineered crops. Earlier this month, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)...

Why Colorado’s GMO Labeling Proposition 105 Matters To You

Blog by Elena Keates | October 16, 2014

In November, Coloradans have the opportunity to exercise their power as citizens and consumers by voting for mandatory labeling of genetically modified and genetically engineered food. Genetically modified organisms (GMOs) and genetically...

Vermont law mandates labeling of GMO food

Blog by Mark Floegel | May 6, 2014

With the signature of Governor Peter Shumlin (D) imminent, Vermont will become the first state in the nation to enact a law requiring manufacturers to label food products containing genetically-modified organisms (GMOs). Although this a is...

A Rainbow Warrior arrives in Mexico

Blog by Cassady Sharp | January 8, 2014

Greenpeace’s flagship, the Rainbow Warrior, arrived in Mexico this week to raise awareness about sustainable agriculture in the country and the Mexican government’s responsibility to protect the country to reckless corporate interests. Among the...

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