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GE is bad for farmers

Page - February 1, 2007
GE crops are not good for farmers. In USA and Canada where GE crops have now been grown for a decade, genetic engineering in agriculture has significantly increased the economic uncertainty of family farmers throughout the U.S. and the world.

Organic Spanish farmers are burning their maize harvest after it was revealed that it had been contaminated by nearby fields of genetically engineered maize.

The agro-chemical companies that produce GE seeds require farmers to sign legal agreements specifying how to farm and promising not to save seed. They also expect farmers to pay royalties.

Companies such as Monsanto then aggressively sue farmers who they believe are using their seeds without signing such agreements.

Unfortunately due to contamination many farmers are finding they have GE crops on their land whether they asked for it or not.

In Canada Monsanto sued a canola grower called Percy Schmeiser because GE canola was growing on his land as a result of contamination. Even though Schmeiser did not want the contamination Monsanto argued successfully that he owed them money anyway.

Conventional growers are discovering that GE crops from neighbouring fields have become weeds that cannot be sprayed off with herbicides because they have inbuilt resistance.

In Canada the Royal Society has warned that the entire Canadian prairie is now contaminated with herbicide-resistant canola weeds, the removal of which raises farm costs.

At the end of harvest US and Canadian farmers are discovering a further problem of GE crops - that export markets won't buy them.

Following the introduction of GE canola in Canada, sales of Canadian Canola to Europe dried up. The same is true of US corn which is no longer sold to Europe and has lost important markets in Asia.

Go to the Greenpeace International website to read more

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