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The case against genetic engineering

Page - February 1, 2007
For thousands of years people have bred and grown crops for food. Seeds have been handed down from generation to generation until...

Greenpeace activists protest against the contamination of Mexico's maize supply from genetically engineered (GE) maize.

A few decades ago big chemical companies like Monsanto started genetically engineering crops in the laboratory. They mainly did this to make crops resistant to weed killer (herbicide). This means more chemicals can be sprayed directly on the plants.

91% of genetically engineered (GE) seed is made and owned by one US company called Monsanto and they don't want us to know when GE is in our food.

The vast majority of consumers around the world are against GE foods and crops, because genetic engineering has been associated with health risks, loss of biodiversity, increased use of toxic weedkillers (herbicides) and other environmental problems.(Other agro-chemical companies promoting GE include: Bayer, DuPont and Syngenta.

Monsanto promised that the genetically engineered (GE) crops would yield more and use less chemicals.

These claims have not been substantiated and in some cases even the opposite has happened. Certain GE crops have led to more chemical use, lower yields and other problems like super-weeds, weeds that are 'herbicide-proof'.

Worst of all - when GE crops are grown in fields they can spread by seed, pollen, animals, insects and humans. GE crops get mixed up with normal food crops and change them, so thousands of years of agriculture could be ruined.

We also don't know what long-term effects GE will have on soil and the animals, insects, plants and birds that live in the environment and also to our health.

GE crops are also PATENTED this means the seeds are copyrighted so it is illegal to save seeds and pass them on. This puts at stake the world agriculture and it's harmful for everybody except the companies who own and sell the seeds.

But people all over the world from farmers to scientists are saying NO to GE crops. By saying we want to stay GE free we are winning the fight to keep our environment and food chain natural.

More and more food companies are committing to not use GE ingredients and more people are buying sustainably grown, pesticide free, healthy food and that is good for people and the planet.

Greenpeace campaigns for GE-free crop and food production that is grounded in the principles of sustainability, protection of biodiversity and providing all people to have access to safe and nutritious food.

Genetic engineering is an unnecessary and unwanted technology that contaminates the environment, threatens biodiversity and poses unacceptable risks to health.

  • Go to the Greenpeace International website to read comprehensive reports on the Failings of GE