GMO science? There is none.

by Daniel Gregg 

JJ-Counties

” GMOs have been shown to be safe, successful and profitable” is a belief that many people have with little or no scientific studies to back it up.  It is well known that the FDA, in it’s approval process of GE (Genetically Engineered) crops, has relied on studies of the biotech companies themselves where there is an obvious conflict of interest.  As a citizen of Jackson Co., OR and an avid gardener, seed saver and environmentalist of 40 plus years, I am interested in making wise decisions concerning the future of our food and water health and vitality.

I have searched for both pro and con information on Genetically Engineering and all it’s implications, including soil and human health. I have to admit that at first glance the possibilities are enticing; one farmer can grow 1,000’s of acres of soybeans and not have to pull one weed with the promise of higher yields and other benefits. As I looked deeper, I found several documentaries available online that illustrate dangers associated with the cultivation and consumption of GE crops.  A few of them are “Genetic Roulette”, “The World According to Monsanto”, “After 10 Years of Failure”, “Seeds of Death”, “The Future of Food”, “Food Inc.”, “GMO, OMG” and “Fresh”.  All of these demonstrate enough questions about GMOs and their accompanying practices to raise grave concerns about this technology and how it is being used.

Iowan farmer and “student of the soil”, Howard Vleiger is on youtube with scientific documentation of his direct experience growing GE and non-GE crops side by side.  He found exactly the opposite of “safety, success and profitability”.

Ag scientist and Purdue University professor, Don Huber has determined that long term effects of “Roundup” (most widely used herbicide worldwide and many GE crops are “Roundup Ready”) are detrimental to soil microorganisms and causes nutrient lockup in the soil.

 French scientist, Dr. Seralini showed quite alarming health effects in lab rats using the same study protocols as Monsanto did, only for a longer period of time, testing Roundup Ready Corn.

In India, tragic consequences came to thousands of farmers who planted Monsanto’s GE cotton because of decreased yields, poorer quality fiber, more expensive seed, pest damage and twice the requirement for water. The resulting insurmountable debt led to thousands of farmer suicides.  All of this was of course opposite of what was promised by the company selling the seeds and chemicals.

Then there is the issue of Monsanto suing hundreds of Canadian and US farmers for patent infringement when GE pollen travelled on the wind into non-GE crops.  Wouldn’t it be more logical to say that their GMO genetics trespassed into fields where it was not wanted.

Here in Jackson County  the Rogue River Valley is 8-10 miles at it’s widest. FDA seed purity requirements are a 4 mile radius from any compatible crop’s pollen.  When Syngenta (an international chemical co. banned from it’s home Switzerland) moved in with GE sugar beets, without notification to other farmers in the area and within the 4 mi. radius) several organic seed producers were forced to till in thousands of dollars of contracted seed.  Before this became known there were about GE beet plots countywide and when a seed growers group was formed, Syngenta opted out rather than compromise and leave room for other farmers.

Genetic modification is in every cell of those plants and potentially altering our DNA as well.This is an urgent situation requiring urgent action!  Imagine recalling these genetics that are being planted worldwide.

After educating ourselves, myself and thousands of others and hundreds of businesses have opted to ban this technology in Josephine and Jackson Counties through ballot measures this May, 2014.   We left a clause allowing for research in enclosed areas to satisfy concerns that this technology has something to offer  in the long term.

Please, people, farmers, consumers of food, let’s educate ourselves to the truth of this matter and be wise and smart for the children who we have borrowed this world from.   Please Vote Yes on 17-58 in Josephine and 15-119 in Jackson!

Sincerely,

Daniel  Gregg
Ashland, Oregon