February 8, 2016
There have been a number of setbacks for Monsanto globally. The biotech firm has been feeling some heat lately but may find some relief if the US legislators give them favor. This will again put the American buyers in the dark on the food composition they buy.
Glyphosate has been determined to be possibly carcinogenic to humans. This herbicide is contained in Monsanto’s popular product Roundup. It is a weed killer. Home gardeners, public park technicians and farmers commonly use it.
- Glyphosate and Monsanto
It is Monsanto’s leading product and the most produced weed killer in the globe. It has been used in more than 150 food and non-food items.
Monsanto faced a class action lawsuit citing false advertisement that glyphosate targets a specific plant enzyme. It turns out to be that this enzyme is also found in human and animal intestines. The weed killer is also linked to other health issues, environmental concerns and monarch butterflies decline.
- Lasso herbicide
Another one of its herbicide, Lasso, faced grave concern in France. IT is claimed that the weed killer gave neurological problems to cereal farmers including headaches and memory loss.
Even the efforts of Monsanto to be friendly in social media backfired. They posted in Twitter that should people have questions about glyphosate they can click on a link that has their FAQ page in. It turned out a nightmare as the replies bordered from the funny to outright nasty.
- EU no to GMO
On top of the glyphosate issue, several EU countries have not given entry to Monsanto’s GM crops. The European opposition to GMO is quite strong compared with US and Asia. A new EU law was signed allowing individual member countries to exclude GM cultivation. Only GMO maize is grown in Europe. Some member countries like Germany, Greece, and France have not allowed entry at this point.
Scotland said that it is known around the world for their beautiful natural environment. These moves to be excluded means they are protecting and enhancing further their clean, green status.
Germany invoked resistance from farmers and the public, which was strong, and they wanted to listen.
- Listening to its citizens
By listening to the majority of its citizens opposing GMO cultivation, they will end up supporting more sustainable, resilient organic food production that doesn’t perpetuate the overuse of toxic herbicides.
The other countries, Latvia and Greece, echoed the same sentiment. France also said it will ensure that the GMO ban in their country stays in place.
Monsanto has always addressed the issue by saying that GMOs are safe and will feed the ballooning population of humans. They claim that countries are deviating from the science-based approach in agriculture innovation and instead focus on the politics. This resulted to prohibition of GM product cultivation.
- A complex debate
The debate over GMO is complex and contradicting. The anti GMO movement has been gaining momentum even with GMO food being a big part of the US food system for years now. Several key crops in the US are modified genetically including soy, corn and canola.
Still the American public is kept in the dark still on the composition of the food they eat as the US is part of the few developed countries where it doesn’t require producers of food to disclose whether there were modifications in the ingredients of their products.
On the other side of the coin, proponents of GMOs claim that it has increased safety on the farmers as the use of pesticides has become lesser. The output of corn, soy and cotton has yielded higher by up to 30%.
In saying this, if the world adopts GM crops, the food price will go lower and dying of hunger will be fewer.