Michael Briguglio - Malta Today Blog 15-5-13
Why should we oppose Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs)?
First, because GMOs are modifying nature with unsafe consequences. Here, plants or animals are genetically engineered with DNA from bacteria, viruses or other plants and animals. This cannot occur in nature or in traditional crossbreeding. In this respect, impacts on both humans and ecology in general are at best unclear, yet the process towards GMOs is irreversable. Hence, once a field comprises GMOs, one cannot revert it back to its previous format. Besides, cross-contamination from one GMO field to another can take place. No wonder GMOs have been dubbed as 'Frankenstein foods'.
Second, because the GMO industry is intensifying the proleterianization of farmers and agricultural workers. Basically GMO corporations are attemping to revert agricultural land to GMO land, making farmers fully dependent on material required for GMO production in the process. This comes at the expense of food diversity and autonomy of farmers on the land in which they work.
Third, because instead of encouraging local agricultural traditions, sustainable agriculture, organic methods, permaculture and other sustainable methods, agricultural land is industrialized for the profit maximisation of a few transnational corporations. Such corporations want to make us believe that GMOs will solve global problems such as hunger. What such corporations do not tell us is that such problems can be solved through more egalitarian, socially just and sustainable economic, social and political systems. Incidentally, GMO corporations want more neo-liberalism and global dominance of transnational corporations, and not more social justice.
There are various actions that can be taken against GMOs. One can choose not to buy products tainted with GMOs. Governments and blocs can impose strict labelling of products so that consumers can be clearly informed on what they are buying. GMOs can also be banned to give way for sustainable agriculture. Over 60 countries around the world including all EU member states, Japan and Australia, have introduced restrictions or outright bans on GMOs. Yet the GMO industry keeps lobbying for a free-for-all. In short confronting the GMO giants is ultimately a political question.
It is for this reason that I will be attending the Maltese version of the March against GMO giant Monsanto, on Saturday 25th May, 11am in Valletta. One can read more about this at the facebook event page: https://www.facebook.com/events/378836232225661/