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Patently Offensive: Trouble with Transgenic Drift

Web Note: This article discusses the partnership between Pesticide Action Network (PANNA), Harrington Investments (for whom the author of this article works) and OCA to attend Monsanto's upcoming shareholder meeting and file a shareholder resolution asking Monsanto Corporation to publish a study on financial risks associated with transgenic drift. Click here to read the wording of the resolution.

There will also be a peaceful protest of Monsanto outside the meeting. If you are interested in helping out with this action somehow, please contact OCA organizer, Mike Durschmid at
[mikedvegan AT].

For related articles and more information, please visit OCA's Millions against Monsanto page.

Bad Recipe For Food System Security:

1. Combine Equal Parts Corporate Power, Lax Government Oversight, Short Term Bias of Capital Markets.

2. Stir in a Scary Secret Mystery Ingredient.

3. Bake in Climate Change.

4. Sprinkle Generously with Record Corporate Profits

5. (For Best Results, Let Stew in the Midst of a Deep Recession)

Genetically Modified Organism. Despite having been a part of our lexicon for about twenty years now, the term continues to raise significant controversy and concern among the U.S. public, scientists, and farmers. A June 2011 ABC News poll found that 93 percent of Americans believe that genetically modified foods should be labeled. If such foods were labeled, most people - 57 percent, by ABC's numbers - would use such labels precisely to avoid them.

Despite consumer opposition, adoption of transgenic crops has been rapid in the U.S., but limited in the main to the major commodity crops, of which genetically engineered varieties now make up the vast majority: soybean (93% transgenic in 2010), cotton (88%) corn (86%), and canola (64%).

In Europe, on the other hand, the regulations on cultivation, importation, and marketing of GMOs are quite strict. Only two crops have been permitted and their already limited cultivation declined by 23 percent between 2008-2010, to a total of approximately 82,000 hectares (200,000 acres), as Austria, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary and Luxembourg banned the main EU-authorized crop, a Monsanto transgenic corn, and another (Bulgaria) banned all potential transgenic varieties.

Consumer antipathy means that GMO food crops command much lower prices in the marketplace than their conventional counterparts. To get a sense of what we're talking about, head down to your local supermarket and check out the price difference between organic and non-organic milk. That cost differential you'll see is reflecting the fact that the growth rate for organic foods remained in the double digits for the eleventh straight year in 2008.