Imagine the primordial forest, a canopy dense with foliage, the floor strewn in dappled light. From the cool boreal woodlands to the tropical forests, trees have sustained complex ecosystems evolving over the millennia of time. Some trees live for decades and even centuries, laying down shade and forest duff, sustaining mosses, insects, birds and mammals. Their seed and pollen spread with the wind sometimes traveling hundreds of miles. What then could possibly go wrong with a forest of genetically engineered trees, a pasture of GE grass or genetically engineered animals? The answer is we don’t really know… but probably plenty. Continue reading
Growing up in the Midwest isn’t as idyllic as it used to be. The family farm has been eclipsed by sprawling thousand-fold acre parcels of corn and soybeans. Typically managed by one solitary man, he spends his spring and early summer days planting genetically engineered seeds and spraying herbicides. Monitors in the tractor map soil temperature and crop conditions, surveying the contours of green expanse and helping the farmer make timely decisions about which herbicides to spray and when. Continue reading
The rise of Non-GMO foods has stormed the aisles of almost every supermarket, natural food store and big box outlet, running rip shod over almost every other label claim. I can even find the Non-GMO claim inside my local gas-mart amongst the nuts and chips. Forecasts indicate that the global Non-GMO foods market will grow at a CAGR of 16.23% during the 2017-2021 period.
I have the good fortune to spend some of my work week researching and reviewing news and information as it relates to organic food and agriculture. Because my job is to communicate findings, I am often called upon to speak to groups equally as interested but not afforded the time to invest in such extracurricular investigations. I have become the tribal bookworm and the town crier, pretty ironically considering that I spent most of my adult life in the world of fresh produce (reading and writing only after hours, please). One of the topics I regularly research and address is the ramifications of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), specifically GMO crops. When I happened upon an email from The ETC Group I discovered one issue with GMOs that I hadn’t fully pondered. That being “How are genetically modified organisms spreading into the environment and affecting the natural evolution of our planet? “ Continue reading
The end of the year gives us an opportunity to reflect on the past and engage in envisioning our future. We look back at a year of costly GMO (genetically modified organisms) labeling battles that drained over seven million dollars from pro-labeling funders’ coffers. The momentum we achieved was exhilarating until it became obvious that we were being outspent and undermined by erroneous messaging. Washington State fell by narrow margins reminiscent of the California defeat.