This comprehensively researched and referenced book draws on hundreds of peer-reviewed scientific studies to provide a concise, lucid insight into genetically modified (GM) crops. It reveals that:
· GM crops are different from naturally bred crops and pose special risks, while the GM process itself is crude and imprecise, with unpredictable results.
· GM crops are not adequately regulated for safety, but are commonly sanctioned relying on self-assessment by the GM seed producing companies, without independent verification.
· GM crops can be toxic, allergenic or less nutritious than their natural counterparts. Peer reviewed studies have found harmful effects on the health of laboratory and livestock animals fed GMOs. Most studies are for only 30 to 90 days. The few GM crop studies on humans show problems.
· GM crops do not enhance yield potential. They also do not reduce pesticide use but increase it. The targeted pests develop resistance, while damage by secondary insect pests rises.
· GM crops cause widespread, uncontrollable and irreversible contamination of non-GM and organic crops. GM genes can also escape into the environment by horizontal gene transfer, with potentially serious consequences.
· GM crops create serious problems for farmers, including herbicide-tolerant ‘super-weeds’ and increased disease susceptibility in crops. Around 75% of all GM crops are engineered for increased tolerance of toxic herbicides that persist in the environment, and damage human health.
· GM crops harm soil quality, disrupt ecosystems and reduce biodiversity. They can have negative effects on a wide range of organisms, including beneficial insects that help protect crops, and beneficial soil organisms that enhance crop growth and health.
· GM crops are as energy-hungry as any other chemically farmed crops. The US food system requires 10 kilocalories of fossil energy for every kilo calorie of food delivered to the consumer.
· GM crops do not offer solutions to climate change. They cannot solve the problem of world hunger but distract from its real causes—poverty, and lack of access to food and land to grow it on. There are already safer, more environmentally friendly ways to grow abundant and healthy food.