Editor’s Note: This letter is in response to the letter “Dubious facts and wild claims mar GMO debate,” by Sarita Cargas, published in the Daily Lobo April 19.
I have read Sarita Cargas’ opposition to the seminar series held regarding the use of genetically engineered (GE) seeds in the United States and throughout the world. Cargas brings up many criticisms but does not address the fundamental message brought forth by the seminars.
Do we, as a people, want to entrust our world’s food and seed supply to biotech corporations whose main prerogative is to ensure profits for their shareholders? To corporations who allow no independent testing or research of their GE seeds, but will sue farmers whose fields are unknowingly contaminated with their GE traits?
Cargas is conveniently silent about why owners of this GE technology fight desperately to keep food labels from identifying their product, as she is about the new super-weeds resistant to glyphosate (Roundup), bees dying from GE seeds coated with nicotinoids, superbugs like the rootworm resistant to BT (bacillus thuringiensis), the consolidation of seed companies that limits availability of conventional and open-pollinated seeds and economic devastation causing farmer suicides in countries such as India.
The biotech companies claim ownership to their laboratory-engineered seeds through patents. The replicable technology is then released into the environment. The biotech’s ownership continues to any plants that germinate on your land, whether you want them there or not. Contamination of crops and seeds occurs, resulting in the disappearance of local farmers’ markets, ranches, farms and seeds that have been saved for centuries.
Further compounding the wrong is biotechs’ ability to charge you with patent infringement for nature having landed, through the wind or birds, with their seeds, pollen or plant-parts on your property.
The motive for genetically engineered products is corporate profit. Instead of fighting world hunger, the biotech companies are fighting farmers and consumers, be it the local gardener, farmers tending their fields, parents seeking clean, pesticide-free food for their children or those ensuring that the Earth’s seeds, which have sustained us for millennia, survive. The freedom to save seed and feed oneself is a basic human right.
Daily Lobo Reader