Masthead graphic based on a painting by Gudrun Thriemer.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Andrés Gaudin, Latinamerican Press, "Transgenics sweep nation," November 13, 2008.

  Transgenic soy is not recommended for human consumption...

One year ago, the Southern Common Market (Mercosur) displaced the United States as the world´s largest grain producer, bolstered by growing global demand for transgenic grains, particularly soy for animal feed. The trade bloc´s production in 2007 reached 105 million tons of soy — 72 percent of global supply.

Even though campesina and indigenous organizations, family cooperatives and environmental groups in the Southern Cone have warned about the risks transgenic monoculture poses — unemployment, poverty, food sovereignty, health, climate and soil degradation — governments in the region continue to push these genetically-modified crops for a simple reason.

Export taxes on soy, wheat, corn and sunflower seeds will totaled some US$70 billion for Mercorsur this year.

Strong global demand for the grain, especially from giant economies like China and India, along with European governments´ decision to stop using animal feed made from cow bones and intestines in order to stem mad cow disease, replacing it with soy, have led Argentina to increase its soy production, says Argentine agronomist Jorge Rulli.

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