Extracted from today’s article mailed by New Delhi colleague, Devinder Sharma.
For three consecutive years California and Texas have been ravaged by a severe drought, (California’s drought will cost thousands of farm jobs: Study. Reuters. May 20, 2014). As many as 14,500 full time as well as seasonal jobs will be lost this year.
USDA as well as the US biotechnology companies keep asserting that some genetically modified crop varieties they have developed are drought resistant. Monsanto advertises all over the world to save every drop of water. They have convinced the ‘liberal’ and educated class everywhere of the great potential that exists for GM technology.
Shouldn’t we therefore ask these questions?
- Why did the GM crops fail the farmers in California and Texas?
- Why are the farmers keeping their land fallow if USDA has those varieties hat can be grown under drought conditions?
- Where are the drum-beaters of GM technology (in the US universities) who tell farmers in Asia and Africa of the virtues of GM crops that can stand water stress conditions?
Isn’t that a farce?? The truth is GM crops have failed to withstand drought like conditions
While the GM crop varieties (including herbicide tolerant crops that Monsanto promotes) have been destroyed by US drought, the non-GM crops have survived.
Isn’t there a great lesson here for the USDA?
Shouldn’t it revert to the native crop varieties that have survived the drought?
In an in-depth ISIS article two years ago, ‘GM Crops destroyed by US drought but non-GM varieties flourish’, Dr Eva Sirinathsinghji described how the GM crops failed the drought, and told us about the inherent ability of native plants to withstand such harsh environs.
Most online sources insist that GM crops will offer drought resistance, but The New American confirmed this message:
Dr. Bruce Potter, University of Minnesota, and farmer Charlie Sandager concluded that the primary corn pest rootworm has developed resistance to the proteins in the GMO (genetically modified organisms) Bt Corn that was designed to kill the pests. Bt corn is a type of GMO and the subject of the recent investigation into the rootworm outbreak. One effect of the pest’s presence is that it prevents corn roots from absorbing water. Not only are corn plants unable to absorb water, the plants become unstable and can easily topple over. Sandager said, “Strong wind came up and it just tipped the corn plants over like a big old tree.”
After exploring alternatives, Sharma ends by recommending everyone, especially decision-makers and scientists, to discard their illusion of superiority and learn from the simple and yet effective drought-proofing systems prevalent in many villages in India, rather than remain trapped in their ‘technology cocoon’, because simple technologies can work wonders: “Ignore them at your own peril”. #
Read the full article here: Ground Reality