Environmental Think Space

The world is a dangerous place, not because of those who do evil, but because of those who look on and do nothing – Albert Einstein


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Another country added to GMO bans: Kenya

In July of 2011, Kenya was the fourth African country to allow the production and importation of GMO foods with the idea that these crops will be the silver bullet to eradicate poverty and boost crop yields.

But now Kenya is taking action against GMOs. Kenya has banned the importation of genetically modified foods citing insufficient scientific evidence and following growing safety concerns over the consumption of GMOs.

Click here to listen to Beth Mugo, Kenya’s Public Health Minister annouce the ban.

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Further reading:

Biotech scientists disagree on banhttp://www.geneticliteracyproject.org/2012/11/27/scientists-kenyas-gmo-ban-will-cripple-research-deny-food-to-hundreds-of-thousands/

Kenyan farmers against GMOs/support organic farminghttp://www.naturalnews.com/032626_GMOs_Kenya.html

Kenya Organic Agriculture Network (KOAN): http://www.koan.co.ke/index.php 


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Peru: GMO free for 10 years

The Peruvian government has officially passed a law banning genetically modified ingredients anywhere in the country for the next ten years! This is exciting news and offers some hope for other countries to follow, although I suspect “more northern” governments will be less inclined to pass legislation in strict opposition to agribiz corporations like Monsanto, Bayer, and Dow (proof coming out of California where even a GMO labelling law was defeated; mainly through a vote no campaign funded by such big businesses).

Controversy surrounding GMOs include issues such as whether the food being produced is safe for consumption, whether consumers have the right to know what they are consuming, i.e. GMO labelling, if agricultural biotechnology is needed to address world hungry now or in the future, and the environmental consequences of GM crops.

Some of the environmental consequences of GM crops include superweeds, threat to biodiversity, damaging soil fertility, negative effective on non-target species, a threat to sustainable agriculture and organic farming, and even gene transfer into the guts of bees (http://www.sierraclub.org/biotech/references.asp).

When it comes to GMOs let’s not forget the precautionary principle:
In order to protect the environment, the precautionary approach shall be widely applied
by States according to their capabilities. Where there are threats of serious or irreversible
damage, lack of full scientific certainty shall not be used as a reason for postponing cost-
effective measures to prevent environmental degradation.

Sources and further reading:

Peru: http://www.whitewolfpack.com/2012/11/peru-passes-monumental-ten-year-ban-on.html

Monsanto/California: http://rt.com/usa/news/monsanto-california-37-measure-182/

http://www.saynotogmos.org/

http://justlabelit.org/

GMO-free zones in Europe: http://www.gmo-free-regions.org/gmo-free-regions.html

First  ever lifetime feeding study/tumor magnet: http://www.foodconsumer.org/newsite/Safety/gmo/gmo_0923121215.html