Eco-Living Magazine

Genetically Engineered Crops and Organically Grown Crops: Friends Or Enemies?

Posted on the 23 April 2011 by 2ndgreenrevolution @2ndgreenrev

Genetically Engineered Crops and Organically Grown Crops: Friends or Enemies?**  This question and answer session comes courtesy of an intellectual property expert in the private sector. The first post dealt with intellectual property in the clean technology sector.

Can genetically engineered crops and organically grown crops survive side by side? The following quote from a recent Washington Post piece seems to think they can.

“The two sides are not clashing over the ethics or safety of genetic engineering, in which plants are modified in the laboratory with genes from another organism to make them more pest-resistant or to produce other traits. Instead, the argument is over the potential for contamination: pollen and seeds from GE crops can drift across fields to nearby organic plants. That has triggered fears that organic crops could be overtaken by modified crops. Contamination can cost organic growers - some overseas markets, for example, have rejected organic products when tests showed they carried even trace amounts of GE material.”

The simple answer is that organic-certified crops and plants modified by use of recombinant DNA technology must coexist, and there’s no scientific reason they can’t. The market demand for commodities grown using both methods is increasing and farmers need to continue to produce more food, this means that both methods are here to stay, so they may as well find ways to reduce negative interactions. Let’s clarify the debate mentioned in the article by briefly understanding exactly what is being debated. First, organic is a marketing certification for a method of farming, not a guarantee of safety, health, etc. In fact, organic growers are expressly forbidden from making claims that their products have any health benefits due to their production methods. The USDA certification process has specific requirements regarding the prohibition of GM seeds and if a farmer uses GM seed, he/she could lose their certification. To date no farmer has lost USDA organic certification due to the presence of GM pollen, despite 64 million hectares of GM crops planted in 2010. The concern about overseas markets reflects some farmers choosing to apply higher standards to their crops in order to meet foreign organic requirements for pollen detection which are set impossibly high (zero-percent, for example). These limits are set not by a scientific body concerned about health, but by foreign agricultural agency worried about competition from American goods. Farmers using both production methods have taken special care to grow in a manner which successfully meets USDA standards for organic licensing; that should continue to be the goal, and we should address the foreign limits as what they really are: non-tariff barriers to trade from U.S. farmers.

[Image source]


You Might Also Like :

Back to Featured Articles on Logo Paperblog

These articles might interest you :

  • 9 Revenue Models That Can Keep Your Business Thriving

    Revenue Models That Keep Your Business Thriving

    Every new business quickly realizes that revenue coming in every period on a committed basis is the Holy Grail to survival and growth. Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Martin Zwilling
    BUSINESS, CAREER
  • How the West Was Stolen (USA Vs. First Nations)

    Interactive Map Shows the Seizure of Over 1.5 Billion Acres of Native American Land Between 1776 and 1887 https://t.co/XvpjmmuSpc pic.twitter. Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Bbenzon
    CULTURE, PHILOSOPHY, SOCIETY
  • Life is a Cabaret, Old Chum

    Life Cabaret, Chum

    This year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival has been in full swing with the usual eclectic mix of the traditional and the avant-garde in words, music, dance,... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Jackscott
    DIARIES, EXPAT, SELF EXPRESSION
  • A Sunday Conversation With Dylan Jarman of Shotgun Sawyer

    Sunday Conversation With Dylan Jarman Shotgun Sawyer

    What have been your musical epiphany moments? I grew up in a very pop-friendly house. The Beatles reigned supreme, but Elvis Costello and REM lurked around... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Ripplemusic
    ENTERTAINMENT, MUSIC
  • Concert Review: Extreme Orchestral Sports

    Concert Review: Extreme Orchestral Sports

    The New York Philharmonic plays Berio and Strauss. by Paul J. Pelkonen Oh what a mountain! The New York Philharmonic played Ein Alpensinfonie this week. Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Superconductor
    CULTURE, THEATRE & OPERA
  • Peonies by Mary Oliver

    Peonies Mary Oliver

    This morning the green fists of the peonies are getting ready to break my heart as the sun rises, as the sun strokes them with his old, buttery fingers and... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Vickilane
    CREATIVITY, PHOTOGRAPHY
  • Memorial Day: Remember Them

    Memorial Day: Remember Them

    "The endless rows of white stones and mausoleums command the heights of former battlefields and sprawl across the rolling course of green, under the cobalt spac... Read more

    The 27 May 2018 by   Ingrafted
    POLITICS, SOCIETY