GMO Spotlight: Spuds
Are you ready for GMO french fries? You better be because at this very moment, now that the Europeans have rejected GMO foods, multinationals are testing genetically engineered potatoes on U.S. soil. I don’t trust anything that involves a company that has been part of 1) agent orange 2) the making of aspartame or 3) the making of hormones for cows. Monsanto and it’s brothers and sisters in arms, such as Germany’s BASF and Dow Chemical, are at work on more GMO developments now, including broccoli and wheat.
To play devil’s advocate, many believe genetically engineered food and seeds will help increase crop yield and hence could create more food. These companies are also known for developing seeds that resist pests and other crop diseases, which can ravage crops that are key to feeding poor nations. Not all developing nations are against GMO but some are and it’s often when famine strikes that companies start the push GMO seeds on the third world.
In any case, here’s an update on GMO potato research and other industry news.
- In December 2010 BASF announces they are at work on a new GE/GMO potato starch element that would be resistant to certain diseases and fungus.
- Anticipating resistance in Europe, BASF reveals it is moving its Plant Science HQ to the U.S., a move it later feels will hurt the sector in Europe, according to Reuters. Translation: lobbying is necessary to convince Germany that enough jobs will be lost in Europe because of policy and anti-GMO sentiment in Europe.
- March 2012 Reuters reports that “field trials” for GMO wheat are underway in the U.K.
- April 2012 BASF announces they are starting trials of their GMO potatoes in Germany, Sweden and the Netherlands. These trials will end up moving to the U.S. All the while, some in Ireland are fighting GMO potato trials.
- Let’s not forget Syngenta. They’re working on creating new “wheat varieties” in Argentina.
Stay tuned for the next GMO update, where we’ll delve into the
land grab strategy aid initiatives in Africa.