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Debate. Proposition: The production and marketing of genetically modified crops and food has heralded a new age of global nutritional well-being in which nutritious foods will be available for all sectors of all societies. Bioserfdom: Monsanto vs. Percy Schmeiser.

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  • Proposition: The production and marketing of genetically modified crops and food has heralded a new age of global nutritional well-being in which nutritious foods will be available for all sectors of all societies.
bioserfdom monsanto vs percy schmeiser
Bioserfdom: Monsanto vs. Percy Schmeiser
  • Percy Schmeiser was a victim of gene pollution. Monsanto’s GM canola genes invaded his farm without his consent (pollen blew over form neighbouring farm) Monsanto’s “gene police” took seed samples without his permission. Court case was in favour of Monsanto and Schmeider had to pay 10,000US$ licensing fees and 75,000US$ in profits “guilty of using seed without licensing agreement”.
  • farmers loose their rights of re-using their seeds, saving and exchanging seeds.
  • farmers will in future have to pay royalty to Monsanto when their crop got contaminated!Responsibility for providing assurance of non GMO contamination is being pushed back to the individual producer.
  • private police of Monsanto and his prosecution against hundreds of farmers is BIOSERFDOM.


genepollution with aventis starlink genes
Genepollution withAventis’ StarLink Genes
  • US maize was contaminated with Aventis’ StarLink genes (unaproved for human consumption planted in 2000 on 0.02 percent of US maize cropland but cross-pollinated with other maize varieties)
  • This case shows how a small amount of genes can infect large crops and make them unusable
  • In this case 20 $million US taxpayer money was used to bail out the biotech industry by purchasing the contaminated maize seeds
  • Governments are not organised to effectively prevent such contamination.
future generations of gm crops
  • The greatest risk may come from the next generation of GM plants that are now being developed.
ways of contamination
Ways of Contamination
  • Non-food substances can contaminate food supply.
  • Substances intended for use in human drugs are especially problematic because they are intended to be biologically active in people.
  • Proteins and non-proteins produced during chemical production can act as toxins, hormones and allergens in the human body.
  • Pharm and industrial plants have two major routes into the food and feed system:
  • 1. Seed mixing: using same machinery for food crops and gm crops; at the seed storage, transport, grain elevator or mill.
  • 2. Pollen Flow: Canola pollen can 25,000 metres from the parent plant and can fertilise other canola plants as well as crops including turnips, Chinese cabbage, rutabaga and fodder rape.

Source: Union of concerned scientists:

contamination of environment
Contamination of Environment
  • Grazing wildlife: wildlife could be exposed also if GM crop would be confined to special fields: e.g. through birds, grazing deer, etc.
  • Pollinators, herbivourous insects and soil inhabitants:All microbes and animals in the soil are exposed to the “rhizosecretions” of GM plants and through their bioproducts in compost
  • Weedy relatives: Canola pollen flow could create a wild mustard weed capable of producing a phar or industrial compound, and would perpetuate itself easily
  • Bioaccumulation: some GM crops may have physiochemical properties that could make them persist in the environment or cause them to accumulate in living organisms, dramatically increasing their potential to contaminate ecosystems and reach the human and animal food chains.

Source: Union of Concerned Scientists:

contamination of seed banks
Contamination of Seed Banks
  • World’s most important seed banks have cold storage facilities that guard millions of crop seed samples which are rare or extinct in the field.
  • The most internationally accessible seed bank outside is the International Maize and Wheat Improvement Centre (CIMMYT) outside Mexico City.
  • January 2002 tests of Mexican farmers proved 60% of varieties tested contained evidence of transgenetic material.
  • It is only a matter of time till the seed banks will be contaminated because no agency can control the movement of tansgenetic DNA
  • Therefore sowing of transgenetic crops should be stopped until governments have the capacity to control and regulate biotechnology.
  • GM contamination can take place globally through seed or commodity imports.


6 reasons for concern
6 Reasons for concern
  • 1. MORAL REPUGNANCE: people who are morally opposed to GM crops have the right to say NO and governments must protect their rights
  • 2. ENVIRONMENTAL SAFETY: is a problem especially in areas where food security is at risk through GM crops that may produce destructive variants over a few generations
  • 3. FOOD SAFETY:Governments cannot insure food safety as Aventis Starlink Maize case has shown. The Mexico case shows that it is only a matter of time before GM traits will invade centres of diversity and the diet of the poor.
  • 4. TRUST COMPROMISE: 11 most important gene banks have to ensure safety of seed material.
  • 5. MARKET SECURITY: Organic farmers who market GM free foods are out of business if contaminated pollen infect their crops.
  • 6. MONOPOLY RISK: By definition GM traits are patented. Contamination and thus unknowingly use of seed material can lead to many lawsuits