Why GMOs Are Bad

ISIS Lecture 26/11/09

Science of the Organism & Sustainable Systems

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho

Invited lecture, The Alternative View, 13-15 November, Grand Thistle Hotel, Bristol, UK


Monsanto has surreptitiously withdrawn its high lysine GM maize LY038 for safety reasons under a shroud of secrecy. There are serious health hazards inherent to the technology, which apply to every GMO. In addition each GMO carries unique hazards. None of these has been addressed adequately so far, and there is now a stack of evidence indicating that GM food and feed are unsafe.

GM crops have had adverse impacts on farmers especially those in developing countries. The high costs of GM seeds and poor harvests led to spiralling debts and deaths. Between 1997 and 2007, the Indian government recorded nearly
200 000 farmer suicides, more than half due to Bt cotton introduced since 2002. GMOs are bad for health and the environment; they will severely compromise global food security and exacerbate global warming. Those foisting GM crops on farmers in developing countries are committing a crime against humanity.

Genetic engineering is the epitome of mechanistic biology, part and parcel of the dominant model of the world as machine that was becoming obsolete since the turn of the last century when the new science of the organism emerged with quantum theory.

The dominant neo-liberal economy of infinite unsustainable growth has brought the earth to the brink of irreversible climate catastrophe. It is driven by competition, profligate dissipation and waste. In contrast, nature’s circular economy (thermodynamics) of balanced sustainable growth is based on reciprocity and cooperation, which enables energy and material resources to be recycles while minimizing waste and dissipation. Nature’s economy applies most clearly to the highly productive agro-ecology systems innovated by farmers, or perfected over millennia.

We have all the appropriate science and technologies, abundant human creativity, and local initiatives that will enable us to exit the multiple crises of food, fuel and finance. The major stumbling block is our political leaders’ overwhelming adherence to the obsolete mechanistic model.

The complete text of this lecture with references and richly illustrated power point presentation are available for download. //www.i-sis.org.uk/onlinestore/lectures.php#289

Other lecture downloads are available here //www.i-sis.org.uk/onlinestore/lectures.php


Mealy Bug Plagues Bt Cotton in India and Pakistan

Lessons from Bt Cotton

GM Crops Increase Herbicide Use in the United States



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