Andrew Kimbrell: “We are at a turning point in the GMO battle”
New herbicide tolerant GM crops will increase herbicide use by 800 million pounds
Biotechnology companies are set to introduce new genetically modified crops that will unleash a “nightmare” of increased herbicide use, and they must be stopped. That was a key message given by Andrew Kimbrell, executive director of the Center for Food Safety, who spoke at the National Heirloom Seed Expo in September.
With weeds becoming resistant to glyphosate—the main ingredient in Roundup herbicide—Monsanto and other biotech companies plan to introduce GM crops that are tolerant to older, more toxic herbicides such as 2,4-D and dicamba.
“We are at peak herbicide,” Kimbrell said. “That’s why biotech companies are going backwards (to 2,4-D and dicamba). They don’t have any new ones. This is absolutely an insane way to go.”
Kimbrell predicted that these crops—if approved by the US Department of Agriculture—will increase herbicide use by 800 to 900 million more pounds in six years.
“Farmers will be using more and more of these chemicals and they will be ineffective, and we will be left with the mess,” he said.
He said stopping the introductions of these new GM crops is critical.
“We are at a turning point in the genetic engineering experiment. If we don’t stop them now, we will have 800 million more pounds of herbicides in six years. We’ve stopped them before, and will do it again.”
Kimbrell listed the number of GM crops that have been stopped.
“We defeated the introduction of GM tomatoes, GM potatoes, GM wheat and GM rice. Monsanto sold off (GM bovine growth hormone) rBGH. We stopped GM canola in Willamette Valley. We’ve beaten Monsanto over and over again through litigation.”
"Labeling is the end of their industry”
Kimbrell said that passing GMO labeling laws such as I-522 in Washington State is critical.
“The dirty secret of the biotech industry is after 30 years they haven’t done anything for consumers. No better taste (with GM foods), no more nutrition, zero benefits, and potential risks. No one gets up in the morning saying they want to eat genetically engineered foods.
“They are afraid of labeling because it is the end of their industry. If we get labeling, that toxic nightmare is over,” he said.
Kimbrell warned that biotech companies may lobby the US Congress to pass legislation that would preempt state GMO labeling laws.
“They will go to Washington and pass a meaningless labeling bill or a bill that preempts state labeling. They are scared. Tell your members of Congress that you want the right to know if you are eating genetically engineered foods,” he said.
© Copyright The Organic & Non-GMO Report, November 2013
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