Compare and Contrast: GM Crops/GM Foods

It’s rare that I come across two diametrically opposed stories based on the same subject. I must have done something right recently to have this fall into my lap.

From The Independent:

Exposed: the great GM crops myth

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields.

From The New York Times:

In Lean Times, Biotech Grains Are Less Taboo

Soaring food prices and global grain shortages are bringing new pressures on governments, food companies and consumers to relax their longstanding resistance to genetically engineered crops.

In Japan and South Korea, some manufacturers for the first time have begun buying genetically engineered corn for use in soft drinks, snacks and other foods. Until now, to avoid consumer backlash, the companies have paid extra to buy conventionally grown corn. But with prices having tripled in two years, it has become too expensive to be so finicky.

While some GM foods have gone a great way to defeating hunger around the world, specifically those associated with the Green Revolution of the 1960′s, the great majority of GM food today seem to be designed to lock farmers into buying various Monsanto products. When prices go up, there’s likely a reflex reaction to seek cheaper solutions. However, we must be careful to ensure that these solutions that are cheaper in the short term are not more expensive in the long run. I’m not convinced that this vetting of products and solutions is taking place.