You Can Cook Column

Published in the Peeblesshire News on 2nd November 2018

We are a Peebles based social enterprise, legally constituted as a community interest company and deliver our services all over Scotland. The aim of the organisation is to encourage and empower local communities to make informed choices about their food and health.

We have a threefold vision for Scotland; To make Scotland a 100% Organic Country, To make Scotland harness and use 100% Renewables and third to “Keep Scotland GMO (Genetically Modified Organisms) Free”. In this first article I am hoping that I can address and highlight the impact of GMO’s in simple language and avoid where possible scientific jargon!

First of all what is GMO? The World Health Organisation states that “ Genetically modified organisms can be defined as organisms (i.e. plants, animals or microorganisms) in which the genetic material (DNA) has been altered in a way that does not occur naturally by mating and/or natural recombination. Foods produced from or using GM organisms are often referred to as “GM foods”.

Secondly, there is a huge myth spread by the scientific community and corporations like Monsanto (they control almost 90% of the market in GMO seeds and patents, along with the fertilisers and herbicides required to grow GMO’s!!!) that this is the only way to solve food hunger problems around the world and tackle a booming population’s food needs.

So what is wrong with GMO’s? I have been often told that this is something that has been happening for centuries!!!!!!! Well! Not exactly. This is a recent development in the last few decades where companies like Monsanto know that if you control food and water you control the world! Monsanto has patented the seed technologies i.e. they have created seeds that produce crops only once!!! The next year you have to buy more seeds, which in the traditional sense you did not have too, as farmers would save seeds for the next growing season. Nature provided humankind with an unlimited supply of seeds and these companies are trying to monopolize the seed market. On top of this you add the extra cost of buying roundup and other toxic chemicals to spray on these crops and you get the bigger picture.

We now know the impact of fertilisers and pesticides used in the 60’s onwards to grow crops in the so called “Green Revolution” once again marketed and perpetuated by these companies on a global scale. Chemical fertilisers and pesticides have caused massive damage to our health in terms of increase of allergies and intolerances to our foods and soil erosion i.e. stripping the soil of its natural nutrients.  What will GMO’s bring to the world in about 50 years when its use is widespread! I shudder to think of the consequences for us.

If these individuals are happy to feed their families GMO’s, so be it, but please do not push it down our throats. You have your right to eat what you want and so do we.

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