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GM Food Debate

 
 
Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:17 pm
Why are we (the) Europeans far more 'nervous' about genetically manipulated foods than Americans?

(The Guardian links to a number of its stories on the issue.)

Do you have any ideas and/or comments on this?
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Type: Discussion • Score: 1 • Views: 1,775 • Replies: 12
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steissd
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:20 pm
I think, the farmers' lobby spreads rumors about allegedly detrimental effects of such food. USA leads in the genetic research, and the farmers are scared to lose their revenues.
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fishin
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:29 pm
While I don't think streissd covers it 100% I would agree that the agricultural groups in Europe and in the US are on opposite sides of this issue. Here, the farm industry is largely pushing GM foods and the European farm industry seems to be strongly against it.

The way we buy foods is very different too and that may have some effect on the consumer end. In the US we go to the grocery store once a week or every two weeks and stock up on everything we might need. We don't do a daily run and pick up foods that were just butchered or picked in the last day or two.

The same sort of split is there with preservatives too.
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cavfancier
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:33 pm
http://www.able2know.com/forums/viewtopic.php?t=7208

I would love to see more comments about this in the above forum. Personally, I think that the attraction of GM foods in America is that farmer's get higher yields, hence more revenue, but Europeans hold tradition in higher regard than Americans when it comes to farming, and good on them, I agree wholeheartedly.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:38 pm
In opposotion to steissd (and to some % to fishin' as well), it's actually not the farmers or the farmer organisitions which oppose.

Nearly 90% oppossition is done by us, the consumers.
The reason is quite simple - fishin noted it: we like to buy fresh fruits and vegetables.

We just think, the less manipulation is the done and the more nature still is the product, the better it is.
We are very conservative in this, I admit.

(Just wondering about from where you got that the farmers are opposed to GM food.)
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fishin
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 01:48 pm
Walter Hinteler wrote:
(Just wondering about from where you got that the farmers are opposed to GM food.)


Go to Google and enter "European farmers protest Genetically modified" in the search box. I got 13,000 hits for pages that mention European framers protesting against GM foods. According to the news sources the farmers seem to be the one's carrying the banner. ?????? Is that inaccurate?
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 02:04 pm
Regarding that a google search with "pro" instead of "against" only provides about 12,000 hits, you may be correct, fishin'. :wink:

Actually, and as far as I have heard/read, the farmers are 'pro', especially under the 'until-now' regulations, since so (=producing more) they would get more money from the EU.

However, since about 10% of all food in Germany is organically grown, at least here are the farmers divided.
The farmer's organisation is suggesting a "moderate pro".


And since GM-food must be labelled as such, no-one buys it, there "naturally" will be more against it.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 05:11 pm
Im a small business farmer-guy. We dont consider any further uses of GM seeds cause we tried some Bt, GM seeds and the furor it created AMONG OUR CUSTOMERS was rather loud.The market does tell me where to be.No matter what the research says.
Certain areas in the US, like the corn and swine belt, have shoveled the agencies a line of crap about the benefits and the state agencies are either regulating (in East) or letting it slide (midwest and west with exception of market veggie farms of California)
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Fri 20 Jun, 2003 05:55 pm
Much of our GM food in the US is not labeled. The consumer in most cases doesn't have a clue whether we're eating GM food or not. c.i.
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farmerman
 
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Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2003 06:09 am
we market directly to restaurants and consumers (ethnic markets principally). PA DEPT AG requires us to disclose and when we first started using a Bt seed to resist leaf hoppers, we were hit with a number of order stops (mostly reataurants). weve since torn out whole fields of alfalfa and gone back to normal strains of forages.
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littlek
 
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Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2003 08:13 am
Good for you farmerman!

I agree with the euro point of view. I like unmanipulated produce. I pay for it. BUT, I also like to be able to get avocadoes in Boston out of season. Anyway. The french, for one, have a much healthier life than we. There must be a reason....
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cicerone imposter
 
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Reply Sat 21 Jun, 2003 09:58 am
littlek, They drink red wine, and they start their children on wine with some water added. Wink c.i.
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Walter Hinteler
 
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Reply Mon 23 Jun, 2003 12:20 am
Michael Meacher, the former UK environment minister, has accused Tony Blair's spin doctors and ministers of systematically ignoring or rubbishing the evidence that genetically modified crops could be a health hazard or could harm the environment.

Blair buried health warning on GM crops, says sacked minister

Meacher say health risks were played down



This article from The Independent is quite related to the above

'Superweeds' signal setback for GM crops
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