GMO and Environment | Blog Action Day October 15, 2007Posted by ramunas in media, personal.
Today is an International Blog Action Day, when more than 15000 bloggers are blogging about single common issue – environment (and hi-tech journal Wired issued special 15.10 edition). And this blog is not an exception.
I’m an avid proponent of in-vitro biotechnology, when genetically modified organisms (GMO) are used for production of useful enzymes, drugs and materials and are grown in controlled environment. I believe, that bio-assistance, bio-mimicry, neobiological industry, nanotechnolgy will help to solve many of contemporary environmental problems and foster the shift from linear “cradle to grave” to sustainable cyclic “cradle to cradle” closed loop manufacturing principle in industry. But I remain quite skeptical when GM plants are grown in an open field, mainly because of unpredictable impact on ecosystem due to gene flow (and some effect on local economics), and try to buy as much organic/local as can afford. It is also clear now, that organic farming can yield up to three times as much food as conventional farming in developing countries, and holds its own against standard methods in rich countries (ref).
There were no direct scientificaly sound evidence for the negative GM plants effect on ecosystem which lead to criticism. However, just recently in PNAS October 8th issue published article provides the first unbiased scientific evidence that toxins from GMO Bt corn may travel long distances in streams and may harm stream insects that serve as food for fish.
These results compound concerns about the ecological impacts of Bt corn raised by previous studies showing that corn-grown toxins harm beneficial insects living in the soil (via).
Stream insects are important prey for aquatic and riparian predators, and widespread planting of Bt crops has unexpected ecosystem-scale consequences (abstract).
Bye, bye Monsanto, aren’t you? 🙂 Smart breeding seems to be far more attractive option.