Organic farmers face with major issues with GMO contamination from neighboring farms. A recent Grist.org article states that 1/3 of farmers have seen GMO contamination and half of them have had crops rejected because of it. The Grist article reports:
A new survey from Food & Water Watch has found that over 80 percent of organic farmers across the country are worried about how genetically modified crops in nearby fields are affecting their own. These farmers have incurred significant financial losses due to GMO contamination and the measures taken in attempts to prevent it.
It turns out that keeping organic crops and GMOs sufficiently separate is not cheap. To create a “buffer zone” around their fields, as required by USDA organic standards, the farmers surveyed said they set aside a median of five acres at a median cost of $2,500 per year. In some instances, the cost was more than $20,000 per year.
No, we can't all just get along...
Food & Water Watch conducted a survey on GMO contamination with some very surprising results...
The survey asked farmers if they had any non-monetary costs from the threat of GMO contamination. Several responses described strain between GMO and non-GMO farmers. One farmer wrote that, “…every time I walk into the local co-op they grit their teeth.” Others wrote that “conventional farming neighbors do not respect us,” that non-organic “neighbors feel that our farm is a thorn in their sides or a nuisance,” and that they “are considered to be a problem to them because we are not GMO like the rest of them.” Some relationships have gotten so strained that “neighbors get bent out of shape” when approached about GMO issues, and “some neighbors will no longer tell us what they plant.”
Read the whole report at Food & Water Watch.
Increase in incidents of GM crops in traded food and feed
Another study, this one by the Food and Agricultural Organization of the United Nations (FAO), shows 25 countries blocked imports after finding traces of GMOs...
The increased production of genetically modified crops around the globe has led to a higher number of incidents of low levels of GMOs being detected in traded food and feed, FAO said today. The incidents have led to trade disruptions between countries with shipments of grain, cereal and other crops being blocked by importing countries and destroyed or returned to the country of origin.
In the first survey of its kind, 75 out of 193 FAO member countries responded to questions on low levels of GM crops in international food and animal feed trade.
The survey reveals:
- respondents reported 198 incidents of low levels of GM crops mixed into non-GM crops between 2002 and 2012;
- there was a jump in cases between 2009 and 2012, when 138 out of the 198 incidents were reported;
- shipments with low levels of GM crops originated mainly from the US, Canada and China, although other countries also accidently shipped such crops;
- once detected, most shipments were destroyed or returned to the exporting country;
- the highest number of incidents involved linseed, rice, maize and papaya;
"We were surprised to see incidents from every region. It seems the more testing and more monitoring they do, the more incidents they find."
Japan Banned US Wheat due to GMO Contamination