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Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as Invasive Species

Paull, John (2018) Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) as Invasive Species. Journal of Environment Protection and Sustainable Development, 4 (3), pp. 31-37.

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Online at: http://www.aiscience.org/journal/paperInfo/jepsd?paperId=3925

Summary

This paper frames genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as invasive species. This offers a way of considering the reception, diffusion and management of GMOs in the foodscape. “An invasive non-native species is any non-native animal or plant that has the ability to spread causing damage to the environment, the economy, our health and the way we live” (NNSS, 2017). Without any social licence, pesticide companies have thrust GMOs into the foodscape. The release of GMOs has generally been unwelcome, there has been no ‘pull’ factor from consumers and there has been vocal resistance from many. The apologists for GMOs have argued the self-contradictory conceit that GMOs are ‘same but different’. Under this logically untenable stance, GMOs are to be excluded from specific regulation because they are the ‘same’ as existing organisms, while simultaneously they are ‘different’ and so open to patenting. GMOs are patented and this demonstrates that, prima facie, these are novel organisms which are non-native to the foodscape. GMO apologists have campaigned intensively, and successfully in USA, to ensure that consumers are kept in the dark and that GMOs remain unlabelled - as a consequence GMOs are ubiquitous in US consumer foods. In contrast, in Australia GMOs are required to be labelled if present in consumer products and, in consequence, Australian food manufacturers do not use them. The release of a GMO calls for biosecurity measures. After trial plots of Monsanto GM canola in Tasmania in the 1990s, the sites continue to be biosecurity monitored for GMO escape, and volunteer canola plants continue to appear two decades later. In Western Australia the escape of GMO canola into a neighbouring organic farm resulted in the loss of organic certification and the monetary loss of the organic premium for produce. GMO produce sells for a 10% discount because of market forces and the consumer aversion to GMOs. Where non-GM product is accidentally contaminated with some GM grain, the whole batch is discounted and is sold as GMO. There is a lack of evidence that GMOs can be contained and many jurisdictions have banned the introduction of GMOs. GMOs have the potential and the propensity to contaminate non-GMO crops and thereby devalue them. The evidence is that GMOs are invasive species, they are unwelcome by consumers, peaceful coexistence with non-GM varieties is a fiction, and GMOs are appropriately managed as a biosecurity issue.


EPrint Type:Journal paper
Subjects:"Organics" in general
Farming Systems
Values, standards and certification
Food systems
Environmental aspects
Knowledge management
Values, standards and certification > Regulation
Research affiliation: Australia
Australia > University of Tasmania
Italy
ISSN:2381-7739
Related Links:http://www.academia.edu/36827636/Evidence_to_Inquiry_into_mechanisms_for_compensation_for_economic_loss_to_farmers_in_Western_Australia_caused_by_contamination_by_genetically_modified_material, https://www.academia.edu/36566828/Submission_to_Inquiry_into_mechanisms_for_compensation_for_economic_loss_to_farmers_in_Western_Australia_caused_by_contamination_by_genetically_modified_material, https://www.academia.edu/36274942/GM_food_What_could_possibly_go_wrong, http://www.academia.edu/13681599/The_threat_of_genetically_modified_organisms_GMOs_to_organic_agriculture_A_case_study_update, http://www.academia.edu/11695152/GMOs_and_organic_agriculture_Six_lessons_from_Australia, http://www.academia.edu/11702995/Beyond_equal_From_same_but_different_to_the_doctrine_of_the_substantial_equivalence_
Deposited By: Paull, Dr John
ID Code:33327
Deposited On:18 Jun 2018 10:05
Last Modified:18 Jun 2018 10:05
Document Language:English
Status:Published
Refereed:Peer-reviewed and accepted

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