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New Farm vs. New Science

By some remarkable bit of serendipity, two-page spreads started to appear in the local Innisfil Journal extolling the success of DeKalb GMO products among local farmers only a week after I published my article about the financial and environmental success of The New Farm near Creemore – as described in the book by the same name.

The local PR campaign for DeKalb by one of the largest and most powerful agriscience corporations provides us with an interesting comparison of two very divergent approaches to agriculture in Simcoe County.

Dekalb is a crop seed brand owned by Monsanto [$2.68 billion revenue, 2017], which also produces the controversial Roundup brand of “systemic, broad-spectrum glyphosate-based herbicide … Monsanto also produced seeds, which grow into plants genetically engineered to be tolerant to glyphosate, which are known as Roundup Ready crops.” (Wikipedia). “In 2014, farmers sprayed 1.65 billion pounds of glyphosate — that’s enough to cover every acre of our globe’s cropland in about half a pound of the chemical.” (The Sneaky Place Glyphosate Is Hiding in Your Food, Emma Rose, January 2018)

Now, more concerns are being raised about health, safety, efficacy and financial impact. The industry rationale has always been that these interventions are needed to feed a growing world population – “it’s going to take a huge amount of innovation in order to double the world’s food supply.” according to a Monsanto Technology Officer. But some farmers are skeptical. “They’re locking in their profit and they’re cornering the market by getting bigger, not by creating new products,” says a Nebraska farmer. “They’re [Bayer & Monsanto] just choking out the rest of the competition. “

“If you look at how much of the farmers’ seed and pesticide dollars are going to these companies, Monsanto-Bayer [as] one company today — would be getting $1 out of every $3,” Connelly [agriculture analyst] says. “Dow-Dupont would be taking one out of every $4.” (The $66 billion Bayer-Monsanto merger just got a major green light — but farmers are terrified, Business Insider, May 2018) Continue reading

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