Genetically Modified Foods "Biggest Environmental Disaster of All Time": Prince Charles

Agree or disagree with him, there's no misunderstanding where Prince Charles thinks about, well, whatever he chooses to speak out on. In a recent interview with with the Telegraph, the Prince condemned the rush to embrace genetically modified foods as a solution to feed an ever increasing world population.

Turning Back the Clock? No, Says Prince
Though not in the linked clip above, the Prince responded to a question about whether he was trying to 'turn back the clock' regarding agriculture. He responded:

I think not. I'm terribly sorry. It's not going backwards. It is actually recognizing that we are with nature, not against it. We have gone working against nature for too long.

'Green Revolution' Worked, For a While
Speaking on environmental damage caused by the 20th century's rush towards industrial agriculture,
Look at India's Green Revolution. It worked for a short time but now the price is being paid.

I have been to the Punjab where you have seen the disasters that have taken place as result of the over demand on irrigation because of the hybrid seeds and grains that have been produced which demand huge amounts of water.

The water table has disappeared. They have huge problems with water level, with pesticide problems, and complications which are now coming home to roost.


Sustainable Agriculture the Way Forward
In the comments to the original article there are plenty of knee-jerk comments against Prince Charles, and I'm sure this post will elicit some too.

However consider this: A recent UN report recommends that industrial agriculture is not really the best way to try to feed the planet and prevent global warming. Citing increasing natural resource degradation, decrease crop diversity, and degradation of ecosystem function, the report said that, "sustainable agricultural practices are part of the the solution to current environmental change".

GM Crops Benefit Monsanto More Than Farmers, Consumers
Furthermore, according to research done by Friends of the Earth , between 1996-2006 genetically modified crops have done little to tackle hunger and poverty, had little benefit to consumers, and has increased herbicide and pesticide use. The only real benefit has been in increasing the market presence and bottom line of biotech seed companies, with Monsanto being the biggest culprit.

I'm right there with Prince Charles when he says that relying on "gigantic corporations" for food is a recipe for "absolute disaster." As with energy, we need a more diverse, localized, truly sustainable and (hopefully) community-based agricultural system if we are to halt and (hopefully) reverse the damage which industrial agriculture has caused to ecosystems.

via :: The Telegraph
Sustainable Agriculture
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Eating Local Food: The Movement, Locavores and More
Genetically Modified Food
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Food Shortage Pulls Genetically Modified Grains Into Formerly Closed Markets
Tanzanian NGO Boos GMOs on World Food Day

Tags: Agriculture | Genetic Engineering | GMO | United Kingdom