No genetically modified crops are grown commercially in Japan, perhaps one of the countries in the world with the strongest consumer opposition to "unnatural" GM foods. Yet, Monsanto and the US government continue their shameless push for the stuff. Again and again, imported foods have been found to be contaminated with illegal GM varieties, including the infamous Starlink corn, that had not been approved in the US either (it was recalled and never heard from again).
Now, a US government official is visiting Tokyo to seek Japan's "help to promote the safety of genetically modified crops among Japanese consumers," as a way to "ease the global food crisis," notes NHK World. Dr. Nina Fedoroff, the Science and Technology Adviser to Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, was interviewed by NHK in Tokyo on Thursday, and said "the planting of genetically modified crops has been spreading rapidly in the United States and stressed the need to spread this kind of crop globally to cope with the food crisis."
Food crisis? This summer, what did Monsanto do? For US corn, 60 percent is GM -- and nearly all of it contains Monsanto genes. During this global food crisis, Monsanto just raised the price of its corn seed $100 a bag. Talk about a novel way to solve the food crisis.
Linn Cohen-Cole at OpEdNews has more details:
Notice, too, that Monsanto is drastically raising prices while it is making phenomenal profits, while food prices are rising dramatically (related often to its grains), leading to food riots around the world, and while fuel is skyrocketing and Monsanto's corn is now the basis of biofuel, and while our economy is tanking. All the while Monsanto claims that genetically engineering is a wonder - the way to help farmers around the world and to feed the hungry.
Time after time, Japanese consumer organizations, housewives' NGOs and co-ops have demonstrated in the streets of Tokyo to protest against imports of GM foods. Most of the soy and corn that enter Japan is either carefully sourced as "non-GM" (using expensive traceability schemes such as IP handling) or simply used as animal feed.
Food oil makers also don't need to disclose on food labels if they use GM oil seeds, and many consumers are surprised and angry when they learn that they have in fact been eating GM soy or corn, unwillingly. Consumers Union of Japan is particularly upset about how food exporting countries, such as Australia, side with the GM industry, ignoring consumer concerns. South Korean consumers also share the same concerns, making waves with large demonstrations in Seoul, and joining events here in Japan.
Keisuke Amagasa at the Tokyo-based No! GMO Campaign will speak on October 16 at the World Foodless Day event about "How genetically modified foods are accelerating the food crisis." An outspoken critic of Monsanto and gene patenting policies, he says:
"Japan does not produce any GM crops. However, because Japan imports GM canola from Canada, GM contamination has already occurred and it is spreading to a much greater degree than one could imagine. If GM crops are cultivated, then this kind of pollution will spread even more. Judging by the ominous precedent of Canada, once GM crops are cultivated, segregation between GM and non-GM will become almost impossible, and keeping pure non-GM varieties away from GM contamination will be very hard. The clear conclusion from the findings is that cultivating or importing GM crops, leads to GM pollution and once this pollution begins, it can cause irreversible damage."
Written by Martin Frid at greenz.jp