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GM Crops Contaminate Europe, Organic Farms

A huge concern I have about the blight of genetically modified (GM) crops: What happens when those man-made crop combinations mingle unintentionally with those grown at conventional and organic farms. That's the plight of one organic farmer in Spain when a testing facility told him 12 percent of his crop contained GM corn.

How that GM corn got there is unknown and the Spanish farmer is uncertain when that sector of acreage will be safe for organic farming (without fertilizers or weed killers). His only solution was to burn the remaining corn.

Not as surprising as you'd think, considering Spain was the only country in the European Union (E.U.) until recently to allow GM farming. Thanks to the unfortunate urging of United States and Canada, the European Union began limited cultivation of GM crops last year in the Czech Republic, France, Germany and Portugal.

The cornerstone of the union's policy on GM farming: Keeping GM and conventional crops separate with "proper safeguards" (a logistical problem because small, closely spaced farms are the norm) and imposing a liability system in case of "accidents" like the one in Spain.

By the way, even though the E.U. says its "opened its doors" to GM crops, five countries have imposed eight different bans on them while others have formed a voting block in Europe's Council of Ministers to prevent it. What's more, consumers and farmers don't want GM crops invading Europe and large supermarket chains won't carry them.

Are Americans becoming any wiser about the dangers associated with GM foods? Perhaps, they are, according a recent Cornell University survey.

New York Times June 6, 2006 Registration Required

International Herald Tribune June 7, 2006

Wilmington StarNewsOnline.com June 6, 2006

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