Wednesday, 20 October 2010

My Reply Email Letter of 20/10/2010 to Robert Sturdy MEP regarding GMOs

Dear Mr Sturdy

Thank you very much for your email letter dated 11 October 2010 regarding GMOs in the food chain.

From what you say about GM feed, the proposition that we should avoid global trade in food as much as possible and at all costs in certain circumstances, is reinforced. To my frame of mind, it would be beneficial for all nations to adopt such policies. Only transnational corporations would be adversely affected. If we are really clever, we will think of ways around the WTO and the Bretton Woods institutions as explained by David Korten in When Corporations Rule the World.

You mention scientific evidence and to this I say that science is an artificial exercise, and as such, will always be flawed. This was highlighted at the open meeting of the General Advisory Committee on Science at the Food Standards Agency yesterday in a discussion about a scientific study on the nutritional viability of organic food. In addition, gathering scientific evidence is very expensive as can readily be seen by the scientific research carried out by Defra. Interestingly enough, Mark Boyle in The Moneyless Man made a pertinent point about intellectualising knowledge, such as in science, juxtaposed to feeling knowledge (otherwise known as a gut feeling). He suggested visiting an organic farm and a conventional farm and letting your heart decide which one makes more sense. I’ll conclude these remarks with a quote by Masanobu Fukuoka in The One-Straw Revolution:
Trying to capture the unknowable in theories and formalized doctrines is like trying to catch the wind in a butterfly net.
In EU policy for agriculture, food and rural areas, it becomes clear that agriculture has been and continues to be fashioned to fit into the European Union economic and trade framework which in turn fits into the global trade context with efficiency and profits taking priority over everything else. The chapter on agricultural multifunctionality, trade liberalisation and Europe’s new land debate explains that although efforts are being made, the current European Union policies are not working effectively in favour of the environment or biodiversity. This shortfall is caused by the over-reliance on scientific evidence and trade liberalisation to shape policies.

I very much appreciate your confirmation that you and the other Conservative Members are keeping open minds about these issues given the pressures to move in one direction. I appreciate your efforts to change the prevailing focus from the pursuit of profit to that of natural sustainability solutions.

Thank you once again for taking the time to write to me on this second occasion. And thank you for passing along the links to reading materials.

Yours sincerely

J Wilson

P.S. I recently changed the name of my blog to B’org Food Chain where I have taken the liberty of posting your letter and my reply.