June 23, 2012

Disproven In Real Time

Filed under: Disaster Capitalism, Food and Farms, Scientism/Technocracy, Tower of Babel — Tags: — Russell Bangs @ 1:12 am


“Mother Jones” sometimes prints real pieces on food. But as part of the liberal media, it feels compelled to give the pro-corporate agriculture party line “equal time” (that is, to add to the overwhelming pro-corporate preponderance).
This is likely to lead to embarrassment, however. Sure enough, at the exact moment MJ’s hack was touting the “reduced pesticide use” lie for Bt crops, we have the results of India’s recent conference reviewing Bt cotton’s history at the ten year anniversary of its full commercial deployment. This conference included Monsanto/Mahyco and such pro-GM cadres as the aptly-named Genetic Engineering Approval Committee (GEAC), and was therefore by no stretch of the imagination any kind of intentional public arraignment. Yet even they couldn’t agree on whether Bt cotton ever reduced pesticide use even in the short run. And even its pro-GM participants conceded that over the longer run (the 10+ years of the massive, uncontrolled experiment) pesticide use has gone back up to exceed the pre-Bt status quo.

The macro data shows that pesticide consumption in different states has not declined but is either the same or is on the increase in different states except in the case of Andhra Pradesh (Directorate of Plant Protection & Quarantine Services data). Several micro-studies however show that pesticide use has decreased especially for bollworm control initially, while it is on the rise again now, for other pests as well as bollworm including newer cocktails of toxic chemicals (Gujarat Institute for Development Research, for instance)…

On pesticide consumption data, some micro-studies seem to indicate pesticide use reduction initially, with use on sucking pests and other pests increasing, with per acre pesticide usage increasing in the past and a dangerous cocktail of pesticides on the rise, while others indicate a steady increase. However, official data on pesticide consumption in India does not reflect any decline, except in Andhra Pradesh, where large-scale adoption of Non-Pesticide Management (NPM) is being followed.

So we see how GMO ideology is so contrary to reality that it can seldom remain plausible for even the length of time to commit a sentence to a computer screen. It’s disproven in real time.
(NB that in a place like MJ, the best food pieces are still reformist and therefore at least implicitly pro-capitalist and pro-state. So real equal time would have to mean pieces advocating true economic and political democracy.) 


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