The notion of “drought-resistant GMOs” is one of the most prevalent PR scams found in pro-GMO propaganda. Along with similar hoaxes like golden rice and the GM Kenyan sweet potato, the purpose of the drought-resistant GMO trope is to misdirect attention from the fact that GMOs were created for no reason other than to sell poison. The two kinds of GMOs which actually exist on a practical level are those tolerant of herbicides, and those which generate their own Bt insecticidal poison in every plant cell.
Drought-resistance, on the other hand, along with traits like pest and disease resistance, salt tolerance, improved nutrition, and improved nitrogen uptake, is solely the province of non-GM conventional breeding. This breeding, like any other, builds upon the accumulated work of thousands of years of farmer breeding, a collective human heritage. This paradigm was reinforced in the 20th century, as all significant modern crop breeding was done using public money. So anything today’s corporations do with this heritage is at best a miniscule contribution to a monumental and ongoing collective human project. That’s part of the reason it’s morally and rationally impossible for seed patents to have any legitimacy. At best modern breeding is a man standing on the shoulder of a giant. (Isaac Newton wasn’t known for his humility, yet even he freely conceded this fact.) This “at best” is 100% within the realm of non-GM conventional breeding. A “drought-resistant” GMO, on the other hand, is nothing but a drought-resistant conventional variety which has one or more of the poison-enabling transgenes inserted. Thus we have the conventionally drought-resistant variety with an added Roundup Ready and/or Bt trait extraneously added. This is then fraudulently called a “drought-resistant GMO.”
The GMO cartel itself acknowledges this, and specifically that drought-resistant maize is a non-GM achievement. Thus Syngenta’s Agrisure Artesian drought-resistant maize was developed using conventional breeding, including marker-assisted selection which uses the most modern technology to more easily identify genetic traits, but has nothing to do with genetic modification. Pioneer and Monsanto’s varieties are similarly 100% conventional.
Yet Syngenta freely admitted that the only reason it worked on the pre-existing drought resistance public heritage was to add poison-producing and poison-tolerance transgenes to the final patented product.
Once again we see an example of how humanity could accomplish any necessary agricultural task, such as breeding better drought-resistant varieties, far less expensively and without letting ourselves be hijacked by the poison purveyors, without continuing to have our soil, water, and bodies poisoned by this criminal system, if we’d merely retake control of our seed commons and do the work ourselves.
This message is being reinforced today, as African breeders are releasing ten conventionally bred drought-resistant maize varieties. These too have nothing to do with genetic engineering, but are slated to be engineered with poison transgenes to turn them into patented products. But their conventional existence is proof that Monsanto/US government front groups like the AATF (African Agricultural Technology Foundation), Bill Gates’s AGRA (Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa) and WEMA (Water Efficient Maize for Africa) all lie when they claim GMOs are necessary to provide African farmers with drought-resistant maize. GMFreeze has several more links to information on non-GM drought resistance.
A corporate cadre is quoted in the Syngenta piece saying these poisons are necessary. This is a lie. Until the early 90s maize was grown using vastly less agricultural poisons, a practice which was changed from above when the US government committed itself to serving as Monsanto’s corporate welfare bagman, publicist, and thug, all toward the goal of tremendously increasing the production and use of agricultural poisons, all toward the goal of escalating corporate profits and control.
Meanwhile agroecology is unsurpassed in its ability to grow crops without the use of poison, through a combination of conventional breeding and naturally harmonized pest and disease management practices. Its capacity is unlimited. Industrial ag, on the other hand, is unsustainable in every way, including its myopic, toxic, designed-to-fail pest and weed suppression-oriented GMOs. The pests and weeds are already winning, and will inevitably win completely.
Therefore, if we need drought resistance in our crops, we won’t find it through GMOs, but only through conventional breeding. And if the goal is for these crops to be sustainably grown, we’ll never attain that through poison-oriented false crops, but only through the true crops of agroecological breeding and pest management.
Thus we see how, from every point of view, GMOs are at best a worthless and counterproductive money pit, while agroecology is the vastly better, vastly less expensive solution. That’s in addition to its infinite superiority over GMOs where it comes to human and environmental health, genetic contamination, and socioeconomic effects.