No case for GMO

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Dear Editorial team at Republica,

Firstly, congratulations to Dr Miller for another spirited attempt at defending the GMO industry and confusing the public. In my view it is a wonderful example of a carefully concocted piece of misinformation, effectively blurring emotional diatribe with quasi-scientific mumbo-jumbo. At a time when Nepal is struggling to deal with GMO corporate greed trying to batter down our defences, it is troubling that Republica promotes this type of industry-sponsored opinion on the so-called 'Case for GMO'.


What case? Where is the journalistic balance?


If GMOs are the safe and vital cure to humanity's food needs, why are you not questioning the spending of millions by its proponents, to oppose the labelling of foods containing GMO products?


Why are you accepting this industry shill without question, when the broader issue of corporate profits overtaking seed sovereignty, has been conveniently omitted from his article. In Kathmandu we need to look no further than the recent Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture[i] by Dr Vandana Shiva for an excellent rebuttal of the hogwash Dr Miller is trying to feed us, but let me try in my own small way to address some of his inconsistencies.


Dr Miller starts his ramble with reference to Golden Rice (as if it were some miracle for curing blindness), overlooking the fact that the development of Golden Rice has been a glaring example of science at its worst[ii]. What Dr Miller is also not telling us is that the prevention of blindness from Vitamin A deficiency is more easily afforded by poor people adopting the sorts of techniques the GMO industry would want to stifle - increased agricultural biodiversity and improved natural soil fertility - as well as the intake of more easily bio-available sources of Vitamin A.


It is such a poor effort on Dr Miller's part to try and paint an aura of gently suffering Sainthood around this mischievous and malevolent industry. How ludicrous that the author speaks of the discriminatory treatment of GMOs as creating "widespread mischief", when it is GMO industry whose aggressive and monopolistic approaches have seen American crops contaminated and farmers attempting to harvest and maintain their own seed, becoming the targets of drawn-out and expensive litigation.


The author also speaks of "unprovoked attention from regulators" as stigmatising products and technology, as if in his ideal world, the precautionary principle[iii] was null and void. What gall!


Dr Miller’s statement that "no cases of harm to humans or disruption to ecosystems have been documented" is patently false and conveniently overlooks the work of Dr Gilles-Eric Séralini[iv] and others[v], proving the toxicity of GMO Corn and Brinjal. He also fails to mention the efforts of the GMO industry to systematically discredit Dr Séralini's research because it posed a significant threat to their profits and drive for global seed domination.


At the end of the day, I fail to see that Dr Miller has made and 'Case for GMO' and trust that the publication of this response and the following links, will inject some balance into this discussion.


Sincerely yours,

Chris Wardle.



The author studied Permaculture Design in Nepal in 2008 and currently lives and works in Kathmandu for an international development agency. The independent views expressed here are his own and should not be construed as being endorsed by his employer.



[i] The Mahesh Chandra Regmi Lecture 2013—Vandana Shiva : ‘Seed Freedom and Food Freedom in Times of Globalisation’


[ii] The Golden Rice Scandal Unfolds


[iii] The Precautionary Principle


[iv] 'GM food can cause the biggest health crisis' Q&A: Gilles-Eric Seralini


[v] GMO Myths and Truths


De Vendómois JS, Roullier F, Cellier D and Séralini G-E. A comparison of the effects of three GM corn varieties on mammalian health. Int J Biol Sci 2009, 5, 706-26.


Ho MW. GM is dangerous and futile. Science in Society 40, 4-8, 2008.


Ho MW, Cummins J and Saunders PT. GM food nightmare unfolding in the regulatory sham. Microbial Ecology in Health and Disease 2007, 19, 66-77



Position: Malang

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