GM Soy: Sustainable? Responsible?
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Interviews with people affected by glyphosate spraying on GM soy:
- Viviana Peralta – Interview
- Mariano Aguilar – Interview
- Darío Gianfelici – Interview
- íngel Strapazzón – Interview
Audio interview with Prof. Andrés Carrasco, co-author of the "GM soy: Sustainable? Responsible?" report presented at the European Parliament on 16 September 2010
The Poison of the Pampas: Video of the human consequences of glyphosate spraying (in Spanish with English subtitles)
The Round Table on Responsible Soy (RTRS), an initiative of WWF and Swiss supermarket chain COOP, started in 2005. It aims to introduce a voluntary label for “responsible” soy that would reassure ethically minded traders and consumers that the soy was produced with consideration for people and the environment.
From the start, the RTRS has been the target of widespread criticism. In several internationally signed open letters, hundreds of NGOs and social movements demanded the abandonment of the RTRS because it does not address any of fundamental problems associated with large-scale soy monocultures, including: the health and environmental impacts of GM soy and glyphosate spraying, the spread of glyphosate-resistant superweeds, the destruction of food crops and food security by the GM soy farming model, forced displacement of rural people for soy expansion, deforestation, and environmental degradation.
The RTRS lacks the support of farmers’ movements, local communities and NGOs in the South because its criteria are highly flawed and do not even prevent further deforestation for “responsible” soy; and because it is “technology neutral”, which means it does not discriminate between genetically modified (GM) and non-GM soy.
In spite of all this, GM Roundup Ready soy will be eligible for a “responsible” label, turning the RTRS into a mere greenwashing exercise for the RR soy and GM industry. Corporate members of the RTRS include Monsanto, Syngenta, Cargill, ADM, Rabobank, Unilever, Shell, BP, and many more. The presence of the oil industry points to the fact that they see the RTRS as a tool to get soy biodiesel labelled as responsible, facilitating its introduction onto the European market.
Some big soy producers' associations have already backed out of the RTRS, finding even its weak criteria too much of a burden. This shows that soy producers are not committed to sustainability.
The RTRS intends to launch the first “responsible” soy in early 2011, probably in the Netherlands and Belgium.
Follow link for more on the RTRS.