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article imageOp-Ed: Fed official sparks controversy about genetically modified foods

By Justin King     Dec 12, 2013 in World
Dallas Federal Reserve Bank President Richard Fisher encouraged farmers to carry on with the use of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) in food and establish standards for international trade, while a shipment of GMO corn sits off the coast of China.
Currently, two million tons of GMO enhanced food sit off the coast of China. The shipment was denied entrance after failing testing for an unapproved GMO by state authorities. Even though the product was not approved for entry into the China’s markets, it was shipped anyway. Fisher said
I am thinking particularly of the current situation of the millions of tons of corn currently sitting off China's shores, held out of the Chinese market ostensibly because of its GMO characteristics, despite its acceptance in other major markets, including our own,
The strain in question, MIR 162, was not segregated from other corn varieties. Since last month, several containers were blocked entrance after testing positive Syngenta AG's Agrisure Viptera. It is unlikely that US Customs would be as forgiving as China has been if a foreign entity knowingly tried to ship non-approved produce into the United States.
Fisher continued his comments
I have no desire to enter into any argument with greens and environmentalists, I simply wish to suggest that you might consider ways to reach internationally agreed-upon standards for GMO enhancement.
Fisher’s comments highlight the US government’s recent attitude, an attitude allowing for no debate or dissent, and asking for compliance.
The international consensus on the topic of GMOs is in direct opposition to Fisher’s suggestion. The Nation reported in October that 26 countries have partial or outright bans on GMOs and at least 60 other nations have significant restrictions. Among those nations with total or partial bans are Australia, Austria, Bulgaria, China, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, India, Italy, Luxembourg, Mexico, Poland, Russia, and Switzerland. These are not nations that are known for rejecting new technologies without good reason.
The Non-GMO Project answers the question of whether or not GMOs are safe on their website
Most developed nations do not consider GMOs to be safe. In more than 60 countries around the world, including Australia, Japan, and all of the countries in the European Union, there are significant restrictions or outright bans on the production and sale of GMOs. In the U.S., the government has approved GMOs based on studies conducted by the same corporations that created them and profit from their sale. Increasingly, Americans are taking matters into their own hands and choosing to opt out of the GMO experiment.
Child protester at the US Capitol during Million Mask March.
Child protester at the US Capitol during Million Mask March.
Domestically, the subject of GMO crops has not been settled. Hawaii recently enacted a prohibition against GMO farming on the main Island of the state. Just yesterday Connecticut passed a law requiring GMO foods to be labeled. Missouri is considering a similar proposal.
Many champion GMOs as a way to end world hunger by making more resistant crops that stay fresh longer. The estimated cost to end world hunger by current means is $30 billion per year. Citigroup, Bank of America, General Motors, AIG, Freddie MAC, and Fannie Mae each received more than that during the bailouts. According to a Heritage Foundation report, the US government spent $25 Billion in 2009 just maintaining unused or vacant federal buildings.
Some who have no desire to enter into any argument with the Federal Reserve, may simply wish to suggest that the nation might consider ways to reach appropriate international levels of food production using more immediate and effective means.
This opinion article was written by an independent writer. The opinions and views expressed herein are those of the author and are not necessarily intended to reflect those of DigitalJournal.com
More about Federal reserve, Gmo, gmo labeling, Gmos, Hunger