(Please note to turn on the subtitles, click “captions” on the bottom right of the video.)
Renowned agricultural economist Dr. Charles Benbrook was commissioned by Greenpeace to make the first ever forecast of how Europe would be impacted by authorising the cultivation of genetically engineered herbicide tolerant corn, soy and sugar beet.
Greenpeace has also travelled through Argentina and USA to speak to farmers and their communities about how herbicide tolerant crop monocultures have affected their economy, environment and community. These first person accounts formed the basis for the documentary Growing Doubt (the film above).
Witness accounts from Argentina and USA and Dr. Benbrook’s forecast report present a grim view of a future Europe: the over-reliance on herbicide-tolerant crops in the U.S. has triggered the emergence and rapid spread of nearly two dozen glyphosate-resistant weeds, driving up farm production costs, as well as the volume and toxicity of herbicides needed to prevent major yield loss. Europe will face a similar reality by 2025, should herbicide tolerant genetically engineered crops be authorised for cultivation.
Greenpeace is facilitating an 18 day tour of Europe with public screenings of Growing Doubt showing the reality in Argentina and USA, followed by Dr. Charles Benbrook presenting his study which you can view here.
These public meetings offer European farmers, politicians, media and civil society a chance to hear directly from Dr. Benbrook, as well as Wes Shoemyer and Wendel Lutz – two American farmers featured in the film, who have personally experienced the agricultural and social catastrophe caused by herbicide tolerant crops. Together, they have joined Greenpeace in Europe to warn European farmers against following the American example.
• As herbicide-tolerant GE crops lead to an increase in herbicide usage, that no herbicide tolerant GE crops should be authorised for cultivation in Europe.
• As part of the implementation of the 2008 Council Conclusions, that the European Commission should substantially strengthen the EU risk assessment procedure for GE crops by carrying out a thorough evaluation of the environmental and socioeconomic impacts of HTGE crops.