Monsanto’s Micro-Monster that could kill us all!

I thought I was browsing through the 50’s science-fiction section of the DVD-store when I came across the title. But no, it was a serious headline in one of the green publications I follow. Apparently, according to a respected doctor, genetic modification has unleashed a micro monster that could kill us all.

There’s a tendency to use fear as motivation. To assume that the only way we’ll act to change things is if we’re terrified of the alternatives. There’s a good reason to think so. If, while I was swimming in the sea, someone said there was a great white shark coming towards me, I’d be out in a flash. But if, instead of telling me about the shark, I was told about a killer kraken and the risks of being swept over the edge of the flat earth in a great waterfall, I may not be quite as worried.

Stories like the micro-monster assume the more ludicrous and fear-inspiring the claim, the better the result. They take a complex situation, dumb it down and send it out into the world.

Unfortunately, it backfires, as supporters of GMO’s just have to look at a headline like this to dismiss all opposition as Luddite nonsense.

The story referred to some interesting findings about plants genetically-modified to be glyphosphate resistant, the resultant extreme use of glyphosphate and its impacts on the soil, and a microbe that’s been found to enjoy these nutrient-deficient soils. The microbe has been associated with various plant and animal health risks. With the companies responsible for the GM seeds being responsible for testing and oversight, there’s been little rigorous testing, but it’s enough to raise more warning bells.

The model of farming used in genetic modification is wrong. With 94% of all soya and 70% of all maize grown in the US now genetically-modified, it may look like GM has things sewn up. But Monsanto has only ever have only ever commercially released two traits. Producing a pesticide or being resistant to a herbicide. And both are failing. “Weeds” have developed resistance to the herbicide, resulting in farmers having to apply (and spend) more and more, or use cocktails of herbicides to get the same results. And now insects are developing resistance to the pesticides.

With private companies regulating themselves and funding their own research, there’s a clear conflict of interest, and the industry is lobbying governments and agricultural departments around the world to keep it that way. A bad idea all around that has nothing to do with feeding the world.

But micro monsters are not going to kill us all.

Last week for orders
It’s our last week for orders before we head off on holiday, while a few of our regular collection points have already headed for the beaches and won’t be open this week. We want our shelves to be as empty as possible while we’re away, so there are quite a few specials this week, from chocolates to nut butters.

We’ll be open for orders again on the 12th of January, for delivery on the 19th.

Have a great week, and a safe and blessed holidays,
Ian and the Ethical team

To order, head on over to to place your order before Tuesday 2pm, and remember that you can follow us on Facebook and on Twitter.