Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer from the UK, has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA.
He has produced a video documentary of an investigation into the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA – ten years after their introduction. He travels across the US, interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM.
During the making of the film he heard of problems like the ever increasing costs of seeds and chemicals as well as weeds becoming resistant to herbicides. The US farmers he interviewed told him that a single pass (one herbicide application) is ineffective and that three or more passes are the norm for GM crops.
As weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate (Roundup) there has been a sharp increase in the use of herbicide mixes (many of them patented and owned by the biotech companies). Astonishingly, some farmers are now having to resort to hand labour to remove weeds.
The price of seed has gone from $40 to over $100 per acre over the last few years. Co-existence, that is the ability to grow GM crops next to non-GM and organic crops is considered an “unsolvable” problem – it does not work.
In the film, US farmers urge great caution to be exercised by UK and European farmers. They advise against adopting this technology.