GMOs — Top five concerns for family farmers

Twenty years ago, the first GMO seeds hit the market. In the decades that followed – as more GMO varieties were adopted and the seed sector rapidly consolidated – ethical, political, legal, environmental, economic and social concerns for the technology have emerged. While many farmers say they are pleased with GMO varieties, many others are disappointed, finding mixed results or facing new problems in the extremely concentrated and corporate-dominated seed sector. These problematic trends affect all farmers, whether or not they plant GMO seeds. Concentration & Corporate Power Since the commercial introduction of GMOs, the seed industry has rapidly consolidated. Today, just four companies control almost 60% of the seed market. For certain crops, the market is even more concentrated. The “big four” seed companies – Monsanto, DuPont, Syngenta and Dow – own 80% of the corn and 70% of the soybean market. This concentration has made a huge dent in farmers’ pockets. USDA data show that the per-acre cost of soybean and corn seed spiked dramatically between 1995 and 2014, by 351% and 321%, respectively.[1] Those costs far outpaced the market price farmers received for corn and soy, leaving them tighter margins on which to run their farms. Contamination … Continue reading GMOs — Top five concerns for family farmers