Friends of the Earth (FOE) International has published a February 2011 report claiming that “the biotech industry and its sponsors generate considerable hyperbole about the benefits that GMOs [genetically modified organisms] provide to farmers, consumers and the environment.” Titled Who Benefits from GM Crops?, the report criticizes data released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-Biotech Applications (ISAAA), alleging that, contrary to ISAAA’s findings, “GM crops do not generate increased yields or help to solve hunger but are actually increasing pesticide use, contaminating seeds and food, and destroying poor farmers’ livelihoods because of high costs and monopolies.”
In particular, FOE asserts that “public opposition to GMOs is rising and the area of agricultural land dedicated to GM crops is declining” in Europe, while regulatory and legal actions in the United States, India, Brazil, Uruguay, and Argentina purportedly reflect an increased willingness to curb the use of GMOs. The report apparently details “bans and moratoria, petitions, lobbying, and direct action against field trials” initiated by farmers, NGOs, and local communities in these and other countries. It also highlights the ongoing process to approve GM salmon and pigs in the United States, as well as Aedes aegypti mosquitoes in Malaysia. “The biotech sector is marred by public discontent and fails to deliver on its promises of new traits of nutrientenhanced and climate-resilient crops to address the twin challenges of malnutrition and climate change,” opines FOE, which ultimately faults the U.S. government for backing both GM crops and animals. See FOE Press Release, February 22, 2011.