Talk:International trade of genetically modified foods

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Is Canada not involved in this mess? Rmhermen 22:36 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

hum ? Which mess ? Rmhermen, since you are involved here...I wrote most of this article. Please, feel free to copy edit it strongly if you think it is necessary for fluidity of expression ; Thanks User:anthere

I wonder if the article as written doesn't underplay the importance of agricultural protectionism. One of the advantages of forcing GM food labeling, I would think, is that it would give an advanatge to small "organic" farmers. This seems quite convenient, given that the EU countries consider preserving the "quaintness" of their countrysides a cultural priority, while the death of the family farm seems to be more generally accepted in North America. Europe certainly wouldn't be alone in feigning concern over the supposed safety of foreign food in order to protect their own industries (look at what Japan is doing right now re: mad cow disease). -- stewacide 23:21 30 Jun 2003 (UTC)

Sorry, but you hit with your "feigning" all the people that are worried. I am worried. So you directly hit me.
You are right, agricultural protectionism is involved. But please take care when you just insult hundret of millions of people. (I could also use words on the same level of yours: In Europe we have still the culture to disagree on certain points and not to follow our leaders blindly... do you feel better now? ;-) Fantasy 05:39 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)
the usage of "feigning" is totally out of line :-) We don't feign. I would like to state that I wrote most of the initial article, and as such, it is only my perspective, and not enough to cover the topic by far. I tried to be far on both sides, but I am biased :-) In particular, it would be nice to have more on other countries positions on the matter. This is a planetary war, not to be reduced to US EU only. Yes, it would deserve much more on protectionism. Because this also very important. However, do not give too much importance in the topic to the advantage meant for the organic farmers. At least in my country (which is the first producer in the EU, so is of major importance in this trade war, since being the primary benefactor of protectionism), protectionism is meant to protect traditional agriculture, MUCH more than organic farming. We are first using traditional intensive technics, and the goal in requiring labels is to protect consumers, not organic farmers or organic consumers. Labels are envision for all food. There might be a different trend in other european countries, though I think generally not. ant

What I meant was that the governments in European countries may be overplaying the risks of GM foods as a cover for protectionism. I have no doubt that many citizens are personally fearful.

well, if you can find relevant references of people supporting this view, that is just fine. Anthere

Also, I agree that this shouldn't be characterized as just a US vs. EU thing. In fact, the US and EU are traditional allies on issues of agricultural trade in that they're both strong protectionists. The alliance between the US and the pro-free-trade "Cairns Group" countries (Canada, Australia, and the developing world) is quite unusual. There are probably other countries (Japan?) that side with the EU for one reason or another.

Also, I wonder about strains within EU, such as between food exporters like France and food importers (Italy? Spain?).

Well, you can wonder of course :-) But this has nothing to do with this current discussion :-) It should belong to another article. Since there is a moratorium in Europe, exporting countries such as France do not export gmo toward food importers. Anthere

p.s. If that "follow our leaders blindly" thing was a jab at the US, no dice, I'm Canadian (Happy Canada Day to ya' :)

Also, Europeans accusing North Americans of having a mob mentality is pretty ironic IMHO. When was the last time we had a war or genocide in North America? Europeans and your silly ethnic nationalism; when will you learn!?! ;) -- stewacide 07:00 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Stewacide, you did not get the point. I just tried to explain you (probably with the wrong example, but it seems that you got insulted, so the effect was right) that YOU ARE HURTING PEOPLE. If you want to discuss something, would it not be better to concentrate on the facts istead insulting people with a different opinion than yours with "feigning". Fantasy 11:57 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I think, it is better to restart the discussion:

agricultural protectionism versus food safety[edit]

  • stewacide thinks, that the EU is using worries about food safety to achieve agricultural protectionism.
  • Fantasy and Ant agree that this is involved. But the main goal in requiring labels is to protect consumers, not organic farmers or organic consumers. Let the consumer decide, if they want to buy modified food.

Perhaps "Genetic Engineering" should be added to the list of Demons and devils that someone is compiling, it certainly sounds very dangerous. Ping 07:11 1 Jul 2003 (UTC)

Despite the fact that no scientific study has yet shown genetically modified food to be unacceptably harmful to people ...

Has any study found GM foods to be acceptably harmful to people? Evercat 17:56 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

That's what I thought when I read it. I'm going to remove the "unacceptably" untill someone can show a study that indicated otherwise. -- stewacide
there were some "unacceptable" problems reported with severe cases of allergy. But the gmo have been removed. I am not aware of current relevant studies precisely on "acceptable" ones :-). However, I know of current environmental pbs which are considered acceptable. Fun :-)

Despite the fact that no scientific study has yet shown genetically modified food to be harmful or harmless to humans

How can any study or any number of studies ever prove something to be entirely "harmless"? -- stewacide

IT CANT - it is impossible to prove a lone hypothesis, one can only accumulate evidence that is consistent (or not) with a system of hypotheses that constitute a philosophy. There will always be room for your hypothesis to turn out false, because other assumptions may be violated. Add to this that (the departing agriculture minister indicated) British field trials and other government funded research has intentionally neglected any 'indirect' routes by which GMOs may cause harm to humans, such as damage to the ecosystem. So I am worried too (it's not like you can take GM out of the ecosystem if you got it wrong, and it's not as if Genetic Engineering is equivalent to the current system of genetic design).

I was pointing out why the addition of the word "harmless" was meaningless and lacking in NPOV. It gives the reader the impression that insuffecient research has been carried out, when in fact no ammount of research could ever be suffeceient to make such a claim (I'm sure there's a fancy latin name for this type of rhetorical falacy).
Would anyone object to me changing it back to "Despite the fact that no scientific study has yet shown genetically modified food to be harmful to humans..." ? -- stewacide 07:19 4 Jul 2003 (UTC)
I don't think your proposed wording is true - IIRC some researchers added genes for manufacturing toxins to some previously edible food organism, then demonstrated that it did indeed become toxic... So we need to restrict the statement to stuff actually intended for human consumption (and to avoid giving a misleading impression, to indicate the extent to which people have looked - of course they wont have found a mechanism if they haven't looked at all - the amount of information in the statement is proportional to the amount of research done.).

I wonder if Trade in genetically modified food wouldn't be a better title? Calling it a "trade war" may have NPOV problems. -- stewacide 18:56 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)

But If you say "trade war" every one knows what we are talking about. Wikipedia uses many times the "used" words, not necessarely the "correct" word. Bush is going to court against EU, and if he does not win, I don't want to know what is next. (By the way: was the "cold war" a war?)Fantasy 21:10 2 Jul 2003 (UTC)
it might be different another day. But currently, the trade is a war. An economical war. And that is what the article is talking about. Just talking about trade of a specific product would not perhaps justify an article. In all honestly, I think it would be prudery (politically correct) to rename an article without the "war" word, just to talk about "trade war" in it. And yes, it would be misleading on the topic indeed :-) ant (the cold war was a war imho)

of course, you are all welcome to move that to the best host article  :-) But...if we start saying GMO plants have not been scientifically been proved to be dangerous, it is just fair that information is *really* added on the topic, yes ? User:anthere

I think that most of this information on Roundup should be moved to its page, not here. Rmhermen 19:27 3 Jul 2003 (UTC)

I see no pb with that. But, I mostly wrote this because it was added there were no credible scientific proofs GMO could be bad for the environment :-) I think I even forgot to look for RoundUp article. The only thing important imho is

  • a high number of currently cultivated gmo are those resistant to glyphosate
  • Round up sales have skyrocketted since GMO surfaces increased, and farmers cultivating gmos tend to use much more than before. Round up herbicide active ingredient is glyphosate
  • Glyphosate (also cancerogenous- should I also add it ?) and other Round up ingredients have been proved (relevant scientific studies) dangerous at high quantities, safety issue for farmers, toxic for fauna, less degradable than claimed by Monsanto (even if it is *far* less toxic than plenty other herbicides)

Consequently -> use of GMO -> use of round up -> more glyphosate -> pb for humans, fauna, water quality...

Add cases of allergies, increase resistance, bt issues, studies showing diffusion of genes from one species to another (I have some virus diffusion at hand), I think that ultimately, the sentence "no credible studies have shown that some gmo have proven dangerous for the environment" should...just rephrased a bit ?

When done, we could perhaps explain why Gmos are good for a change ?


141, though I agree we should avoid to repeat unduly similar linkages in articles, I also think your way to hunt any double link is not a very good practice sometimes. When an article is - at two different places - referring to two different aspects of another article, it makes sens to orient the reader to this article again, not to let him search several paragraphs above the reference of this article he has maybe not focused on. This is very common practice in numerous articles.User:anthere

Polls done in 2000, (Libération), 73% of French people worried by presence of GMO in food (77% for women)

polls done end of 2002 show (libération)

  • French people totally opposed 48%, opposed 24 %

polls in april 2002 (eurobarometre)

  • Only 31% of europeans would encourage GMO in food.
  • Spain, favorable 35%
  • Germany 52% strongly opposed
  • England, 25% favorable

Basically, 3 persons among 4 opposed and worried, that does not mean "some" but "widespread". Imho. User:Anthere

Yknow, I coulda sworn waaay more countries than the US were fighting the EU in the WTO over this. -- Penta.

It seems to me that this article has a lot of irrelevant references to the Iraq war. Jtrainor 18:06, 6 Dec 2004 (UTC)

Hey there, think Wikipedia's great and I'd like to learn more about html so I can contribute effectively every now & then. Thus, didn't want to tweak the main page by trying to add this information myself, but

While two of the main criticisms of the WTO dispute panel process have been 1. lack of participation by non-members (e.g. NGOs) 2. lack of transparency there may yet be hope. The Appellate board did, in a recent decision, consider an NGO submission previously unavailable to the dispute panel considering the decision under appeal. This may establish jurisprudence for NGOs wishing to make future submissions but there is probably a long way to go before these will have impact on decisions still made within parameters narrowed by financial concerns. Furthermore, given the significance of the GMO dispute between U.S. & E.U. it was recently revealed that the panel determining the dispute would need to extend the normally limited decisionmaking process due to the complaxity of the arguments before it. A speaker at the recent World Conservation Union meeting in Sydney, 2005, revealed that October has been set as the definite date for this decision. holigopoly 01:01, 5 Sep 2005 (UTC)

Some parts of this article are pretty much out of date, speaking about coming events in 2003 and 2004. Don't know a lot about this topic, but it seems to me that this "trade war" is still going on. Anyone able to update this? Maybe one could also link this to other "trade wars"... 00:47, 7 March 2006 (UTC)

Updating or not[edit]

An alternative to updating is to give that page a title reflecting the dates of the events. E.g. : "GM food war 2000-2004"

Then a link to a new current page shall be enough. -- 08:27, 29 September 2006 (UTC)

WHAT PEOPLE???????????[edit]

why cant i find any information on the netherlands??????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????????):<


This appears to be an advocacy piece rather than an encyclopedia article, and reflects a basic misunderstanding of GM regulation and the WTO dispute. It quotes a German Greenpeace spokesman on the question of what US consumers want, and cites Aventis - a European company based in Strasbourg, France - as a "US biotechnology giant." The essay alludes to an EU "ban" on GM food products, but both the US and the EU "ban" GM food products until they have been approved through the regulatory process. The WTO complaint was not based on the failure of the EU to approve GM products, but their failure to make any decisions at all. The US asserted that the EU regulatory process had been stalled for political reasons and had effectively become a prohibition not based on scientific evidence as to health and safety, which is a non-tariff barrier prohibited by the WTO agreement. The US did not seek to have GM food products approved, it sought to have the EU regulatory process put back into use - to have the safety reviews conducted and the decisions - pro or con - made. 04:15, 15 September 2007 (UTC)

food crises during the 1990's?[edit]

"In Europe, a series of unrelated food crises during the 1990s created consumer apprehension about food safety in general, eroded public trust in government oversight of the food industry, and left some consumers unwilling to consider "science" to be a guarantee of quality."

What was the nature of these food crises?Zebulin 17:16, 10 October 2007 (UTC)

I guess it refers to the mad cow disease. --Tweenk (talk) 19:23, 25 February 2010 (UTC)

Marketing Biotechnology[edit]

This section appears to be copied from a textbook. It references chapters in the textbook. I'm not sure that it adds much to the article. Is there something in this section worth saving? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 02:31, 25 March 2008 (UTC)

In short, no. It was also an unsourced copyright violation from I've removed the section. (talk) 05:23, 29 April 2009 (UTC)

2003 invasion of Iraq[edit]

Why are there so many references to the 2003 invasion of Iraq in this article? I would like to remove them all.Zebulin (talk) 08:23, 18 April 2008 (UTC)

Go ahead: Be bold. I don't think the Iraq war is very relevant to the topic, though it may have seemed so back in 2003 when this article was written, so feel free to remove those references. Terraxos (talk) 22:39, 7 June 2008 (UTC)

Arpad Pusztai[edit]

"Árpád Pusztai, considered by many to be the leading expert on GM foods" - you can`be serious? Who are those many? For sure not she scientific community, maybe by antiGMO campaigners, but in that case, a reference and more specifity is required. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Lavrentii (talkcontribs) 14:53, 8 February 2010 (UTC)

I've removed this description, it's an obvious example of weasel words. Robofish (talk) 17:02, 8 February 2010 (UTC)
While the original reference was bullshit, I added the correct description back in: Árpád Pusztai, considered the world's foremost expert on plant lectins, This is sourced in the linked article about his person (no need to put a footnote in here, I guess?). (talk) 13:03, 12 April 2010 (UTC)

merged into Genetically modified food controversies article[edit]

This article was outdated and mostly covered topics already discussed in the Genetically modified food controversies article, so I merged it into that article.Jytdog (talk) 23:27, 7 October 2012 (UTC)