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自分が読んで興味深く感じた英文記事を中心に取り上げる予定です

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Mr. Frankenfood

 


雑誌New Yorkerが反GMO のVandana Shivaさんを取り上げたカウンターとしてなのか分かりませんが、WSJがモンサントのCOOインタビューを載せていました。GMOの安全性、ラベルの有無、世界の食糧問題、農家の生活向上など、幅広く語っています。

Meet Mr. Frankenfood
Monsanto's COO Brett Begemann, the son of a farmer, explains why genetically modified food is safe—and essential to feed a hungry planet.
By KATE BACHELDER CONNECT
Aug. 22, 2014 6:57 p.m. ET

Before you can finish typing " Monsanto employees" into Google, the search engine suggests "Monsanto evil." The world's largest-grossing seed seller ranks between one and 15 on any list of the world's most-hated corporations. The annual "March Against Monsanto," world-wide protests against genetic modification, drew an estimated two million people in some 400 cities last year.

Opponents claim that genetic modification poses health risks, and groups such as the Non-GMO Project, Just Label It! and others want labels required on all foods containing GM ingredients. Vermont passed a GM-labeling bill in May, and Oregon and Colorado will hold referendums on labeling in November. Companies including Ben & Jerry's and Chipotle Mexican Grill say they are removing GM ingredients from their food, and General Mills recently made Cheerios cereal GMO-free.

Meet Mr. Frankenfoodというタイトルからして、反感があるのを充分分かって書いていますから、全体的に腰が低い記事になっています。Monsatanなんてことまで言われているのですね。そのような動画も簡単に見つけられました(苦笑)



The more extreme skeptics cast Monsanto as an evildoer peddling mutant Frankenfood. "Monsatan" is one nickname, and groups such as Occupy Monsanto exist solely to malign the company. Mr. Begemann takes personally the charge that Monsanto is poisoning food. "It just blows my mind," he says, "that anybody would ever imagine that I would ever be involved in producing any kind of food that would ever put me, my family or now a grandson at risk." He adds: "I go to the same grocery store that everybody else goes to."

GMOの安全性以上に多く割かれていたのがラベルの必要性についてです。下記動画と同じ事を記事でも触れていますが、州ごとにラベルの有無を決めると確かにコストがかさみますね。



He talks about "having a dialogue" and "coming to the table" with those concerned about genetic modification. It remains to be seen if that strategy will quell a backlash based mostly on fear and emotion. He doesn't discuss what else Monsanto will do, but the company is likely to spend big to fight the labeling movement. Monsanto poured in about $8 million to defeat a labeling initiative on the California ballot in 2012.
He also notes that food companies pay the direct costs of labeling, and so consumers ultimately pay in higher prices. The state-based labeling initiatives on ballots and in legislatures would produce a patchwork system that is even more expensive. "Imagine a food delivery truck that has to stop when it gets to the Mississippi River, unload, cross the river and reload," he says. "I don't care how you cut it: It increases costs. It's just not practical."
Besides, he adds, we already have a useful label at the federal level: the organic seal. "Anybody who wants to stay away from GM can buy organic. That choice is there," he says. The Department of Agriculture offers organic certification to farmers and food companies who meet a set of standards, one of which is proving that their food doesn't contain genetically modified ingredients.



While that's all the land we've got, demand for more and better food is skyrocketing as global population grows. By 2050 there will be nine billion people on earth, and they will want dinner. GM crops are not a panacea, Mr. Begemann reminds me many times, but "just one of many tools" that farmers should be allowed to choose.

個人的に一番説得力があるのは世界の人口問題への対処ですが、そこにはあまり触れていませんでした。それよりもアメリカでもインドでも農家の生活向上に貢献しているという点を強調していました。

Years ago Mr. Begemann traveled to a village in India where he met a farmer who increased his yield—and his profits—after he began growing Monsanto's insect-resistant Bollgard cotton. The men didn't speak the same language, but they had one word in common. "The farmer pointed to the second story on his little house, and said 'Bollgard,' " Mr. Begemann recalls. "Then he pointed to a scooter next to his house, and said 'Bollgard.' . . . Then he just lit up, and pointed to two children, standing in front of his house in school uniforms, and said 'Bollgard.' "

WSJは一切触れていませんが、この品種によって農家を苦境に追いやったという報道がなされていたようです。この当たりはNew Yorkerでも取り上げていましたが、New Yorkerの記事ではもっと複合的な要因があるのでMonsantoだけの責任ではないとしていました。。。


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