Every once in a while, you read one thing and it shines a light on something else altogether.
While researching material for SPINNING SOYA INTO GOLD (February 2011), the instructions given by Monsanto to farmers on how to grow its Vistive Soybeans came to light.
Vistive, 'added value', low linolenic fatty acid (and therefore low trans-fat) soya wouldn't be much use to processors if it got mixed up with commodity, high-lenolinic acid, soya. In order to grow the beans “easily and conveniently”, Farmers are therefore given a Soft Identity Preserved Program (IDP) to follow.
The IDP must have been in place since 2005 when Vistive soya came on-stream in America, and is instructed thus:
PlantStore seed separately from other varieties
- Inspect planters or drill boxes, making sure they are free of contaminants
- Use border rows, flags or markets to grow separately.
SprayRetain spray logs to verify herbicide type and treatment.
HarvestInspect harvesting equipment, making sure they are free of contaminants
- Label and keep samples from each field.
StoreClean and inspect all bins to be sure they are free of contaminants
- Label all bins to ensure clear identification.
TransportClean and inspect all trucks to be sure Vistive low-lin soybeans are delivered free of contamination.
Looking to the future, a raft of next-generation value-added GM crops is planned for the market. Farmers' work in keeping their crops separate from very similar, but different in terms of added value, crops around them can only increase in amount and complexity.
Here's the thought on keeping food pure:
Co-existence, without co-mingling, of GM crops is going to become a very real issue which America has so far avoided dealing with.
It's very obvious that the IDP procedures needed to keep GM No.1 and GM No.2 soya out of each other's hair could be carried out just as well to keep GM and non-GM apart.
Any previous suggestion that separation of GM and non-GM is impossible would seem to be a downright lie.