I went to a screening to this The Future of Food last night and invited a big-time local farmer friend to come along too. France is inching its way towards large-scale commercial growing of GMOs and has the experiences of neighbour Spain to draw on with regard to what happens to conventional and organic varieties once this happens. (Not good, see this Greenpeace report for details). I hope the farmer might have a think on the issues raised and tell his friends.
It’s not a bad film, giving a comprehensive synopsis of the massive problems presented by GMOs and their supporters, not least of which is of course due to the good people of Monsanto, backed by their investors. My main complaint was that the film slipped into propaganda mode a couple of times, overdoing its messages with images of WW1 tanks followed by tractors (nerve gas was modified for use as a chemical spray for farming, dontcha know?) and others of a farm worker covered head to foot in protective clothing while spraying strawberry plants followed immediately by a boy eating a strawberry. Fair enough points in themselves but a bit clunkily made.
Farmer friend thought pretty much the same thing, and questioned the overall balance of the thing. Again, a fair point, though any journalist who has ever tried to put questions to a company like Monsanto, and Syngenta too for that matter, knows that the exercise is a frustrating and fruitless waste of time. Dispassionate facts are hard to find when it comes to GMOs, as Arpad Pusztai found out at the cost of his career. I hope to get the farmer to agree to show the film to some of his fellow muck rakers.
There is a more in-depth review of the film here.
As for GMOs in France, or OGMs as they call them here, José Bové and four of his fellow travellers will be in court in Carcassonne on March 7 for the latest legal round of one of his many direct actions. I hope to catch up with him for an interview about GMOs in the context of democracy, locally, nationally and globally.