Originally published March 31 2011
UK grocers adopt humorously illegitimate certification program for 'sustainable' GM soy
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) The Round Table on Responsible Soy Association (RTRS), a group that claims to promote "responsible soy production," is now allowing UK grocers that stock products containing genetically-modified (GM) soy to label them as "sustainable," as long as they meet certain criteria. According to a recent report in the UK Telegraph, a handful of major UK grocers have signed on to the RTRS program, which ultimately appears to be nothing more than a deceptive marketing tactic to promote GMOs.
The report explains that Asda, Waitrose, Marks and Spencer, and Sainsbury's -- all of which are major UK grocery chains -- have adopted the RTRS labeling program. These stores' GM soy-containing products can bear the sustainable label " as long as the farmer protects wildlife, uses pesticides in a responsible way, and respects worker's rights."
But can any GM soy ever legitimately meet this vague and essentially meaningless criteria? Anyone with even a small amount of knowledge concerning GM soy knows that the crop involves the heavy use of dangerous pesticides that destroy both environmental and human health. There is no "responsible way" to use pesticides like glyphosate that ruin soil health and damage the health of those exposed to it. GM soy cultivation also replaces local, small-scale, and legitimately sustainable permaculture with large-scale, unsustainable monoculture soy plantations that actually destroy wildlife and the environment (http://www.naturalnews.com/030390_GMO_soy_po...).
According to Kirtana Chandrasekaran from Friends of the Earth, an environmental organization, the new certification program is simply a "lie." She told reporters that any efforts to move towards sustainability require moving away from soy, not towards it.
"The RTRS criteria are so weak that they will allow massive soy plantations to expand at the expense of small-scale farmers, forests, and other important ecosystems," she said. "Massive spraying of pesticides will continue, with resulting damage to health and the environment."
The UK imports roughly three tons of soy a year, most of which is of a GM variety, and Europe as a whole imports roughly 41 million tons. Much of this soy, which is fed to livestock, comes from South America, where massive GM soy plantations and their excessive spraying of glyphosate (Roundup) are ruining health, lives, and the environment (http://www.naturalnews.com/031382_GM_soy_GMO...).
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