Originally published January 26 2015
GMOs found growing in South Korea despite national ban
by Jonathan Benson, staff writer
(NaturalNews) More unapproved -- and in some cases, unidentifiable -- genetically modified (GM) plants are turning up in places where they shouldn't be. South Korea, which currently prohibits the cultivation of all GM crops anywhere in the country, is becoming beleaguered with wild GMO strains, according to new reports.
The transgenic plants are popping up all along seed delivery routes, near animal feeding operations and in various other locations throughout the country, threatening to disrupt local ecosystems. Despite a nationwide ban on their cultivation, GMOs are still making their way into South Korea in the form of feed for cattle, which is falling off the wagon -- quite literally -- and spreading genetic pollution.
A recent report in The Hankyoreh explains that mystery GMOs are becoming a major problem in South Korea, which is now the world's second biggest importer of GM crops. Not enough safety and regulatory measures have been established to protect the country's natural habitat from destruction, and its ecological and agricultural systems are both taking a hit.
A report issued by South Korea's National Institute of Ecology (NIE) explains that monitoring data has revealed the presence of GM corn and cotton throughout the country. GM corn was found in at least three separate provinces, while GM cotton was found in no fewer than 15 distinct locations.
"Analysis of 521 suspected GM samples collected from 647 regions showed a total of 21 GM crops in eighteen regions," explains the NIE report.
This shocking discovery is even more harrowing in light of the fact that these locations aren't all clustered in the same spot -- they dot the entire South Korean landscape, showing how widespread GMO pollution has become. Most of the locations are centered near livestock farms, but several of them are also located along transportation routes near feed factories.
"South Korea imports all of the GMOs used for food and feed," explains a Hankyoreh piece discussing the report. "[T]he discoveries are believed to be the result of imported corn and cotton seeds sprouting after being spilled on the way to feed factories and livestock farms."
Wild GM crops are likely everywhere and we don't even realize it yet The biotech seed industry has long claimed that the risk of GMO contamination is minimal, and that seeds falling off trucks or out of animal feeding bins have a very low likelihood of actually germinating. But this latest report suggests otherwise, sounding an alarm to the world about the very real threat of GMOs that the mainstream media continues to deny.
"Monsanto and others claim the chances of GM crops growing after spilling during the import/transit process are low," stated Choi Jun-ho, chief of policy for the Korean Federation for Environmental Movement, to the media. "[B]ut the NIE studies show that the fears of ecosystem disruption in South Korea from GM crops are already becoming a reality."
The threat isn't just to natural ecosystems but also to South Korea's entire agricultural system. Much of the world, including South Korea itself, relies on pure, non-GMO seed crops that are now compromised by the unwelcome introduction of GMO pollution, which may never be contained.
"South Korean food companies and livestock farms chiefly import GM soybeans, corn, and rapeseed (canola), and the damage to farms if GM canola spills into nearby farms and breeds with similar domestic cabbage varieties, or if GM soybeans mixes with organic glycine soja, could be enormous," added Choic.
"We are conducting GMO monitoring this year, and the research team is immediately collecting any of these GM crops it discovers and subjecting them to high-pressure sterilization," added an NIE source about the remediation plan.
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