Farmer Jean Vermeulen gives his take on the issue of GMO vines that the SA wine industry is going to be experimenting with soon.
The Earth is two, perhaps three decades away from
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,imploding under global warming and green housing due the burden of fossil fuel dependency,
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,mass starvation due to a bulging world population, production-driven agriculture, and mass-produced food processing,
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,large-scale strategic wars over water due to water scarcity as a result of climate change brought on by air and soil pollution, and
?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¬,collapsing social medical help due to a 60 year dependency on sugar, hormone-induced proteins, caffeine, nicotine, refined starch, toxic fuel, fertilizer, you name it.
What is the bare essence of GMO? To feed the people of the world and to make a fuck-load of profit, no matter the consequences.
So-called conventional farming, or farming with synthetic fertilizer, chemical pesticides and herbicides really took over after World War II, after the bed was made for large scale depletion of natural resources during colonialism in the previous century.
Now, the same mongers who created the mess in the first place want to convince us that the next generation of tech will bring salvation, in other words that GMO, which is the successor to chemical farming, is just dandy.
They are implying: we created horrible poisons to help you farm, made you economically dependent, turned, your soil, your plants and the people and animals who feed off your produce into handmaids, and disturbed the balance in nature irrevocably. (Okay, this is harshly put I agree, but what is so bad about a shocking realization among intelligent people.) BUT, now trust us again, because finally we have the super answer to help the human race out of a life-threatening dilemma.
GMO protagonists want to convince (despite research to the contrary) us that what they propose is science-based (and therefore beyond moral or intellectual reproach) healthy, more nutritious, and cost-effective products ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ so sorry this almost sounds like a credo for organic farming. Absurd, not so?
GMO is just a perpetuation of the evils (the mid-Western preacher in me is to blame, so let’s rather say) – the cock-ups of chemical farming (and all those reams of studies passed off as a body of agricultural research).
GMO is seen as a linear approach to the current global crisis. In agriculture, perhaps we should say no to this one-dimensional way of food production, and perhaps consider the holistic approach of organic agriculture. Perhaps we should look at a model by which food production is democratized entirely., South Africa is perfectly suitable for an inspirational university-based community organic farming pilot project. It is just a pity our present government is still so badly trapped within a Westernized mindset and paralyzed by vested interests. Ditto our universities.
Viticulture in South Africa has been built on a scourged earth chemical approach. So, given entrenched interests, mindset and fear, one fully comprehend why wine and grape farmers want to trust their old allies. It is understandable why it is instinctive for educational institutions to want to serve the interest and inclination of farmers whom they have trained and whose kids they want to educate.
If the US Biotech Institute is hell-bent to continue (and we do assume so) with its GMO vineyard programme, here’s a challenge. As a counter-weight, establish an organic vineyard on the West Coast far away from Welgevallen., May I suggest a topic. The impact of both organic and GM vines on the biodiversity in the soil with specific reference to mycorrhizal fungi. One problem though:, herbicide manufacturers do not sponsor organic research gladly.
And: to those who think that GMO and organic can exist side by side, dream on as you simply do not understand either the impact of GMO or the values of organic agriculture. And for those organic wine producers who think they will be able to obtain certification with GMO plants or products, wake up.
For those without imagination, nor the aptitude or common sense to surf the web and read about GMO.
Bapsfontein 2050., Here on the vlakte duskant Geluksholte,, we farm grapes and make our own wine ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ a fresh, grassy Sauvignon Blanc and a full-ripe Cab., Not only can enjoy these from my veranda when the sun dips behind the Gauteng smog, but so close I am to the market that we do tours on Saturdays to show people the success of GMO.
My neighbour farms potatoes, or the concept of potatoes. Next to him you’ll find a banana boy. Yes, we are a happy GMO family.
A year ago I ordered 10000 stokkies from Stellenbosch. They are clean, free from virus, fungi or bacteria. I harvest every three months. The vine leaves are modified to large bird-like wings to extract moist direct from the air. This was modeled on the genes of a tropical plant. Thanks to GMO-technology.
The soil is of no concern. It is merely a heap of material to keep the vines upright. The vines are fed with sprays. Pests and recurring tough weeds are doused with regular herbicides and pesticides. We have a special spray to remove sulphur from the grapes as well.
Why do I like GMO so much? It is a one-stop shop. I buy plant material, pesticides, herbicides, fertilizer, hygiene chemicals, acid, and yeast on the same account ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+¦ from ALLCOM YEAST., Way back, when I was in the first prime of my life, this company did ground-breaking research and isolated the peppery, grassy pyrazine flavours of New Zealand sauvignon blanc. Soon it developed a super yeast and from then on sauvignon blancs across all continents could be made with the same flavour spectrum. Five years after this milestone was reached, ALLCOM YEAST triumphed again. This time the brilliant research team transfused the green pepper gene from a green pepper into the genetic make-up in a new product, called NZ-MB SAUVIGNON BLANC ALLCOM YEAST 2022?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬. All thanks to GMO.
This breakthrough had ALLCOM YEAST shares soaring. Soon they attracted partners from the global agriculture science business community and became a massive conglomerate, which offered brush-stroke viticulture solutions. Thus ALLCOM YEAST SURE WINE MANUFACTURE ?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬ was founded and implemented. All thanks to GMO.
I follow instructions. I farm strictly according to ALLCOM YEAST SURE WINE MANUFACTURE ?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬ instructions. One year my neigbour did not spray the second routine of the herbicide ALLCOM YEAST 50345 PT-ALLKILL?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬ , and his concept potatoes plants died immediately. He was severely punished with a hefty fine from the Babsfontein county, and ALLCOM YEAST SURE VEGGIE MANUFACTURE ?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬ put him on a refresher course.
Forty years ago we cautioned against GMO research in wine., Hardly anybody listened. So, here I am sipping ALLCOM YEAST SURE WINE MANUFACTURE ?+¦-+???+¦-ú???+¦-ú?+¦+¬ Geluksholte 2050 (2). Wine is not what it used to be. It is merely a vessel for alcohol. But then, it is best to forget. I punish myself when I remember good wine. The only way I remember is by repeatedly reading the last remaining copies of wonderfully insightful, mad and weird man Michel Houellebecq’s ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëAtomised’ and ?+¦-+???+¦-ú?-¦?+¦-ú?+¦+ëThe possibility of an Island’.
Still at 45 now, I suppose I am not what I used to be. I can tell, because my longstanding friend Emile, who used to write about wine, is now doing PR for the SA Wine and Spirits Board. They have driven the desire out from all of us.
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