Michael Hart, a conventional livestock family farmer from Cornwall (UK), investigates the reality of farming genetically modified crops in the USA since their introduction in 1996. He travels across the US interviewing farmers and other specialists about their experiences of growing GM.
Hart has been farming in Cornwall for nearly thirty years and has actively campaigned on behalf of family farmers for over fifteen years, travelling extensively in Europe, India, Canada and the USA.
During the making of the film he heard problems of the ever increasing costs of seeds and chemicals to weeds becoming resistant to herbicides.
US farmers told him that a single pass (one herbicide application) is a fallacy and concurred that three or more passes are the norm for GM crops.
As weeds have become more resistant to glyphosate there has been a sharp increase in the use of herbicide tank mixes (most of them patented and owned by the biotech companies). Astonishingly some farmers were now having to resort to hand labour to remove weeds.
Farmers have seen the costs spiral, for example, the price of seed has gone from $40 to over $100 per acre over the last few years.
Farmers referred to co-existence (the ability to grow GM crops next to non-GM and organic crops) as “unsolvable” and say that it does not work.
His work uncovers:
- A huge “weed” problem;
- The myth of co-existence;
- Farmers trapped into the genetically modified biotech system; and
- Huge price increases for seeds and sprays- well beyond the price increases farmers have received for their crops.
In short, the film shows US farmers urging great caution to be exercised by UK and European farmers in adopting this technology.