Despite the expanding evidence that GMOs are not inherently dangerous, our farm will continue to avoid them as much as possible.
- We believe each new cross-species gene insertion should be independently studied for safety. The actual process of gene splicing is not inherently dangerous, but poor choices can be made in choosing which genes to splice. Even independently safe compounds can have dangerous reactions in combination.
- We support heritage varieties of plants as well as heritage sheep, helping to preserve the diverse genetic bank that may someday be invaluable to saving a species or increasing the nutritional value of our foods. Growing a limited number of varieties of each species can lead to disasters such as the Gros Michel banana extinction. Even if we do not save seed ourselves, our patronage of heritage breed vegetable suppliers funds the maintenance of their seed banks. (Just as your patronage of our farm funds the maintenance of our Cotswold gene pool.)
- We don’t use herbicides on our crops, so we have no reason to use herbicide resistant varieties.
- We support wildlife and diversity on our farm, and will not spray our fields down to replace the diverse meadow with a monocultured GMO.
Conversely, we are not so afraid as to avoid GMOs at all costs, and will make some compromises as needed to keep our farm sustainable:
- We will not spray our pastures down to get rid of potential GMO contamination from possible prior owner’s seeding. The risk of the sprays far outweighs the risk of having some GMO grass strains. With time native grasses should replace most of the seeded grasses, and this is definitely already happening in our diverse fields.
- When we run out of non-GMO vegetables grown right on our farm or by other local farmers, we will supplement hay with commercial beet pulp or alfalfa/timothy pellet as needed for the nutritional status of our sheep.
- We will do business with our neighbors rather than burning large amounts of fuel to buy certified non-GMO crops from further away.