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Tavascarow

Are the NFU pro GM?

I'm reading this article this morning & a paragraph stands out.
Quote:
Guy Smith (NFU) emphasised the need to embrace change and new technology if farmers are to keep up with international competition. Farming is on the brink of a major technical revolution, according to Guy. In fact, he stated the role of the NFU is not to tell people how to farm, but to give British farmers the same access to the tools and technologies of their competitors abroad. When asked how farmers could intensify sustainably, Guy suggested leaving land fallow (after being sprayed off with Roundup) and to rotate fallow land with crops.
That rings warning bells to me.
I've been saying for sometime DEFRA & the NFU are representing big agribusiness before their members & IMHO that confirms it.
I want to know how much Monsanto are paying him.
Mistress Rose

I have heard from small farmers that the NFU tend to represent large farmers more and don't have much interest in them, which is certainly not a good thing, but at a local level I think they tend to be more than just a political lobby group and can be a base that farmers can discuss things at their meetings.

Not everyone who is pro GM or pro weedkiller is paid by Monsanto, and Roundup does roll off the tongue easier than glyphosate.

I don't happen to agree that is the way to go, and can't see any reason not to plough in fallow if you want to have it rotating rather than kill everything. In fact it would add nutrients to the soil, so seems rather counter productive apart from the cost and use of chemicals.
Treacodactyl

Re: Are the NFU pro GM?

I want to know how much Monsanto are paying him.


I don't understand your point, do you have any evidence at all that Monsanto are paying Mr Smith? And I don't mean a rather one sided blog post.

If people are against the use of weedkillers then prove you can get just as good yields without them at a reduced cost and farmers will follow, they're not stupid and they don't want to spend cash on unnecessary chemicals. They may be a bit stubborn so you do need proper research rather than relying on what someone has said someone has done in a blog.
Tavascarow

Re: Are the NFU pro GM?

I want to know how much Monsanto are paying him.


I don't understand your point, do you have any evidence at all that Monsanto are paying Mr Smith? And I don't mean a rather one sided blog post.

If people are against the use of weedkillers then prove you can get just as good yields without them at a reduced cost and farmers will follow, they're not stupid and they don't want to spend cash on unnecessary chemicals. They may be a bit stubborn so you do need proper research rather than relying on what someone has said someone has done in a blog. You seem to have a problem with any information I post that comes from the internet.
The sustainable food trust are a well respected organisation.
When I say I want to know how much he's being paid, it's merely a tongue in cheek remark to highlight just how close the NFU & DEFRA are getting to agribusiness & less to their grass roots members IMHO.
Have members been lobbied as to whether they want to go down the GM route? I'm not a member & have no idea about the workings of the NFU & how democratic or undemocratic they are.
I know they have regional groups but don't know how much is bottom up or top down.
Something I do know is the nation as a majority are against GM.
That's been proven by many polls.
So is the likes of Monsanto & Syngenta using the NFU to lobby for them? Or have their members showed a genuine interest in going down the GM route?
Rob R

Re: Are the NFU pro GM?

I'm not a member & have no idea about the workings of the NFU & how democratic or undemocratic they are.
I know they have regional groups but don't know how much is bottom up or top down.

They are extremely democratic, runs by farmers such as Guy who are elected by paid-up members, in much the same way that many clubs and breed societies are run. Obviously that means people with more time on their hands tend to have more time for holding positions, but such is life. I have always found post-holders to be interested in even the views of non-members, but positions have to be taken to represent the views of all farmers who are members.

My personal view is that the NFU is all about keeping options open for farmers. I don't buy into conspiracy theories about agro-chemical companies giving them bribes any more than I believe the fuel companies bribe organic farmers, or they both bribe vegan organisations, but the associations run in broad support because they use their products. I have a lot of respect for people like Guy, even when I don't agree with them, as they are at least prepared to talk and work on our behalf, even if we're not paying their expenses.

The NFU represents it's member farmers, both organic and conventional, numbers of whom are governed, ultimately, by what the public buy. There was a recent survey that said;

Quote:
A recent Eurobarometer survey found that the vast majority of EU citizens (94%) consider agriculture and rural areas “important” for their future, a 2% increase compared to the previous survey in November 2013.


Source

...but statistics are tricky things. People say and do different things, and I firmly believe that money talks. If 94% of people put their money where their mouth is, our futures will be secured and we wouldn't need subsidies nor the NFU.
Tavascarow

So I repeat have NFU members been asked if they want GM?
I ask that question genuinely because that paragraph I highlighted is to me screaming that the NFU want to go down that route or are open to it when the population of the country is saying the opposite.
It's not a conspiracy just my interpretation of the written word.
I'm trying to determine whether the dog wags the tail or not.
I know with regards to neonics who wags who just not with GM.
Rob R

You'd have to ask a member or three.

I do believe that members are surveyed on policy issues, but I don't know what the results are.
Tavascarow

You'd have to ask a member or three.

I do believe that members are surveyed on policy issues, but I don't know what the results are. I am. & you haven't really answered the question. Wink I haven't asked for results of any poll. I'm asking have NFU members been asked if they want their executive to lobby for GM?
You have been involved in the industry for as long as GMOs have been prevalent & I guess an NFU member for the larger part of that. So assume you would remember something of this magnitude.
With TTIP around the corner this, & similar issues should be at the forefront of discussion IMHO.
Regardless of how we as individuals feel about GM, when the vast majority of your customers don't want it, yet one of your executives (to me) is saying the NFU does, rings warning bells to me.
Rob R

You'd have to ask a member or three.

I do believe that members are surveyed on policy issues, but I don't know what the results are. I am. & you haven't really answered the question. Wink I haven't asked for results of any poll. I'm asking have NFU members been asked if they want their executive to lobby for GM?
You have been involved in the industry for as long as GMOs have been prevalent & I guess an NFU member for the larger part of that. So assume you would remember something of this magnitude.
With TTIP around the corner this, & similar issues should be at the forefront of discussion IMHO.
Regardless of how we as individuals feel about GM, when the vast majority of your customers don't want it, yet one of your executives (to me) is saying the NFU does, rings warning bells to me.

Members are polled on policy matters and such things are voted for at AGMs and the like, that's as much as I know specifically about GM. As I said, you'd be better off asking NFU members about it so if you are then better to take what they say as more reliable than my best guess.
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