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Astrological Musings

As Jeffrey pointed out in the comment section, Saturn is stationing (standing still) as it prepares to change direction on May 3, and Saturn in Virgo is in the news on a daily basis. Here is another interesting corrolary challenging (Saturn) ideas about how we feed the world (Virgo):

Genetic modification actually cuts the productivity of crops, an authoritative new study shows, undermining repeated claims that a switch to the controversial technology is needed to solve the growing world food crisis.

The study – carried out over the past three years at the University of Kansas in the US grain belt – has found that GM soya produces about 10 per cent less food than its conventional equivalent, contradicting assertions by advocates of the technology that it increases yields. …

The new study confirms earlier research at the University of Nebraska, which found that another Monsanto GM soya produced 6 per cent less than its closest conventional relative, and 11 per cent less than the best non-GM soya available.

The Nebraska study suggested that two factors are at work. First, it takes time to modify a plant and, while this is being done, better conventional ones are being developed. This is acknowledged even by the fervently pro-GM US Department of Agriculture, which has admitted that the time lag could lead to a “decrease” in yields.

But the fact that GM crops did worse than their near-identical non-GM counterparts suggest that a second factor is also at work, and that the very process of modification depresses productivity. The new Kansas study both confirms this and suggests how it is happening.

A similar situation seems to have happened with GM cotton in the US, where the total US crop declined even as GM technology took over.

Taking this a step further, a new report advocates the return to more natural methods of growing food:

The world will face social upheaval and environmental disasters if agriculture is not radically reformed to better serve the poor and hungry, a landmark UN-sponsored report said.

The warning in the report by the International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) comes amid growing discontent among the world’s poorest over rising food prices.

“Continuing with current trends in production and distribution would exhaust our resources and put our children’s future in jeopardy,” said the report, which was compiled by about 400 international experts.

“And the increasingly globalized food market and ever-increasing food imports mean that no country can assume itself to be immune to the implications,” it added.

In a statement, the IAASTD called for a “more holistic view of agriculture.” The first of the United Nations’ 10 Millennium Goals is to reduce by half the number of people suffering from hunger by 2015.

Virgo cherishes a natural and holistic approach to life and despises the artificial trappings that separate us from an affinity to the natural world. Once Saturn has turned direct in early May it will be interesting to see whether any changes are made in that direction.

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