Monday, 3 February 2014

Crisis among Venezuelans in Norway


A Norwegian friend told me Venezuelans cannot purchase or legally introduce to Norway the maize flour they need to live.

Apparently, the Harina PAN, which is the maize flour of choice and which Venezuelan POLAR exports now from Colombia to the whole planet, contains genetically modified maize...and Norway is implementing a strict policy of not allowing GM stuff into the country.

This is completely preposterous: it is not like genetically modified DNA from the über-processed Harina PAN packages will get into the maize fields of...Stavanger? Trondheim?

I feel with my compatriots in Norway. I hope the Norwegian government can get to a compromise with the Venezuelan community. The Norwegian oil industry benefits greatly from highly qualified Venezuelans - now Venezuelan Norwegians - who are now without arepas. This is like Muslims without halal or Jews without kosher food. Please, Norwegian government: have mercy upon the Venezuelan community.


9 comments:

  1. Congratulations Norway.

    I feel that your post is misguided. You should be lobbying POLAR to stop using genetically modified maize rather than lobbying the Norwegian government.

    Limey

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    Replies
    1. You could go lobby POLAR. Perhaps you know more than my biologist friends. They are of another opinion. I am not a biologist, even if I have read quite some reports from one and the other side about the GM issue.

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  2. As a Biologist, I'll point out that GMO Maize contains analogs to insecticides and leptins humans can't digest, some of which are clinically associated with gastro-intestinal issues such as illeus. My wife is now searching for other bases to use in our Arepas, too. Lobby Polar, not the Herring-Picklers!

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    Replies
    1. Thanks, John, for your point of view.
      Do you have a paper or publication at hand you can point at to read further about this?

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    2. Organic corn gets sprayed with BT toxin and no one beats an eye. Same molecule, same possible effects, but nobody complains

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    3. Well, Guido: I understand people don't seem to be shocked about BT toxins but I suppose it's because most normal users/eaters haven't got a clue about how many of their products are full of those chemicals. I suppose people prefer playing "blind man's bluff".
      I myself had to look right now in Wikipedia what these TB toxins were (I did know toxins of all kind are used in these products but the degree and level is something really few others than specialists are aware of).
      So: the fact they are here already doesn't make them better...perhaps there is need for a more global rethink...or does it really require us to go back to Middle Age technology?

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    4. I am against GMOs and love arepas, so this is now a big dilemma. I had noticed Harinapan was no longer being sold in my usual immigrant shop. Now I know why... sucks! John Hayes, has your wife found any suitable alternative for us arepa-lovers here in Norway? :)

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  3. Compared to walking downtown in any major city like Oslo, the risk from Harina PAN which may or may not have corn GMO depending on the crop for an occasional Sunday Arepa is zero. Anyone living in Norway has such food options that I doubt they will ingest enough corn flour from Colombia to suffer from any adverse effect. And if they do limit themselves to expensive imported corn flour, if they are such idiots, then they deserve their fate. It's called natural selección.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Well, Daniel, to be fair: it can be a matter of principle. They won't accept GM material and won't support the purchase of GM material and they might want to set an example for other countries, just as they have done with certain kinds of weapons (not that GM material is a weapon, but they might want further studies until the danger is really cleared up...just saying and being the Norwegians' advocate)

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