George Jeffords

Like almost 90 per cent of US farmers, George Jeffords grows genetically-modified crops. In the USA, just over 70 million hectares of land are used to cultivate GM soya beans, maize and cotton.

George Jeffords is aware of the dangers of GM plants, and he bemoans the way in which agriculture is changing as a result of their industrial cultivation. But, despite this, he has decided to grow GM crops himself.

“I’ve had a lot of discussions about the global acceptance of genetically-modified plants. Can I ask you something? Do you have a phone in your bag? It’s an iPhone, right? Aren’t there studies that suggest that holding this iPhone to your ear can cause cancer?

Do you have a microwave in your house? Or in your hotel room? There are studies that suggest that microwaves are bad for us. The exhaust fumes from that tractor up there – they’re bad for us. I try not to be naïve. You have to draw the line somewhere, and we have to learn where the line is and then live with it.

If I farm the old way, I can’t feed as many people as I do now. I’m not saying that it’s the right answer – but I can’t give you a different one… Am I afraid of genetically-modified plants? No. Will they cause cancer? I don’t know. Maybe some will, maybe some won’t. But I’m not afraid of them. I eat GM maize. I grow it, I eat it and I love it”.