ETC Resources

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Open Letter to Ecover / Method

re: decision to use ingredients derived from Synthetically Modified Organisms
02 June 2014
Philip Malmberg, CEO
Industrieweg 3
Malle, 2390 Belgium
Adam Lowry, Co-Founder
Method Home
637 Commercial Street, Suite 300
San Francisco, CA 9411
Dear Philip Malmberg and Adam Lowry,
RE: Ecover and Method’s decision to use ingredients derived from Synthetically Modified Organisms (SMOs) in its products


Why Genetically Modified Crops Pose a Threat to Peasants, Food Sovereignty, Health, and Biodiversity on the Planet

A Summary of Scientific Arguments


Almost twenty years of genetically modified crops… What have we gained?

Contrary to what companies promised, official statistics from the United States—the leading producer of genetically modified (GM) crops in the world—demonstrate that the truth of GM crops is that they produce less per hectare than the seeds that were already available on the market, but have resulted in an exponential increase in the use of agritoxins.

Case Study: Saffron and Synthetic Biology

Ingredients, Flavours, Fragrances and Synthetic Biology

Synthetic biology could impact the $22 billion global flavour and fragrance market and the livelihoods of producers of natural commodities. The world's largest producers of food ingredients, flavors and fragrances are all now partnering with Synthetic Biology companies to develop biosynthetic versions of key high value natural commodities such as saffron, vanilla, vetiver and patchouli - replacing botanical sources. These in turn are just a few our of hundreds of economically important natural plant compounds whose production may be switched to synthetic biology production in a very short time frame.

Case Study: Artemisinin and Synthetic Biology

Plant-Derived Pharmaceutical Ingredients and Synthetic Biology

This case study illustrates developments in synthetic biology that could be disrupting the livelihoods of thousands of small farmers who cultivate Artemisia for the plant’s anti-malarial compounds. These developments impact the sustainable use of biodiversity and fair and equitable sharing of benefits from the genetic resources that produce natural plant products.  If biosynthesis of artemisinin can be successfully scaled up, the pharmaceutical industry will source future supplies of artemisinin from a handful of microbial cell factories instead of farmers in Asia and Africa