Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Food crisis softens resistance to genetically modified food

From CSM: Opposition to genetically modified (GM) foods, still strongest in Europe, is starting to erode in the face of the global food crisis.

But the pressure for change, so far, is more economic than political.

Partly this is because genetically modified crops are not regarded as an immediate answer to farming problems in poor regions; partly it is because genetic alteration remains controversial. Europe bans most of the use and growth of crops whose seeds have been modified with genes of other organisms to make them more resilient.

Yet the economics of the food crisis may already be forcing changes in Europe, and in smaller farm nations, experts say. For the first time, Japan and Korea are allowing snack and drink manufacturers to quietly start using GM corn, after prices for non-GM corn doubled last year.

Comment: It’s terrible that hungry people would rather reject Genetically Modified food than to accept it and therefore feed themselves. But these are the times we live in, where people reject immunizations because of the fear that their children will contract autism, or that somehow technology and civilization should be rejected for a world ideal in which all should revert to a time and place that was fresh, pure, and unmolested by science. Was there ever such a time? And is it possible to be part of a society and not have the inventiveness that affords us civilization? I seriously doubt it. It's ironic that environmental advocates that oppose GM foods are also inhibiting the process of creating more disease resistant varieties of crops that would allow less use of pesticides on farms. Less pesticide use on farms means less pesticide run-off into rivers. I have found that irony and competing interests are the norm with advocates against GM foods--foods that could possibly feed millions of hungry people.


Jimmy said...

It's scaremongers in the name of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth who've created this situation. They continue to mislead poor farmers that genetically modified foods pose a grave threat to people's health and the environment. This is why Africa would not touch genetically modified crops. But they are very much ready to accept food aid from the U.S. and other countries that grow genetically modified crops. It's high time African countries open their eyes and do what's right: modernize their agriculture by embracing modern agricultural technologies such as crop genetic engineering.

VH said...

Excellent comment. I couldn't agree with you more. Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth have a lot to answer for. I guess starving people aren't enough for them to change their tune.

Thanks for your comment.