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Genetically modified crops? Not in my backfield Print E-mail
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A GM dominant agribusiness in the third world will create the classic preconditions for hunger and famine: firstly ownership of resources will be concentrated in too few hands (this is inherent in farming based on patented products), and secondly the emerging food supply will be based on too few varieties of crops too widely planted. These are the worst possible options for Third World food security. No wonder there is not a single aid agency or famine relief charity that thinks GM holds significant answers to Third World hunger problems. The only conceivably acceptable pro-GM argument, that it might help us feed the starving in the poorer parts of the world, turns out to be the most cynical and reckless of all. Far from offering hope and independence to Third World farmers and growers, GM represents the new economic enslavement of the Third World - neo-colonialism by proxy. Everybody who works at the hard end of the aid business will tell you that it is politics, war, poverty and drought, and most often pernicious combinations of these factors, that conspire to create famine. Which of them precisely can be cured by a genetically modified seed? I believe they don't yet have one that grows without water, or produces fruits that pacify dictators. The fact is that if you want to feed the starving, you must dodge bullets, negotiate with warlords, and rebuild infrastructure. If you want to help the starving feed themselves, you must give them ploughshares and irrigation. If you want to help them compete effectively in the global food marketplace, then give them access to markets and a fair price for the products of their labour. If, on the other hand, you want to own them and control them and make them mere pawns in your industrial empire, then sell them a strain of genetically modified seed and a patented production system that means the seed cannot germinate without your additives, cannot grow without your fertilisers, cannot prosper without your weedkillers, and cannot even produce a viable seed for the following year's harvest. You will effectively then own these farmers, and their crops, even to the extent that you will be able to tell them who to sell to and how much for. GM. It is about some of the biggest, richest, most powerful companies on the planet seeking to own and control global agriculture, and who would want to support that? It represents the final theft of the means of food production, away from local, regional and even national communities, into the hands of a few international corporate giants, based in America, who will quickly come to dictate, without opposition or discussion, what kind of seeds and what kind of chemicals will be spread over every cultivatable inch of the world's land surface. And if I overstate fractionally the reach of their capability I fear I exaggerate not one iota the extent of their ambition. It is utterly, inescapably obvious that we don't need GM in the UK and in Europe. Our agriculture is already over industrialised and over productive. We have millions of acres 'set aside' for non-production. What possible benefits could accrue from another step down the road of 'efficiency'?,9950,971026,00.html
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This is Keith Richardson's alternative news site. The site aims to promote Truth, Justice, a green clean healthy environment and a wildlife friendly world. It is currently focused on Foreign News and particularly the Middle East.