|The Gene Revolution: No Potential for the Poor - Yet a Threat to the Environment|
May 19, 2004
The Gene Revolution: No Potential for the Poor - Yet a Threat to the Environment
|May 19th 2004, Bonn - The environment and biodiversity, not GMOs, need more FAO attention. The Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) based in Rome concludes in its annual report "The state of food and agriculture 2003 - 4" that biotechnology holds great promises for agriculture in developing countries. FAO explains in its press release that biotechnology is much more than genetically modified organisms. However, by not being precise on which technology is meant exactly, the FAO contributes to diverting the discussion on GMOs, the actual hot issue.|
Just like the FAO, IFOAM sees the need for increased food production to
provide food for the world's growing population. IFOAM shares the view
of FAO that 'The challenge is to develop technologies that combine
several objectives - increase yields and reduce costs, protect the
environment, address consumer concerns for food safety and quality,
enhance rural livelihoods and food security'. IFOAM, however, cannot
understand why FAO thinks these challenges can be addressed by a risky
technology out of reach of the poor. In its own press release, the FAO
states that only six countries, four crops and two traits are so far
involved in genetic engineering. IFOAM wonders why the poor have to
wait for future promises, when there is currently a 'user-friendly'
low-cost approach available that is environmentally and socially sound
and has substantial economic benefits: Organic Agriculture. IFOAM's new
Executive Director Dr. Zadok Lempert points out "through natural
technologies and methodologies already in place and human ingenuity,
organic agriculture not only opposes GMO technology, but also provides
many practical and functional ecological solutions to problems that
biotechnology attempts to or promises to solve."
If society, and the FAO in particular, want to work for and achieve real sustainable, equitable and environmentally sound food security, it should not endorse and promote the so-called "gene revolution", but an organic revolution - as successfully practiced all over the world by millions of organic and agroecological farmers.
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|