|Genetic Engineering incompatible with Organic Agriculture|
April 30, 2008
Genetic Engineering incompatible with Organic Agriculture
Organic and GMO agriculture are based on different values
and a different attitude towards nature. The current environmental crisis,
leading to desertification, biodiversity loss and climate change, has shown
that a controlling attitude of humans toward nature is counterproductive. Gene
technology is not a value free technology but is an expression of a worldview
in which nature can and should be ruled and manipulated as much as possible to
keep agriculture manageable in industrialized agriculture. In contrast, Organic
Agriculture  departs
from a different attitude towards nature and aims at cooperating with nature in
an ecological way supporting self regulation and biodiversity within the
agro-ecosystem of a farm. In this way natural resources, the very base of agriculture
can be sustainably maintained instead of getting destroyed and diminished.
The reasons why the organic sector rejects genetic engineering are not limited to the risk associated with its products, but also include concerns about the process itself. The current structure and products of the genetic engineering sector do not serve smallholders or the Organic Principles and humanities greatest needs. They serve mainly the interest of multinational corporations.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) , which was recently concluded in Johannesburg, clearly calls for an overhaul of the farming system and points towards organic and other low input systems, that use adjusted traditional and indigenous knowledge. Gerald A. Herrmann, IFOAM president states: ‘GMO, made for large scale monocultures, is just another expression of the same thinking that brought humanity in the current crisis. Organic Agriculture will not accept techniques and traits that deprive humanity from its very basis: agro-biodiversity’.
 Organic Agriculture is a production system that sustains the health of soils, ecosystems and people. It relies on ecological processes, biodiversity and cycles adapted to local conditions, rather than the use of inputs with adverse effects. Organic Agriculture combines tradition, innovation and science to benefit the shared environment and promote fair relationships and a good quality of life for all involved.
|© IFOAM - International Federation of Organic Agriculture|