GENTECH archive


Re: 100% Total Worldwide Ban of GE Food


The genetic engineering industry has been claiming that at a time when more
than 800 million people go to bed hungry, and the number is likely to swell
to over 1.5 billion in the next ten years, biotechnology provides the only
hope to feed the burgeoning population. This is merely a PR statement which
somehow clicks with the ignorant masses and more importantly with the
politicians and policy makers.

The fact is that even now the world has enough food to feed these 800
million hungry people. The problem is not of production but of access and
distribution. And that is why the United States had insisted during the
first World Food Summit at Rome not to treat food security as a global
prerogative. Accordingly, food security is a national problem and there is
no obligation on the part of the international community to rise to meet
the challenge. Interestingly, the M.S.Swaminathan Research Foundation in
Madras (in India) had sometimes back organised an international conference
on the issue of food security. The only country which refused to
participate (after a lot of correspondence) was the United States, stating
that food security was not their problem !!

In India, which is now "self-sufficient" in foodgrain production, reports
of hunger and starvation pour in regularly from the infamous Kalahandi
region of Orissa in western India. The region with a population of 20
million sufffers from the pangs of hunger and malnutrition despite any
visible signs of ecological devastation. So much so that in 1943, at the
time of the Bengal Famine, Kalahandi had come to the rescue of the famine
stricken Bengal !!

Again, the problem is not of production. What is not know is that Kalahandi
is the biggest contributer of surplus rice to the central food reserves.
Last year, it provided some 47,000 tonnes of rice to the food reserves of
the government of India. Why people die of starvation and hunger is because
they cannot afford to buy the food they produce. Biotechnology cannot make
available the food within the reach of these poorest of the poor. And in
India, an estimated 320 million people are below the poverty line with a
monthly income not exceeding US $ 400.

Devinder Sharma


Devinder Sharma
Forum for Biotechnology & Food Security,
Post Box: 4,
Lajpat Nagar-IV,
New Delhi-110 024, India.

Tel: 91-11-6562326
Fax: 91-11-6420664

Christoph Reuss wrote:

> > 4.  The chemical/genetic engineering industry claim that
> >     these "scientific advances" will help solve the
> >     problem of world hunger.  Their actual main motive is to
> >     create a profit windfall by increasing sales of their pesticides.
> That's an understatement.  Their ultimate goal is the monopolisation of
> the seed market and large parts of the pharmaceutical market.
> Chris
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