GENTECH archive


Re: Fw: Rice

Dear Coop,

I would like to ask you to consider the following points:
The world today, acoording to what is said by many people, knows about 800
million people who hunger. Another 1 billion (i am not sure about this
number)are undernourished. They have deficiencies in nutrional factors.
I found this quote in the book Biosafety needs and priority actions for West and
Central Africa: "According to a 1992 United Nations Report on nutrition the
world wide drive to introduce high yield cereals and western agricultural
techniques to Asia, Africa and South America, and the replacement of local
fruits and vegetables by high yield rice, wheat and maize, low in minerals and
vitamins resulted in severe deficiency in developing countries".
The introduction of chemical dependant cotton in India has led to farmers
committting suicide. Why? It comes down to this: the industry seeds and the
herbicides are expensive.The farmers have to go in debt in order to buy them.
They do this because they are seduced by industrypeople that "these seeds will
give very high yield etc." However, if for whatever reason the harvest fails,
these farmers are burried in debt. That is what drove hundreds of Indian farmers
to drink their own pesticides, killing themselves.
The landvarieties that are still used and preferred by hundreds of millions of
farmers cost only a fraction of the price of "western" seeds, hybrids etc.
Hundreds of millions of  small farmers still live by mutual exchange of seeds,
without ownership, breeder's rights or patents. Just the pleasure of sharing and
exchanging, thereby improving crops, developing new varieties etc
I am sure that there is more to say, but this is all for now.
Wytze de Lange

Co-op wrote:

> -----Original Message-----
> From: Co-op <>
> To: Roberto Verzola <>
> Date: Wednesday, April 28, 1999 1:57 PM
> Subject: Re: Rice
> >How does widespread use of chemical agriculture cause starvation and death?
> >
> >....and I don't want to "foist", anything on anyone.  I'm sure chemical
> >companies would like to sell their products to the entire world so they can
> >make money, I do not dispute that.  They try to sell where their is a
> >market, and where there is not a market, they try to make one.
> >-----Original Message-----
> >From: Roberto Verzola <>
> >To: <>
> >Date: Wednesday, April 28, 1999 9:36 AM
> >Subject: Re: Rice
> >
> >
> >> >Again, Show me the numbers.  What would happen if we didn't use this
> >> >technology?  I'll tell you.  There would be mass starvation and death.
> >How
> >> >do you propose to feed the world without pesticides?
> >>
> >>I am from the Philippines. Please stop worrying how you would feed
> >>us... We'd rather work on it ourselves especially since you want to
> >>foist your pesticides on us. MASIPAG, a Philippine organization of
> >>organic farmers, boasts an average rice yield of 3.8 tons per hectare,
> >>which is higher than our national average of 2.8 - 3.3 tons per
> >>hectare (depending on whose statistics you use). In fact, it is the
> >>widespread use of chemical agriculture that causes starvation (due to
> >>increasing poverty) and death.
> >>
> >>Roberto Verzola
> >>
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