Charles W. Elliott
A new report, Feeding The World Without GMOs , by the Environmental Working Group (EWG) refutes the corporate biotech/industrial narrative that genetically modified organism (GMO) foods offer real solutions to global hunger and food insecurity.
Despite significant progress over the past 30 years, the world still faces an ongoing crisis of hunger and food insecurity. 805 million people continue to go hungry, according to estimates by the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. The world also faces a “hidden hunger” problem —micronutrient deficiency—which affects some two billion people, causing long-term, irreversible health effects and significantly impairing economic productivity. We face stark challenges posed by population growth: by 2050 the demand for food will be twice what it was in 2005.
Feeding the World Without GMOs takes a hard look at ways to address this problem and concludes that GMO food is a non-solution. In nine pages of tight synthesis, it analyzes: (1) why GE crops don’t contribute to food security; (2) what would work to boost the global food supply; and (3) the unfulfilled promise of genetic engineering.
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Charles W. Elliott
(In Parts I and II of “GMOs: Food, Money & Control,” we explored the failure of the leading U.S. state proposal to require labeling of GMO foods (California Proposition 37), the control of crop seeds through GMO patents and licensing, the loss of seed and crop diversity, and the increasing domination of the seed industry by biotechnology firms. In this post, we examine GMO contamination of other food crops and the impacts of GMO technologies on pesticide use.)
“When we try to pick out anything by itself we find that it is bound fast by a thousand invisible cords that cannot be broken, to everything in the universe. —John Muir
Despite pervasive human intervention, the dynamism of the natural world overcomes virtually all artificial boundaries and limits. We directly experience nature’s refusal to stay within the lines we draw. Plants penetrate concrete sidewalks; moving water inexorably surmounts or breaks through barriers; nature retakes land abandoned by humans.
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Posted in Agriculture, Global Hunger, Social justice
Tagged biotechnology, genetically modified food, Global hunger, glyphosate, GMO, Monsanto, patent, Roundup®, sustainable agriculture, U.S corn crop, U.S. soybean crop
Ven. Bhikkhu Bodhi
The drought currently besetting the U.S. is said to be the worst in fifty years. Engulfing some 60% of the country, it has struck deep in the midwest and plains states, a region known as the nation’s grain basket, the heart of the global food supply. The harshest blow has fallen on the corn crop, which is pivotal to the task of feeding the world. According to the Weekly Weather and Crop Bulletin, as of July 31st, 48% of the corn crop was rated poor and only 24% good or excellent. This is extremely disheartening when compared with last year’s rating of 14% poor and 62% good or excellent. Moreover, at this late point in the summer there is no chance left for a change of fortune, and farmers’ hopes and worries have now moved on to next year’s crop.
To grasp the full significance of the drought, it’s necessary to note that the U.S. corn harvest is the most abundant source of grain in the world. According to global systems expert Lester Brown, corn accounts for four-fifths of U.S. grain production. The U.S. leads the world as an exporter of corn, and many countries depend for sustenance on a healthy American corn harvest. A disruption in our corn stocks thus sends shock waves far and wide, portending increased hunger not only this year but in years to come. Continue reading →