Displaying 1-3 of 3 key documents
Source: Nature | November 2003
This feature article examines some of the key debates around the role of genetically modified (GM) technology in Africa.
The technology promises much to malnourished populations on a continent that climate change threatens to make even more inhospitable to crops. But anti-GM campaigners maintain that Africa's hunger crisis will not be solved by biotechnology.
US agri-biotech corporations such as Monsanto who lobby African governments to buy into such technology also have a large financial stake in rolling out GM over such a large continent. The anti-GM lobby, traditionally made up of environment charities such as Greenpeace, are now seeing aid charities such as Oxfam join its ranks.
The real stand-off, however, is between the largely pro-GM United States and a cautious Europe. The US Agency for International Development (USAID), which is pro-GM, has provided millions of dollars to support biosafety policymaking and research in the developing world.
European countries meanwhile do not rule out introducing GM technology to Africa but want GM products labelled and traceable to their source. The deciding factor may be how effective GM is in improving nutrition — and that remains under debate.
Source: Biotechnology Journal | September 2007
The way discussions about biotechnology are framed is also dealt with, concluding that innovative, new techniques are required to create a rational dialogue with the public.
Source: The Royal Society, | July 2000
This report outlines the conclusions and recommendations of an international expert working group. Representatives from the national academies of sciences in Brazil, China, India, Mexico, the UK, and the USA, and the Third World Academy of Sciences came together to consider GM technology in a global context, and its possible impacts on food security, public health and the environment.
The authors recognise a role for GM technology in the production of food that is more nutritious and stable in storage, and that might enable the delivery of specific health advantages to consumers. Such technologies, they argue, should be made freely available to farmers in developing countries.
The report calls for cooperative efforts between the public and private sectors to develop GM-derived technologies that will benefit consumers worldwide, and argues that governments should set up suitable public health regulatory systems to ensure that food derived from this technology is as safe as that derived from non-GM methods. In addition, the authors recommend a thorough investigation of any environmental impacts, both positive and negative, of the cultivation of GM crops as compared with conventional agriculture.
A balanced and informative report with a global perspective, with particular emphasis on the needs developing nations.