Seed corporations profit while millions starve
March 16, 2009
“Despite the GM hype built up by the industry during the food crisis, there is still not a single commercial GM crop with increased yield, drought-tolerance, salt-tolerance, enhanced nutrition or any of the other ‘beneficial’ traits long-promised by the industry. Disease-resistant GM crops are practically nonexistent, and are grown on a tiny scale.”
The world is facing a crisis in the global food system but the major biotechnology corporations (also the leading agro-chemical players) increasingly controls the world’s seed supply.
In its annual assessment of GM crops worldwide, Friends of the Earth International (FOEI) maintained that the biotechnology industry’s insistence that GM technology is the answer to solving hunger and the food crisis is merely a hype. Its report, “Who benefits from GM crops?” looks behind the spin and exposes the reasons why GM crops cannot, and are unlikely to contribute to poverty reduction, global food security or sustainable farming.
The report also noted that GM crops are not as widely cultivated around the world as the biotech industry’s figures suggest and found that these figures are often inflated to make GM farming appear more widespread than it really is.
According to the report, “GM crops are still confined to a handful of countries with highly industrialised, export-oriented agricultural sectors. Nearly 90 per cent of the area planted to GM crops in 2007 was found in just six countries in North and South America, with 80 per cent in the US, Argentina and Brazil. One country alone, the United States, plants over 50 per cent of the world’s GM crops. Just 3 per cent or less of cropland in India and China is planted to GM crops”.
With respect to Europe, the area grown with GM crops in Europe has actually declined rather than increased.
The report is available online at: http://www.foei.org/en/what-we-do/gmos/global/who-benefits-09