GMO’s Not Necessary to Solve World Hunger

Monsanto have put too little effort into to designing crops truly resilient and instead rely on pumping ever more quantities of pesticide into the ground by creating crops that are immune to round up. The weeds eventually develop natural immunity, requiring ever stronger and ever more poisonous pesticides and the cycle continues. The land is poisoned and the food is laced with poison. This is no solution to world hunger.

Do we need GMO’s to feed a growing world? Not necessarily, in fact this is a myth propagated by companies such as Monsanto. There has been no conclusive study showing either that we need GMO’s to maintain food supply globally, or that we have reached the end of what can be achieved with other more natural means. There is not even agreement that we are actually suffering a food shortage:

“Indeed, for more than 40 years the world has produced regular and often bountiful food surpluses-large enough, in fact, to prompt major producing countries like the United States to pay farmers not to farm some of their land. Indeed, the Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO) estimates that 80 percent of hungry children in the developing world live in countries that produce food surpluses. And only about a quarter of the reduction in hunger between 1970 and 1995 could be attributed to increasing food availability per person, according to a study by the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI).” World Watch Magazine, July/August 2000, Volume 13, No. 4

Or, that GMO’s have increased yield: ” far from increasing output Monsanto’s genetically modified soya beans were prone to stunted growth and excessive stem splitting in high temperature field conditions. This was apparently due to unintended changes in plant physiology caused by the addition of genes making the beans resistant to glyphosate, the herbicide marketed as ‘Roundup’ by Monsanto. It resulted in up to 40% yield losses compared to traditional soya beans grown in the same conditions.” New Scientist, 1999 ‘Monsanto’s modified soya beans are cracking up in the heat’

I’m not ignoring the possibility that GMO’s COULD, if approached ethically, one day provide healthy resilient crops, but not until we stop looking at GMO’s as a way of increasing “profit” yields, regardless of health outcomes of the people eating those crops.

Indeed, according to the Swiss research firm Covalence, Monsanto is the most unethical company in the world. That’s some achievement. I certainly won’t be eating food grown from their seeds whenever ever I can help it.


~ by Max Riethmuller on February 20, 2012.

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