“Dysfunctional technology” of GM is no answer to world hunger
Across Europe, the great GM food and crop debate has taken off once again. Only through widespread adoption of GM technology will we feed a hungry world (9 billion mouths by 2020 – UN figs.), say the all-powerful (US) life science companies. The danger is that politicians and policy-makers are being pressured by glitzy PR and political pressure rather than by any scientific or field evidence that this statement is true.
Indeed there is now a strong body of published evidence that shows GM crops do not increase agricultural yields. Other work indicates negative health impacts for livestock reared on GM feed and potentially for humans consuming produce from those animals.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) published its 2500 page report, this year, based on peer reviewed publications and concluded that the yield gains in GM crops “were highly variable” and in some places “yields declined”. Asked at a press conference if GM crops were the answer to world hunger, IAASTD Director Professor Bob Watson (he’s now Chief Scientist at Defra) said – “The simple answer is no.” The UK Government approved the IAASTD report on June 9th this year.