Record harvest - record hunger: Argentinean experience

Greenpeace report shows genetically engineered crops contribute to poverty

Feature story - June 9, 2002
As governments tackle the problem of hunger at the UN World Food Summit, Greenpeace released a report showing how genetically engineered (GE) crops increase poverty, while failing to address hunger.

GMO free soybeans.

The report, called "Record Harvest - Record Hunger" focuses on the Argentinean experience. Despite promises from the GE industry that GE crops will help feed the world, events in Argentina illustrate the opposite is true.

Emiliano Ezcurra of Greenpeace said in Rome that, "by surrendering to food dictators such as Monsanto and Syngenta, who seek to dominate the world´s food production from fields to fork, Argentina has put its food security at risk."

Greenpeace appealed to the World Food Summit delegates today with a banner that said: "Food Dictators won´t feed the world."

Since the enthusiastic introduction of GE crops in 1996, Argentina has become the second largest producer of GE soy, exporting most of it as animal feed. The land used for soy cultivation has nearly doubled, which subsequently has increased the soy harvest to the record level of nearly 30 million metric tonnes.

However, during the same period, food insecurity has greatly increased and half the population, 18 out of 37 million, now live on the edge of starvation or are unable to meet their basic needs, according to official statistics.

Small and medium size farms disappeared in record numbers at the end of the 90s,

and large numbers of people were displaced from rural livelihoods.

View the report:

Record harvest - record hunger