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Will GE feed the world?

Page - February 1, 2007
Genetic engineering will not feed the world.

In Tangail, Bangladesh, the comminity is using their own adopted rice seed, rejecting the high- yeilding patented GE seeds offered to them by first world food industry.

"There is no shortage of food on the planet." Kofi Annan, UN World Food Summit, 2/10/06.

We need to work on providing all people access to sufficient, safe and nutritious food to meet their daily needs, and ensure food control remains in the hands of communities and farmers that promote truly sustainable crop and food production.

This fundamentally flawed claim based on the false assumption that hunger exists because of a gap between food production and human population.

In fact, "The world produces enough food to feed all the people who inhabit it - and it could produce even more,'' according to United Nations Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) head, Jacques Diouf.

The hunger problem lies not with how much food is produced but rather with how this food is distributed.

Too many people are simply too poor to buy the food that is available, and too few people have the land to grow food for themselves.

If the genetic engineering companies really wanted to feed the hungry, they would encourage land reform and the redistribution of income.

"We strongly object that the image of the poor and hungry from our countries is being used by giant multinational corporations to push a technology that is neither safe, environmentally friendly nor economically beneficial to us. We do not believe that such companies or gene technologies will help our farmers to produce the food that is needed in the 21st century. On the contrary, we think it will destroy the diversity, the local knowledge and the sustainable agricultural systems that our farmers have developed for millennia and that it will thus undermine our capacity to feed ourselves."

Statement signed by 24 delegates to the UN Food and Agricultural Organisation from 18 African countries, April 2001. Full press release

At Greenpeace, Oxfam and other groups concerned with real solutions to hunger have documented examples of socially and environmentally sustainable farming practices from all over the world that provide sufficient and healthy food that is affordable for people in developing countries who live on low incomes.