GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto

By Jeff Kirkpatrick

January 7, 2017

“In the long run, there are no secrets, in science. The universe will not cooperate in a cover-up.” -Arthur C. Clark.


GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto

Nobel Prize recipient Richard Feynman said that “scientists should not only tell what’s true but…make clear all the information that is required for somebody else who is intelligent to make up their mind” about how to use a technology. He also said that technology “carries with it no instructions on how to use it, whether to use it for good or for evil” and that how to control technology “is something not so scientific and is not something that the scientist knows so much about.”

Two of his more well-known quotes were: “I can live with doubt and uncertainty and not knowing. I think it’s much more interesting to live not knowing than to have answers which might be wrong” and “Science is the belief in the ignorance of experts.”

Feynman also warned us that “Experts with delusions of certainty create imitative forms of science, producing the kind of tyranny we have today in the many institutions that have come under the influence of pseudoscientific advisors.”

We are now at a critical time known as the Anthropocene [1]. The planet is undergoing dramatic climate changes that threaten life on Earth. Combined with the massive loss of biodiversity and plant genetic resources, our food security is approaching a great threat level across the globe. The forces behind GMOs are those driven by profit; they do not solve or fix anything, but instead exacerbate those forces that propel us faster into the Anthropocene. GMOs are the embodiment of the industrialization of agriculture: they promote monocultures, are linked to a loss of healthy soils, they are a contributing factor in the pollution of land and water. The reliance on fossil fuel-based fertilizers indicates that the powerful hidden forces that promote climate denialism and those that enable the unjust spread of GMOs around the globe need to be identified, and the lies, myths, frauds, and unethical behaviors they adhere to and live by must be exposed.

It is in this context that I have combined a number of articles published by GMWatch along with some documents revealed through a Freedom of Information Act Request (FOIA) by “US Right to Know” into one publication. It is sadly necessary to show that not all science is true science; not all scientists fit the requirements of ethical and honest behavior.It is also necessary to expose those who support and promote fraud and abusive behavior. The kinds of tactics that have been employed resemble those that are consistent with sociopathic personality traits. These types of actions are unacceptable in a civilized society, much less in a scientific debate, no matter what the topic might be.

Read the full publication here:

GMOs, Ethics, Money, and Monsanto


“‘Science is science,’ declared my college biology professor, alluding to its own rigorous standards, openness, and integrity. Today, my response would be ‘not quite.’ For in the autocratic, commercially driven hands of multinational corporations, ‘science’ becomes the instrument of an overall business plan that results in serious corruptions of scientific attitude, method, and peer-reviewed accountability. This confidential, proprietary ‘corporate science’ closes off Alfred North Whitehead’s definition of science as ‘keeping options open for revision.’ It becomes … the central chattel in a comprehensive business strategy to corporatize global agriculture. This is accomplished through a remarkable matrix of controls and public subsidies that takes monopolizing corporate behavior and its wildcat offshoots to historically unforeseen depths of danger to people and planet.” – Ralph Nader, forward, “The GMO Deception – What you Need to Know about the Food, Corporations, and Government Agencies Putting Our Families and Our Environment at Risk,” ed. Sheldon Krimsky & Jeremy Gruber, editors, Skyhorse Publishing (2014)

“We must as citizens and professionals join together to reverse the present situation. Publicly funded, independent research grants need to become a hot political issue. That would be the most efficient remedy for chronically unanswered questions and the corporate take-over of science. In conclusion, we once more quote Mayer and Stirling: ‘Deciding on the questions to be asked and the comparisons to be made has to be an inclusive process and not the provenance of experts alone.’ But then again, whom should society rely on for answers and advice should the time come when all science resource persons work directly or indirectly for the GE producers?”- Terje Traavik and Jack Heinemann, “Genetic Engineering and Omitted Health Research – Still No Answers to Ageing Questions,” Third World Network; 2007

“A lack of truthfulness concerning the limits of scientific knowledge, motivations, expected benefits, and the basis of conflict can lead to significant misunderstandings and mistrust between scientists, policy makers, and the public.” See: “Essential Features of Responsible Governance of Agricultural Biotechnology,” by Sarah Hartley, Frøydis Gillund, Lilian van Hove & Fern Wickson, PLoS Biology, vol. 14, No. 5; May 4, 2016 (7 pages)





 

[1]. See: “Escape of Genetically Engineered Organisms and Unintentional Transboundary Movements: Overview of Recent and Upcoming Cases and the new Risks from SynBio Organisms,” by Andreas Bauer-Panskus, Sylvia Hamberger, Mirjam Schumm & Christoph Then, Testbiotech; September, 2015 (38 pages)

Excerpt: “We are at a crossroads. There is no doubt that in the age of the ‘Anthropocene,’ biodiversity has already been severely impacted by human activities such as those in agriculture and land use. Gene flow from transgenic organisms and/or from organisms derived from synthetic gene technologies into the environment and native populations, is adding an extra level of risk to biodiversity. If we do not manage to stop the uncontrolled spread of genetically engineered organisms, all future generations will have to deal with new uncertainties, risks and long-term impacts created by current short-term economic interests and flaws in international and national regulation.”

Also see: “The trajectory of the Anthropocene: The Great Acceleration,” by Will Steffen, Wendy Broadgate, Lisa Deutsch, Owen Gaffney and Cornelia Ludwig, Anthropocene Review; Vol. 2, No. 1; April 2015 (18 pages)

Also see: “Rate of environmental degradation puts life on Earth at risk, say scientists,” by Oliver Milman, The Guardian; January 15, 2015

Also see: “Planetary Boundaries: Exploring the Safe Operating Space for Humanity,” by Johan Rockström et al, Ecology and Society, vol. 14, Issue 2; 2009

Excerpt: “The current and projected rates of biodiversity loss constitute the sixth major extinction event in the history of life on Earth—the first to be driven specifically by the impacts of human activities on the planet. Previous extinction events, such as the Tertiary extinction of the dinosaurs and the rise of mammals, caused massive permanent changes in the biotic composition and functioning of Earth’s ecosystems. This suggests non-linear and largely irreversible consequences of large-scale biodiversity loss. Accelerated biodiversity loss during the Anthropocene is particularly serious, given growing evidence of the importance of biodiversity for sustaining ecosystem functioning and services and for preventing ecosystems from tipping into undesired states … Currently, the global extinction rate far exceeds the rate of speciation, and consequently, loss of species is the primary driver of changes in global biodiversity …  Since the advent of the Anthropocene, humans have increased the rate of species extinction by 100–1000 times the background rates that were typical over Earth’s history … Until recently, most extinctions (since 1500) occurred on oceanic islands. In the last 20 years, however, about half of the recorded extinctions have occurred on continents, primarily due to land-use change, species introductions, and increasingly climate change, indicating that biodiversity is now broadly at risk throughout the planet.” [Citations omitted]


सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)

 


Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author(s) and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2017 Genetically Modified Ethics

 

 

 

 

Posted in Anthropocene, Biodiversity, Biotech Propaganda, Conflict of interest, Corporate control of food system, Corruption, Disinformation, Endangering the biosphere, Ethics, Genetic Diversity, Monsanto, Transgene escape | 1 Comment

GMOs are not necessary to feed the World

This is a resource of publications that addresses the myth that GMOs are needed to feed the world and publications that address methods that will.

GMOs are not necessary to feed the World - Ban GMOs Now

By Jeff Kirkpatrick – Ban GMOs Now

This is a working post that will be updated periodically.

Last update: January 16, 2017

This is the Great Lie: Monsanto and other biotech supports have said fordecades that GMOs are necessary to feed the world. There is no evidence for this at all; the evidence is clear that GMOs are NOT necessary to feed the world, but are detrimental to it in many ways (see here, here, here, here, here, and here). Yet, the propaganda (see here, here and here) has been so successful that this lie is believed to be a fact by many people. Even those who know nothing about GMOs have heard this lie and believe it is true, and journalists repeat it as though it were a given fact. It is not.

The solution to feeding the world is not based on genetically modified crops, but rather on other types of agriculture, especially agroecology. This post is meant to serve as a resource for reports, studies and articles that address feeding the world. The two areas of focus include addressing the myth that GMOs are needed to feed the world, and second, to present information about other agricultural methods that will.

This post will be updated when possible.

wordpress article 22afeeding the world without GMOs

Reports and similar publications

Human health implications of organic food and organic agriculture,” by the European Parliamentary Research Service (EPRS); December 2016 (88 pages)

A related summary article is here: “Year-End Gift to Organic Advocates: Study Shows Organic Foods Provide Health Benefits,” by Joey DeMarco, Food Tank; December 31, 2016

Feeding the World – Think U.S. Agriculture Will End World Hunger? Think Again,” by Anne Weir Schechinger and Craig Cox, Environmental Working Group (EWG); October 2016 (14 pages)

A summary article is here: “Feeding the World,” by Anne Weir Schechinger, and Craig Cox, EWG; October 5, 2016

A related article which cites this report is here: “No, Giant Farms Are Not Feeding the World. They’re Feeding Canada.” by Tom Philpott, Mother Jones; October 5, 2016

Farming for the Future: Organic and Agroecological Solutions to Feed the World,” by Christopher D. Cook, Kari Hamerschlag & Kendra Klein, PhD., Friends of the Earth, June 2016 (23 pages)

Summary Briefing: “Farming for the Future: Organic and Agroecological Solutions to Feed the World,” by Christopher D. Cook, Kari Hamerschlag & Kendra Klein, PhD., Friends of the Earth; October 21, 2016 (6 pages)

This summary publication can also be found HERE.

A related summary article is here: “Dirt, Democracy, and Organic Farming: A Recipe to Feed the World,” by Lani Furbank, Food Tank; June 21, 2016

From Uniformity to Diversity – A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems,” by IPES-Food; June 2016 (96 pages) [International Panel of Experts on Sustainable Food Systems]

This publication can also be found HERE.

Also see: “Executive Summary: From Uniformity to Diversity – A paradigm shift from industrial agriculture to diversified agroecological systems,” by IPES-Food; June 2016 (16 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

Frugal Farming: Old-fashioned breeding techniques are bearing more fruit than genetic engineering in developing hyper-efficient plants,” by Natasha Gilbert, Nature, Vol. 533; May 19, 2016 (4 pages)

Organic Farming & Agro-ecological Approaches: Ready-to-replicate Best Practices from around India,” by Kavitha Kuruganti and Indhubala Kesavan, Knowledge In Civil Society (KICS); March 2016 (42 pages)

Transforming food systems with agroecology,” by Steve Gliessman, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Vol, 40, No. 3; January 2016 (3 pages)

Peasant Agroecology for Food Sovereignty and Mother Earth, experiences of La via Campesina,” by La via Campesina International Peasant Movement; November 9, 2015 (71 pages)

Agroecology Case Studies,” by the Oakland Institute; November 2015 [Links to 33 case studies about successful agroecological techniques in Africa]

Related Press Release: “The Untold Success Story Agroecology in Africa Addresses Climate Change, Hunger, and Poverty,” by the Oakland Institute; November 19, 2015 (2 pages)

Counting on Agroecology: Why We Should Invest More in the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists; November 2015 (5 pages)

Organic Agriculture Can Feed the Planet: Towards Sustainable Consumption & Production – Charter of the International Organic Action Network in Expo,” by Organic Action Network; September 29, 2015 (10 pages)

International Forum for Agroecology, Nyéléni Center, Sélingué, Mali,” by Nyéléni, International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty (IPC); February 24-27; 2015 (36 pages)

A related article is here: “Declaration of the International Forum for Agroecology,” by Nyéléni, International Planning Committee for Food Sovereignty; 2015

ORGANIC 3.0 – For truly sustainable farming & consumption,” by Markus Arbenz, David Gould and Christopher Stopes, IFOAM – Organics International and SOAAN; 2015 (28 pages)

Hungry for land – small farmers feed the world with less than a quarter of all farmland,” by GRAIN; May 28, 2014 (22 pages) [This links to summary article with a link to download the report]

Agro-ecology: building a new food system for Europe,” by Friends of the Earth Europe; March 2014 (10 pages)

Feeding the Planet or Feeding Us a Line? Agribusiness, ‘Grainwashing’ and Hunger in the World Food System,” by Stephen J. Scanlan, International Journal of Sociology of Agriculture & Food, Vol. 20, No. 3; October 15, 2013 (26 pages)

Rising to the Challenge: Changing Course to Feed the World in 2050,” by Timothy A. Wise and Kristin Sundell, ActionAid USA; October 2013 (28 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

Can We Feed the World in 2050?  A Scoping Paper to Assess the Evidence,” by Timothy A. Wise, Global Development And Environment Institute; September 2013 (38 pages)

AGROPOLY – A handful of corporations control world food production,” by Berne Declaration (DB) & EcoNexus; September 2013 (18 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

Organic Farming at the Center Stage: A Primer on Sustainable Rice Based Farming Systems in the Philippines,” by Jaime S.L. Tadeo & Raphael M. Baladad, La Via Campesina; July 2013 (86 pages)

GM Crops: No Panacea to Food Security – A briefing paper on the MYTH that GM crops are necessary to feed India’s growing population,” by Neha Saiga, Greenpeace India; February 20, 2013 (12 pages)

Hungry for Innovation: Pathways from GM crops to Agroecology,” by David A. Quist, Jack A. Heinemann, Anne I. Myhr, Iulie Aslaksen and Silvio Funtowicz, Chapter 19 in ‘Late Lessons from Early Warnings II: Science, Precaution, Innovation,’ by the European Environment Agency January, 2013 (29 pages)

Agroecology, Food Sovereignty, and the New Green Revolution,” by Eric Holt-Giménez & Miguel A. Altieri, Agroecology and Sustainable Food Systems, Vol 37, Issue 1; 2013 (13 pages)

Ecological Agriculture, Climate Resilience and a Roadmap to Get There,” by Lim Li Ching & Doreen Stabinsky, TWN Environment & Development Series No. 14, Third World Network; 2012 (49 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

Ecological agriculture is climate resilient,” by Lim Li Ching & Doreen Stabinsky, Third World Network; November 28, 2011 (8 pages)

We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People … and Still Can’t End Hunger,” by Eric Holt-Giménez, Annie Shattuck, Hans Herren & Steve Gliessman, Journal of Sustainable Agriculture; July 2012 (5 pages)

A related article is here: “We Already Grow Enough Food for 10 Billion People – and Still Can’t End Hunger,” by Eric Holt-Giménez

Green Agriculture: foundations for biodiverse, resilient and productive agricultural systems,” by Parviz Koohafkan, Miguel A. Altieri and Eric Holt Giménez, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Vol. 10, 1; February 2012 (13 pages)

Agroecology Scaling Up for Food Sovereignty and Resiliency,” by Miguel A. Altieri and C.I. Nicholls, Sustainable Agriculture Reviews, Vol. 11; 2012 (29 pages)

This publication can also be found on many other websites, including HERE, HERE and HERE.

Less Hunger through more Ecology: What can organic farming research contribute?“ by Johannes Kotschi, Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung, November 2011 (19 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

Excerpt: Agriculture must be fundamentally realigned in order for the following three goals to be achieved collectively: food security, adaptation to climate change, and preservation of natural resources. Today, very few people dispute that the ecologisation of agriculture is a core principle for this realignment. Where they disagree is what development it should undergo.

Organic agriculture has already provided significant impetus for such realignment, and it can also be viewed as a future driving force. In contributing to a renewal of agriculture, it serves a dual system: for highly intensive, largescale and industrialized agriculture, it generates innovations that can help to use resources more efficiently and in an environmentally friendly way; for smallholder agriculture, it provides systems of food and livelihood security which are, in many instances, ecologically and economically superior to other forms of agriculture.

Compared with the goals of food security and sustainability in production, organic agriculture in its present state is not yet efficient enough, but it does offer plenty of development potential and is perhaps the most future-proof option available today. Though still in its infancy, research into organic agriculture is vested with the task of tapping this potential. For this to be realized, research into organic agriculture needs to be given a significant boost of funds and realigned.

When determining the content of future research, more emphasis should be placed on the intensification of production, yield increase and global nutrition than has been the case thus far. In this context, two fields of work in urgent need of being addressed are plant breeding and soil productivity.

Mitigating and Adapting to Climate Change through Ecological Agriculture,” by Lim Li Ching, Third World Network; 2011 (36 pages)

Peasant and Family Farm Based Sustainable Agriculture Can Feed the World,” by La Vía Campesina; September 2010 (16 pages)

Ecological Farming: Drought-Resistant Agriculture,” by Reyes Tirado and Janet Cotter, Greenpeace International; April 2010 (16 pages)

A summary article is here: “Ecological farming: Drought-resistant agriculture,” by Greenpeace International; July 1, 2010

National Organic Action Plan – From the Margins to the Mainstream: Advancing Organic Agriculture in the U.S.” by Liana Hoodes, Michael Sligh, Harriet Behar, Roger Blobaum, Lisa J. Bunin, Lynn Coody, Elizabeth Henderson, Faye Jones, Mark Lipson and Jim Riddle, RAFI-USA; January, 2010 (60 pages)

The Case for Sustainable Agriculture: Meeting Productivity and Climate Challenges,” by Lim Li Ching, Third World Network; 2009 (35 pages)

The Food Crisis, Climate Change and the Importance of Sustainable Agriculture,” by Martin Khor, Third World Network; 2009 (26 pages)

Small Farms as a Planetary Ecological Asset: Five Key Reasons Why We Should Support the Revitalization of Small Farms in the Global South,” by Miguel A. Altieri, Third World Network; 2008 (24 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

The Global Food Crisis: Hype and Reality,” by Rosario Bella Guzman, Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific; July 2008 (68 pages)

Ten Reasons Why the Rockefeller and the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundations’ Alliance for Another Green Revolution Will Not Solve the Problems of Poverty and Hunger in Sub- Saharan Africa (Policy Brief No 12),” by Eric Holt-Giménez, Ph.D., Miguel A. Altieri, Ph.D., and Peter Rosset, Ph.D., Food First; October 2006 (12 pages)

USAID: Making the world hungry for GM crops,” by GRAIN; April 25, 2005 (24 pages)

Will Biotech Feed the World? The Broader Context,” by Craig Holdrege, The Nature Institute; 2005

Force-Feeding the World: America’s ‘GM or Death’ Ultimatum to Africa Reveals the Depravity of its GM Marketing Policy,” by Robert Vint, National Coordinator, Genetic Food Alert; August 23, 2002 (7 pages)

Feeding or fooling the world? Can GM really feed the hungry?” by GM Freeze, October 2002 (52 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

The False Promise of Genetically Engineered Rice,” by Greenpeace International; June 2, 2001 (12 pages)

This report can also be found HERE.

The Myth: Scarcity. The Reality: There Is Enough Food,” by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset, Food First Backgrounder, Vol. 5, No. 1; May 1998, (4 pages)

A summary article is here: “The Myth: Scarcity. The Reality: There Is Enough Food,” by Frances Moore Lappé, Joseph Collins and Peter Rosset, Food First; May 1, 1998


One of the first notable extensive report that addressed this subject in detail was published in 2003:

The Case for a GM-Free Sustainable World – Independent Science Panel,” by Mae-Wan Ho, Lim Li Ching, et al, Institute of Science in Society; June 2003 (136 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

wordpress 2The Case for a GM-Free World - Independent Science Panel

From the Executive Summary:

  1. GM crops failed to deliver promised benefits
  2. GM crops posing escalating problems on the farm
  3. Extensive transgenic contamination unavoidable
  4. GM crops not safe
  5. GM food raises serious safety concerns
  6. Dangerous gene products are incorporated into crops
  7. Terminator crops spread male sterility
  8. Broad-spectrum herbicides highly toxic to humans and other species
  9. Genetic engineering creates super-viruses
  10. Transgenic DNA in food taken up by bacteria in human gut
  11. Transgenic DNA and cancer
  12. CaMV 35S promoter increases horizontal gene transfer
  13. A history of misrepresentation and suppression of scientific evidence

The authors of a 2007 study on organic agriculture’s ability to feed the world stated:

Our results suggest that organic methods of food production can contribute substantially to feeding the current and future human population on the current agricultural land base, while maintaining soil fertility.

Organic Agriculture and the Global Food Supply,” by Catherine Badgley, Jeremy Moghtader, Eileen Quintero, Emily Zakem, M. Jahi Chappell, Katia Avilés-Vázquez, Andrea Samulon and Ivette Perfecto; Renewable Agriculture and Food Systems, Vol. 22, No. 2; 2007 (23 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE, HERE, HERE, HERE and HERE.

Dr. Mae-Wan Ho commented on the findings of this study:

The results indicate that organic methods could produce enough food to sustain the current human population, and potentially an even larger population, without increasing the agricultural land base. They also estimated the amount of nitrogen potentially available from nitrogen fixation by legumes as cover crops. Data from temperate and tropical agro-ecosystems suggest that they could fix enough nitrogen to replace all of the synthetic fertilizer currently in use. The report concluded: “These results indicate that organic agriculture has the potential to contribute quite substantially to the global food supply, while reducing the detrimental environmental impacts of conventional agriculture.”


 

Then in 2008 the Institute of Science in Society published another report.

Food Futures Now: Organic – Sustainable – Fossil Fuel Free,” by Dr. Mae-Wan Ho, Sam Burcher, Lim Li Ching, et al, Institute of Science in Society; 2008 (180 pages).

wordpress 2Food Futures Now Organic - Sustainable - Fossil Fuel Free

Excerpt from the forward:

Chemical-based agriculture has been failing over the past three decades, exacting a terrible toll on soil, water, biodiversity, food security, human health and climate. It demands change on a global scale. For this to happen, we need to draw on farmers’ experience and local knowledge that has been marginalized and displaced by the Green Revolution, and we need the appropriate science that can work synergistically with local knowledge. The challenges of feeding the planet can only be met by bringing together diverse knowledge systems and experiences rooted in understanding and respecting the complexities of nature and cultures. When that happens, the world shifts from despair to hope.


Another interesting report that was published in 2008 was also critical of industrial agriculture (which is essentially dependent on GMOs at this point) and which reviewed the fact that organic agriculture should have a major role in feeding the people of Africa.

wordpress 2Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa

Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa,” published by Rachel Hine and Jules Pretty, United Nations Conference on Trade and Development – United Nations Environment Programme (UNCTAD). 2008. (60 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

A related summary article is here: “Can Africa Feed Itself? Organic agriculture and food security in Africa,” by Nadia El-Hage Scialabba, FAO; June 6-8, 2007

 


Then in 2009 a report was published by the IAASTD (International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development). This 606 page report is described in part, as a critique regarding the use of GMOs in agriculture. The report concluded that the overall recommendation for solving the global food problem in the future does not rest with GM crops, but agroecological farming systems. The report is based on four years of work by over 400 authors working through a democratic process and ratified by 58 nations in 2008. It is worth mentioning that as it became clear the report was critical of the use of GMOs in agriculture, Monsanto and Syngenta resigned from participating in the international project.*

Agriculture at a Crossroads – Global Report,” edited by Beverly McIntyre, Hans Herren, Judi Wakhungu and Robert Watson; published by: IAASTD, 2009. (606 pages)

wordpress 2Agriculture at a Crossroads - Global Report IAASTD

Excerpt from the preface:

The IAASTD draft Report was subjected to two rounds of peer review by governments, organizations and individuals. These drafts were placed on an open access Web site and open to comments by anyone. The authors revised the drafts based on numerous peer review comments, with the assistance of review editors who were responsible for ensuring the comments were appropriately taken into account. One of the most difficult issues authors had to address was criticisms that the report was too negative. In a scientific review based on empirical evidence, this is always a difficult comment to handle, as criteria are needed in order to say whether something is negative or positive. Another difficulty was responding to the conflicting views expressed by reviewers. The difference in views was not surprising given the range of stakeholder interests and perspectives. Thus one of the key findings of the IAASTD is that there are diverse and conflicting interpretations of past and current events, which need to be acknowledged and respected.

The IAASTD also published a synthesis report to accompany the larger report.

Agriculture at a Crossroads – Synthesis Report,” edited by Beverly McIntyre, Hans Herren, Judi Wakhungu and Robert Watson, published by IAASTD; 2009. (106 pages)

wordpress Agriculture at a Crossroads - synthesis report

Several other variations of synthesis and other related reports were also published by the IAASTD in multiple languages.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Greenpeace provided a summary report of its own on based on these publications. “Agriculture at a Crossroads: Food for Survival,” by Greenpeace International; October 2009 (64 pages)

wordpress 2Agriculture at a Crossroads Food for Survival - By Greenpeace

Excerpt from the Executive summary:

Public neglect for primary production and rural life is probably at least as old as industrialization. At the point where for the first time in history more people will be living in cities than in the countryside we come to realize the price of the urban habit of looking at agriculture with a peculiar mixture of disregard and romanticism.
Overcoming this fundamental disconnect from the very basis of our existence is a long-term cultural challenge. As the present multiple economic, environmental and social crises have built up over a long period of time, it will probably require several decades – and the hard work and commitment of more than one generation in thousands of different environments – to achieve a situation which would warrant calling our agricultural and food practices economically, socially and ecologically sustainable.


Friends of the Earth has been publishing reports for a number of years leading with the question, ‘Who benefits from GM Crops?’ The 2009 report focused on the claim that GMOs were helping to feed the poor and by extension, GMOs would be able to feed the world. This report refutes that assertion and gives support the the IAASTD report that agroecology is the solution.

Who Benefits from GM Crops? – Feeding the Biotech Giants, not the World’s Poor,” by Juan Lopez Villar, Bill Freese, Helen Holder, Kirtana Chandrasekaran and Lorena Rodriguez; published by: Friends of the Earth International, February 2009 (48 pages)

wordpress Who Benefits from GM Crops - Feeding the Biotech Giants, not the World's Poor

From the conclusion:

GM crops are not the answer to world hunger. The vast majority are not grown by or destined for the world’s poor, but are used to feed animals, generate biofuels, or produce highly processed food products in rich countries.

 

 

 



 

Genetic Engineering and Food Sovereignty: Sustainable Agriculture is the Only Option to Feed the World – Threats by GM-Agriculture, Ways towards Sustainable Agriculture and Lobbying Work in Developing Countries,” by Church Development Service; April 2009 (142 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

“Threats by GM-Agriculture, Ways towards Sustainable Agriculture and Lobbying Work in Developing Countries”

wordpress Genetic Engineering and Food Sovereignty Sustainable Agriculture is the Only Option to Feed the World (Threats by GM-Agriculture)

Contents: [A series of essays]

Part 1. What we have Learnt – Experiences with GMO Crops in Developing Countries

1.1 Transgenic Contamination of Soy in Brazil: Who pays the bill? – Gabriel Bianconi Fernandes

1.2 Contamination by Transgenic Crops in Costa Rica – Hidden Pollution in a ‘Tropical Paradise’ – Ute Sprenger

1.3 Bt Cotton in Maharashtra – Joy Daniel

1.4 The Impact of GM Corn in the Philippines – Victoria Lopez

1.5 GMOs and Food Aid in Southern Africa – Andrew Mushita

1.6 Transgenic Contamination of Mexican Maize: Civil Struggles in Defense of Maize and Food Sovereignty – Catherine Marielle

1.7 Who Needs Golden Rice? – Charito P. Medina (PAN-AP) 48 iv Genetic Engineering and Food Sovereignty

Part 2. The Effects – Socio-economic Issues Around GMOs

2.1 Socio-Economic Impact of GMOs on African Consumers – Cathy Rutivi, Julius Mugwagwa

2.2 International Lobbying on the Cartagena Protocol – Rudolf Buntzel

2.3 Assessing the Socio-economic, Cultural and Ethical Impacts of GMOs – Elenita Daño

Part 3. Why we don’t Need GMOs

3.1 First Steps in a Peasant Sustainable Agro-food System- an Experiment from Mexico – Catherine Marielle, Lucio Diaz and Marion Poinssot

3.2 Farmers Say No to Genetic Engineering in Rice – The Case of Bangladesh – Farida Akhter

3.3 Agro-ecological Farming is a Real Option for Africa – Samuel Chingondole

3.4 Status of Agriculture, Food Security and Impact of GMOs -A Country Report for Tanzania – Alphonce Katunzi, Yakobo Tibamanya and Donati Senzia


 

Feeding the future: How organic farming can help feed the world,” by Dr. Isobel Tomlinson, Soil Association [UK]; May 30, 2012 ftf

Excerpt: How to ‘feed the world’ is of course a massive issue concerning questions not only about how food is produced, but what is produced, where and by whom, as well as who has access to the land, technology and knowledge to produce it, how it is traded, as well as who can afford to buy it. We are certainly not attempting to address all these issues here, but we want to be clear that feeding the world using organic and other agro-ecological farming methods is not just about farming differently and moving from a ‘business-as-usual’ food system to ‘organic business-as-usual’. It is about big changes to how we produce and consume food. It is about investing in the development of smallholder agriculture and local markets in the Global South, but it also means action to end food waste, estimated at one-third of all food produced globally. Critically, it is also about changing diets in the Global North to make them healthier and more sustainable for the planet.


 

A report on the benefits of agroecology:

The scaling up of agroecology: spreading the hope for food sovereignty and resiliency,” by Miguel A Altieri, Clara Nicholls, Fernando Funes (and other members of SOCLA), published by SOCLA; May 2012 (20 pages) – A contribution to discussions at Rio+20 on issues at the interface of hunger, agriculture, environment and social justice.

wordpress The scaling up of agroecology spreading the hope for food sovereignty and resiliency

In 2013 another internationally based report was published that not only addressed feeding world without GM crops, but also taking into consideration climate change. Again the findings were consistent with the previously mention reports; agroecology and small organic farms were the solution to feeding the world, not GM crops.

 

 

 


 

Wake up before it is Too Late: Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate,” Published by the United Nations Commission on Trade and Development (UNCTAD); March 2013 (338 pages)

wordpress 2Wake up before it is Too Late Make Agriculture Truly Sustainable Now for Food Security in a Changing Climate 2013

From the Press Release of United Nations Conference on Trade and Development, 17 September 2013:

Monoculture and industrial farming methods are not providing sufficient affordable food where it is needed, the report says, while the environmental damage caused by this approach is mounting and is unsustainable. It says that the highest priority must be given to enabling the rural poor to become self-sufficient in food or to earn sufficient income through agriculture so that they can buy food.

The report emphasizes that a shift is necessary towards diverse production patterns that reflect the “multi-functionality” of agriculture and enhance closed nutrient cycles. Moreover, as the environmental costs of industrial agriculture are largely not accounted for, governments should act to ensure that more food is grown where it is needed. It recommends adjusting trade rules to encourage “as much regionalized/localized food production as possible; as much traded food as necessary.”


wordpress article feeding the world without GMOs -Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest by Jack A. Heinemann

Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest,” by Jack A. Heinemann, Melanie Massaro, Dorien S. Coray & Sarah Zanon Agapito-Tenfen, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Vol. 12, Issue 1; June 14, 2013 (18 pages)

This publication is also HERE in HTML format. [Jack A. Heinemann et al (2014) Sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 12:1, 71-88, DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2013.806408]

The authors’ reply to comments about the study is here: “Reply to comment on sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest,” by Jack A. Heinemann, Melanie Massaro, Dorien S. Coray & Sarah Zanon Agapito-Tenfen, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, Vol. 12, Issue 4; August 4, 2014 (4 pages)

This publication is also HERE in HTML format. [Jack A. Heinemann et al (2014) Reply to comment on sustainability and innovation in staple crop production in the US Midwest, International Journal of Agricultural Sustainability, 12:4, 387-390, DOI: 10.1080/14735903.2014.939843]

ExcerptThe choice of GM-biotechnology packages in the US agroecosystem has been the stark contrast with W. European patterns of biotechnology use. Notwithstanding claims to the contrary, there is no evidence that GM biotechnology is superior to other biotechnologies…

Nonetheless, GM crops are not a solution, in part because they are controlled by strict IP instruments. Despite the claims that GM might be needed to feed the world, we found no yield benefit when the United States was compared to W. Europe, other economically developed countries of the same latitude which do not grow GM crops. We found no benefit from the traits either…

Change must come from more than just the technology sector. A viable roadmap for the future of agriculture was presented by the International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Research and Development (IAASTD 2009). This roadmap and the warning from the Committee on Genetic Vulnerability of Major Crops leave us no excuses.


Following the report by the IAASTD, agroecology referenced more frequently and other reports followed we served as supporting evidence for the findings in the previous publications. They also provided more information about agroecology in general. One such report was published in 2010:

Mainstreaming Agroecology: Implications for Global Food and Farming Systems – Discussion Paper,” by M. Wibbelmann, et al, Centre for Agroecology and Food Security (CAFS); 2010 (32 pages)

wordpress Mainstreaming Agroecology Implications for Global Food and Farming Systems

Excerpt from the Executive summary

Agroecology not only defines, classifies and studies agricultural systems from an ecological and corresponding socio-economic perspective, but also applies ecological concepts and principles to the design and management of sustainable agroecosystems (Altieri, 1995). This means that it is very useful as a theoretical and practical approach to increasing the sustainability of current agri-food systems …

The increasingly high profile of agroecology is reflected in the growing body of evidence on high performing agroecological management practices. For example, a recent study (Pretty, Toulmin and Williams, 2011) examined 40 initiatives employing agroecological production methods in 20 countries, involving 10.4 million farmers. These included agroecological approaches to aquaculture, livestock and agroforestry, conservation agriculture, and crop variety improvements with locally appropriate cultivars and cropping systems. Analysis of project outcomes demonstrated not only an average crop yield increase of 113%, but also numerous environmental benefits, including carbon sequestration and reductions in pesticide use and soil erosion.


Another report was published that year in support of agroecology:

Agroecology and the Right to Food,” by Dr. Olivier De Schutter (Special Rapporteur to the U.N. on the Right to Food) United Nations Human Rights Council; December 20, 2010 (21 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE and HERE.

A press release regarding that 21 page report was issued as well: “Agroecology Outperforms Large-Scale Industrial Farming for Global Food Security,” June 22, 2010

Excerpt: Modern agriculture is a huge contributor to greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 14% of total annual emissions, with change in land-use (including deforestation for agricultural expansion) contributing another 19%. Of the direct agricultural emissions, fertilizers account for 38%, and livestock for 31%. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has estimated that in Southern Africa, yields from rainfed agriculture could be reduced by up to 50 percent between 2000 and 2020, and that arid and semi-arid areas could increase by 60-90 million hectares before 2080.

Dr. Olivier De Schutter issued another report in 2014 in strong support for agroecology:

The transformative potential of the right to food: Final report of the Special Rapporteur on the right to food,” by Dr. Olivier De Schutter (Special Rapporteur to the U.N. on the Right to Food) United Nations Human Rights Council; January 24, 2014 (28 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.


wordpress article 3feeding the world without GMOs

A excellent study from 2013 on genetically modified crops versus agricultural biodiversity:

Feeding the World: Genetically Modified Crops Versus Agricultural Biodiversity,” by Sven-Erik Jacobsen, Marten Sørensen, Søren Marcus Pedersen and Jacob Weiner, Agronomy for Sustainable Development, Volume 33, Issue 4; October 2013 (12 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE and HERE.

ExcerptGM efforts to date have been focused on crops considered to be profitable enough by large plant breeding companies, not on solutions to problems confronted by the world’s farmers or consumers…

GMOs developed by these companies will not help most of the world’s farmers. On the contrary, they are expensive and increase the dependency of farmers on external inputs, and have a negative impact on income distributions.

The claim that GMOs are necessary to feed the world is no more than a self-serving advertising campaign, and it is unfortunate that some economists accept the claims of GMO proponents as a “technical fix” to the world’s food problems without skepticism…

The development of GM technology is not driven by demand pull or public science push, but primarily by corporate interests, supported by GMO researchers’ career interests…

Not only is GMO research an ineffective way to address these problems, GM crops can threaten the cultivation of minor crops, such as neglected and underutilized plant species, which today constitute the basis of much subsistence farming…

GM crops will reduce the nutritional value and yield reliability of the food supply, and lead to a dangerous loss of biodiversity.


A report that defines agroecology very well:

wordpress 2Agroecology -What it is and what it has to Offer

Agroecology -What it is and what it has to Offer,” by Laura Silici, Researcher, IIED Natural Resources Group, Issue Paper; June 2014 (27 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.


wordpress 2From the Roots Up - How Agroecology can Feed Africa

More on agroecology: “From the Roots Up – How Agroecology can Feed Africa,” by Dr. Ian Fitzpatrick, Global Justice Now; February. 2015 (67 pages)

 

 

 

 

 



 

wordpress 2Transitioning Towards Agroecology Using the CAP to Build Local Food Systems

 

Again, more agroecology (with a focus on Europe):

Transitioning Towards Agroecology: Using the CAP to Build Local Food Systems,”  by Friends of the Earth Europe; February, 2015 (28 pages)

Excerpt from the introduction:

In Europe, the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) is the key legislative framework influencing the production, sale and processing of agricultural products. The CAP has driven major decisions on the direction of agriculture in Europe and the spending of considerable amounts of EU public funds–today it takes up around 40% of the total EU budget. Responsible for our food, our rural communities, our countryside, our health, our environment and our farmers, the CAP affects everyone.

It is widely acknowledged that the CAP – the EU’s Common Agricultural Policy – has encouraged a model of agriculture that damages the environment – contributing to climate change, biodiversity loss, soil erosion and water pollution. It has promoted factory farming at the expense of viable incomes for farmers in rural areas.

This report showcases successful examples of transitioning towards local food systems – agroecology – across the EU, and indicates the priorities governments should have to encourage a better food system.


 

Addressing the myth of feeding the world with GMOs again:

wordpress 2Feeding the World without GMOs

Feeding the World without GMOs,” by Emily Cassidy, Environmental Working Group (EWG); March 2015 (10 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE.

 

 

 

 

 


 

Greenpeace refers to a system of agriculture called Ecological farming that is analogous to agroecology. In May 2015 the published the following report:

Ecological Farming: The Seven Principles of a Food System That Has People at Its Heart,” by Reyes Tirado, Greenpeace International; May 2015 (68 pages)

wordpress Ecological Farming The Seven Principles of a Food System That Has People at Its Heart

A description by Greenpeace:

We are living with a broken food system. It needs to be replaced urgently for the benefit of all people, and the planet. Greenpeace’s Food and Farming Vision describes what Ecological Farming means, and how it can be summarized in seven overarching, interdependent principles – based on a growing body of scientific evidence.

Ecological Farming combines modern science and innovation with respect for nature and biodiversity. It ensures healthy farming and healthy food. It protects the soil, the water and the climate. It does not contaminate the environment with chemical inputs or use genetically engineered crops. And it places people and farmers – consumers and producers, rather than the corporations who control our food now – at its very heart.

It is a vision of sustainability, equity and food sovereignty in which safe and healthy food is grown to meet fundamental human needs, and where control over food and farming rests with local communities, rather than transnational corporations.



 

blog Feeding the People Agroecology for Nourishing the World and Transforming the Agri-Food System

Another good report about agroecology: “Feeding the People: Agroecology for Nourishing the World and Transforming the Agri-Food System,” by Hans Rudolf Herren, Angelika Hilbeck, Ulrich Hoffmann, Robert Home, Les Levidow, Adrian Muller, Erin Nelson, Bernadette Oehen and Michel Pimbert. Published by: IFOAM EU, October 29, 2015 (44 pages). IFOAM EU = European Union Group of the International Federation of Organic Agriculture Movements

This publication can also be found HERE.

 

 



 

The myth of GMOs feeding the world was also touched on this report:

wordpress 2twenty years of failure

Twenty Years of Failure – Why GM Crops Have Failed to Deliver on Their Promises,” Edited by Janet Cotter, Marco Contiero, Dirk Zimmermann and Justine Maillot; Greenpeace. November 2015 (40 pages)

This publication can also be found HERE and HERE.

 

 

 


 


wordpress 2Organic Agriculture Can Feed the Planet

 

Organic Agriculture Can Feed the Planet: Towards Sustainable Consumption & Production – Charter of the International Organic Action Network in Expo,” by Organic Action Network; September 29th, 2015 (10 pages)

 

 

 



 

The following issue brief focuses on the lack of federal funding for sustainable agriculture compared to the amount spent on industrial (which is intertwined with GM crops):

Counting on Agroecology: Why We Should Invest More in the Transition to Sustainable Agriculture,” by the Union of Concerned Scientists; November 2015 (5 pages)

wordpress agroecology spending union of concerned scientists



 

wordpress Replacing Chemicals with Biology Phasing out highly hazardous pesticides with agroecology

An extensive report was published during 2015 on the application of agroecology in the context of phasing out hazardous pesticides:

Replacing Chemicals with Biology: Phasing out highly hazardous pesticides with agroecology,” by Meriel Watts with Stephanie Williamson; Pesticide Action Network Asia and the Pacific; 2015 (224 pages)

 

 



 

This report from a Canadian group is a revision and update of a previous report that they published  a few years ago: “Do we need GM crops to feed the world?” by the Canadian Biotechnology Action Network (CBAN), Report 6; December 2015 (24 pages)

Description:wordpress 2Do we need GM crops to feed the world

A critical examination of the claim that we need genetically modified crops (and animals) to address global hunger to provide enough food for a growing population.

The research in this report begins to look ahead to understand what role – if any – GM crops and foods should play in the future of our food and farming systems.





ARTICLES:

Can GMOs Feed The World?” by Bethany Chester, Little Green Seedling; November 5, 2016

Excerpt: My main objection to GMOs is that they’re unnecessary, increase herbicide use and perpetuate unsustainable forms of agriculture. They seem more geared towards feeding farm animals than feeding the world. I personally think we need to move towards ways of growing food that work with nature, as that’s the only way we’ll achieve true sustainability.

Will Biotech Feed the World? The Broader Context,”  by Craig Holdrege, published by: The Nature Institute; 2005.wordpress article feeding the world without GMOs - Will Biotech Feed the World The Broader Context

ExcerptFeeding the world is not just a question of increasing yields. When we believe it is, we divert our attention from the much broader social, political, economic, and ecological issues influencing food production and hunger. If we continue to live under the illusion that we will find a technological solution to world hunger, and if we set our hopes on such solutions and channel our money and energy into their development, we can be pretty sure that world hunger will only grow.

What’s needed is a shift in our way of viewing that can inspire and inform a different kind of practice. The shift means no longer thinking of the world’s problems in terms of individual causes that can be manipulated or alleviated by single-target solutions. In the mode of thought that leads to industrial agriculture and genetic engineering we isolate “causes” out of a whole ecology and try to affect changes by manipulating these causes.

…  It’s hard to imagine a more un-ecological, unsustainable system. This is not a way to feed the hungry; it’s a way to destroy the planet.

Can Organic Farming Feed Us All?” by Brian Halweil, World Watch Magazine, Volume 19, No. 3; May/June 2006

GM Foods ‘Not the Answer’ to World’s Food Shortage Crisis, Report Says,” by Sean Poulter, Daily Mail Online; April 16, 2008

ExcerptGenetically-modified crops are not the solution to spiralling food prices or Third World hunger, according to a powerful international report published yesterday.

Questions remain over their effects on human health and the environment, it warns…

The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development has been working for five years to develop a new approach to world food production…

In recent months, GM companies, trade bodies and associated scientists have issued a deluge of propaganda suggesting biotech crops are the key to feeding the Third World.

Professor Watson and his team made clear that GM or transgenics – moving genes between plant species – was not the solution to providing plentiful cheap food.

He said: “Are transgenics the simple answer to hunger and poverty? I would argue, no.”

He said much more research was needed to establish whether they offer benefits and do not harm the environment.

Professor Watson said the industrialization of agriculture, of which GM is a part, has led to the heavy use of artificial fertilizers and other chemicals.

These have harmed the soil structure and polluted water ways.

The leeching of the soil of essential minerals means food is less healthy than 60 years ago.

The professor, a renowned expert on climate change and chief scientist at the UK food and farming department DEFRA, suggested organic farming practices offer many benefits.

Why GM Crops Will Not Feed the World,” by Bill Freese, Genewatch, Volume 22 Issue 1; Jan-Feb 2009

ExcerptThe tremendous hype surrounding biotechnology has obscured some basic facts. Most GM crops feed animals or fuel cars in rich nations, are engineered for use with expensive weed killers to save labor, often have reduced yields, and are grown by larger farmers in industrial monocultures for export. The technology is dominated by multinational firms intent on controlling the world’s seed supply, raising seed prices, and eliminating farmer seed-saving.

Real solutions will require radical changes. Rich nations must stop dumping their agricultural surpluses in the global South, respect the right of developing countries to support their farmers, and fund agroecological techniques to enhance small farmers’ ability to feed their families and their nations’ citizens.

Debunking the stubborn myth that only industrial ag can ‘feed the world’,” by Tom Philpott on March 10, 2011

Excerpt: Indeed, for years now, a steady stream of reports has emerged from the development agencies calling for new directions. In 2008, the U.N. Conference on Trade and Development and the U.N. Environment Program issued a paper [PDF] called “Organic Agriculture and Food Security in Africa.” It reads like a direct refutation of The Economist‘s claims. The report concludes:

Organic agriculture can increase agricultural productivity and can raise incomes with low-cost, locally available and appropriate technologies, without causing environmental damage. Furthermore, evidence shows that organic agriculture can build up natural resources, strengthen communities and improve human capacity, thus improving food security by addressing many different causal factors simultaneously … Organic and near-organic agricultural methods and technologies are ideally suited for many poor, marginalized smallholder farmers in Africa, as they require minimal or no external inputs, use locally and naturally available materials to produce high-quality products, and encourage a whole systemic approach to farming that is more diverse and resistant to stress.

GM crops to feed the world: PR or reality?” by Dr. Helen Wallace, Soil Association; May 27, 2011wordpress article GM crops to feed the world PR or reality – Dr. Helen Wallace, Soil Association

Can GMOs Help End World Hunger?” by John Robbins, Huffington Post; October 1, 2011

Excerpt: While Monsanto would like us to believe they are seeking to alleviate world hunger, there is actually a very dark side to the company’s efforts. For countless centuries farmers have fed humanity by saving the seed from one year’s crop to plant the following year. But Monsanto, the company that claims its motives are to help feed the hungry, has developed what it calls a “Technology Protection System” that renders seeds sterile. Commonly known as “terminator technology” and developed with taxpayer funding by the USDA and Delta & Pine Land Company (an affiliate of Monsanto), the process genetically alters seeds so that their offspring will be sterile for all time. If employed, this technology would ensure that farmers cannot save their own seeds, but would have to come back to Monsanto year after year to purchase new ones…

To Monsanto and other GMO companies, the terminator and other seed sterilizing technologies are simply business ventures that are designed to enhance profits. In this case, there is not even the implication of benefit to consumers.

I wish I could speak more highly of GM foods and their potential. But the technology is now held tightly in the hands of corporations whose motives are, I’m afraid, very different from what they would have us believe.

Despite the PR, Monsanto’s goal is not to make hunger history. It’s to control the staple crops that feed the world.

Will GMOs help end world hunger? I don’t think so.

GMOs: Fooling – er, ‘feeding’ – the World for 20 Years,” by GRAIN; May 15, 2013

wordpress article feeding the world without GMOs - GMOs Fooling – er, feeding – the World for 20 Years by GRAIN

ExcerptMyths and outright lies about the alleged benefits of genetically engineered crops (GE crops or GMOs) persist only because the multinationals that profit from them have put so much effort into spreading them around.

They want you to believe that GMOs will feed the world; that they are more productive; that they will eliminate the use of agrichemicals; that they can coexist with other crops, and that they are perfectly safe for humans and the environment.

False in every case, and in this article we’ll show how easy it is to debunk these myths. All it takes is a dispassionate, objective look at twenty years of commercial GE planting and the research that supposedly backs it up. The conclusion is clear: GMOs are part of the problem, not part of the solution.

MYTH: GE crops will end world hunger

MYTH: GE crops are more productive

MYTH: GE crops will eliminate agrichemicals

MYTH: Farmers can decide for themselves. After all, GMOs can peacefully coexist with other crops

MYTH: GE crops pose no threat to health and the environment

Genetically Modified Crops and Hunger – Another Look at the Evidence,” by Joel Dunn, Permaculture Institute; May 31, 2013

Excerpt: The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) was a multi-disciplinary review of international agricultural systems sponsored by the World Bank and the Food and Agriculture Organisation (FAO) and other United Nations affiliated organizations, tasked with assessing agriculture’s capacity for feeding a growing population and supporting sustainable development. Its report, based on four years of work by over 400 authors working through a democratic bureau process and ratified by 57 nations in 2008, called for root and branch changes to the world food system, specifically stating that “business as usual is not an option.”

Two of the leading authors (Ishii-Eitman & Ching, 2008) summarise the IAASTD report’s key findings as follows:

  • Agriculture involves far more than yields: it has multiple social, political, cultural, institutional and environmental impacts and can equally harm or support the planet’s ecosystem functions on which human life depends.
  • The future of agriculture lies in biodiverse, agroecologically based farming and can be supported by ‘triple-bottom-line’ business practices that meet social, environmental and economic goals.
  • Reliance on resource-extractive industrial agriculture is unsustainable, particularly in the face of worsening climate, energy and water crises; expensive, short-term technical fixes – including transgenic crops – do not adequately address the complex challenges of the agricultural sector and often exacerbate social and environmental harms.
  • Achieving food security and sustainable livelihoods for people now in chronic poverty requires ensuring access to and control of resources by small-scale farmers.
  • Fair local, regional and global trading regimes can build local economies, reduce poverty and improve livelihoods.
  • Strengthening the human and ecological resilience of agricultural systems improves our capacity to respond to changing environmental and social stresses. Indigenous knowledge and community-based innovations are an invaluable part of the solution.
  • Good decision-making requires building better governance mechanisms and ensuring democratic participation by the full range of stakeholders.

Biotech plays the world hunger card to promote GMOs,” by Lucy Sharratt and Taarini Chopra (CBAN), GMO Bites – Common Ground, October 13, 2013

ExcerptCorporations are using the moral imperative to “feed the world” to justify their controversial products and ease government regulation. It’s a compelling argument. In Halifax, Clifford used it to promote what he called “historically groundbreaking advances,” such as AquaBounty’s fast-growing GM fish. He told conference participants, “We cannot allow the technophobes and Luddites to impede this work. We will need every biotech available.”…

When small farmers in the global south plant GM crops, they pay a high price if something goes wrong. In India, for example, GM cotton requires investments in seeds and chemicals, but yields have been unpredictable. GM cotton crop failures have been attributed to poor quality seeds, susceptibility to pests and the fact that the technology, developed in the US, is poorly adapted to local environmental conditions. In the state of Andhra Pradesh, where land-holdings are small, soils are marginal and unpredictable monsoons are the only source of water. The government estimates that 3.3 of the 4.7 million acres of GM cotton in 2011 had a yield loss of more than 50%. Farmers who take out loans to buy seed are unable to repay them and are pushed deeper into a cycle of poverty. Over a quarter of a million farmers in India have committed suicide in the past 15 years. If this staggering figure doesn’t mark the failure of GE crops to help the poor, what does? [Emphasis added]

wordpress india suicideSource: “100% Cotton. Made in India: Farmers commit suicides after planting GMO cotton” YouTube (26:36) Published by RT Documentary on May 22, 2015

Owen Paterson: the minister for GM hype,” by Zac Goldsmith, published by: The Guardian; October 24, 2013

Cultivating resilience to feed the world,” by Marcia Ishii-Eiteman, Pesticide Action Network; March 20, 2014

Debunking GMO Myths: Feeding the World,” by Michelle Kim, GMO Inside; May 30, 2014

UN: Only Small Farmers and Agroecology Can Feed the World,”by Nafeez Ahmed, published by: The Permaculture Research Institute; September 26, 2014

Excerpt: Governments must shift subsidies and research funding from agro-industrial monoculture to small farmers using ‘agroecological’ methods, according to the UN’s Special Rapporteur on the Right to Food. And as Nafeez Ahmed notes, her call coincides with a new agroecology initiative within the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization…

“Modern agriculture, which began in the 1950s, is more resource intensive, very fossil fuel dependent, using fertilizers, and based on massive production. This policy has to change.

“We are already facing a range of challenges. Resource scarcity, increased population, decreasing land availability and accessibility, emerging water scarcity, and soil degradation require us to re-think how best to use our resources for future generations.”

The UN official said that new scientific research increasingly shows how ‘agroecology’ offers far more environmentally sustainable methods that can still meet the rapidly growing demand for food:

“Agroecology is a traditional way of using farming methods that are less resource oriented, and which work in harmony with society. New research in agroecology allows us to explore more effectively how we can use traditional knowledge to protect people and their environment at the same time.”

GMO Myths and Truths – 6.1 Myth: GM crops are needed to feed the world’s growing population,” an excerpt from “GMO Myths and Truths 2nd Edition,” by John Fagan PhD, Michael Antoniou PhD, and Claire Robinson MPhil; published by: Earth Open Source (2014)

Feeding the world or failing to yield?” by Emily Cassidy, Environmental Working Group (EWG); September 17, 2014

The GMO Biotech Lobby’s Emotional Blackmail and Bogus Claims: Monsanto’s Genetically Modified Crops Will Not Feed the World,” by Colin Todhunter, Global Research; October 9, 2014

8 Proofs We Don’t Need GMOs to Feed the World,” by Christina Sarich, Natural Society; November 14, 2014

Agroecology can help fix our broken food system. Here’s how,” by Maywa Montenegro, published by: Ensia; June 17, 2015

“‘Feeding the world’ does not just mean higher yields: The case against GM crops,” by Peter Melchett, published by: The Independent; March 29, 2015

Colin Todhunter’s [1] biting sarcasm is evident in the following article:

Who Granted the GMO Evangelists the Monopoly on Compassion?” by Colin Todhunter, East by Northwest; April 23, 2015wordpress compassion colin todhunter

ExcerptYou see, only the pro-GMO brigade has the right to care. It has attempted to secure the monopoly on caring and compassion for the world’s vulnerable. If there were a patent for compassion, they would have grabbed it by now.

Proponents of GM crops constantly claim that we need such technology to address hunger and to feed a growing global population. If you do not agree with this premise and offer an alternative solution then you are depicted as anti-human, a ‘nut job’ or much worse.

We are told by the GMO biotech lobby that GM crops are essential, are better for the environment and will provide the tools that farmers need in a time of climate chaos. It is claimed that GM crops provide higher yields and higher incomes for farmers around the world. All such claims have been shown to be either overstated generalizations or plain bogus.

It’s easy to talk about Luddites and environmentalists condemning millions to poverty and underdevelopment with regressive policies. It’s a lazy, emotive, superficial pseudo-analysis of a complex situation.

GMOs Will Not Feed the World, New Report Concludes,” by Lorraine Chow, EcoWatch; March 31, 2015

GMOs Will Not Feed the World,” by Emily Cassidy, Food Tank; April 9, 2015

GMO companies kill agriculture, contribute to world hunger – anti-GMO activist,” by SophieCo_RT, published by: RT [news]; July 27, 2015. [Embedded video 28:01]. An interview with Alexis Baden-Mayer (Organic Consumers Association)

Persistent narratives, Persistent Failures: Why GM Crops do not – and will not – ‘feed the world,’” by Taarini Chopra, Canadian Food Studies (La Revue canadienne des études sur l’alimentation) [Special Issue: Mapping the Global Food Landscape], Vol. 2, No. 2; September 2015 (8 Pages)

Russian Deputy PM: GMOs Not Needed to Feed the World,” by Sustainable Pulse, October 5, 2015

Organic and small-scale: An alternative vision for the future of farming,” by Felicity Lawrence, published by: The Guardian; January 7, 2016


Videos: 

Eco Farming CAN Feed the World – YouTube (6:47) published by Meagan Noble on March 11, 2014

Feeding the Future: Can organic agriculture feed the world? with Anna Lappe, Founder, Small Planet Institute (US) on Vimeo


* “How the Science Media Failed the IAASTD,” by Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson, Independent Science News; April 7, 2008

Commenting on Monsanto & Syngenta resigned from the IAASTD project, Jonathan Latham and Allison Wilson write:

The IAASTD draft document is surprising for still another reason. Although supported by the World Bank, it does not offer much support for transgenic crops as the best hope, or even as a particularly useful tool, to alleviate the agricultural ills that beset developing countries, the hungry and the poor.

Most likely, inclusiveness and scarce support for GMOs by the IAASTD are in fact connected. It is probably no coincidence that a document arrived at transparently, using a tolerably democratic process (i.e. it was not written behind closed doors), and using a multidisciplinary approach, should conclude that GM crops have ‘lingering safety concerns’ and may even be harmful to rural development.

These conclusions in general, and the lack of support for GMOs in particular, are immensely unwelcome in some quarters. The publicity machines of Monsanto, Syngenta and others have not spent twenty years carefully positioning transgenics as the solution to every agricultural problem in order for them to be ignored by the largest and most diverse collection of agriculture and development policy experts ever assembled.

Last October [2007], Monsanto and Syngenta resigned altogether from the IAASTD project. Though they gave no public reasons for their resignation, the industry body CropLife International told Nature magazine that an inability to make progress in arguing for GMOs was the fundamental reason. [Emphasis added, citations omitted]


[1] To see more brilliant writing by Colin Todhunter, see his website: East By Northwest


सत्यमेव जयते – Satyameva Jayate

(Truth Ultimately Triumphs)

 

Re-posting is encouraged, provided the URL of the original is posted with attribution to the original author(s) and all links are preserved to the referenced articles, reports, etc. on their respective websites.

Copyright © Jeff Kirkpatrick 2016-2017 Ban GMOs Now

Posted in Agroecology, Bacillus thuringiensis (Bt), Ban GMOs Now, Biotech Propaganda, Co-existence, Conflict of interest, Corporate control of food system, Cross-contamination, Disinformation, Endangering the biosphere, Ethics, Feeding the world, Food Revolution, Gene flow, Genetic pollution, GM Crop, Golden Rice, Indian farmer suicides, Media Coverage, Monsanto, Myths, Organic, Posted January 2016, Socio-economic, Working Post | 5 Comments