Tuesday, April 15, 2008

Genetically Modified Organisms and Food Security

"Those who are optimistic about [genetically modified organisms] argue for the need to increase food production and point to the possibility of addressing the problems of marginalised farmers."


The first question ought to be,

"Are GMOs the most effective way to increase food production and address the problems of farmers?"

As an ecologist and biodynamic agriculturist, I think not. Apparently there is reason to believe that GMOs are in fact a problem, not a solution. The uncontrollability of GMO technology alone ought to obviate it from reasonable consideration. It is important to be conscious of the effect of economic inertia, favoring development and distribution of GMOs, that has gained political influence. What has been called "conventional" [sic] agriculture (rather than being identified as chemical/GMO dependent farming) has more to do with selling expensive inputs than helping people. Chemical ag has had decades to become institutionalized, making viable, more effective alternatives and agricultural methods either unavailable or otherwise discouraged.

Over the long term, it has been proven that effective pest suppression and increased crop yields are a function of proper farming methods, not increased agronomic input.

So, if not GMOs, more pesticides & increasing application of chemical fertilizers, then what IS the best alternative for increasing production and reducing pest infestation? I submit that reintroduction of hemp, a critical "strategic" food resource removed from the agricultural mix in many parts of the world, is the most effective way to address not only problems of food security, but also addresses problems of nutrition, climate change and expansion of the arable base.

GMOs are a "loose canon on the deck" of our already battered ecosystems. Better to reconsider an historically proven, naturally evolved tool for repairing the Natural Order and creating sustainable abundance.

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