Gates Foundation Pours $10 Million into Genetically Modified Crops
ORGANIC, GMO, GENETIC ENGINEERING, 23 Jul 2012
Vandana Shiva: Bill Gates “is so totally wrong on this assumption that genetically modified seeds produce more.”
In a decision outraging campaigners for food sovereignty and agroecological approaches, the Gates Foundation has awarded a $10 million grant to develop genetically modified (GM) crops for use in sub-Saharan Africa.
The grant is for the John Innes Centre in Norwich, which hopes to engineer seeds for corn, wheat and rice that will fix nitrogen (take nitrogen from the air) so that the crops would not need fertilizers. But GM Freeze, which campaigns against GM food, crops and patents, says that “nitrogen fixing wheat and other cereals have been promised by the GM industry for several decades” and that other, non-GM methods are the solution. Pete Riley, campaign director GM Freeze, adds that “GM is failing to deliver.”
This approach sets up a highly profitable scenario for seed makers, as farmers would be reliant upon these companies to continue buying their seeds, and would not be able to save the patented, modified seeds.
Commenting on the Gates Foundation grant, Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety in South Africa said: “GM nitrogen fixing crops are not the answer to improving the fertility of Africa’s soils. African farmers are the last people to be asked about such projects. This often results in the wrong technologies being developed, which many farmers simply cannot afford. We need methods that we can control aimed at building up resilient soils that are both fertile and able to cope with extreme weather. We also want our knowledge and skills to be respected and not to have inappropriate solutions imposed on us by distant institutions, charitable bodies or governments.”
Speaking to Bill Moyers on Moyers & Company, eco-activist Vandana Shiva said that Bill Gates is “so totally wrong on this assumption that genetically modified seeds produce more. In India, Monsanto came in with a claim of 1,500 kilograms of cotton per acre with their genetically engineered cotton. The average yields are 400 kilograms. Our studies show that. The government studies confirm this.”
DISCLAIMER: The statements, views and opinions expressed in pieces republished here are solely those of the authors and do not necessarily represent those of TMS. In accordance with title 17 U.S.C. section 107, this material is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. TMS has no affiliation whatsoever with the originator of this article nor is TMS endorsed or sponsored by the originator. “GO TO ORIGINAL” links are provided as a convenience to our readers and allow for verification of authenticity. However, as originating pages are often updated by their originating host sites, the versions posted may not match the versions our readers view when clicking the “GO TO ORIGINAL” links. This site contains copyrighted material the use of which has not always been specifically authorized by the copyright owner. We are making such material available in our efforts to advance understanding of environmental, political, human rights, economic, democracy, scientific, and social justice issues, etc. We believe this constitutes a ‘fair use’ of any such copyrighted material as provided for in section 107 of the US Copyright Law. In accordance with Title 17 U.S.C. Section 107, the material on this site is distributed without profit to those who have expressed a prior interest in receiving the included information for research and educational purposes. For more information go to: http://www.law.cornell.edu/uscode/17/107.shtml. If you wish to use copyrighted material from this site for purposes of your own that go beyond ‘fair use’, you must obtain permission from the copyright owner.
One Response to “Gates Foundation Pours $10 Million into Genetically Modified Crops”
Click here to go to the current weekly digest or pick another article:
ORGANIC, GMO, GENETIC ENGINEERING: