Anti-GMO lobby wages war on small African farmers using advanced communication technologies

| | August 8, 2014
This article or excerpt is included in the GLP’s daily curated selection of ideologically diverse news, opinion and analysis of biotechnology innovation.

The year 2013 marked the 18th consecutive year of commercial cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs), now commonly referred to as biotech crops. In 2013, more than 18 million farmers in 27 countries across the world made independent choices to grow biotech crops.

Yet, despite these figures showing a technology on the upward trajectory in terms of adoption, the anti-GMO lobby has continued to hold its position that farmers shouldn’t grow biotech crops due to a myriad of excuses. It is important to note such excuses are perpetuated through the most advanced and efficient use of information and communication technologies.

How then can this contradiction be explained? Is it okay for one segment of society to access the best technology available for their communication(or is it mis-communication?) but unacceptable to avail similar opportunities and choices to farmers to make farming more efficient?

A look into the source of funding for anti-GM activities reveals that although they are often portrayed as grassroots movements, many are part of a much larger coalition of social activists, environmental NGOs and social-investment organisations backed by a reservoir of funding from special interest foundations.

Another problem is a strong desire by some interest groups to romanticise poverty and hunger. Ironically, poverty and food insecurity provide booming businesses and a form of ‘tourism’ for several anti-GM lobbyists who know nothing about farming, especially in Africa. While lobbyists spend three quarters of their time globe-trotting and peddling unsubstantiated claims against biotech foods, farmers — especially women — are breaking their backs weeding with their hands and scouting for pests in a merciless scorching sun.

Read the full, original article: The Problems With Arguments Against Genetically Modified Crops

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