It’s ‘ethically unacceptable’ to ban GMOs if it increases malnutrition, Colombian biotech scientist warns

resistenciadelmaiz
Credit: CEP

[I]n Colombia several congressmen presented a draft legislative act to modify article 81 of the constitution to “prohibit entry into the country, as well as the production, commercialization, export and release of genetically modified seeds.” With the argument of protecting the environment and guaranteeing the right of peasants and farmers to free seeds, Colombia could make a serious mistake to restrict the possibility of food production to the seeds that mother earth gives us.

Given the number of inhabitants that the country has and their scientific knowledge, it is important to preserve the environment and the safety of the farmers, but it is also important to protect the population from access to nutritious food that will allow their adequate physical and intellectual development. In other words, it is ethically unacceptable that, having access to food technology, puts a nation at risk of malnutrition or even famine.

The scientific community has spoken with a letter backed by more than 100 signatures that explains the situation, not only from the environmental point of view or the security of access to their own seeds, but also from the field of scientific advancement.

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Wanting to protect the environment and guarantee seeds for farmers should not go so far as to impede the production of food based on genetically modified organisms. It is possible to have the first without affecting the second.

[Editor’s note: This story was published in Spanish has been translated and edited for clarity.]

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