European opposition to biotech crops has no scientific basis and will cost the continent dearly in biodiversity, land preservation, and adaptation to global warming, according to four Swedish scientists who say the European Union’s approval process has been captured by special interests who “demonize” agricultural biotechnology.
“Lobbyists who benefit from demonizing GM crops are not the ones who have to carry the costs,” the quartet wrote in EMBO Reports, published by Nature for the European Molecular Biology Organization. “It is not the hyped risks of GM crops that are a problem in the EU, it is the submissive attitude of politicians and policymakers towards organizations who insist that GM crops are risky. It is then ordinary consumers who pay the costs and do not receive the benefits.” READ MORE »
Crop biotechnology has continued to provide important economic and production gains, improved incomes and reduced risk for farmers around the world, according to the seventh annual report on crop biotechnology impacts prepared by UK-based PG Economics. More than half (55 percent) of the 2010 farm income gains went to farmers in developing countries, 90 percent of whom are resource-poor smallholders, the report said.
“The advantages of advanced seed technology for farmers in developing countries come at a time when food availability is becoming more of an issue around the world,” said Dr. Cathleen Enright, executive director of the Council for Biotechnology Information (CBI).
“The population continues to grow, but for many farmers, their ability to produce food remains stuck in the past,” she said. “In order to double food production by 2050 to meet demand, new seed technologies must be utilized. READ MORE »
Major companies in agricultural technology have joined forces with the leaders of the principal industrialized countries to focus on sub-Saharan Africa in a bid to improve agricultural productivity, fight poverty, and feed a growing population in a sustainable way.
“We commit to launch a New Alliance for Food Security and Nutrition to accelerate the flow of private capital to African agriculture, take to scale new technologies and other innovations that can increase sustainable agricultural productivity, and reduce the risk borne by vulnerable economies and communities,” the Group of Eight major industrial nations said after their conference at Camp David. The private sector pledged $3 billion to the effort, the U.S. State Department said. READ MORE »
Labeling foods containing genetically modified (GM) ingredients could mislead consumers, since there is no evidence indicating the technology is unsafe, biotechnology expert Peggy Lemaux said in an interview with NPR.
Peggy Lemaux, a cooperative extension specialist at the University of California in Berkley who manages an informational website on biotechnology, points out that if mandates on labeling are implemented, it may actually make it more difficult for consumers to make sense of products’ labels and determine what’s really in their food. Furthermore, mandates could extend so far as to forbid even some whole foods from being labeled as “natural.” READ MORE »
A survey released today by the International Food Information Council (IFIC) revealed that the majority of American consumers (76%) are satisfied with current federal rules on food labeling. Additionally, 66% of respondents reported that they were satisfied with the Food and Drug Administration’s current policy for labeling foods produced using biotechnology.
While a select minority of consumers is demanding that foods containing GMOs be labeled, the IFIC survey’s results suggest that in fact, most consumers are content with the information currently provided on nutrition labels. READ MORE »