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Feeding the World

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“We are jumping from the frying pan into the fire. We need to educate our governments,“ said Usha, an activist from India currently campaigning in Germany where the 9th meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity is held from 19 to 30 May to discuss measures against the ongoing destruction of nature.
“Put pressure on those who are representing us. The industrial system of agriculture has failed us... First the chemicals and now genetically modified organisms (GMOs) which can bring irreversible damage.... We have to raise awareness and protect the interests of the poor and bring diversity back to the people,“ she says.
Many governments and multinational companies, however, are of a very different opinion. 20 years from now Monsanto wants 100% of seeds to be commercial seeds. Recently three multinational biotech giants, BASF of Germany, Syngenta of Switzerland and Monsanto of St. Louis have filed applications to control most of the climate related gene families, so called “climate ready seeds.“ An ETC report concludes that biotech giants are hoping to leverage climate change as a way to get into resistant markets offering altered crops designed to withstand drought and other environmental stresses.

In a recent speech the US president said the key to end hunger in Africa is using GMOs. Despite a report of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations which clearly warns that GMOs endanger food sovereignty. Supported by the Rockefeller and Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation the supposed need to bring the green revolution to poverty-stricken Africa is promoted as the only way to yield good and sufficient crops. Evidently poverty is being used here to push profits.

At the same time Europe is to remain a GMO free zone. Organic foods without chemical infestation are exported from places like India to Europe while nobody in India knows what people there get to eat.
Surely, the world is full of contradictions and anomalies. “This brings a lot of anger in people’s minds,“ the activist from India comments. “But there are alternatives. Give us time. Money should not go into subsidizing chemical industry but the farmers directly. The axis between governments and companies has to be broken."

An indigenous farmer from Bangladesh puts it a slightly different way: “If you would leave us alone with your industrial agriculture and technology we could feed ourselves. Farmers know more than your scientists.“

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