In an article on the GM Watch website, many of the world’s leading scientists have condemned current industrial farming practices and see no role of genetic engineering in solving the hunger crisis in the world today, so says in the report released by International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD). In the midst of soaring prices of commodities in the world market and record high food prices, the need for urgent change in the agricultural sector worldwide should be of primary concern for the different governments around the globe.
The International Assessment of Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) is a joint cooperation between various international organizations, governments, civil society, the private sector and scientific institutions that was initiated by the World Bank. Its objective is to provide information for the world decision makers on how to structure agricultural development and research in order to help reduce hunger and poverty worldwide. In its final report, the collective has concluded that industrial agriculture has failed and that genetic engineering has proven to be not a reliable solution for hunger and poverty reduction as well as climate change.
The final report, which is the first assessment of global agriculture, has been singed by 60 government representatives that were part of the IAASTD in Johannesburg, South Africa. The only countries present that didn’t sign the final report were the US, Canada, and Australia. Despite these countries having a hand in selecting the authors of the report, they still considered the assessment as unbalanced.
The final assessment report clearly showed that there are other ways to improve food production and quality without destroying livelihoods and natural resources. It states that solutions that modern farming need to provide should support biodiversity, must be labor intensive and must work together with nature and not against it, a total opposite of what genetic engineering and current industrial farming may be doing to current agriculture.
The report of the IAASTD further calls for a fundamental change in farming practices and recommends agro-ecological methods and more small scale farming as the more probable solutions to the current food crisis. The authors believe that world agriculture in general, if controlled by a few private players especially in terms of seed and toxic agricultural inputs would prove to be the end for small-scale farmers. It would even spell the worsening of the current crisis with the destructive and chemical dependent, one-size-fits-all method used in industrial farming today.
Source: gmwatch.org/archive2 and agassessment.org