Wednesday, 23 January 2008

Biotech companies reveal their selfish motives....again.

Biotech companies such as Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF claim that they are committed to reducing poverty and hunger throughout the world (altruistic motives indeed), but they have withdrawn from a major international project to map out the future of agriculture.

The International Assembly of Agriculture, Science and Technology for Development is concentrating attention on how to feed the world's population. This project is based on the work of 4,000 scientists and experts from around the world.However, Monsanto, Syngenta and BASF resigned after a draft report from the project highlighted the risks of GM crops and said they could pose problems for the developing world.

So, it seems that these corporates are not so altruistic after all. When they are prevented from distributing their GM seeds throughout the world, they are not interested in contributing to the project at all.

The draft report of the project said there is a "wide range of perspectives on the environmental, human health and economic risks and benefits of modern technology many of which are yet unknown." The report also stated that it is not clear whether GM crops increase yields and warns that use of the technology in the developing world could concentrate "ownership of agricultural resources" in the hands of the companies involved, as well as causing problems with patents.
The science journal 'Nature' commented that the view that "......biotechnology cannot by itself reduce hunger and poverty" is mainstream opinion among agricultural scientists and policy makers.

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