Poor Countries Reject U.S. Answer to World Hunger

At the UN summit in Rome, which ended June 5, the UN’s Food and Agriculture Organization (FOA) appealed to governments to step up to the plate and provide at least $20 billion per year to help feed the world’s hungry.

On the agenda (at least for U.S. Agricultural Secretary Ed Schafer) was promoting the use of genetically modified (GM) foods, but the concept left a bad taste in some people’s mouths.

Europe has been the main holdout to using GM foods. France, who is Europe’s number one producer of agriculture, passed a bill by a single vote to allow GM crops if and when the EU accepts them. Some European farmers are willing to give GM crops a try, as they are seeing the tangible (financial) rewards of GM crops.

Some of the poorest countries who are most in need of food have rejected the use of GM foods as a way to ease the burden of hunger – which angers countries like the U.S. who commonly use GM crops to produce processed foods, oils, and corn syrup.

So why are people so against using a technology that could help end world hunger by producing crops that are drought-resistant, insect and disease resistant, and that yields higher levels of nutrients?

The answer is simple: people are afraid. GM foods have only been in existence for a few years. Although (thus far) there have been no reports of adverse effects, scientists are unable to say with any certainty that there will never be any ill effects from consuming foods produced from GM crops.

The American Medical Association states: “Worldwide, many people are eating GM foods with no overt adverse effects on human health reported in the peer-reviewed scientific literature and according to regulatory agencies.” In their adopted policy as of 2000, the AMA recognizes “the many potential benefits offered by genetically modified crops and foods, does not support a moratorium on planting genetically modified crops, and encourages ongoing research developments in food biotechnology.”

However, they once thought Thalidomide was the answer to the nauseated pregnant woman’s prayer.

Leave a Reply




You can use these HTML tags

<a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>