“Failure to Yield,” a study produced by the U.S. Union of Concerned Scientists, shows that the bio-fortification of bananas in Uganda and genetic engineering of bovines in the “1000 bull genome project” does not actually combat hunger, malnutrition or result in higher yields. A recent article in the Inter Press Services by Julio Godoy explains how these two projects fall short when compared to traditional, organic methods.
Through his foundation, Bill Gates has dropped $10 million on engineering vitamin A fortified bananas in Uganda. However, the increase isn’t enough to match the nutritional content in other indigenous foods. The “1000 bull genome project” set out to genetically engineer cows to produce thousands more gallons of milk. While the cows do produce more milk, they also calve only twice in their lives and die young.
Godoy writes, “Failure to Yield also analyses the potential role in increasing food production over the next few decades, and concludes that ‘it makes little sense to support genetic engineering at the expense of (traditional, organic) technologies that have proven to substantially increase yields, especially in many developing countries.’”
If the threat to ecology and biodiversity won’t get the corporations to listen, how about this – genetically engineering plants and animals is a waste of money. That’s more in line with their priorities, right?
Do Not GM My Food!
Julio Godoy, July 18, 2014, Inter Press Service
Attempts to genetically modify food staples, such as crops and cattle, to increase their nutritional value and overall performance have prompted world-wide criticism by environmental, nutritionists and agriculture experts, who say that protecting and fomenting biodiversity is a far better solution to hunger and malnutrition.
Two cases have received world-wide attention: one is a project to genetically modify bananas, the other is an international bull genome project.
In June, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation announced that it has allocated some 10 million dollars to finance an Australian research team at the Queensland University of Technology (QUT), working on vitamin A-enriched bananas in Uganda, by genetically modifying the fruit.
On the other hand, according to its project team, the “1000 bull genomes project” aims “to provide, for the bovine research community, a large database for imputation of genetic variants for genomic prediction and genome wide association studies in all cattle breeds.”