Tuesday, August 26, 2014

GMO research on food

Recently there is a put down of Vandana Siva in New Yorker by Michael Specter and a defence in Counterpunch. I have not read any thing by Vandana Shiva though I heard that she won some biopiracy battles. I usually read Glenn Davis Stone and Sunita Narain on GM foods and sustainable development issues. These are very technical matters and perhaps take long term trials on efficency as well as their side effects. Generally those who object to quick introduction of these technoloies are being termed anti-science. Stone has written about the battles on GM cotton in India "The NGO reciprocal authentication system, with its sometimes dubious claims and disregard for peer review, irritates many scholars and policymakers and leads to a fetishising of journal standards that have their own flaws. The industry-journal authentication system, with its myopic view of Bt as a readily isolatable technological tweak and its cosy alliance between GM manufacturers and ostensibly independent researchers,encourages many to seek out the more critical perspectives offered by NGOs. Therefore demand for both narratives will persist and both authentication systems will continue to entitle both sides in the GM debates to “their own facts”"
GM corn and soybeans are supposed to be the most successful versions of GM technology and have been widely planted. Now even these have proved problematic and there are some bans in Mexico and Europe, here, here and here. I am sure that science research including GMO research is important and will play a part in future food security but introducing them in a hurry does not seem to address the concern of many.

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