Last week i reported about a pretty critical movie on the genetically modified rice named golden rice. Europeans have sometimes a bit hypocritical vision of GMOs, as they use this technology daily almost without knowing it in medicine but refuse the technology in agriculture (also most European consumer ignore that genetically modified soya is imported to Europe and fed to animals that end up in our plates). Some years ago i read the book starving for science, a book that made me think about GMOs in a more differentiated way than black and white.
If you are interested into the GMO debate, then this book is defintily a good entry point.
Here the book description
"Heading upcountry in Africa to visit small farms is absolutely
exhilarating given the dramatic beauty of big skies, red soil, and arid
vistas, but eventually the two-lane tarmac narrows to rutted dirt, and
the journey must continue on foot. The farmers you eventually meet are
mostly women, hardworking but visibly poor. They have no improved seeds,
no chemical fertilizers, no irrigation, and with their meager crops
they earn less than a dollar a day. Many are malnourished.
two-thirds of Africans are employed in agriculture, yet on a per-capita
basis they produce roughly 20 percent less than they did in 1970.
Although modern agricultural science was the key to reducing rural
poverty in Asia, modern farm science—including biotechnology—has
recently been kept out of Africa.
In Starved for Science
Robert Paarlberg explains why poor African farmers are denied access to
productive technologies, particularly genetically engineered seeds with
improved resistance to insects and drought. He traces this obstacle to
the current opposition to farm science in prosperous countries. Having
embraced agricultural science to become well-fed themselves, those in
wealthy countries are now instructing Africans—on the most dubious
grounds—not to do the same.
In a book sure to generate intense
debate, Paarlberg details how this cultural turn against agricultural
science among affluent societies is now being exported, inappropriately,
to Africa. Those who are opposed to the use of agricultural
technologies are telling African farmers that, in effect, it would be
just as well for them to remain poor.