Greed not greens cause hunger
The Guardian, 9 November 2010
The Channel 4 documentary What the Green Movement Got Wrong (Last night's TV, 5 November) in our view made a series of misguided and inaccurate allegations and assumptions. It identified GM as a solution to hunger and implicated anti-GM campaigners for exacerbating food insecurity. As development organisations, we consider the documentary was extremely biased against environmental organisations that do so much to promote positive solutions. Hunger is a blight on humanity, but it is a political and economic problem. Its root causes include the broken and biased trading system; the bankers who gamble on the price of staple foods; and land grabs by financiers all of which make food unaffordable for the hungry and deny their right to food.
In our view, the most significant impact that GM companies have made is to dominate the seed chain, selling expensive and patented seeds to farmers, seeds that are used more for livestock feed, cotton and biofuels not for feeding people. The documentary didn't include any independent voices from civil society in the global south who are campaigning against GM and for local sustainable food production.
Had they done so, it is likely to have become clear that the small-scale farmers who provide food for most people in the world are not calling for GM technologies that are beyond their control. They are calling for political will from governments to take on the corporate lobbyists and protect their land, natural resources and production systems; a fair trading system to ensure fair prices; and a fair hearing from governments and documentary-makers on the future food system.
Deborah Doane World Development Movement
Patrick Mulvany UK Food Group
Andrew Scott Practical Action
John Hilary War on Want