Quantcast
Connect with us

Gates: GM foods conflict threatens Foundation’s efforts

Published

on

Bill Gates, speaking at a World Food Prize forum in Iowa on Thursday, told global food leaders that an “ideological wedge” threatens his global effort to help farmers.

Gates and his wife have focused in recent years on helping alleviate hunger and poverty by giving small farmers the tools to produce more. The Gates Foundation has given more than $1.4 billion to agricultural development, and on Thursday announced nine new grants worth $120 million aimed at raising yields and farming expertise in the developing world.

ADVERTISEMENT

Sub-Saharan Africa is the most under-nourished region in the world, with almost 42% surviving on less than $1 per day. A combination of decades-long drought, regional conflict, and a burgeoning population contribute to the world’s worst hunger situation.

The $120 million announced on Thursday is intended to help develop genetically modified crops that are more drought-resistant and productive in marginal conditions. Nitrogen-fixing legume crops, sorghum and millet, and sweet potatoes are all undergoing genetic experimentation sponsored by the Gates Foundation.

Genetically modified(GM) crops have been a topic of intense agricultural debate since their creation. GM crops undergo genetic manipulation in a laboratory, usually for the purpose of increasing crop yield or pest resistance. In many countries in Europe, vendors are legally required to clearly label GM foods; there is skepticism about the science behind genetic manipulation.

Many believe that GM crops will lead to even greater crop homogenization and threaten the stability of the global food supply. Wendell Berry, one of America’s most prominent agricultural researchers, told the Washington Post, “The inevitable aim of industrial agri-investors is the big universal solution… And the kind of agriculture we’re talking about that leads to food security and land conservation is locally adapted agriculture.”

In his speech on Thursday, Gates rejected what he saw as a false dichotomy between sustainability and productivity, but avoided mentioning genetic modification. “The technology and new approaches that are transforming agriculture in other parts of the world can be applied in new ways, and help Africa flourish too,” Gates said. “This global effort to help small farmers is endangered by an ideological wedge that threatens to split the movement in two. On one side is a technological approach that increases productivity. On the other side is an environmental approach that promotes sustainability. It’s a false choice, and it’s dangerous for the field.”

ADVERTISEMENT

The World Food Prize honors people who have contributed to ending hunger worldwide. More about the forum and Gates’ speech can be found here.


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

2020 Election

Here’s what Trump could do to tank the economy out of pure vengeance

Published

on

Less than a week before the 2020 election, I interviewed a number of psychologists who speculated that if President Donald Trump lost to former Vice President Joe Biden, his narcissism might cause him to lash out by deliberately tanking the economy. Now it seems like that prediction might have been correct — although the reasons may have as much to do with the Republican Party's longstanding traditions as Trump's individual flaws.

This article first appeared in Salon.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Anti-vax groups online are helping to radicalize the QAnon movement

Published

on

The alliance between anti-vaxxers and QAnon followers is rapidly increasing as they continue their efforts to spread massive amounts of disturbing misinformation amid the pandemic. One glaring example centers around one incident that occurred last week.

Facebook opted to nix a massive anti-vaccination propaganda group with more than 200,000 members last week. However, the group was not shut down for the dangerous public health misinformation its members posted, but rather, the disturbing promotion of QAnon, reports Huffington Post.

Continue Reading
 

2020 Election

DonaldJTrump2024.com bought by comedians so they could mock him for the loser he is

Published

on

Two comedians Jason Selvig and Davram Stiefler (aka “The Good Liars”) purchased DonaldJTrump2024.com and set it up to mock President Trump for refusing to concede the election, planning a 2024 re-run, and ripping off his followers.

The site, which looks almost identical to Trump’s actual website, DonaldJTrump.com, calls Trump a “loser” six times and has a fictional quote from Trump stating, “I lost the 2020 election.” It also has a banner that says “Click here to donate to a PAC that has nothing to do with my legal defense team.”

Continue Reading