Socialist Worker

Embracing GM Foods, embracing the powerful

Issue No. 2107

Environment minister Phil Woolas last week appeared to shift government policy towards embracing genetically modified (GM) crops as a solution to the food crisis.

Just hours before making his comments, Woolas had met with the Agriculture Biotechnology Council, the body that represents multinational agribusinesses. The meeting discussed relaxing the rules on GM crop trials.

The government’s approach to the food crisis is similar to its approach to improving education or dealing with climate change and energy supply. It wants to increase the power of private business.

GM crops are widely seen as unsafe, counter-productive and environmentally destructive. Use of GM crops has increased the power of agribusinesses over the food industry. They have not eliminated hunger or stabilised food prices.

The real reasons for the food crisis lie in the way that food production is organised for profit rather than need. Meanwhile, people face malnutrition and starvation, not because there is no food, but because they can’t afford to buy it.

A real solution needs to start by challenging the power of business in the industry – not by pushing measures to entrench it.

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What We Think
Tue 24 Jun 2008, 18:51 BST
Issue No. 2107
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