Why Develop an Overall Crop Resiliency Seed

08 Aug

There has been a lot of talk about giving GMO (genetically modified organisms)  seeds to poor countries to help increase their food production and reduce the amount of stravation in the world. TreeHugger pointed out three serious flaws in this plan in their recent post.
1. If poor people can’t afford food how can they afford this technology?
2. There has never been an overall crop resiliency GMO seed and scientists have been working on this for decades.
3. With regards to combating drought, soil organic matter holds 10 to 1,000 times more water and nutrients than the equivalent amount I’d soil minerals.

What I don’t understand is if good management provides natural resistance to pest problems and buliding soil with cover-crops, green manure and compost builds organic matter that protects against drought why are we trying so hard to invent new chemicals, inputs and seeds that have these features. We already have solutions. Why are we reinventing the wheel on this one?
Can’t these these scientists find other projects to work on? Bt corn (a GMO) worked for a while but it’s environmental impacts are unclear and natural resistance to Bt corn has developed making this seed less effective. This has also happened with the various types of RoundUp seeds. The insects and weeds adapt and the GMO no longer has the desired impact.
If we have a “free” option (I understand that it is not free, that there are labor and other costs), I am forced to believe that the desire to build an overall crop resiliency seed is either for corperate profit or human hubris.

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Posted by on August 8, 2009 in Sustainable Agriculture


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