GMO and food security: a dangerous illusion by Christophe Noisette Managing editor of Inf’OGM

Hunger is wreaking havoc both in the North and in the South, in the USA and in India, which both devote significant areas to the cultivation of genetically modified plants (GMO). In 2012 a quarter of India’s population (217 million people) were suffering from malnutrition, nevertheless the country has a surplus agri-food trade balance. Guaranteeing a balanced diet is therefore first and foremost a political issue of access to the market. What does it matter if the food stalls are full when the coffers are empty? Other political factors need to be taken into consideration: waste, which represents almost 50% of the food produced on the planet,[1] armed conflicts and other population displacements.[2]

In terms of agriculture, in the strictest sense of the word, political decisions also influence food production. More and more land is confiscated to satisfy galloping urbanisation, creating vast infrastructures such as airports and commercial complexes, or to produce meat and agro-fuels. Forty-four percent of cereal crops are currently used in animal fodder, and the main GMOs – soya and maize – are specifically intended for the feeding troughs of enclosed livestock. One animal calorie requires three plant calories to be produced. When GMOs are not eaten by pigs or chickens, they supply fuel for cars or are used in the preparation of pre-cooked meals (soy lecithin can be found in almost 60% of processed products). Such uses are no help to starving populations. On the contrary, they increase the price of cereals intended for human consumption on the world market.


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