Support Biodiversity not Biofortification

In another shortsighted attempt to combat malnutrition, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation has granted more than 8 million dollars to Australia’s Queensland University of Technology (QUT) for the development of genetically modified and nutrient-fortified bananas. Professor James Dale heads the QUT fortification project which plans to bring the engineered bananas to malnourished populations in Uganda and India. However, according to Dr. Vandana Shiva, the answer to malnutrition lies in increasing biodiversity rather than industrially engineering or “fortifying” crops. As history has shown, GM crops resulted in the proliferation of monocultures and the depletion of biodiversity– biodiversity which naturally supplied crops rich in iron and nutrients. As Shiva explains, “Any woman will tell you that the solution to malnutrition lies in growing nutrition, which means growing biodiversity…we don’t need these irresponsible experiments that create new threats for biodiversity and our health; we don’t need nutrient solutions imposed by powerful men sitting in distant places, who are totally ignorant of the biodiversity in our fields and who won’t have to bear the consequences of their destructive power…”

To learn more, see Vandana Shiva’s article Bill Goes Bananas!

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