What a contrast with the usual industry hype!
EXCERPT: the use of [GM] crops by developing nations has been limited.
The United States accounted for 59 percent of the 81 million hectares employed for GM agriculture in 2004. Only 16 other countries grew GM crops, led by Argentina (20 percent of the total area), Canada and Brazil (6 percent each), China (5 percent), Paraguay (2 percent), and India and South Africa (1 percent each), according to the [UN] report.
Developing countries face challenges by genetically modified organisms: UN report
GENEVA, May 11 (Xinhuanet) -- Developing countries must balance many different concerns, ranging from battling domestic starvation and malnutrition and ensuring health and safety, to preserving the environment, fulfilling multilateral trade obligations and protecting and enhancing trade opportunities, said the report.
It emphasized that GM crops pose especially difficult choices for the world's poor nations.
While farming based on genetically modified organisms (GMOs) may allow higher yields, improve profits for farmers, ease domestic food shortages and facilitate the production of new quality products, it at the same time involves technology that might pose unpredictable environmental and health problems, have anegative impact on biodiversity and raise ethical or religious concerns, the report said.
An additional worry is that international trade flows may be jeopardized, it said.
To preserve their export opportunity -- especially with European markets which largely ban GM products -- some developing nations are inclined to preserve their "GM-free" status, the UNCTAD said.
The report also pointed out legal complications: while countries are free to decide how to deal with the issue of genetically modified crops, domestic regulations have to comply with the rules of the World Trade Organization.
At the same time, farming based on GMO is a field where multilateral rules have been agreed upon in a separate legal instrument, the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety, it added.
The worldwide agricultural area given over to GM crops has grown 47-fold since 1996, but the use of such crops by developing nations has been limited.
The United States accounted for 59 percent of the 81 million hectares employed for GM agriculture in 2004. Only 16 other countries grew GM crops, led by Argentina (20 percent of the totalarea), Canada and Brazil (6 percent each), China (5 percent), Paraguay (2 percent), and India and South Africa (1 percent each), according to the report.
Go to a Print friendly Page
Email this Article to a Friend
Back to the Archive