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for a responsible, fair & sustainable food system

GM Freeze Calls for Response To IAASTD Report Challenges GM crops not the silver bullet to feed the world

Immediate release (15 Apr 2008)

Calls to Pete Riley on 07903 341 065

GM Freeze welcomes the findings of the International Assessment on Agricultural Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD) and calls upon Government, industry and scientists to respond by changing their approach to research and development in the global South.

The IAASTD report clearly states that the current generation of GM crops do not provide a way to tackle hunger.

In also the report emphasises the need to broaden research to include all the key functions of agriculture. These include the enhancement and protection of soil, water and biodiversity, as well as the need to use the knowledge of the millions of small farmers in the South, many of whom are women. The report also highlights the need for research to tackle agriculture’s contribution to greenhouse gas emissions and the role farming plays in mitigating some of the impacts of climate change.

The failure of current trade policies to help the world’s poorest people is a major part of the final report, which was produced by over 400 scientists, including social scientists, from around the world.

Commenting on the IAASTD’s findings, Pete Riley of GM Freeze said:

We welcome the report’s thorough analysis of the problems and the need to tackle them from social, economic and political perspectives as well as the sound application of science. We are delighted that the hyped claims about the current development in GM crops feeding the world are rejected. We call upon the Government, industry and science to respond positively to the challenge the report lays down and change their approach to scientific research so it is led by and reflects the needs of those who it should benefit – not the needs of corporations. The research base has to be broadened to take up all the demands placed on farming in addition to producing food in a way that is safe and has no long-term negative impact on the environment. This represents a big culture change in the approach to science for agriculture and must happen quickly.

ENDs

Calls to Pete Riley on 07903 341 065.