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Fighting Hunger With Ancient Genetic Engineering Techniques - GMO's Say Bad Idea


World  (tags: 'HUMANRIGHTS!', africa, conflict, corruption, ethics, Farming, freedoms, fighting GMO's, society, world-hunger )

Kit
- 814 days ago - discovermagazine.com
in 1994 Howarth Bouis stood before potential donors at a conference in Maryland and unveiled his plan for combating malnutrition in the developing world. Bouis, an economist at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), envisioned-->



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Kit B. (277)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 10:43 am
Photo: Courtesy Harvest Plus


In 1994 Howarth Bouis stood before potential donors at a conference in Maryland and unveiled his plan for combating malnutrition in the developing world. Bouis, an economist at the International Food Policy Research Institute (IFPRI), envisioned impoverished farmers in Africa and South Asia growing staple crops that are enriched in key nutrients like iron, zinc, and vitamin A. His presentation had the audience hooked—until he said he would accomplish the feat via old-fashioned plant breeding techniques.

At that point Bouis might as well have been lecturing on plows and sickles. Conference attendees wanted to solve the hunger problem with high-tech science, the kind of advances that produced incredibly effective fertilizers and pesticides during the green revolution of the 1970s. Their attention had just turned to genetically modified crops, engineered with specific genes that would not only enhance nutrition, as Bouis proposed, but also boost yields and instill resistance to pests and weed killers. Bouis came away with a single 
$1 million grant—a fraction of the money needed to reach his goals.

People ignored Bouis then, but they don’t anymore. While most genetically modified food projects are stuck in political purgatory, Bouis’s HarvestPlus program has brought nutrient-rich crops to tens of thousands of African farmers, and they will soon be available to millions more. “When you breed conventionally,” Bouis says, “there’s no controversy.”
****

With GMOs facing political opposition in much of the world, more low-tech approaches are quietly making a big difference.

by Daniel Grushkin | Discover Magazine |

Full article at Visit Site.


 

Kathy B. (98)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 11:30 am
Further proof that we don't need GMOs and never have.
 

Nancy M. (201)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 12:28 pm
Very interesting Kit, Thanks.
 

Barbara K. (88)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 12:43 pm
Thanks, Kit, we certainly don't need GMO's. The old way is the best way. People were healthier and less digestive illnesses from our food.
 

Dandelion G. (386)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 12:46 pm
People ignored Bouis then, but they don’t anymore. While most genetically modified food projects are stuck in political purgatory, Bouis’s HarvestPlus program has brought nutrient-rich crops to tens of thousands of African farmers, and they will soon be available to millions more. “When you breed conventionally,” Bouis says, “there’s no controversy.”

Good for him sticking to what he knew as best in his spirit. Now if we can get the gmo crap out of the rest of the farming lands it will be a good day and certainly healthier. People were sold a bill of goods on chemicals and gmo's, now that the results are being seen, which are not looking good, more are waking up to this in all corners of the globe.
 

Nancy C. (795)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 12:52 pm
You have no idea how thrilled I am to hear about the success of Howarth Bouis's Harvest Plus program! Thank goodness for the stalemating of golden rice and for the millions of $$$ from World Bank and The Gates Foundation. There is hope for healthy seed worldwide.
 

Antonia Windham (6)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 3:50 pm
Most don't realize how long humans have been genetically modifying crops and don't realize how many things they regularly eat are modified. I've a preference for things that work best and since we're able to get more nutrition and yield out of many genetically modified plants, I'm for it. And if Bouis's able to outsmart the foodie correctness police he should get a round of applause.
 

Val R. (239)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 4:52 pm
GMO"s kill - which is what they want - I pray we can go back to the old technology.
 

Mari 's (1365)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 5:15 pm
Interesting & Noted! TYVM:)
 

Hartson Doak (33)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 5:55 pm
Kit B. has said it clearly. I'd like to send a green star but she has gotten her limit from me, or so the page says.
 

Bianca D. (86)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 6:55 pm
Thank goodness for the voice of wisdom, Howarth Bouis. May his words and successes be spoken of and heard far and wide!! Tx Kit.
 

Susanne R. (249)
Sunday June 3, 2012, 10:46 pm
Great news! How do you like them apples, Monsanto?
 

Phillipa W. (199)
Monday June 4, 2012, 3:42 am
As interesting as a concept as it is, how many times does it need to be proven that organic crops are more drought-resistant, higher yield, more pest resistant and above all safe and healthy before this argument goes away once and for all? Is it really fair that we have to watch Rockefeller get fatter from Monsanto?
 

Kerrie G. (135)
Monday June 4, 2012, 9:42 am
Noted, thanks.
 

Ilona a. (51)
Monday June 4, 2012, 12:30 pm
noted,thanks for posting
 

Fred Krohn (34)
Monday June 4, 2012, 1:19 pm
With the old Carver-Mendeleév methods of genetic engineering, we get palnts that leave 'legacy' level seeds for teh next crop, fit in with other natural plants in the local environment, don't deplete the soil if planted and harvested in crop rotetion schemes, and have no undue vulnerabilities to pests compared to unmodified plantings. With the new Monsanto gene-injection methods, the plants involved often generate nonviable seeds or deplete the soil, show vulnerabilities to pests other than the ones they're supposed to resist, and may develop toxic properties based on whatever organisms were used to inject the 'desired' genes. The old low-tech way can be used by any literate farmer; the new ones take lots of expensive equipment. In the middle of an undeveloped nation, the old method may be a little slower, but is much more sustainable. As another example, equipping a remote village with a new water pump at a deep well will relieve drought and citizen thirst until the pump breaks or runs out of fuel. A solar-panel or wind-turbine driven electric pump might look good until it breaks, then needs hi tech maintenance. A diesel engine needs costly kerosene or diesel fuel from outside the village. A hot-bulb engine or basic steam engine maintainable by a local blacksmith will burn assorted waste-grade fuels easily available from local sources and needs no outside intrusion for maintenance; the simplest solution would be a papalote windmill driving a simple reciprocating deepwell pump maintainable by the blacksmith. The old stuff fits better where high tech isn't a daily deal.
 

Lin Penrose (92)
Monday June 4, 2012, 3:41 pm
Thanks Kit. Good post and information. Still reads like genetic fooling around, but without some of the very nasty additives that hasten death to other species of life. I'm all for that, along with having fewer children.

Too many humans demand more than natural, clean and healthy resources can support in their environments. Balance with the earth. Now, we must be healers of nature and supporters for our own and future earths health.
 

Eddie O. (95)
Monday June 4, 2012, 6:12 pm
Very good, heart-warming article filled with passion for doing what's right and healthy for the people. Thank you Kit for sharing.
 

Past Member (0)
Monday June 4, 2012, 6:49 pm
Hoping everyone (that can) has a garden this year.
Even container gardens produce alot of veggies.
You would be surprised, Have more than we can use this year.
Have an older friend selling the excess locally.
Grow organic, sell local, screw Monsanto & Wal Mart.
 

Herbert E. (10)
Monday June 4, 2012, 11:39 pm
While Monsanto and their ilk are trying to poison us, groundwater, soil, everything, Mr. Howarth Bouis is trying to FEED us ! See the difference ?
 

Jytte Nhanenge (64)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 1:13 am
Excellent article. I will cross-post it in our group Global Alliance to ban GMOs. If anyone wants to join us, the home page is here:

http://www.care2.com/c2c/group/BanGMOs

It is disturbing how the elites continue to promote the spread of genetic engineering crops, when reality tells us that it does not work well for society and nature. There are now a number of research and reports that shows this to be true including

“Failure to Yield” from Union of Concerned Scientists
“Impacts of GE crops on Pesticide use in the USA: the first 13 years” by the Organic Center
“Every thirty minutes: farmer suicide, human rights and the agrarian crises in India” written by Center for Human Rights and Global Justice.

Oppositely there are strong research showing that cooperating with nature in food production and agriculture gives the very best result when it comes to hunger and poverty alleviation. As a positive side-effect it also gives health to nature:

“The Farming Systems Trial: Celebrating 30 years” from the Rodale Institute (organic farming)
“Agriculture at a Cross Roads” from International Assessment of Agricultural Knowledge, Science and Technology for Development (IAASTD)
In addition, there is the convincing work done by UN's Special Rapporteur on the Rights to Food, Olivier De Schutter. You can visit his website here. Under “documents’ you can find his reports
http://www.srfood.org/

De Schutter’s work is supported by numerous scientists. They are promoting what is now called agroecology. Like the IAASTD report, De Schutter’s work on agro-ecology is based on huge research done in numerous countries, where small scale poor farmers are in focus. The result is that IT WORKS. It can alleviate hunger, malnourishment, and poverty.

However, the issue has of course nothing to do with poor people: since genetic engineering can be patented, it gives huge profits to the agricultural corporations like Monsanto. Consequently the economic and political elites want to spread GMOs world-wide even though it gives huge costs for society and nature. Oppositely agroecology cannot be patented, it is natural, and thus it cannot give profit to the elite. Consequently agricultural corporations are trying with all their economic power to suffocate organic farming, Permaculture and agroecology. An obvious example of domination done by the elites.

Thank you Kit for sharing.
 

Shan D. (49)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 5:04 pm
Of course the GMOs say it's a bad idea - because it works and results in less money for the corporations pushing the GMO agenda. I rejoice wherever I see people letting nature taking its course - from un-pesticide-ridden gardens to public and school fields filled with bright yellow dandelions. It's time we let nature be *natural* again!
 

Past Member (0)
Tuesday June 5, 2012, 7:08 pm
Thank you for sharing
 

Emily Drew (88)
Monday August 13, 2012, 4:12 pm
Noted thank you!
 
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