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Relying on GM Crops to Battle Climate Change 'Suicidal,' Indian Activist Charges

Alternet @ Common Dreams - Faced with growing demand for food and increasingly unpredictable weather, many developing nations are debating whether to relax restrictions on the use of genetically modified crops.

Seed developers promise that a coming generation of genetically modified (GM) food crops will have climate-resilient features, from drought resistance to saltwater tolerance.

But widespread adoption of GM varieties by small farmers would be "suicidal in terms of climate change," said Vandana Shiva, an Indian social activist, environmentalist and proponent of small-scale farming.

"The (GM) system is more about companies making money from farmers than food security," she told AlertNet in an interview in London.
"Resilience is built through diversity," Shiva said.

Keeping small farmers on their land is also key, she said, because small farmers are more productive per acre than big-scale growers, according to the U.N. Food and Agriculture Organisation's figures.

"The majority of people in the world are still farming on small farms," she said. "If we're addressing food security we'd better enhance the security of small farms." Read more.


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