GM Crops = Massive Gains for Women’s Employment in India #GM #Crop #women #india

GM Crop Produces Massive Gains for Women’s Employment In India
http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2010-07/uow-gcp072810.php

Research at the UK’s University of Warwick, and the University of Goettingen in Germany, has found that the use of a particular GM crop in India produced massive benefits in the earnings and employment opportunities for rural Indian women.

The research led by Dr Arjunan Subramanian of WMG (Warwick Manufacturing Group) in the University of Warwick found that the use of GM insect-resistant Bacillus thuringiensis toxin (Bt) cotton generated not only higher income for rural workers but also more employment, especially for hired female labour.

Since its commercialization in India in the year 2002, the area in which Bt cotton is cultivated increased to 7.6 million hectares in 2008. Several studies show sizable direct benefits of the technology but no study so far has analyzed the gender aspect of this technology.

The researchers found that compared with conventional cotton the Bt cotton generated additional employment, raising the total wage income by 40 US dollars per hectare. The largest increase is for hired females with a gain of 55% in average income.

This translates to about 424 million additional days of employment for female earners for the total Bt cotton area in India. The researchers found that the Increase in returns to hired female labour is mostly related to higher yields in Bt cotton leading to additional labour being employed to pick the increased production of cotton (harvesting of cotton is primarily a female activity in India).

Dr Arjunan Subramanian said: “We also found that the use of Bt cotton also improved female working conditions as the reduction in the amount of family male labour involved in scouting and spraying for pests meant that that labour was reallocated to other household economic activities, previously carried out by female family members, increasing the returns to this labour category. Overall, therefore, Bt cotton enhances the quality of life of women through increasing income and reducing ‘femanual’ work.”

The research results come from two household survey. The first was undertaken in a study village where the team collected comprehensive data on household characteristics and interactions across various markets. The study village, Kanzara, is located in the Akola district of Maharashtra, the state with the largest area under cotton in India. Interviews with all village households and institutions were conducted in 2004, capturing all household economic activities and transactions for the 12-month period between April 2003 and March 2004. All farm households cultivate at least some cotton, mostly next to a number of food and fodder crops for subsistence consumption and for sale. The second survey used data from a farm sample survey conducted over a period of 5 years.

1. The research entitled “GM crops and gender issues” has been published in Nature Biotechnology Volume:28, Pages: 404 doi:10.1038/nbt0510-404 http://www.nature.com/nbt/journal/v28/n5/full/nbt0510-404.html#

The full research team was Dr Arjunan Subramanian (Warwick HRI & WMG University of Warwick), Dr Kerry Kirwan (WMG, University of Warwick) and Professor David Pink (Warwick HRI, University of Warwick) & Matin Qaim (University of Goettingen). The research was funded by EPSRC (The Engineerin g and Physical Sciences Research Council) and the German Research Foundation (DFG). s.arjunan@warwick.ac.uk

Europe’s New Approach to Biotech Food

– Jameds Kanter, The New York Times, July 7, 2010 http://www.nytimes.com

After decades of pushing nations to surrender more power to Brussels, the European Union is about to throw in the towel on one highly contentious issue: genetically modified foods. On Tuesday, the European Commission will formally propose giving back to national and local governments the freedom to decide whether to grow crops that many Europeans still call Frankenfoods.

The new policy is aimed at overcoming a stalemate that has severely curtailed the market for biotech seeds in Europe for years. Only two crops, produced by Monsanto and B.A.S.F., are sold for cultivation here.

The new flexibility is supposed to open up markets in countries like the Netherlands, where governments are broadly favorable toward growing and trading biotech products, while countries like Austria, where the products are unpopular, can maintain a ban.

But far from celebrating, the growing global industry, as well as some farmers themselves, is extremely wary of the new approach. “So many different authorities suddenly doing so many different things risks sending a message to successful growers in Africa and Asia that authorities are unsure how to deal with biotech”, said Nathalie Moll, the secretary general of EuropaBio, an industry group. She said it also remained to be seen whether the proposals would conform with World Trade Organization rules.

The United States and the Union are still trying to resolve a dispute over genetically modified organisms, or G.M.O.’s, and related issues after the W.T.O. ruled, in 2006, against Europe’s de facto ban. Washington could still retaliate in that case.

The Office of the U.S. Trade Representative declined to comment on the new approach but said it would be on the agenda at a meeting with E.U. officials this month.

Despite ‘some progress’ in recent months, the United States still has a number of concerns,” said Nefeterius Akeli McPherson, a spokeswoman for the U.S. trade representative. They include “a substantial backlog of pending biotech applications, and bans adopted by individual E.U. member states on biotech products approved at the E.U. level.”

The reality remains that the European Union still produces few genetically modified crops. The United States, Brazil, Argentina, India and Canada are the top five producers in terms of land under cultivation. The European Union, with 27 member nations, is the 14th largest, just after Burkina Faso.

A key factor behind the proposed change in Europe is a growing frustration in Brussels with the current system, under which meetings between government officials and ministers routinely end in deadlock. That forces unelected officials at the European Commission to make the final decision on authorizing biotech products and to take the heat.

The commission has found itself repeatedly pressured on one side by the United States and the W.T.O. to follow the recommendations of its own scientific authorities and enforce the use of approved products and on the other by countries like Austria and environmental groups that believe the E.U. authorities are too eager to promote newfangled technologies.

Under the new proposals, the commission would continue to make the approvals itself but leave it to members and local and regional authorities to decide what they want to grow at home. But whether the new rules will win the necessary approval from E.U. governments and the European Parliament still is unclear.

In an unlikely alliance, the Austrian and Dutch governments first made the proposal back in 2008. The Dutch were eager to ease tensions over biotech crops with the United States and other trading partners, and to ensure continuing imports of animal feeds that contain biotech products. Animal farming is a big part of the economy in the Netherlands, which, in turn, is a major exporter of meat and dairy products. Dutch researchers also are involved in developing biotech products.

The Austrians supported the changes as a way to keep its national ban on growing any such crops without facing regular challenges from the E.U. authorities. Other countries, though, have expressed concern about setting a precedent that could undermine European integration. The crisis this year over how to supervise the finances of the 16 nations that use the euro already has highlighted the limits to European cooperation.

“If the agricultural policy is common, why wouldn’t the policy of cultivation of G.M.O.s be?” asked Elena Espinosa, the Spanish environment minister. Spain grew 80 percent of the biotech corn, designed to resist a pest called the corn borer, produced in Europe last year.

In addition, Belgium, which has just taken over the rotating E.U. presidency, is concerned that a ban by a single country could put the entire bloc in danger of facing retaliatory trade sanctions.

Even farmers that favor biotech crops are concerned that the commission is offloading a problem on them and that the issue could become even more politicized than it is now.

“The Welsh and the Scots are vehemently opposed to genetically modified crops,” said Philip Lodge, who would like to farm biotech sugar beets in Yorkshire, in northern England. “With these conflicts of interest so close to home, I just don’t see how I’ll be able to grow G.M. in practice.”

Other farmers warned that the Union risked stirring up new confrontations with activists, who in the past have destroyed crops planted in trial fields. “The prospect terrorizes me” said Jerome Hue, who farms in Carcans, France. “If every locality can ban G.M.O.s, I don’t see how we will be allowed to grow the crops anywhere in France anymore.”

Mr. Hue grew corn produced by Monsanto before the French government imposed a national ban in 2008. France has said it would consider lifting that ban once the European authorities have assessed new evidence about the effects of G.M. crops on the environment. Mr. Hue said anti-biotech activists could erect beehives at the edges of some farmers fields to put pressure on the authorities to impose new bans if the honey picked up traces of the modified genes.

But commission officials and some other member states like the Netherlands say the new policy points the way to managing an increasingly unwieldy group of 27 countries. Last week, in the latest example of the persistent differences, countries failed for a third time to break a deadlock over whether to allow imports of six varieties of bioengineered corn for food and feed made by Monsanto, Dow AgroSciences, Pioneer and Syngenta.

That leaves the decision up to the E.U. health commissioner, John Dalli, who is expected to approve the products in coming months. He caused a furor among environmentalists in March when he approved cultivation of a biotech potato by B.A.S.F. – the first such approval in more than a decade in Europe.

In the European Parliament, among those reviewing the proposed new rules will be Jose Bove, a French sheep farmer who captured worldwide attention a decade ago for ransacking a McDonald’s restaurant to protest the influence of multinational corporations. Since then he has served time in a French prison for damaging biotech crops. He is now a deputy chairman of the agriculture committee at the European Parliament, where he was elected as a member of the Green party.

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/07/08/business/energy-environment/08biotech.html

EU Wants to Put GMO Dispute to An End

– EurActive, July 2010 12 http://www.euractiv.com

The European Commission will tomorrow (13 July) propose an overhaul of the EU’s policy for approving genetically modified (GM) crops, which will allow countries more freedom to ban cultivation on their territory while retaining an EU-wide authorisation system.

The new policy for GM crop cultivation, to be unveiled tomorrow, aims to draw a line under years of stalemate between countries that support GMOs and those opposed to their cultivation. The initiative aims to deliver on a promise made by European Commission President José Manuel Barroso before his reappointment last year (EurActiv 03/09/09).

At present, EU member states are only able to restrict GM crop cultivation under strict conditions, as authorisation licences are valid across the 27-country bloc, in accordance with the principles of the EU single market.

The plans would allow large-scale commercial planting in pro-GM countries such as Spain, the Netherlands and the Czech Republic, opening up new markets for major biotech companies, while at the same time legally endorsing existing GM bans in countries like Italy, Austria and Hungary.

Legislative proposals
The legislative proposal seeks to insert a new article (Article 26b) into the 2001 Directive on the Deliberate Release of GMOs. The proposed new article allows member states to prohibit cultivation provided that the reasons are not related to GMOs’ adverse effects on health and their environment, or to their socio-economic impact.

Health and environmental concerns can continue to be raised using the existing safeguard clause (Article 23 of the directive).

Meanwhile, prohibition on socio-economic grounds will be authorised under a new Commission Recommendation on guidelines to prevent GM contamination of conventional and organic crops, which will also be tabled tomorrow. The guidelines are set to replace 2003 Commission guidance on national co-existence measures.

Speeding up authorisation processes
The draft new texts also stress that member states should adopt “a more positive stance” on GMO authorisation at the risk assessment stage and “avoid” seizing the safeguard clause to address non-scientific issues.

The idea is to trade a broader right to restrict GM crop cultivation on national territory in exchange for some member states dropping their long-standing opposition to GM crops.

For years, EU member states in the Council of Ministers have been unable to reach a qualified majority for or against GMO authorisations, referring the matter back to the Commission, which has invariably authorised them via a special regulatory procedure.

NGOs denounce flawed proposal
Under the proposed deal, the GMO approval process would therefore speed up. But environmental NGOs Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace argue that restrictions on invoking Article 26b would limit the set of admissible grounds for bans mainly to ethical concerns.

According to them, national decisions based on ethical grounds are likely to be subject to legal challenges brought by crop companies due to the difficulty of defining “objective” criteria in the field of ethics, they stress. A legal opinion on the draft proposal commissioned by the two NGOs argues that it does not provide the legal certainty that member states need in order to adopt permanent bans on GMOs that have received EU approval.

NGOs also note that while the Commission proposals address the banning of GM crops by national governments, there is nothing to protect conventional and organic farmers in countries that decide to allow them.

Business worried about legal uncertainties, single market
EuropaBio, the European bio-industry association, says the Commission’s plan to “nationalise” the GMO issue should be seen as positive step.

But it notes that the “devil is in the detail,” arguing that the draft proposals could in practice cause legal uncertainty as farmers will be able to challenge their national authorities for restricting access to products, for example. The industry underlines the importance of allowing all EU farmers the same choice of technology once it has received scientific approval from the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA).

In this regard, EuropaBio notes that tomorrow’s proposals represent a move away from the EU single market as they would allow member states to restrict products on non-scientific grounds.

New environmental risk assessment guidelines under way
Before a GM plant can be cultivated in the EU it has to undergo an extensive Environmental Risk Assessment (ERA) to identify any possible adverse effects it may have on the environment. Following criticism from some member states, the European Commission mandated the European Food Safety Authority’s GMO panel to revise the agency’s guidelines on environmental risk assessments.

The guidelines assess, for example, the persistence and invasiveness of a GM plant, including plant-to-plant gene transfers, its impact on non-target organisms and criteria for setting up field trials.

However, a report analysing the EFSA’s draft guidelines for the environmental risk assessment of genetically engineered plants, presented by the Greens in the European Parliament last week (6 July), argues that the agency fails to properly address risks posed by genetically engineered plants.

The report stresses that there is a “basic misconception” in EFSA’s thinking, which assumes that genetically engineered plants are similar to those obtained by conventional breeding. The Greens argue they are fundamentally different.

Marco Contiero, GM policy officer at Greenpeace, added that if this concept of “substantial equivalence” were taken as a basis, it would be impossible to assess unpredictable long-term effects of GM plants. French Green MEPs José Bové and Sandrine Bélier said that together with the Commission’s upcoming new policy on GM crop cultivation, the EFSA’s current environment risk assessment proposals “would allow companies to reduce risk assessment to just a few studies and to speed up market authorisation for the EU territory overall”.

——-
Background

At present, EU member states are only able to restrict genetically modified (GM) crop cultivation under strict conditions as authorisation licences are valid across the 27-country bloc, in accordance with the principles of the EU’s single market.

Several member states have repeatedly invoked an EU safeguard clause enabling them to suspend the marketing or growth on their territory of GM crops that enjoy EU-wide authorisation, but the European Commission has never substantiated their applications and has always ordered the lifting of national bans.

In addition, the safety assessments performed by the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) have come under criticism over the years (EurActiv 05/12/05 and 10/03/06). The EU executive has tried to introduce practical changes to the EFSA’s GMO-approval process and in spring 2008, it mandated the agency to revise its guidance for the long-term environmental risk assessment of GM plants (EurActiv 12/04/06).

The EFSA itself has been trying to improve the openness and transparency of its work. During the French EU Presidency in 2008, EU ministers also called for the long-term environmental risk assessment of GMOs to be improved.
http://www.euractiv.com/en/cap/%20EU-wants-GMO-dispute-to-end-news-496059

ESFA Meet on on environmental risk assessment of GM plants

The following is an article from SeedQuest  on the  outcomes of the recent meetings of EFSA around  environmental risk assessments and GM plants.  Attached are several supporting documents including: public consultation and scientific opinion docs and  reports from stakeholder meetings in December of 2009.

 

SeedQuest

http://www.seedquest.com/news.php?type=news&id_article=7935&id_region=&id_category=1&id_crop=

Berlin, Germany
June 17, 2010

Webcast of the meeting – http://www.flyonthewall.com/FlyBroadcast/efsa.europa.eu/TechnicalMeeting0610/index.php?language=english&stream=wmv

EFSA scientists held a day of discussions with experts from Member States on the newest scientific developments and approaches to assess possible environmental risks from genetically modified (GM) plants. Experts in the field of environmental risk assessment of GM plants from Member State authorities and members of GMO Panel Working Groups reviewed a guidance document outlining how EFSA carries out its environmental risk assessment (ERA) of GM plants and the data requirements which must be met by applicants.

Participants at the technical meeting held in Berlin discussed comments made by Member States following a public consultation on the draft EFSA guidance document as well as a draft scientific opinion addressing the specific issue of non-target organisms (NTOs)[1]. The meeting was webcastlive on EFSA’s website.

EFSA’s GMO Panel continuously seeks to ensure that its risk assessment approach reflects the scientific state-of-the-art in its guidance to applicants It regularly reviews all its guidance documents on GM plants with updates made in 2005, 2006 and 2008. Since 2007, the GMO Panel has been further developing and strengthening its environmental risk assessment (ERA) which is now the subject of the separate guidance document discussed in Berlin. This focuses on potential long-term environmental effects, the potential effects on non-target organisms, and criteria for setting up field trials, taking into account the diverse environments where the GM plant will be cultivated.

”The ERA should follow a step-by-step approach, according to the clearly defined framework laid out in the guidance. Each GMO is unique and must be assessed individually. This requires specific evaluation of the plant, its traits, how it will be used and its possible interactions with the receiving environment,” said Professor Salvatore Arpaia, chair of the GMO Panel’s Working Group on Non-Target Organisms.

When carrying out their assessment, independent experts of EFSA’s GMO Panel use their extensive knowledge and wide experience in evaluating the data provided by applicants as well as all other available scientific literature.

More than 250 comments were received from Member States during the public consultation of the draft ERA guidance. At the meeting, EFSA experts explained specific areas which have to be addressed by applicants and experts carrying out the risk assessment. These include: the possibility of gene transfer between the plant and micro-organisms, the potential invasiveness of the plant itself; the plant’s potential effects on: human and animal health, including both target and non-target organisms; and the implications for cultivation, management and harvesting techniques.

With respect to non-target organisms (NTOs), the draft opinion of the GMO Panel sets out proposals on the criteria for the selection of NTOs and advice on testing methodology. EFSA’s Working Group on NTOs considered the impact of GM plants on invertebrates and also took account of ecosystems that could be altered.

This meeting follows technical discussions during the preparation of the ERA and NTO opinions held last year with Member States and stakeholders such as applicants, environmental groups and non-governmental organisations.[2]

EFSA works closely with Member States in the environmental risk assessment of GMOs; for instance, for cultivation applications for GM plants, an initial environmental risk assessment is carried out by one Member State, which can be assisted by and share expertise with other Member States.

EFSA engages in dialogue with Member States and takes into consideration comments they may have.[3] The discussions at the Berlin meeting will help inform EFSA’s GMO Panel and its Working Groups in view of finalising the documents which are due to be adopted and published by November 2010.

All supporting documents of the Berlin meeting will be published on EFSA’s website as will a written report and video recording of the meeting.

Meeting documents

GMO EFSA Public cons doc April 2010.pdf
Download this file

GMO EFSA Scientific opinion doc April 2010.pdf
Download this file

EFSA Stakeholder2009.12.18_meeting_report_18June (1).pdf
Download this file

EFSA Stakeholder2009-12-18_meeting report 17 June (1).pdf
Download this file

EFSA Stakeholder2009 12 18_meeting_report_16June.pdf
Download this file

One hectare of GMO maize = 15 tonnes of seed (5 x conventional)

Zimbabwe Farmers Calls for Planting of GMOs
– Sarah Ncube, The Zimbabwe Telegraph, Nov. 19, 2009 http://www.zimtelegraph.com

Zimbabwe – Harare – The Zimbabwe Commercial Farmers Union (ZCFU) has called on the Government to allow farmers to plant Genetically Modified Organisms (GMOs) maize seed so as to increase harvest and counter imports. In a telephone interview yesterday, the organisation’s vice president for administration Robert Marapira said GMO maize could be the short term solution to the country food shortages. “It is known that the country has over the past decade failed to harvest adequate maize to cater for the needs of the citizens hence we believe that the growing of genetically modified maize could be the counter measure especially taking into consideration that the Government has been spending millions of dollars in sourcing grain from outside the country,” he said.

Marapira said research had shown that a hectare of land planted with GMO seed could harvest 15 tonnes compared to natural seed, which rakes in only three tonnes. “GMO seeds mature faster than the natural seed and they need less water looking at a possibility of the country receiving less rainfall meaning that if such a thing was to occur the country would be guaranteed of a good harvest,” said Marapira.

He added that GMO maize could also be used as a way of countering imports that have flooded the local market. “The majority of food stuffs coming into the country are GMOs and paying particular attention to maize you would notice that South African maize is cheaper than local because production costs lesser meaning that most businesses and millers would prefer to buy from neighbouring countries a situation which would negatively affect farmers,” said Marapira.

Meanwhile various farmer organisations met to discuss challenges faced by farmers and strategies on how to effectively market their produce.

‘An Irish farmer’s plea for access to technology in agriculture.’

A Genetically Modified Proposal (accessed through AgBioView)

– Jim McCarthy
Forbes (Online) Oct 26, 2009
‘An Irish farmer’s plea for access to technology in agriculture.’

Sometimes when I think about the past, I fear for the future. The Chinese were once the world’s greatest seafarers. A few people even think they reached the west coast of North America before Columbus sailed the ocean blue. But then the emperor banned foreign travel and their seafaring skills were never heard of again.

The Islamic people once led the world in math and science. Did you know that the word “algebra” comes from Arabic? But then their culture embraced fundamentalism.

Today in Europe, our own civilization threatens to turn back the clock on progress. While much of the rest of the planet adopts agricultural biotechnology–an absolutely essential tool if we’re to achieve security for our 21st century food supply–the foolish antics of green party activists around the world lead us toward a future of poverty and hunger.

Before that happens, you’ll be hearing from me. This is one of the most important battles of our time. We cannot stay silent.

I farm on three continents. In my native Ireland, I work 1,100 acres, growing wheat for pigs and poultry. In Argentina, I’m managing director of a 31,000-acre operation that harvests corn, soybeans and wheat. In the U.S., in southwest Missouri, I’m an investor in a dairy farm.

I am a global farmer. I’ve observed best practices in very different environments. Unfortunately, I’ve also witnessed worst practices. A bullheaded refusal to take advantage of biotechnology is probably the very worst practice around.

GM crops are now a form of conventional agriculture for farmers in North and South America. But in Ireland, the situation is so bad that it’s illegal to research and conduct genetic modification experiments in crops. They’ve outlawed scientific inquiry!

Ireland tries to take pride in building what it calls a “knowledge-based economy.” When it comes to biotech crops, however, Ireland is in a headlong retreat from knowledge. Argentina is the exact opposite. Farmers in that country–including me, when I’m working there–are allowed to grow genetically modified crops. This gives us a big boost in yield and soil protection.

Ironically, Ireland has the better business reputation. Each year, the World Bank calculates the ease of doing business in the countries of the world, using quantitative measurements on start-ups, regulations, taxes and so forth.

This year, Ireland ranks No. 7. Argentina is No. 118, which is a little better than Bangladesh and a little worse than Bosnia. (The U.S., by the way, is No. 4.)

Yet I much prefer the business of farming in Argentina. It’s a dream place for agriculture. I’m not just referring to the climate. I’m thinking about how hard farming has become in Ireland, or just about anywhere else in Europe. The Argentine government doesn’t tell me what I can and cannot grow based upon deliberate ignorance. It lets me make my own decisions.

If I was a younger man, I’d be tempted to move permanently to Argentina. But Ireland is home. I’m not going anywhere. It nevertheless saddens me to see a vocal minority of Green party activists throttle the future of farming.

There are about as many people in Ireland as there are in Oregon–just shy of 4 million. The world adds roughly this number of people to its total population every three weeks or so. The demand for food has never been higher–and if current trends continue, it will continue to set new records every year for the rest of my life.

It will take Irish farmland–and existing farmland everywhere–to meet this need. Europe must do its part to produce more and use its influence, especially in Africa, to encourage biotechnology. The policy of refusing to take GM crops seriously sets us up for an awful tragedy.

Maybe there’s some good news ahead: This week, the Royal Society, the U.K.’s National Academy of Science, has released a report that calls for the acceptance of genetic modification on the farm.

Let’s hope for a better future, so our present doesn’t become a past we come to regret.

——
Jim McCarthy, a first generation farmer based in Kildare, Ireland, farms in three continents–Europe, South America and North America–growing wheat, soybeans, corn, canola, peas, oats and dairy. Mr. McCarthy is the 2009 Kleckner Trade and Technology Advancement Award recipient and a member of the Truth About Trade & Technology Global Farmer Network.

NY Times Article of Interest – Can GM Food Cure the World’s Hunger Problem?

Interesting article in today’s issue of the New York Times: “Can Biotech Food Cure World Hunger?”… includes commentaries from six experts (academics, activists, authors) on the subject.

I am particularly fond of Paul Collier’s (economist with Oxford U) encouragement for us to put aside our prejudices: “Genetic modification is analogous to nuclear power: nobody loves it, but climate change has made its adoption imperative.” Particularly, Collier says, for countries like Africa. He says, “African governments are now recognizing that by imitating the European ban on genetic modification they have not reduced the risks facing their societies but increased them. Thirteen years, during which there could have been research on African crops, have been wasted. Africa has been in thrall to Europe, and Europe has been in thrall to populism.”

Johnathon Foley, director of the new Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota, expounds upon “The Third Way”… “Currently, there are two paradigms of agriculture being widely promoted: local and organic systems versus globalized and industrialized agriculture. Each has fervent followers and critics. Genuine discourse has broken down: You’re either with Michael Pollan or you’re with Monsanto. But neither of these paradigms, standing alone, can fully meet our needs.” Foley suggest a “hybrid” of the two: “…take ideas from both sides, [create] new, hybrid solutions that boost production, conserve resources and build a more sustainable and scalable agriculture.”

http://roomfordebate.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/10/26/can-biotech-food-cure-world…