bees, honey and other sticky subjects

Tuesday, May 18, 2004

UN wants genes for the poor

Just days after Monsanto “realigned” its research portfolio and stopped marketing its GM wheat, the United Nations (UN) has issued a statement proclaiming the potential of the gene revolution in its broadest sense (ie not just GMs) for the world's poor. In a careful balancing act, the UN's Food and Agricultutral Organization (FAO) did however note theat the bio companies are ignoring staple crops:
Basic food crops of the poor such as cassava, potato, rice and wheat receive little attention by scientists, FAO said.

“Neither the private nor the public sector has invested significantly in new genetic technologies for the so-called ‘orphan crops’ such as cowpea, millet, sorghum and tef that are critical for the food supply and livelihoods of the world's poorest people,” said FAO Director-General Dr Jacques Diouf.


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