Voices from the South: Biotech Seeds, Food Security & International Development

Author
Inter Pares
2005 Report cover
 

The Canadian government is widely engaged in activities that support and promote the use of, and research in, agricultural biotechnology in developing countries. This technological-fix approach to agricultural productivity has come into direct conflict with the goals and work of many of our colleagues in the South. The Working Group was constituted to respond to the concerns and questions of our colleagues regarding the emergence and promotion of agricultural biotechnologies, as well as to our own concerns as Canadians about global biodiversity and sustainable development. Our initiative was
borne out of work with communities in developing countries facing immediate and pressing questions raised by the introduction of genetically modified (GM) crops, donations of GM food aid, and the financing of biotechnology research projects and facilities. There is widespread concern that financial, technical and ideological commitments to agricultural biotechnology are jeopardizing successful efforts in many communities to maintain or establish sustainable farming systems and self-sustaining local economies, and that such commitments overlook the promise of, and divert funding
away from, other technologies and knowledge systems that already support food sovereignty in those communities.