GM-food conference draws critics
Sun, 02 Sep 2012 6:09p.m.
By David Farrier
Some of the world's top scientists are meeting in Rotorua to figure out how to feed future generations in a world with a booming population.
Organisers say the ABIC 2012 conference aims to promote debate about genetic engineering, and they only had to step outside to find people wanting to debate it with them.
It is the 12th International Conference for Agricultural Biotechnology.
The gathering is of some of the best brains in the world when it comes to the art of growing plants. But it's also much bigger than that.
“Now we see agriculture branching out,” says ABIC Foundation chairman Dr Jerome Konecsni. “We're looking at agriculture as a source of energy, as a source of medicines.”
The conference comes as the World Bank notes global food prices soaring by 10 percent in July, with the price of maize reaching an all-time high.
“It's very important because the task of feeding the world of tomorrow is probably one of the most formidable jobs we have to do,” says Dr Clive James, agricultural scientist.
Outside, a protest of around 30 people rallied, unhappy with talk of genetic modification.
“All we're wanting in there is for scientists to find a middle path between the control of science and respect that people want GM-free production,” says protest organiser Jon Carapiet.
“What we'd like to see is the Government put more money into other forms of farming that don't involve GM,” says Moko Morris of the National Maori Organics Authority.
The presence of one company in particular had the group worried.
“Monsanto has a history of basically controlling farming by patents, and they wanted to introduce terminator seeds, which means farmers would be forced to buy seeds every year,” says Mr Carapiet.
ABIC says it encourages debate around genetic modification, but says topics covered at the conference are diverse.
“If you remember PSA [disease] last year, kiwifruit, without bio-tech we wouldn't know what to do with it!” says Suzanne Bertrand of the New Zealand Biotechnology Industry Association. “And now we know.”
The conference wraps up at the end of the week.
Post a Comment
Before commenting, please take the time to read our moderation guide
(Won't be published)
25/09/2012 9:21:48 p.m.
Media Wont Print This wrote:
GM food banned in Monsanto canteen.
12/09/2012 4:08:48 p.m.
I am understand more and more why the US is bully and viewed as evil. What many Americans citizens are under siege by own government and we have not rights it is all illumine masked with lies and destination as each politician plays their role to keep us distracted long enough care out there plans. I real ashamed of our GOVERNMENT. Look closer it is not just about money but control of food supply as once ground is contaminated only there seed will grow in contaminated soil. We can only pray that Dec. 2012 will happen. God Bless those of us the state for good.
8/09/2012 9:30:34 a.m.
J. Assange wrote:
US to Start ‘Trade Wars’ with Nations Opposed to Monsanto, GMO Crops
The United States is threatening nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars, according to information obtained and released by the organization WikiLeaks. Nations like France, which have moved to ban one of Monsanto’s GM corn varieties, were requested to be ‘penalized’ by the United States for opposing Monsanto and genetically modified foods. The information reveals just how deep Monsanto’s roots have penetrated key positions within the United States government, with the cables reporting that many U.S. diplomats work directly for Monsanto. [..]
Perhaps the most shocking piece of information exposed by the cables is the fact that these U.S. diplomats are actually working directly for biotech corporations like Monsanto. The cables also highlight the relationship between the U.S. and Spain in their conquest to persuade other nations to allow for the expansion of GMO crops. Not only did the Spanish government secretly correspond with the U.S. government on the subject, but the U.S. government actually knew beforehand how Spain would vote before the Spanish biotech commission reported their decision regarding GMO crops.
8/09/2012 9:24:51 a.m.
Its interesting that the County of Hungary has decied to expel Monsanto and the IMF from meddling in it Sovereignty now it faces The United States threatening nations who oppose Monsanto’s genetically modified (GM) crops with military-style trade wars.
5/09/2012 3:15:22 p.m.
Jon Muller wrote:
We keep hearing from these chemical companies like Monsanto that they want to feed the starving millions with GE.Perhaps they should explain that to teh 250000 Indian farmers who have commited suicide when their much touted GE cotton failed, or the many farmers worldwide who have been sued by Monanto when their non GE crops became contaminated with GE. monsanto et al are more concerned with feeding their bottomline sales of GE seeds adn chemicals than feeding the poor and needy. It is time they stopped using that old ploy because it isnt true.
5/09/2012 9:23:35 a.m.
These guys are pushing NZ to get into GE so they can trial their real nasty stuff way down in little old-isolated from-the-world New Zealand. 20 years ago No-nukes, save the whales was by hippy greenies. Who was right?
5/09/2012 9:17:04 a.m.
GM clowns are pressuring NZ to follow because rest of world respects NZ's path. We agree to it, its a big endorsement, we disagree it must be dodgy (which it is)
4/09/2012 10:50:22 a.m.
I was at the ABIC public meeting in Rotorua where we listened to the head of Du Pont ( a Kiwi) tell us that they wished to be the largest producer of GE seeds in the world. He spoke of how welcomed they were in India and how the peasant farmers yeilds increased and in the next breathe said "änd then they will buy their seeds from us for the next year" their GE seeds being sterile. He made no mention of the thousands of Indian farmers who have committed suicide in recent years as a result of debt from the much touted GE seed costs and subsequent crop failure (see this article- http://www.dailymail.co.uk/?news/article-1082559/?The-GM-genocide-Thousands-India?n-farmers-committing-suicide-u?sing-genetically-modified-crop?s.html ). What I would like to ask him is this...
What are you going to do Mr Du Pont, when you look down from your mountains of cash, at the earth, dead, below.
We must save earth's biodiversity. The government is more concerned with the quick buck and is too easily swayed.
Come on New Zealanders, for your family's sakes stand against Genetic Engineering of our food and environment. There will be no going back. We will lose our ability to grow healthy organic and homegrown food and instead will be forced to eat plant food grown from GE seeds that are owned under patent and intellctual property rights by giant corporations that may have had insecticide or other matter, not necessarily plant, woven into its genes or covered in pesticides such as Roundup ready and 2.4.D which are supposed to combat the pests and weeds which grow more resistent each year..
In case you don't know... the human body is designed to get its nutrition from organic types of food, not food full of pesticides and additives or genetically altered with unknown future side effects, Please join us in our quest to keep NZ GE Free. Demand organic and become healthier in the process.
Sign the peition online at www.declarenzge-gmfree.co.nz
3/09/2012 1:37:54 p.m.
“Control oil and you control nations; control food and you control the people; control money and you control the world.” Henry Kissinger – 1970.
It does not take much poking around on the internet to discover why people DO NOT want this unleashed on the environment. As for the "humantarian" excuses for pressing ahead with GMO why then patent it at all. You do the maths. Control and profiteering HAS NOTHING TO DO with humanatarian aid!! Smell a rat!! I do! Get it out of our country before it contaminates our crops and eventually leads to all food becoming patented. (Not to mention all the adverse health effects which are well documented on the internet (but much avoided by the mainstream media)).
3/09/2012 1:23:49 p.m.
We should imprison these profiteering mad scientists for what they have already done. In order to feed the world, we simply have to stop eating meat. If we want to solve this problem, we have to realise that our own greed and thirst for blood is the cause of it.
Why should we have these awful companies taking control of the worlds food? Why should a chemical company that profits excessively from pesticide and insecticide sales have any sway over food production methods? Corporations like monsanto exist to create shareholder profit, not to feed the world. This will be our ultimate demise, I tell you. We need to burn Monsanto off the planet, with napalm.
Oh and we taxpayers are paying for this conference? Please...
Still for a country that is addicted to pedalling flesh and blood, what more can we expect?
Half-assed ambitions lead to half-assed outcomes. Go vegan, its that simple, wont cost the earth and will improve health, environment, ethics an economy.
Or stay greedy and selfish and financially contribute to worsening the problem, and rewarding the offenders with your money.. The choice is simple and its totally in your hands.
A major clean-up is underway at a salmon farm in Golden Bay that bore the brunt of another landslide.
The Ministry of Fisheries will begin assessing possible changes to snapper regulations next month.
Fluoride – is it harming or helping us?
Finding food for zoo animals is an expensive and difficult job, especially when those animals are from overseas.
Kiwi scientists are looking to answer some of the world's most pressing climate questions.
Copyright © 2013 MediaWorks TV. All Rights Reserved.