Tuesday, 7 April 2009

DANGEROUS IDEAS IN DEVELOPMENT: GM CROPS AND THE GLOBAL FOOD CRISIS

By JULIA DAY, STEPS Centre member

Genetically-modified (GM) crops are sometimes trumpeted as the solution to the global food crisis, and the route to transforming developing agriculture and reducing poverty for millions. For others they spell doom and disaster, bringing with them unacceptable environmental and safety risks. But what is the reality?


Over the past ten years, GM crops – particularly transgenic insect-resistant crop varieties – have been used widely by farmers in different parts of the developing world. What has been the impact on agricultural production and poverty? What institutional, regulatory and wider policy issues arise?


In the heart of London's political world, at the Palace of Westminster on June 10, the STEPS Centre is holding an event to explore these issues, drawing on more than a decade of research from Africa, Asia, Latin America and Europe. The speakers will be Dominic Glover, Wageningen University; Erik Millstone, SPRU Science and Technology Policy Research, University of Sussex and the STEPS Centre; and Peter Newell, University of East Anglia.


As the world faces a major challenge to feed a growing population, the speakers will examine whether and to what degree GM crops really can make a substantive contribution to increasing food production and strengthening livelihood security. Should European governments and aid agencies back a GM-led push towards boosting agricultural production across the world? What governance measures are required in order to ensure that new technologies work for the poor?


Where and when? June 10, 18.00-20.00, Committee Room 17, Palace of Westminster, London. To reserve a place RSVP to Charlie Matthews: c.matthews@ids.ac.uk

No comments: