Jeremy Rifkin is Wrong on Genetically Modified Food

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Jeremy Rifkin is Wrong on Genetically Modified Food

Post by gmoafrica » Mon Jul 10, 2006 8:52 pm

Jeremy Rifkin, the president of anti-biotech Foundation on Economic Trends wrote an article in the Washington Post last week, in which he argued that Marker Assisted Selection (MAS) will render transgenic technology obsolete. In a no-barred affront at the multinational biotechnology companies, which he accused of “hoodwinking” the world that genetically modified food is the next scientific revolution to rid the world of hunger and malnutrition, Mr. Rifkin argues that marker assisted selection will guarantee farmers clean seeds that can’t compromise their health and environment. This is pure balderdash, from a man who sees nothing good in modern crop biotechnology. I would like to remind Mr. Rifkin a number of things.

First, genetically modified crops’ increasing acceptance by farmers all over the world attest to their popularity. Nobody can convince me that the million of farmers who’re currently growing genetically modified crops are doing so under duress. They appreciate the value of GM crops and that’s why they are going for them.

Secondly, Rifkin’s suggestion that transgenic technology be discarded to pave the way for marker assisted selection makes no scientific sense. If Rifkin believes that marker assisted selection is a cutting edge technology, why doesn’t he let it exist side by side with transgenic technology? That way, farmers can choose what’s good for them. Competitive science is what the world needs.

I must state that Jeremy Rifkin has the luxury to choose which food to eat. But he ought to remember that there are millions of people dying in Africa and other parts of the developing world for lack of food. They can’t produce enough because cutting edge agricultural technologies such as biotechnology has not reached them.

Instead of discouraging poor countries from embracing genetically modified crops, which have already revolutionized the economies of countries such as India, China, Brazil, Argentina, South Africa, and even his native country, the United States of America, Rifkin should be doing just the opposite.

James Wachai authors the blog Gmo Africa Blog (

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Post by mkwaje » Thu Jul 13, 2006 9:42 am

Yeah.. i totally agree with you. What we need is effective dissemination of unbiased correct information. As I have experienced, once the anti-GMO claws reaches an uninformed public, it is very hard to convince them otherwise.

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