Time and time again, we hear Monsanto executives and others from Big Biotech using the same tired old lines for defending their products in the face of criticism: GMOs are needed to “feed a growing world,” they’ve been known repeat to any journalism with a notepad or a microphone.
But do these claims really hold weight?
Few people realize it, but a report was done in 2013 in order to determine what we really need in order to feed the world. And while the mainstream media mostly ignored it, its conclusions stand: small scale, natural and organic farming is indeed the best way to “feed the world,” and it makes quite a bit of sense when you really stop and think about it.
“Wake Up Before It’s Too Late”
The report in question, titled “Wake Up Before It’s Too Late,” comes complete with a poster that seemingly belongs on the inside of a movie theater complex, featuring the look and appeal of a blockbuster movie.
But this is far more important than any movie. While we don’t agree with everything the UN does, this is a report that makes quite a bit of sense, and considering it is far more independent than anything the Biotech industry has come up with we believe it’s very important for the world agricultural community to take heed.
Among the findings of the report are the following key areas of need for farming transformation:
- Increasing soil carbon content and better integration between crop and livestock production, and increased incorporation of agroforestry and wild vegetation
- Reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of livestock production
- Reduction of GHGs through sustainable peatland, forest and grassland management
- Optimization of organic and inorganic fertilizer use, including through closed nutrient cycles in agriculture
- Reduction of waste throughout the food chains
- Changing dietary patterns toward climate-friendly food consumption
- Reform of the international trade regime for food and agriculture (in other words putting the power back in the hands of the people rather than companies like Monsanto)
As noted in this article from OverGrowtheSystem.com, proposed trade deals that have been largely lobbied for by Big Ag do not address these issues:
The report’s findings are in stark contrast to the accelerated push for new free trade agreements, including the Trans Pacific Partnership (TPP) and the U.S.-EU Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP), which expand a long discredited model of economic development designed primarily to strengthen the hold of multinational corporate and financial firms on the global economy. Neither global climate talks nor other global food security forums reflect the urgency expressed in the UNCTAD report to transform agriculture.
Organic and small-scale farming helps by diversifying the sources of our food and putting it back in the hands of the farmer, and by using regenerative soil techniques and other sustainable practices on par with the report.
The report specifically mentions a type of agriculture used in Egypt (in this example anyway, although it is used in many other assorted places on a relatively small scale), biodynamic organic farming, which works with the natural rhythms of the planet and can produce staggering yields without chemicals that help preserve the soil and the environment.
For more on the UN report in question, check out the full article by clicking on this link.