food to the poor.
Widening of Income Gap
Many people argue that genetic engineering are unable to
improve the livelihood of poor people in Africa and parts of Asia.
They claim that hunger in the third-world countries is caused by poverty, by the simple inability to buy food, not by lack of supply.
Instead, these people believe that genetic engineering will lead
to further widening of income gap between rich and poor. Biotech companies patent their seeds. To protect their investment, the farmers that use the seed sign a contract which prohibits saving, reselling, or exchanging seed. The family farms of the poorer nations depend on saved seed for survival. Biotech companies also patent other people's seeds, like basmati rice, neem, and quinoa, taking advantage of indigenous knowledge and centuries of selective breeding by small farmers without giving anything in return.
Furthermore, genetically engineered seeds are designed for agribusiness farming, not for the capabilities of the small family farms of the developing nations. How are they to buy and distribute the required chemical inputs?
Case Study - The terminator technology
new technology is designed to genetically switch off a plant's
ability to germinate a second time - forcing farmers to buy a
fresh supply of seeds every year.
purely a business
idea by forcing farmers to buy a fresh supply of
seeds (of GM crop modified by the company) each year
many of whom are in the developing world and cannot afford to do
traditional practice (tried and tested for thousands of years) of
saving seeds for the next harvest comes under threat due to a US
patent on this technology to prevent "unauthorized
seed-saving" by farmers.