• Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month
Page
  1. 1
    1
  2. 2
    2
  3. 3
    3
  4. 4
    4
  5. 5
    5
  6. 6
    6
  7. 7
    7
  8. 8
    8
  9. 9
    9
  10. 10
    10
  11. 11
    11
  12. 12
    12
  13. 13
    13
  14. 14
    14
  15. 15
    15
  16. 16
    16
  17. 17
    17

Bi technology and food security: The clue for a new green revolution?

Extracts from this document...

Introduction

BITECHNOLOGY AND FOOD SECURITY: THE CLUE FOR A NEW GREEN REVOLUTION? RURAL PRODUCTION SYSTEMS TANIA MARTIN CRUZ APRIL 2002 INTRODUCTION Biotechnology is a new revolution; it has the power to modify DNA in living organisms in order to achieve the required results. With biotechnology genetic engineering has reached a powerful status, it means that human beings can adapt living organisms to their necessities or desires. My goal has been to analyse biotechnology and specifically Genetic Modified Crops (GM crops), to know if they can be the tool for a New Green Revolution. A revolution that will be able to provide food security to the poor in developing countries, to use the potential benefits of biotechnology to prevent hunger and poverty, to improve the nutritional status of food or make them adaptable to specific weather conditions among other properties. To achieve this I have analysed the principal points of view about biotechnology, their objectives, benefits and risks and from this I have developed my own arguments about biotechnology and food security. My assumption and the arguments given are addressed to demonstrate that biotechnology could be a potential tool to improve food security but the actual companies being managed to develop researches on biotechnology are not considering food security as one of the main goals, on the contrary, they are adapting biotechnology to their own interests and just seeking economic profit. Biotechnology is focused, then, on developing disease and virus resistant, long shelf life and pesticides properties in their products: even if they can be useful in developing countries, they are not their main concern. The necessities of the poor are not being taken into account. Furthermore, biotechnology can be used, as the Green Revolution was, as a weapon to widen the gap between the poor and the rich, between developed and developing countries: It offers many advantages to the companies that research biotechnology: to impose dependency on it thanks to the issue of IPR's and the concession of patents to be able to use their products. ...read more.

Middle

For example the consolidation of seed companies with chemical companies breeds a conflict of interest which has the propensity of working against farmers. In several instances, the company that is genetically engineering this new crop is financially controlled by a parent chemical company like Montsanto; therefore GM crops will be dependent on herbicides suited to the brand of herbicide being produced by the chemical company. New forms of domination and manipulation are emerging with biotechnology. According to D. Parker and D. Zilberman, embodied products, that is luxury goods sustained by private research and monetary incentives are more important for these powerful companies than disembodied products or necessary goods with inelastic demand (1993:96). Several of these companies are also funding researches in different universities: Montsanto, for instance, has given over $50 million to Harvard, Washington and Rockefeller Universities and is building a $150 million life science complex. Hoechst, a giant German chemical company, has given Massachusetts General Hospital $70 million to do research in genetics. Often, these contracts have stipulations on confidentiality of information, it demonstrates that the results of researches are not addressed as a public benefit as food security but tend towards plant patents and breeders rights (Perlas, 1994:78). Uncertainty, therefore, exists about the contribution of GM crops to assure food security. Secondly little research by private industry has focused on developed countries food crops other than maize and for limited work on rice and cassava, little biotechnology research have been developed to focus on productivity and nutrition of poor people. The Rockefeller Foundation's agriculture program is one of the few examples: in 1998 it provided about $7.4 million for biotechnology research relevant to developing countries with emphasis on rice (Modern biotechnology for food and agriculture, www.cgiar.org ). The private sector involved in biotechnology focuses their researches on crops that can provide sufficient returns to cover costs, needs of small farmers are, then, unlikely to be considered. ...read more.

Conclusion

Incentives offered by companies to persuade farmers to replace their traditional crops with cash crops can also be a threat to biodiversity. The solutions M. Lipton (Reviving global poverty reduction) draws to address food security in biotechnology research are the following: -To work with the half dozen developing countries NARS's with substantial GM research capacity to design and finance a major expansion around agreed crops, regions, traits and types of farm target. The problems are that huge financial input is needed and difficulties can arise with excluded countries. -The second one is to build on big GM firms' need for better public image and their growing recognition that current arrangements for GM research are not working globally, one route could be to work with the public sector and to offer substantial prices for developing specific varieties. -The third approach is to build on the practice of at least one of the GM giants of attracting scientists by allowing them to use a part of their time for self-prioritized research using company real capital. CONCLUSION The arguments given above suggest that, despite the potential benefits that biotechnology can offer to India and all developing countries, it is necessary to change direction to become a powerful tool to fight against poverty and improve food security and nutrition. Is this, then, the clue for a new revolution? Arther Kornberg, Nobel Laureate, stated:" Much has been said about the future impact of biotechnology on industrial development, but this does not yet apply to the less developed countries that lack this infrastructure and industrial strength. In view of the current power of biotechnology and its even brighter future, there is no question that the less developed countries must now position and strengthen their status in biotechnology...what a tragedy it would be if these enlarged concepts of genetic, biology and chemistry were available only to a small fraction of the world population located in a few major centres of highly developed countries". (India: biotechnology research and development, www.gapresearch. ...read more.

The above preview is unformatted text

This student written piece of work is one of many that can be found in our University Degree Applied Biology section.

Found what you're looking for?

  • Start learning 29% faster today
  • 150,000+ documents available
  • Just £6.99 a month

Not the one? Search for your essay title...
  • Join over 1.2 million students every month
  • Accelerate your learning by 29%
  • Unlimited access from just £6.99 per month

See related essaysSee related essays

Related University Degree Applied Biology essays

  1. Marked by a teacher

    Should a DNA profile be taken at birth?

    3 star(s)

    revolutionised the justice system; as evidence as small as a fingernail scraping can be the overriding factor in criminal cases. Although capillary electrophoresis is now more common, gel electrophoresis is the basic basis of creating a DNA profile. Electrophoresis then separates the DNA into different sized segments.

  2. What Limits if any should be placed on the use of the following Biotechnologies. ...

    [11] Although I believe it is unjust to carry out animal cloning the GAEIB believe that cloning of farm animals is likely to enhance our understanding of many biological processes, hence contribute to human wellbeing.

  1. Comparing and and contrasting the endocrine system with the nervous system in their control ...

    Babies hold also thermoregulatory mechanism, which contain a special adipose tissue known as brown fat (Bradley & Calvert 2011). When this tissue is activated, a protein in the mitochondria takes away the product of the citric acid cycle from electron transport chain, and the energy is changed to heat instead of producing ATP (Bradley & Calvert 2011).

  2. Broccoli is often termed as a miracle food as its' health benefits are seemingly ...

    Compared to its close relative, cauliflower, broccoli contains more calcium, carotene, and vitamin C. Health benefits of broccoli There are a variety of health benefits associated with the consumption of broccoli. Broccoli is often termed as a miracle food as its' health benefits are seemingly endless( Mitchell et al. 114).

  1. Food Science -Experiments to Determine the Properties and Uses of Enzymes in Food Preperation.

    1.2 Catalase Principle Catalase is an enzyme that converts hydrogen peroxide into water and oxygen. The bacteria that contains this enzyme is usually aerobic (need oxygen) or a facultative anaerobe (can live with or without oxygen). A positive reaction is indicated by a continuous bubble formation when the catalase is introduced to bacterial colonies.

  2. Tumour markers and their role in Cancer diagnostics

    Its clinical use as a marker for prostate cancer was first reported by Papsidero (1980) after it was identified in 1971 during an experiment aiding forensic circumstances. An elevation in the serum PSA level is proportional to the presence of prostate cancer, yet its limitations are; i)

  1. Optimization of DNA Extraction from Medically and Environmentally important Fungi for Polymerase Chain Reaction

    1.2 Diagnosis of fungi Figure (1) Diagnosis of fungi The rapid availability of genomic DNA from medically important fungi is becoming increasingly important in reference clinical molecular laboratories for accurate molecular epidemiologic subtyping and diagnostic PCR. Direct sequencing systems which will rely upon the rapid availability of genomic DNA are currently under development for clinical molecular laboratories.

  2. Hypothesis-based Science. An example of hypothesis-based science given in the textbook is that ...

    Cruz 3 The hypothesis-based science is very different from every day problem solving. No matter how savvy or intelligent people believe they are, the fact is that most of them are not scientists and do not problem solve in a similar fashion.

  • Over 160,000 pieces
    of student written work
  • Annotated by
    experienced teachers
  • Ideas and feedback to
    improve your own work