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International Food Policy Research Institute
Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops / Edition 1

Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops / Edition 1

by Per Pinstrup-Andersen
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In recent years the media have reported, frequently with alarm, on the increasing use of genetically modified crops in agriculture. Some groups have expressed concern about consumer safety and the risks of large-scale ecosystem damage. Others have noted the resulting shift of power away from locally controlled farming operations toward large agribusiness and biotech companies, and the particular vulnerability of farmers in the developing world to this trend.

In Seeds of Contention: World Hunger and the Global Controversy over GM Crops, development specialists Per Pinstrup-Andersen and Ebbe Schioler focus attention on the less discussed issues of the potential benefits and costs of genetically modified crops for developing countries. Pinstrup-Andersen and Schioler review the basic issues and discuss the potential that such crops have for addressing the great needs of poor and undernourished peoples throughout the world. They explain how increased agricultural productivity is not enough in addressing the problem of famine. People in developing countries need crops that are disease-resistant, can fend off insect predators, and can withstand severe environmental conditions in order to produce larger crop yields.

Pinstrup-Andersen and Schioler are sober in their assessment of these prospects, for they acknowledge that GM crops alone will not solve the world's food problem. They argue, however, that they may be one element in the solution and that people in developing countries should have information about benefits and risks of GM crops and the free-dom to make their own decisions about whether or not to grow and consume them.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 2900801868268
Publisher: International Food Policy Research Institute
Publication date: 09/28/2001
Series: International Food Policy Research Institute Series
Edition description: New Edition
Pages: 164
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 1.25(h) x 9.00(d)

About the Author

Per Pinstrup-Andersen is director general of the International Food Policy Research Institute. Ebbe Schiøler is a consultant in research and development issues primarily related to agriculture.

International Food Policy Research Institute

Table of Contents

Introduction: What Is the Debate All About?1
1Agricultural Research: Making a Difference in People's Lives7
2The Expanding Boundaries of Research: Risks and Benefits32
3What Is Wrong with More of the Same?57
4The Alternatives72
5Can the Poor Benefit from Genetically Modified Foods?86
6Who Sets the Agenda?106
7Moving Forward: Handle with Care127

What People are Saying About This

Gordon R. Conway

This book presents a balanced perspective on the potential benefits and risks of modern biotechnology for developing-country food and agriculture and suggests action to reduce risks and increase benefits. It is an excellent and highly welcome addition to the ongoing debate on biotechnology and GM foods.

Lester Brown

A timely contribution on an important issue. It is great to have an unemotional, broad-based assessment of genetically modified crops.

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