There are currently over 786 million hungry people on planet Earth. And while few would deny that world hunger is one of the most important issues facing mankind today, if the solution is left to companies like Monsanto, Aventis, Dow, and DuPont, we may face even greater challenges to the security of our global ecosystem.
With the second Green Revolution well under way, the world’s food supply is slowly being transformed by a radically improvised agricultural paradigm. Genetically engineered crops have been introduced into the market without the rigorous testing that many scientists feel is required. The history is instructive:
In 1986, US biotech companies began testing the first genetically engineered food products. In 1993, the FDA declared that GM food was “not inherently dangerous”, which gave a green light to biotech corporations who had been developing GM seeds. One year later, the first GM food product, Flavr Savr tomato, was released to enthusiastic US consumers.
But, in Europe, GM food did not win such easy converts. Groups like Greepeace and Friends of the Earth protested the new “Frankenfoods,” galvanizing a broad level of public outrage and the eventual policy mandate requiring all modified produce to be clearly labelled.
Despite the highly publicized battle over genetically engineered food, many people are still unaware that many of the products they consume on a daily basis contain genetically modified. In Contaminated, Fritjof Capra, Paul Hawken and Vandana Shiva explain the evolution of the new biotech agribusiness and its potential dangers to the sustainability of the global food supply.