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Bill Gates to "help" world's farmers with Biotech Genetic Engineering

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posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 01:40 PM
Echoing luminaries before him—from Norman Borlaug to Kofi Annan—the world's richest man Bill Gates called last night for a second Green Revolution focused on African farmers. That revolution won't just be in new crop varieties and higher yields but also in farmer training and infrastructure—and, perhaps most controversially, will be genetically modified.

Scientific American Gates' Story

"The charge is clear—we have to develop crops that can grow in a drought; that can survive in a flood; that can resist pests and disease," Gates added. "We need higher yields on the same land in harsher weather." The answer, at least in part? Sustainability paired with genetic modification.

After all, genetic modification can speed the development of drought-resistant varieties of various crops, or other traits of vital importance... Gates gave $10.4 million to the New Partnership for Africa's Development and Michigan State University to develop a center in Africa to help national governments develop appropriate regulatory systems for biotechnology.

"Poor farmers are not a problem to be solved; they are the solution—the best answer for a world that is fighting hunger and poverty, and trying to feed a growing population," Gates said. "There is no reason for so many farmers to be so hungry and so poor."

All above taken directly from the linked article.

[edit on 17-10-2009 by notreallyalive]

[edit on 17-10-2009 by notreallyalive]

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 01:43 PM
The "Help" in quotations is simply due to the mixed feelings on genetically modified foods. I personally feel this is a tremendously beneficial and altruistic gesture by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 01:47 PM
Yay get their whole population on your pest, flood, and drought resistant crops. Then right when their economy and population comes back you start jackign the price up. These new geneticly modified seeds are programmed NOT to reproduce so you have to REBUY your whole crop every year. Look up terminator seeds and see the new face of greed in the 21st century.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 01:47 PM
I agree, I don't think there is anything wrong with genetically modified crops so long as they are the positive kind of changes.

I am no expert on the subject, but I don't think that these specific types of crops (drough resistance etc..) would have any detrimental health affects on the human population consuming them?

I like Bill, he does alot of good work, the only way he knows how. Give lots of money to fund alot of science projects which will yield good or ok results.

Granted, his Hurricane idea was a little far fetched, but I do like this.

And he's right, the way forward for African Farmers is not just throwing money at them, you need to educated and build infrastructure which allows them to do these sorts of things on their own.

Self sustainability is what is required, this is just a small step towards that.


posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 02:10 PM
reply to post by Wertdagf

I agree there are some forces out there that act this way. On the positive side, not all genetic engineering is based on trying to manipulate the world in some horrible scheme.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 02:21 PM
I see this as a bad thing. Now these poor people won't be able to own the food and the food's offspring because these plants are not supposed to breed. However these plants do breed through standard pollination processes, (such as an animal taking the seed to another plant) and these plants choke out the natural versions of the crop. There has been numerous instances where Monsanto will destroy another farmer because their land acquired a seed from a neighboring farm and started growing a Monsanto plant without buying it first. Also, in Mexico, their corn has mutated because of these crops coming in through humanitarian aid. An excellent documentary about the plight of GMO farmers and of third world countries harvesting GMO crops is "The World According to Monsanto." The full version is on Google video.
I also believe this will severely affect thesepeoples health. You are what you eat, and I believe the DNA and substances found in food will affect the person eating it's being, such as their dna.
I think eating GMO food partly has caused my daughter to have severe food allergies. The doctors are stumped that a genetic condition, such as allergies, suddenly developed in my daughter who comes from a family without any allergies.
Chickens, refuse to eat the GMO corn and when scientific rats eat GMO foods, there children develop food allergies. (link) I know this article is from Huffington, but I can't find the original article, and this article also discusses autism and GMO foods. I'm watching my daughter for autism, because one of my friends children also has food allergies and autism.

Anyway, I think this whole Bill gates push for food is very good, but using GMO food is not the way to feed the world. Purer crops and breeding them through standard means is a better than ripping up their genetic code and replacing the missing code with something else.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 03:06 PM

Originally posted by notreallyalive
The "Help" in quotations is simply due to the mixed feelings on genetically modified foods. I personally feel this is a tremendously beneficial and altruistic gesture by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.

I personally feel that this is Monsanto's way of taking control of all seed/food source and is both seriously irresponsible and manipulative. What has been tested (which is very little) has revealed that this has dangerous consequences. At this moment in time Monsanto is under investigation for fraud - due to this. This process of genetically modified foods completely destroys the soil to be used for anything other than these genetically modified foods and keeping those already in power.... in power.
This is total control of the masses. Nothing more.

[edit on 17-10-2009 by spinkyboo]

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 03:07 PM
reply to post by collietta

I saw something on Monsanto, what you are apparently noting here, but it was about 15 years ago, or so.

I also know Monsanto has ties to H.R. 875 Food Modernization Bill (which is scary!!)

Any scientists or well-researched people know the depths of genetic manipulation? Can it be a simple change or is all of it drastic and Monsanto-like?
I have to assume we have enough experience to make small changes with a positive outcome rather than all doom and gloom.

posted on Oct, 17 2009 @ 03:46 PM
The cause of Africa's problems is not because their crops are genetically inferior. Therefore, how can messing with the genes be the solution?

When, oh when, will people learn to work with mother nature instead of against her?

Bill Gates may have good intentions, and be very very rich, but he is certainly not infallible. He has failed miserably in this case to discern the right solution.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 03:28 AM
reply to post by wayno

Of course we can't call Nature infallable, but... I've been to a small village in Kenya with no running water, no electricity. People can lose entire crops because of one beetle infestation, or similar event. Which causes a DEVASTATING situation for whole communities of people.

If genetic engineering can help against frost, or bugs, without significant changes I'm thinking some of it might be ok, given a trustworthy company.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 03:46 AM
Instead of modifying crops to resist pests and diseases why not grow them indoors in sterile environments? Yields can be increased through hydroponics and selective breeding. Even with organic fertilizers you could increase yield depending on what you use. The real problem Africa has is corrupt governments.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 06:28 AM
reply to post by notreallyalive

some of it might be ok, given a trustworthy company.

Thats a pretty big "if" -- finding a trustworthy company that is. Its certainly not Monsanto, or Dupont, or any of that ilk.

Nature isn't perfect, but bio-diversity is usually nature's assurance of survival. Its usually the dependence on mono-culture that the big companies promote that leaves people vulnerable.

There are lots of issues affecting the people of Africa. The solutions offered by the big companies are really just profit schemes in disguise. Their miserable track record in places like India speaks volumes.

I would not trust any of them. Natural solutions should always be the first line of defense.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 07:31 AM
I don't understand why 1st world countries can have fresh fruit and vegetables dropped on us from places like Thailand dirt cheap.
Why can't these same people do business with Africa too?
Why is it for instance that here in Sydney I can buy a kilo of oranges for sometimes as low as 99c a kilo and Australia is only a very small market.

How much money could they make by feeding large continents like Africa with these cheap prices for fresh food?

Somethings not right with this picture. And it's something that's always bothered me when hunger in Africa is brought up. There is something really off with the politics of the situation.

Why for instance are people in Africa actually encouraged to grow their own fresh food and crops and us in the West are discouraged from doing that?
Especially when you consider that their harsh weather and droughts aren't conducive to growing their own food?


posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 08:19 AM
You bring up a good point Flighty. I am in Canada. I just yesterday bought a jar of honey that came all the way from India at basically the same price of a jar of honey produced on farms here, just outside the city I live in.

It makes no sense whatever. Its a difficult fact that more and more of Africa that once was productive is becoming desert. No amount of genetic modification is going to stop that. The causes of desertification are not clear either; although there are lots of fingers pointed at the developed world causing climate change.

There are no easy solutions. A lot of what needs to happen in Africa is political. They would be as capable as any other peoples of coming up with solutions to their environmental challenges, provided they didn't have to contend with wars and ethnic squabbles. Again, the role of the west is questionable.

posted on Oct, 18 2009 @ 10:52 AM
reply to post by Flighty

I agree - very good points!

In the places I've seen in africa a "kito kidogo" [small bribe like 20 KShillings, few hour's wage] is required to travel to certain places like the airport. A truckload of fruit would definitely suffer greatly in traveling, if it got there at all.

If the infrastructure is missing or so corrupt outside companies won't bother.

Allowing small farmers to increase their yield on crops 10, 30, 50% would kickstart the economy in a very significant way! Instead of collecting cowdung to build a hut-wall maybe that same person could help carry rice bags for a much higher standard of living.

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