Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP peopleandplanet.net
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Drinking rainwater from banana leaf, Nigeria. (c) I. Uwanaka/UNEP
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food and agriculture > features

Why GM crops are dangerous

Exactly two years ago Professor Jeffrey M. Smith published a sequel to his best-selling book Seeds of Deception on the dangers of genetically modified food. Entitled Genetic Roulette - The Documented Health Risks Of Genetically Engineered Foods this second book set out in documented detail the facts which, he claims, the big biotech companies have tried hard to keep secret. The book received widespread praise. Michael Meacher, former British Environment Minister, called it "a smoking shotgun that should stop in its tracks any dabbling with GM foods, whether by individual families, food companies, or indeed nations." Here in an interview with the Women's Feature Service in Delhi, Jeffrey Smith talks about the dangers that, he says, Indian farmers and consumers in India and elsewhere face from genetically engineered crops and genetically modified foods. ... more

Iceland fisheries: a model for the world
by Don Hinrichsen

Iceland is in the spotlight because of the financial meltdown, but Iceland has another more positive claim on our attention. Until the 1960s it had an economy no better than many developing countries, but it has since evolved a sophisticated fisheries management system which has the support of both the public and the fishing industry. It is a model for other coastal countries struggling to manage dwindling stocks of fish as demand increases. This exclusive report is by Contributing Editor, Don Hinrichsen. ... more

Climate change threat to food security
by Brett Harris

Climate change is a contributory factor to the food price crisis, and its impact on agriculture and food security in developing countries is expected to get more serious. ... more

Going bananas: fighting hunger with Africa Harvest
by Neena Bhandari

Developed countries like Australia must transfer advancements in science and technology, especially biotechnology, to help the poor in Africa achieve food security, economic independence and sustainable rural development, urges Africa Harvest Biotech Foundation International's Chief Executive Officer, Florence Wambugu. ... more

The bitter price of Indian salt
The human and environmental cost of the salt we sprinkle on our food is rarely disclosed. Here, Geeta Seshu tells the story of the women who work in the saltpans in the Rann of Kutch in India, despite the illegal status of these operations in a protected area. ... more

Marginal farmers must not be forgotten
by John Madeley

Half of the world's undernourished people, three-quarters of Africa's malnourished children and the majority of people living in absolute poverty, live on small farms. Unless more is done to help them, the world's burden of hunger and suffering - along with its stressed environment - will not be relieved, argues John Madeley in this special report. ... more

Greener and leaner - how the west could stave off disaster
The world food crisis is a tragedy frequently and passionately foretold. For years, food experts warned that chronic under-investment in agriculture in developing countries, by governments and donors alike, would one day spell disaster. Julian Borger of The Guardian reports: ... more

Chinese farmers are losing their land
by Valerie Sartor and He Shan

China, a country that first domesticated rice in the Yangtze Valley 10,000 years ago, now faces a farming crisis as mass migration from the countryside into the factories and industrial zones of mushrooming cities eats up fertile land, while patterns of food consumption and land rights change. Valerie Sartor and He Shan sent this exclusive report from Inner Mongolia on the urgent challenge facing Chinese agriculture and the rural environment � one that is already impacting the rest of the world. ... more

Bright future for the Malunggay 'miracle tree'
If, in England, 'an apple a day keeps the doctor away', in the Philippines and other parts of Asia it's the common malunggay that does the trick. So says Henrylito Tacio in this special report on one of Asia's most undervalued trees, now set for greater things. ... more

GM crops sprout in an Indian village

Aarkavaadi is a typical Indian village in the southern state of Tamil Nadu. It has a population of 1870, with women very much outnumbering the men. The main source of livelyhood is farming of rice, groundnuts, tapioca and sugarcane. But now some farmers are being approached to grow geneticaly modified cotton. Natasha Garyali sent this personal report from Aarkavaadi. ... more

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