|Posted by bubucuo on June 16, 2014 at 4:10 AM|
The global report on GM crops released by the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech applications (ISAAA) this year has revealed that last year in 2013, the world marked the 18th consecutive year of commercial cultivation of genetically modified organisms (GMOs).What does it mean to "genetically engineer" an organism?When scientists genetically engineer a plant or animal, they remove a gene from one buy protease enzymes (or a specific variety of an organism) and transfer that gene to a different organism (or different variety) using recombinant DNA methods.The new gene becomes integrated into every cell of the organism and is inherited by the organism's offspring. In most cases, the new gene produces a new protein, which then provides the organism with some useful trait. Unfortunate, Tanzania has not yet started producing GM crops due to strictly liability clause. The strictly liability clause requires among other things, any scientist, person, agent or institution carrying out any activity in relation to GMOs be liable to whatever effect that may occur from his/her research.The global report said in just two decades, the volume of land on which biotech crops are grown has increased from 1.7 million hectares in 1996 — the first year of commercial planting — to about 175 million hectares in 2013.According to the director of the International Service for the Acquisition of Agri-biotech Applications ISAAA AfriCentre ,Alpha Amylase, in 2013, more than 18 million farmers in 27 countries across the world made independent choices to grow biotech crops.Yet, despite these figures showing a technology on the upward trajectory in terms of adoption, the anti-GMO lobby has continued to hold its position that farmers shouldn't grow biotech crops due to a myriad of excuses. Karembu who is also the Chair of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology (OFAB) Kenya Chapter, programming committee says it is important to note such excuses are perpetuated through the most advanced and efficient use of information and communication technologies."Contrary to widely held opinion that GM technology will only benefit multi-nationals and is meant for large-scale farmers, the latest trends reveal otherwise," She said.How then can this contradiction be explained? Is it okay for one segment of beta-glucanase enzyme to access the best technology available for their communication (or is it mis-communication?) but unacceptable to avail similar opportunities and choices to farmers to make farming more efficient? Could such a large number of farmers be fooled for nearly two decades with a technology that is not delivering? Would the governments of these countries growing or approving use of biotech crops be so indifferent and reckless as to allow and support application of the technology in their territories?Karembu says the first problem with the whole debate against biotech crops is differentiating between perception and reality. A German philosopher, Friedrich Nietzsche once said: "The most perfidious way of harming a cause consists of defending it deliberately with faulty arguments."While I don't subscribe to Nietzsche's philosophical theories, this one statement could hold true in this context, she says.Contrary to widely held opinion that GM technology will only benefit multi-nationals and is meant for large-scale farmers, the latest trends reveal otherwise.
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