South Africa and GMOs and Deforestation and Illnesses

Feb 26, 2007

Mariam Mayet of the African Centre for Biosafety has just published a paper called "Opening Pandora's box: GMOs, fuellish paradigms and South Africa's biofuel strategy". The paper analyses South Africa's draft biofuel strategy, looks at the emerging market and the main industry players, and at the strong link between the biofuel strategy and the GM/biotech industry, and the impacts it will have. In concusion, Mariam says: "Although we are vehemently opposed to the use of GM crops in the production of biofuels, we are not only seeking here, only a ban on the growing of GM crops for biofuels (commercially and in field trials). The bigger picture for all of us must that that biofuels based on industrial scale monoculture plantations are not a green nor sustainable option. To ignore these realities places the nation in peril." You can read the paper here: http://www.gmwatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=7565 The FAO have just published a very interesting (and frightening!) paper called "Forests and emerging infectious diseases of humans" by B.A. Wilcox and B. Ellis. This looks at the link between deforestation and new disesases, as well as the wider spread of existing illnesses. This is very relevant for the biofuels debate, because of the strong link between biofuel expansion and deforestation. You can read this paper here: http://www.fao.org/docrep/009/a0789e/a0789e03.htm