Genetically Engineered Foods.
Should We Welcome The 6 Foot Tall Chicken?
This will be an article about genetically modified foods, when I find time to write it.
The premise will be that genetically engineered foods have been subject to an enormous amount of junk science misinformation on the internet.
And that we probably need them to feed most of the world's starving populations in the future.
The number of people in developing countries who rely on fish as a major source of food:
The percentage of the world's fisheries which are fully or overexploited:
Source: United Nations
Imagine if we filled the world's oceans with healthy fish. And the world's plates.
This is already possible, as long as it is done with care and scientifically controlled. Not controlled by profit.
Here's some of what the article will examine:
1. Everything we now eat is genetically modified. And already has been for 50-100 years at least. The crops and livestock were simply modified on the farms, rather than in a lab. All selective breeding of plants and animals is genetic modification.
2. The lack of public trust in genetically modified foods indicates a lack of trust in Western governments and big science, rather than a lack of trust in the food itself. It only manifests itself as this.
3. The third world is desperate for these crops. Without them they are facing famine and disaster.
4. We need to address the problem of scientific misinformation. Both by amateur web commentators and by corporate lobbyists. In the public debate science is rapidly becoming a matter of popular opinion, and those forming popular opinions rarely qualified to do so.
5. We need our Western governments to control agribusiness in ways that will restore our faith in its legitimate research products. Also agribusiness' third world economic intentions for them.
6. I may also diverge into the very serious subject of food commodity speculation. Which is immoral and is already causing third world people to starve to death so that fat bankers can buy more Cuban cigars. It should be illegal starting yesterday.
It'll be a good and well balanced article, although provocative to those laboring under the spell of hysterical junk science.
The Article - Coming soon to a head near you!
It'll be right here in a while.
Meanwhile... The Global Hunger Index of 2010.
I'm not quite certain who these people are, the IFPRI.
On their web site they seem like serious and legitimate scientists. Although they might be well-advised to prominently display exactly who is financing them, so that suspicious people like me are not made suspicious.
The Global Hunger Index of 2010
Is global hunger getting worse? In many countries research indicates that nothing has changed over the last decade.
They conclude that in many countries nothing has changed over the last decade.
The GHI scores countries on three equally weighted indicators: the proportion of people who are undernourished, the proportion of children under five who are underweight, and the child mortality rate. The biggest contributor to the global figure is child undernutrition,
The report notes that – despite gains in reducing hunger and undernourishment over the last 20 years, with hunger levels falling by one quarter – the number of hungry people has recently begun to rise. The report defines world hunger levels as "serious". It notes that the recent spike in food prices pushed the number of undernourished people beyond one billion, although estimates from the Food and Agriculture Organisation and the UN suggest the number will drop this year.
Eight of the nine countries in which hunger levels rose were found in Africa. These include Liberia, Burundi and the Democratic Republic of Congo (DRC). Burundi and DRC had "extremely alarming" hunger levels, along with Eritrea and Chad. North Korea was the only country outside Africa to show an increase in hunger levels, which has been blamed on negative trends in economic growth and food production.
Other key findings are:
• In South Asia, low nutritional, educational, and social status of women is among the major factors that contribute to a high prevalence of malnutrition in children under five • In some countries of Sub-Saharan Africa, for example Burundi, Madagascar, and Malawi, about half of the children are stunted (low height for age) due to poor nutrition • The burden of child undernutrition could be cut by 25-36 percent by providing universal preventive health services and nutrition interventions for children under two and their mothers during pregnancy and lactation.
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