The debate on GMO’s in the media is sometimes heavy, with researchers and seed companies arguing that GMO’s offer an essential answer to the many challenges faced by agriculture today. Feeding 9 billion mouths by 2050 will not be possible without the use of Genetically Modified Organisms, is their statement. Opponents argue that GMO’s are an environmental disaster and that patents are a noose around the neck of farmers worldwide.
What is the position of Vredeseilanden in this debate? Are we pro or against GMO’s? Well, first of all we think that this is not the right question to ask. We are not pro or against any technology as such, we’d rather ask “Is this GMO-technology the best answer to Problem X?”. That problem can be any of the many challenges agriculture faces today: persistent hunger, climate change, resource scarcity, etc. Up till now Vredeseilanden has never been able to reply affirmatively to this question. But that doesn’t mean that we exclude each application of Genetic Engineering (GE) for agriculture a priori.
Admittedly, this might seem as a half-hearted position, which it isn’t. To clarify our position, we published our view and some of our answers to a few common GGO-claims in a comprehensive paper. See attachment.