Bill Gates said he believes the global community must invest in engineered crops using what he calls his “magic seeds” to solve world hunger.
Great Game India
What is needed, he said, are “magic” seeds that have been genetically engineered to be resistant to hot and dry climates or to grow three weeks faster than natural seeds.
“Temperature keeps going up,” Gates said. “There is no way, without innovation, to come even close to feeding Africa. I mean, it just doesn’t work.”
However, André Leu, organic farming expert, former president of IFOAM Organics International and author of “Growing Life: Regenerating Farming and Ranching,” criticized Gates for calling his genetically modified seeds “magical.”
According to Vandana Shiva, Ph.D., environmental activist, author and founder of Navdanya International, “[Natural] seeds as the source of life are magical. They hold their implicate order within them, and unfold to relocate the unique patterns and structures of life in its diversity.”
In contrast, Shiva said, “Genetically engineered seeds have been made to own life through patents.”
“[Genetically engineered seeds] are a failed technology.
“Herbicide-resistant crops were supposed to control weeds. They have created superweeds. Bt toxin crops were supposed to control pests. They have created super pests, increased the need for pesticides, increased farmers’ debt and driven farmers to suicide in India.
“A failed, clumsy, crude manipulation of living systems does not create ‘magical seeds.’
“It creates an ecological disaster of monocultures of GMOs [genetically modified organisms] displacing the rich diversity of crops that we need for the health of people and the health of the planet.”
According to Gates, he’s concerned about the planet — at least how it may be impacted by climate change.