April 10, 2018
Annotated Bibliography: GMO Crop Failures and Famine
A very hot button topic is the GMO crops. Especially those marketed towards countries that are poor and suffering from natural disasters and famines. Why are the record of failed GMO crops not being counted against companies pushing these seeds? Why are famines made worse by GMO not being investigated more? My paper type will be a position paper. Standing against using GMO’s to help famine and failing areas. And that the GMO companies are responsible for creating more problems in countries needing help. My position is that we need to have more liability on companies that cause more problems, and that GMO’s are not helping to solve the famine and other problems they have claimed to be created to help.
My research into this topic followed along with the articles I found from the library. Using the information give by those two sources. I followed along a similar pattern of research. Using the help of Google Scholar to narrow down my sources to peer reviewed papers, documents and articles. I used the keywords of “GMO” “Famine” “Bad” “Failure”. The keywords led me to many well-written articles. Some of which gave wonderful background information. Such as the book When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods. The book gives neutral information surrounding the topic of GMOs. Detailing important events. Such as when certain GM foods were sold on market. Or when laws were enacted for and against GMOs. Other articles detailed how countries of significance dealt with crop failures. And how they responded to GMO in general. “China, Rice, and GMOs: Navigating the Global Rift on Genetic Engineering.” Written by R. Herring investigates how even though GMO’s are banned in China. GMO still is bought and sold in China. Another key source for background information is “GMOs and the Developing World: A Precautionary Interpretation of Biotechnology.” Written by Gray, Sarah, and Lieberman, the paper details about the technological advancements in the field of genetically modified organisms.
My claim uses “The Southern African Famine and Genetically Modified Food Aid: The Ramifications for the United States and European Unions-Trade War.”, “The Profits of Famine: Southern Africa’s Long Decade of Hunger.” And, “‘On the ‘Failure of Bt Cotton’.”. Each of these papers give different accounts about the actions of GMO and its unpaid failures. How the actions of other countries against and for GMO’s create the climate for GMO’s to be sold to countries needing aid. And watching their crops fail, with then the need for more aid. The companies of GM products continue selling failed products to poor countries. And there was no legal suit against those companies because of the failures of crops. Creating even worse famines.
The opposite point-of-view to my topic is that GMO’s are not to blame for their own failures. That all crops fail. And it’s simple only the choice of farmers to buy GMO seeds.
Any additional sources or materials I may need would be to give more evidence towards the other point of view. And give much background information surrounding claims against GMO’s in failing areas where the failures of other crops are hard enough.
Some problems may arise with some of sources. Several of which detail several events in the same countries. Such as India. Several of my sources mainly focus on the events around Bt Cotton. And it’s failures throughout Rural India. This may cause some problem with trying to broaden my cases against GMO crops and their failures. Another issue that may arise will be trying to show the failure of gm crops towards famines. As my sources for this deal mainly with Africa. And specific countries and areas. Such as Southern Africa. This could cause some issues on the final paper. Mainly with trying to express my claim. As only dealing with certain areas may be seen a weak evidence to my claim.
Herrick, Clare. “The Southern African Famine and Genetically Modified Food Aid: The Ramifications for the United States and European Unions-Trade War.” Review of Radical Political Economics, vol. 40, no. 1, 2007, pp. 50–66., doi:10.1177/0486613407311081. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1177/0486613407311081
Herring’s paper discusses the ethical issues with genetically modified foods and crops. Both in America, Europe, and in Africa. The paper discusses how over the past decade, both Mozambique and South Africa have undergone a period of food system reform, which has led to a diversification within the agricultural sector and a decentralization of food distribution and maize milling systems. The World Food Program led interagency cooperation in the region, stating that approximately 13 million people would be facing a severe food crisis over the next nine months. The revelations forced the developed world to reassess the nature of the GM debate tout court, both at home and abroad. It is essential that the situation in southern Africa is grasped within three key contexts: first, the issue of the declining profit margins of biotechnology firms; second, neo-Malthusian debates over population growth; and third, the nature of food aid and the political importance of food security. The confluence of famine and GMOs has not only raised questions in the West about how best to alleviate global hunger, but has also aired the much thornier issue of how to ensure feasible, ethical, and sustainable political economies of food provision on a more local scale. Food Aid and Food Security According to the FAO, food security in the developing world rests on ensuring four key indicators: food abundance, guaranteed access, adequate nutrition, and food safety. Thanks to many of the hybrid varieties developed during the Green Revolution, global food production has consistently outpaced population growth since the 1960s. The solution must, therefore, be financial as well as food aid. In response, the United States contends that Europe can only legitimately proffer such a line of reasoning because it has more than enough food to feed its own population. Genetically modified crops necessitate not only new development policy but new ways of theorizing development itself in the light of globalized systems of food production. Just as GM represents more than food, food is also much more than the herbicide tolerant GM crops at the root of the debate.
Herring, Ron. “China, Rice, and GMOs: Navigating the Global Rift on Genetic Engineering.” The Asia-Pacific Journal: Japan Focus, 12 Jan. 2009, https://apjjf.org/-Ron-Herring/3012/article.html
Herring writes this article on the topic of China. And if China is ready for transgenic foods. He writes specifically about Transgenic rice – officially unauthorized within China – has for several years been showing up in exports from China to Europe, to Japan, to New Zealand – and probably many other places that simply are not checking. The controversy implied by the Nature article rests on two changes in the context of biotechnology: first, rice would be the first food crop authorized officially in China, and secondly, rice as a plant raises questions of agro-ecology not presented by cotton, China’s first transgenic. China’s current interest in regulation of transgenic rice derives directly from this global regulatory rift. Bt cotton from China’s public sector not only performed well, and reduced pesticide poisoning of farmers and farm workers, but was smuggled out of China and thrives as stealth seeds in other parts of Asia. The formal resolution of the China-EU conflict was to require all rice and rice products from China to have a certificate that there is no transgenic Bt 63 content; one predicts a strong market for certificates over time. China is hardly alone in failing to regulate crops – – seed police are hard to find – but China does face strong international pressure for tighter regulation of safety in exports in general. In this one incidence of conflicting pressures on the state in China is contained the global cognitive rift around transgenic organisms, much as the history of imperialism can be drawn from a single cup of tea.
Herring, Ronald J. “Whose Numbers Count? Probing Discrepant Evidence on Transgenic Cotton in the Warangal District of India.” International Journal of Multiple Research Approaches, vol. 2, no. 2, 2008, pp. 145–159., doi:10.5172/mra.422.214.171.124. https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/abs/10.5172/mra.4126.96.36.199
This essay suggests a method learned from field investigation of data volatility across studies in the most controversial district in India. Interpolating among studies and field results, this essay concludes that widespread reports of the failure of Bt cotton in India on agronomic, economic and environmental grounds are not sustainable scientifically but do have plausible origins in methodology and in interests connected to the contentious politics around GMOs globally. Section 6 looks at the aggregate picture: what can we say about Bt cotton in India’s agricultural performance? In Section 7, the article returns to explain why there has been so much controversy given virtually universal adoption of Bt technology in cotton for reasons explored in previous sections. These studies were reported in Parliament from officially sanctioned field trials of Bt cotton and offered confirmation of the standard narrative of Bt cotton advocates: harvested yields increased because of superior bollworm control; costs of bollworm control went down; therefore, net incomes went up. As the growers of cotton containing the transgene achieved better results than farmers using conventional cotton hybrids in 2004-05, the demand for the seeds was so high that Bt seeds were often sold with police protection in the state.Devinder Sharma, a prominent commentator on Bt cotton, said at a public forum at the India International Centre in New Delhi on 4 December 2009, that there were no non-Bt cotton seeds available because the government prevented their sale through the Essential Commodities Act.Scientists at the agricultural research station of Acharya N G Ranga Agricultural University in Warangal district, the most senior of whom was cited as an authority by Shiva et al in Seeds of Suicide, estimated that 80-90% of the cotton in the district was Bt cotton in 2006. To people who sell and grow Bt cotton, the notion that “Bt cotton has failed” was incomprehensible. Adulterated cotton seeds from the firm Excel had failed farmers in 2000 before Bt cotton was on the market; the firm was forced to pay compensation. In his announcement of the moratorium on Bt brinjal in 2010, the then minister of environment Jairam Ramesh stated that more than 90% of cotton farmers in India grow Bt cotton. The new public sector Bt cotton is not a hybrid, but an open-pollinated variety, designed to facilitate seed-saving for farmers who prefer to do so.9 There are still many illegal Bt cotton hybrids as well – deshi Bt. One would expect variance in performance of Bt cotton ex-ante. Government agencies in India strongly advise against cotton cultivation in drought-prone marginal areas without irrigation, whether the cultivar is Bt or non-Bt. In thin red soils without irrigation, the risks of planting any cotton are high.
Herring, Ronald J., and N. Chandrasekhara Rao. “‘On the ‘Failure of Bt Cotton’.” Economic and Political Weekly, 5 May 2012, www.ask-force.org/web/Cotton/Herring-Rao-Failure-Bt-Cotton-Analysis-2012.pdf.
The study explains why there has been so much controversy given to the virtually universal adoption of Bt technology in cotton and concludes that in the battle of numbers around Bt cotton, those of the farmers have been curiously missing. As the growers of cotton containing the transgene achieved better results than farmers using conventional cotton hybrids in 2004-05, the demand for the seeds was so high that Bt seeds were often sold with police protection in the state. Devinder Sharma, a prominent commentator on Bt cotton, said at a public forum at the India International Centre in New Delhi on 4 December 2009, that there were no non-Bt cotton seeds available because the government prevented their sale through the Essential Commodities Act. Adulterated cotton seeds from the firm Excel had failed farmers in 2000 before Bt cotton was on the market; the firm was forced to pay compensation. In his announcement of the moratorium on Bt brinjal in 2010, the then minister of environment Jairam Ramesh stated that more than 90% of cotton farmers in India grow Bt cotton. The new public sector Bt cotton is not a hybrid, but an open-pollinated variety, designed to facilitate seed-saving for farmers who prefer to do so. There are still many illegal Bt cotton hybrids as well – deshi Bt. One would expect variance in performance of Bt cotton ex-ante. The Aggregate Picture India has more land under cotton than any other country; yields before the introduction of Bt cotton were among the lowest in the world.
Lieberman, Sarah, and Tim Gray. “GMOs and the Developing World: A Precautionary Interpretation of Biotechnology.” The British Journal of Politics and International Relations, vol. 10, no. 3, 2008, pp. 395–411., doi:10.1111/j.1467-856x.2007.00304.x. http://journals.sagepub.com/doi/abs/10.1111/j.1467-856x.2007.00304.x?journalCode=bpia
The main points of this paper surround the subject of genetically modified products. Discussing how it has raised considerable controversy in recent years, especially in developed countries, where it has led to tension over regulatory differences between the United States and the European Union. Our conclusion is that the EU’s strong interpretation of the PP in relation to GMOs currently prevails over the US’s weak interpretation of the PP in relation to GMOs in developing countries, but that this could change because of non-GM crop failure and improved performance of GM crops. This article summarizes the other side of the story so to speak about genetically modified foods and crops. Discussing where non-GMO crops failed, and where GMO crops didn’t. This article is useful in answering the “other” side of the argument on whether GM crops are better for feeding the world over heritage and organic crops, and non-GMO foods.
Patel, R., and A. Delwiche. “The Profits of Famine: Southern Africa’s Long Decade of Hunger.” AGRIS: International Information System for the Agricultural Science and Technology, Institute for Food and Development Policy, 1 Jan. 1970, http://agris.fao.org/agris-search/search.do?recordID=GB2013200075This article discusses the argument on the notion that poverty is the reason for famine and hunger. It argues that famine and malnutrition are the product of poverty, not of food shortage, and that this is the result of the policies of the United States and the European Union aimed at defending the interests of transnational food corporations. One main claim is that food aid is the way the US has to deal with the food expedients that its subsidization of American agriculture produces these subsidies allow American food corporations to increase their benefits these subsidies, along with imposed free trade policies, create poverty in the developing world, leading to famines and malnutrition most Southern African governments are following the policy recommendations of the United States, leading to greater integration with the world economy, as the NEPAD initiative shows Zambia is the only exception, as its government has recognized that the problem is the lack of food available within the means of the poor.
Pollack, Mark A., and Gregory C. Shaffer. When Cooperation Fails: The International Law and Politics of Genetically Modified Foods, OUP Oxford, 2009. ProQuest Ebook Central, https://ebookcentral.proquest.com/lib/unlv/detail.action?docID=472059.
This book details about the about the story on both sides of the GMO argument. The book discusses how the US and EU and other countries have differing views upon how GMO laws should be handled. How they should be written. The book is useful in looking through the debate over GMO’s through a neutral party. Discussing both the failures and successes of both sides. Going over how what one side does or doesn’t do, and then discusses how it has looked upon. Using a neutral source for information on a very heated debate is useful in gaining potential important information that biased sources may leave out. Be it intentional or not. The authors use several prominent events to explain each side. Where an event took place, and how other countries reacted to said event.
Scuro, Alexandra. “Are GMOs Good or Bad Seeds in the Developing World: A Discussion of the Growing Role of Developing Countries in the Debate over Climate Change and the Loss of Biodiversity,” Fordham Environmental Law Review vol. 18, no. 2 (Spring 2007): p. 369-398.
This article discusses how law from a political and socio-legal perspective that looks at the role of agents/actors in producing and implementing the law. How the law’s potential normativity in shaping and legitimizing behavior and the role of institutions in mediating law’s force; and The recursive interaction between the production of law and the challenges of its implementation. This article shows through the eyes of the law in terms of both a tool used by actors; and A system of norms and procedures that has some normativity, that is mediated through institutional processes, and that affects these actors, thus operating in a recursive manner 2. A project that combines qualitative empirical work and theory-building, engaging with political science and law; – over 8 years; six months at FAO in Rome – can see as an applied theory but also wish to contribute back to theory 3. The stark differences in the US and EU regulatory systems were not preordained, we argue, by the interest-group, institutional or cultural configurations of the two sides; but the differences are real, and the two systems, once in place, have proven resistant to change.