Thursday, December 11, 2014

Francisco Toro's Take on GMO Crops in Africa

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Francisco Toro, writing on his blog The Campaign for Boring Development, highlights one of the stronger pro-GMO arguments used by those who see GMO crops as part of a pro-sustainability future.

The basic argument is this.  Small farmers in Africa need to use fertilizers, herbicides, and pesticides to maintain productive yields.  However, these materials are expensive and cause pollution. 

Toro notes that using GMO crops significantly reduces pollution potential.  Keeping GMO crops away from farmers in Africa limits their development opportunities.  He makes a point in his article that those buying GMO-free crops are also committing to 18.3% more pesticides and 14.9% more carbon emissions.

While I remain committed to trying to advance organic agriculture whenever and wherever possible, I think Toro's points are worth reading and he makes one of the more lucid cases in favor of GMO crops from a sustainability and development lens.  I think that one of the most important points he makes is that there are tradeoffs to not using GMO's that are not all that great for the environment. 

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