giovedì 11 settembre 2008
Industrial agriculture and GMOs
I would like to express here my point of view about GMOs because the issue is stimulating further discussions in Italy and Europe. My point of view is also the result of a wide discussion with other persons having better competencies on the issue than me. Moreover this position represented an essential component in the preparation of political programmes for rural and agricultural development which, maybe for an excess of prudence or political opportunism, have been (I hope temporarily) put apart. Also to cancel any doubt about my opinion about this issue, I include my following comments:
“In general terms, the adoption of technological approaches to agriculture, such as in the case of GMOs or the use of chemicals, should be preceded by a deep analysis of their implications for the ecosystem and human health. Chemicals have to be used only when effectively necessary and have to be always preceded by all those ecological and environmental, agronomic and crop techniques and practices capable to prevent, with the adoption of agro-meteorology, information and extension programmes, in situ controls, etc., a large number of fito-sanitary problems. A “comprehensive” approach should thus adopted about the factors involved to achieve a significant reduction of chemical treatments through the implementation of more targeted, less toxic and narrow spectrum products being in the same time less deleterious for ecosystems, human and animal health. These considerations have to be extended to GMOs for which two distinct but complementary problematic issues emerge. The former implies the issue of food security related to the “precaution principle” or impeding that certain kinds of food are commercialized until their security is completely confirmed. Moreover, many doubts emerge when considering the problem of environmental contamination from GMOs crops. The latter is related to the fact that GMOs seem to be essentially no-use resulting essentially from economic and financial speculations rather than scientific research. The development and commercialization of GMOs is mainly concentrated on few corporations capable to determine a quasi total control on agricultural activities: GMOs increase the dependence degree of farmers from external private subjects who, after having blocked the products patenting and after making sterile seeds for future crops, do not show any interest in defending local resources and competencies, ecosystems and biodiversity. Consequently, the introduction and diffusion of GMOs in Italy seem not adequately based on adequate and valid motivations. On the contrary, their implementation in agriculture could drive to a deprivation both in entrepreneurship terms and in a restriction of the supply of local products. For these reasons OGMs have to be considered incompatible with a strategy for a development of agriculture based on quality, typical products, territorial distinctions, links with the territory and promotion of agrifood traditions”.