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Biotech foods are still held hostage by ‘eco-propaganda’

In an Agence France Presse report today, food-technology advocates charge that the activist Luddite Lobby has already put a crimp in research funding and closed borders to exports of genetically improved foods. Environmental groups like Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth, they say, are standing in the way of scientific advances which could help meet the food needs of 1.3 billion people who live on less than one dollar a day. “It’s what’s putting the brakes on further development of the technology in developing countries,” said C. S. Prakash, director of the Center for Plant Biotechnology Research at Alabama’s Tuskegee University. The groups are part of “a protest industry,” whose main product is “fear,” he added. Florence Wambugo, head of Cornell University’s agri-biotech research center, described the quicksand underneath the activists’ position: “There are 44 million hectares of GM crops under cultivation, up to 10,000 field trials of GM crops are carried out every year and yet there is no scientific evidence to show GMO products present a threat to humans. All we have is hearsay.” (link unavailable)

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