Gates Foundation Urged to Back Away From Pushing GE Crops, Industrialized Agriculture for Africa
December 14, 2010
EINNEWS, December 14— A coalition of 100 groups has written to the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, urging the foundation to refocus its activities in Africa away from genetically engineered crops and industrial agriculture.
The groups signing the letter included environmentalists, academics and groups opposed to genetic engineering of food crops. They said they are concerned the foundation’s grants are “heavily distorted in favor of supporting inappropriate high-tech agricultural activities, ignoring scientific studies that confirm the value of small-scale agro-ecological approaches.”
Led by the Seattle-based Community Alliance for Global Justice (CAGJ), the coalition said the foundation and its private sector partners are pushing industrialized agriculture and genetically engineered crops at the expense of small farmers and the environment.
The Gates Foundation has made agricultural development one of its priorities in recent years, launching the Alliance for a Green Revolution in Africa (AGRA) with the Rockefeller Foundation in 2006. It spent about $316 million in 2009 on agricultural development.
The letter, signed by 100 organizations and individuals from 30 countries, was released to coincide with protests at the UN climate talks in Cancun.
Read more news about genetically engineered crops.