Nelly Bassily | April 27, 2009
This news story has attracted worldwide attention due to its potential implications for the safety and usefulness of genetically modified (GM) crops. A New Zealand author wrote that farmers should take it as a warning not to get involved with GM seeds (http://www.infonews.co.nz/news.cfm?l=1&t=0&id=35742), while a biotechnology consultant produced an article maintaining that genetic modification had nothing to do with the recent crop failure (http://www.molplantbreed.org/News/news_view.asp?newsID=445).
At your radio station, it could serve as a launching point for an on-air discussion about the value and risks of GM crops. If your country is considering legislation to allow GM crop production, you could invite advocates for and against to GM crops to an on-air debate. Or, if GM crops are being tested or used in your country, try to interview farmers who have used GM crops about their experience. Be sure to allow time for farmers from your listening audience to call in and share their views.
The following resources provide more information on the topic:
-A report by the NGO GRAIN on the consequences of genetically modified crops for small-scale African farmers: http://www.grain.org/briefings/?id=12
The new weapons of genetic engineering:
-A policy paper written by the International Food Policy Research Institute,
Governing the GM Crop Revolution: Policy Choices for Developing Countries:
These links will connect you with organizations mentioned in this article:
-African Centre for Biosafety: http://www.biosafetyafrica.net/index.html/