STEPS centre gives balanced view of GM technology

On my way to Mark Thomas’ show at the Pleasance, I stopped off in the central library to have a quick skim through the periodicals. Just as I went in the door I noticed a bike chained up, and I’m fairly sure it was the bike I donated to the Bike Station. Good karma, whether it was or not.

This book review by Ian Scoones and Dominic Glover outlines the small place that GM technology plays compared with other science-based technologies.

The STEPS centre – linking environmental sustainability and technology with poverty reduction and social justice

African farmers call on family and small-scale farming at G8

Some very important insights and demands in “The farmers’ organisations of Africa address the G8” (April 2009).

In Agricultural policies they demand Recognition of the dominant role of family farming as the prime route to ensuring food security, fighting against poverty and for economic and social development in Africa and Adoption of land tenure laws which explicitly protect small producers and vulnerable groups (women, young people, minorities)..

The Food First site which hosts that PDF has a lot of information on American policies. There is a more general article that Small farmers key to combatting climate change, so perhaps it’s worth digging into their archives.

Also: La Via Campesina’s website shakes me from my rhapsodies about fruit cordial.

Rethinking Food Policy (from Earth Policy News)

The article starts by saying that China’s food productivity increased because of a move from agricultural collectives to family farm models, which I hoped would set the scene for a policy analysis of localisation of food production. However the remainder of the article is a macro analysis of breeding early varieties to allow double cropping. I’m usually a fan of Lester Brown & the Earth Policy Institute, but this article is sadly lacking.

Earth Policy News article on Rethinking Food Policy