KUALA LUMPUR (MALAYSIA) / BRUSSELS (BELGIUM) – A new report will be released on Feb. 23rd. It shows the negative consequences of 10 years of Genetically Modified crops on our planet and the need for international liability rules. [1]

Ten years after the first Genetically Modified (GM) crop appeared on market shelves, biotech corporations are still failing to deliver their promised GM crops with clear benefits for consumers or farmers, according to a new report released on February 23.

The release of the 1994-2004 report today coincides with the start in Kuala Lumpur of United Nations talks on GM ‘Organisms’ and their potential risks. This is the first meeting of the ‘Biosafety Protocol’ [2], an international treaty that became law in September 2003.

The 51-page report “Genetically Modified crops: a decade of failure [1994-2004]” shows that GM crops are causing problems especially to farmers and to the environment and shows, among others, that:

  • Not only do GM crops have adverse socio-economic impacts. They also created novel and alarming environmental problems (such as genetic contamination) and some of them (such as GM oilseed rape in the UK or GM maize in Mexico) directly threaten biodiversity.
  • The large-scale release of GM crops around the globe (the biotech industry’s objective) would further exacerbate the ecological vulnerability already associated with monoculture agriculture.
  • The case of Argentina (the world’s second largest producer of GM crops) proves that GM crops are not the solution for ‘feeding the world’, as the biotech companies claim, since millions of Argentinians face hunger and malnutrition.
  • In general, consumers worldwide are still reluctant to embrace GM foods.
  • Many poor countries rejected even food aid if it contained GM ingredients.
  • Consumers and retailers forced biotech giant Monsanto to delay the commercialization of its GM wheat, initially planned for 2004.
  • In Europe distrust in GM is so high that GM food has in effect been removed from the majority of supermarket shelves. The situation is likely not to change.

“Contrary to the promises made by the biotech corporations, the reality of the last ten years shows that the safety of GM crops cannot be ensured, that they are neither cheaper nor higher quality and that they are not the magical solution to solve world hunger,” said in Kuala Lumpur Juan Lopez of Friends of the Earth International.

“The world urgently needs liability laws to make polluters pay for the genetic contamination they make. The process to make such laws possible should be agreed here this week,” Lopez added in Kuala Lumpur.


In Kuala Lumpur (Malaysia): Juan Lopez, Friends of the Earth International Tel: +60-123952149 or +39-333-1498049, E-mail: juan.lopez@foeeurope.org
Shamila Ariffin, Friends of the Earth Malaysia, Tel: +60-16-3174049 Email: shamila73@yahoo.com

In Brussels (Belgium): Adrian Bebb, Friends of the Earth Europe Tel: +49-1609 490 1163 Adrian.bebb@foeeurope.org

In San Salvador (El Salvador, Central America): Ricardo Navarro, Chair, Friends of the Earth International. Tel: +503-2200046 or +503-2206480 E-mail: foeichair@navegante.com.sv


[1] The report “Genetically Modified crops: a decade of failure [1994-2004]” is available to download at the Friends of the Earth International website

[2] This February 23-27 “First meeting of the Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety” will mainly discuss a biosafety clearing-house mechanism, bio-safety capacity-building, liability and redress, protocol compliance, and the handling, transport, packaging and identification of GM (or Living Modified) organisms.