Transgenic Crops Debated in CSTD

HURRIYET DAILY NEWS – There is a debate in the United Nations’ Committee on Science and Technology for Development as to whether transgenic crops, otherwise known as genetically modified organisms, would be a great boon or a devastating bane to the economies of developing nations.

Thailand in particular argues that the potential increase in production could quickly cause many workers to become unemployed due to the surplus of food that would be produced from using efficient transgenic crops. This surge of unemployment, Thailand states, would destabilize economies due to the massive amount of population developing nations commonly devote to agriculture.

On the other hand, Nigeria, a country that employs as much as 70% of its population to agriculture, asserts that an increase in production would instead be very beneficial. Nigeria is currently suffering from a food deficit, and does not grow enough food for its own population. The delegation from Nigeria argues that the increase in production would correspond to a lower price on food items for consumers and would only increase the availability of food in areas that are otherwise lacking.

The delegation of Iran also endorses the usage of transgenic crops, seeking to increase transgenic crop use in developing nations, and has even gone so far as to promote the idea of using Iran’s own methods of farming as a model for other nations to follow.

This debate divides the committee, which has otherwise proven quite willing to work together on the topic. Other ideas such as increasing infrastructure and education in developing nations have met with very little resistance from the committee. Even Russia’s mention of the USA’s extreme quantity of food waste prompted no response from the USA and failed to derail the committee’s continuing discussion on ensuring food security.