Thomson Reuter-trained journalists promote GM technology

5 Oct

Dominique Patton (agriculture, soft commodities correspondent- Thomson Reuters) reported from Beijing that a new Chinese government’s media campaign is hoping to counter a wave of negative publicity over GM technology; two days later, Shahram Haq’s article in Pakistan’s Express Tribune carried this loaded message: Pakistan lagging behind regional competitors due to the absence of a firm govt policy. Mr Haq is a commerce reporter, focussing on the economic activities of Lahore and the Punjab in general. His expertise includes the corporate, trade issues, real estate, construction, livestock and dairy sectors. He was selected by Thomson Reuters this year for an intensive training program on writing financial and business news in London.

Genetically modified BT cotton seeds

india growing trade bt cottonShahram Haq records that Pakistan’s regional competitors, China and India, adopted this technology in 1997 and 2002, respectively. Pakistan adopted it in 2009 and is still lagging behind in production of BT cotton, the most harvested GM crop in the world, due to the absence of a firm government policy.

Mr Haq then misleadingly says,“Since the first commercialisation of biotech crops back in 1996, 27 countries have adopted this technology primarily to feed their growing populations”.

Not true: few people live on soya, maize and canola

Soya is primarily used for animal feed, and also in many food additives. Maize is also used primarily for animal feed and is an important raw material for the starch industry. Canola/rapeseed oil is used as a ‘renewable’ fuel and in margarine. Nature journal table below, published in the Washington Post:

popular gm crops 2012

Next, GM technology viewed as “biological weapons of mass destruction” in Pakistan and Russia.

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