Putting war before human health: World’s weekly military expenditure exceeds annual cost of ending global hunger
At the opening of this week’s United Nations General Assembly meeting, the focus was on the Sustainable Development Summit in which world leaders committed to 17 new goals intended to make our planet a better place. Predictably, a great deal of prominence was given to the highly laudable aim of ending global hunger by 2030. But with around 795 million people, or one in nine of the 7.3 billion population of planet Earth, still suffering from chronic undernourishment, the impression given by much of the mass media is that achieving this objective would be a gargantuan and expensive task necessitating the widespread adoption of GM crops. When one looks behind this deceptive analysis, however, a very different reality emerges.
Firstly, don’t believe anyone who tells you that eradicating global hunger would be expensive. In 2008, the UN’s own Food and Agriculture Organization estimated the cost at only 30 billion dollars a year. To put this figure into context, with global military expenditure in 2014 totalling 1.8 trillion dollars, the world now spends more money on its armed forces in one week than it would cost to feed the hungry for a whole year. Looking at it another way, 30 billion dollars equates to less than 0.04% of gross world product (the total value of all goods and services produced on the planet in a single year) – a miniscule fraction of global earnings.
Secondly, although Bill Gates and his biotech buddies are desperate to convince you that feeding the world necessitates adopting GM crops, the fact is that global hunger is not caused by a lack of food. The world already produces enough to feed the entire population of the planet. Instead, the principal causes of hunger and starvation are essentially related to the causes and effects of poverty. Contrary to what the biotech industry would have you believe, and as the GMO Myths and Truths report, co-authored by genetic engineers Dr John Fagan and Dr Michael Antoniou and researcher Claire Robinson, demonstrates, GM crops are neither safe nor necessary to feed the world.
As Claire Robinson herself points out: “Claims for the safety and efficacy of GM crops are often based on dubious evidence or no evidence at all. The GMO industry is built on myths. What is the motivation behind the deception? Money. GM crops and foods are easy to patent and are an important tool in the global consolidation of the seed and food industry into the hands of a few big companies. We all have to eat, so selling patented GM seed and the chemicals they are grown with is a lucrative business model.”
The fact is that had the political will existed, global hunger could have been ended a long time ago. Unlike the waging of wars to create the necessary psychological state of fear for maintaining global control, our leaders have not seen feeding the hundreds of millions of starving people on our planet as politically important. And so far as the multi-billion dollar biotech sector is concerned, ending global hunger using non-patentable organic foods is viewed as commercial suicide.
Ultimately, therefore, bringing positive change to this morally unacceptable situation depends upon us, the people of the world, becoming more active in spreading the facts and increasing pressure on our politicians. This is why, in the area of food, the goals of the Movement of Life are to end the ‘GMO Madness’ AND bring an end to malnutrition and world hunger. If enough of us become active in sharing the truth and educating people that organic farming CAN feed the world, global hunger can and will be brought to an end.
1 October, 2015
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