If the conversation about the food system is going to have fairness as an objective, then everyone’s voice must be heard. But, try and think how many farmers’ opinions you have read/ heard recently? Women farmers? Even less, perhaps. What about farmers from countries other than your own? Or consumers from other parts of the world who do not have access to a gleaming grocery store filled with perfect produce?
Here, then, is a peek into another world view. It comes from a farmer in the Philippines, a Mom who likes to cook “talong” or eggplant for her kids and laments the decision of the Supreme Court in her country to reject the adoption of Bt Brinjal (eggplant). She points out that GM corn containing the same trait is already being grown, so it would seem illogical to now reject the Bt Brinjal. Both here and in the case of India, Greenpeace played an active role in spreading unfounded fears of biotechnology. As a result, the farmers have to continue using heavy doses of pesticides and still lose a portion of their crop to pests; and consumers are also deprived of choices at the market. Those who like to point fingers at Big Ag companies for destroying their “food sovereignty’ might like to take a second look at first world concerns taking away choices of poor farmers and consumers in other countries. If people have to go to bed hungry, then sovereignty does not have any meaning for them.