In 1999, a McDonalds in France was dismantled by protestors just before it was to open. This was the idea of Jose Bove, a farmer, who found this was the ideal way to protest against globalization and became the poster child for the anti-globalization movement. He then turned his attention to genetically modified crops and one day in Brazil, he along with 1500 protestors tore the crops by their root. But then it seems farmers who have learned the benefits of these biotech crops have stopped listening to the anti-globalization crowd.
Despite the naysayers, perhaps the greatest testament to the Green Revolution’s legacy is the growth of biotechnology in the Third World. From South America to Southeast Asia, farmers are discovering that biotech crops are so superior, they are willing to risk breaking existing laws to plant them. During the last year, Brazilian farmers more than doubled cultivation of genetically enhanced soybeans, with more than 150 million acres under production. And when local bureaucrats tried to over-regulate biotech cotton, Brazilian farmers smuggled in seeds from Argentina and Australia.
The same holds true in India, whose farmers have been planting biotech cotton despite overwrought bureaucratic regulations. But earlier this month, Indian Science and Technology Minister Kapil Sibal said he would drastically cut the red tape. “The seed is the potential tool that can carry state-of-the-art technologies to every farmer,” explained Sibal. “It can once again usher in a green revolution.”
Biotechnology has even found grassroots support in France. When Bove recently showed up to destroy a field of biotech crops, he was met by a group of angry farmers who want an opportunity to plant these modern crops. As they know, unless Bove’s movement meets some resistance, the scaremongers of the future (ironically, still stuck in the past) will continue their efforts to scare away impoverished countries from the very technology that can help feed their people. [Norman Borlaug’s Legacy]
Also, here is why no one takes anti-globalizers seriously.