from triple pundit: The Gates Foundation is normally known for its work eradicating malaria and polio through innovative methods. Recently however, it has joined hands with Monsanto, Cargill and other agri-biotech companies to push GM-research. Back in 2009, Tom Philpott wrote a piece urging Bill Gates not to endorse GMO but the sound advice has gone unheeded. Fast Company reports that the Gates Foundation has invested $11.9 million in research towards a Virus-Resistant Cassava strain for Africa.
Cassava is a highly-drought resistant staple food for over 200 million sub-Saharan Africans. However, over a third of the harvest is lost each year to Cassava Mosaic Disease and Cassava Brown Streak Disease. The project’s objective is to use gene silencing to create disease resistant plants. While the goal of disease-resistant cassava is certainly worthy, dabbling with GM technology leaves a bitter taste in my mouth.