Outsmarting Nature?

Synthetic Biology and Climate Smart Agriculture
Communiqué number: 
114

Many of the world's largest agro-industrial corporations are pushing forward the poorly-defined idea of "Climate-Smart Agriculture"(CSA) to re-market industrial agriculture as 'climate-ready'. This report uncovers how some advocates of CSA are embracing the extreme genetic engineering tools of synthetic biology ("Syn Bio") to develop a set of false solutions to the climate crisis.

The 20-page report includes:

-       An overview of the Players lining up behind the “Climate-Smart” brand and the Global Alliance for Climate Smart Agriculture (GACSA).

-       Details and critique of public and private research projects to alter photosynthesis pathways in plants and microbes, theoretically to increase the carbon sequestration of plants.

-      Details and critique of Synthetic Biology projects that aim to increase nitrogen fixation in plants and create ‘self-fertilizing plants,’ theoretically to reduce fertilizer applications.

-      An exposé of new Syn Bio applications developed by agrochemical giant Syngenta that make the activation of ‘climate-tolerance’ traits dependent on the application of proprietary pesticides – thereby tying farmers closer to agrochemical use.

-      Proposals to release controversial ‘Gene Drive’ technology into the wild to make weed populations more susceptible to Monsanto’s Roundup herbicide, altering ecosystems to extend the commercial viability of that agrochemical.

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PDF icon outsmart_a4report_v5.pdf686.97 KB
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