European fear of genetically modified organisms has more to do with “commercial politics than it does with the safety of the products”, the director of the Gates Foundation’s $2.5 billion agricultural strategy has said.
The dominance of Monsanto in the sector meant governments were wary of introducing GMOs, said Sam Dryden, who was attending the conference on hunger in Dublin.
“Right now the only company which sells much is an American company. For anyone to take on that issue and try to open it up it’s really opening it up for Monsanto. I can’t imagine anyone wanting to,” said Mr Dryden, who previously ran a GM seed company, Emergent Genetics.
While introducing GMO products was an individual choice for countries, they could help farming in poorer countries, he added. “We do it because we need to bring whatever safe technologies to help the smallholder farmers,” he said.