March 01, 2007

Selfmade Biodiversity

Vrij Nederland (9/2007)

In the year 2004 scientist published an estimation that through the warming up of the earth’s atmosphere 15 to 37 percent of our current species will be exterminated by the year 2050. While this rapid decrease of species is stated, the human beings as main source of this process, are busy to add new species to the ecosystem – yet this time not god-given, but man-made.
Today, the possibilities of genetic engineering have reached a climax. Worldwide there are more than 120 new species approved of for commercialisation. The industry is already much further and is pushing towards an international acceptance. New species promise longer ‘shelf-life’ capabilities, pest resistance or new nutritious functions. In the future, these new species may solve energy shortages, undernourishment and HIV. However, the risks are unknown and consumers are full of doubts. Many Countries block the commercialisation of Gen products, or form Gen-free zones. If a new man-made diversity will complement the natural one is more a question of national regulation than of science.

Producer: Simon Davis, Theo Deutinger, Andreas Kofler