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Non-fictional text (1)


Task

  1. Summarise the text "Sorry Bill Gates: GMO crops proven to be ineffective at fighting world hunger" by Anthony Gucciardi.
  2. Did Monsanto shareholder Bill Gates ignore this information, or does he believe that 900 scientists are incorrect? Explain why Bill Gates might have chosen to argue that GMO crops are the solution to world hunger.
  • Schwierigkeitsgrad:  3
  • Zeit:  45 Minuten
  • Punkte:  30

Solution

a.

The article “Sorry Bill Gates: GMO Crops Proven to be Ineffective at Fighting World Hunger” by Anthony Gucciardi, published on the Natural Society website on 2nd March, 2012, takes a very critical look at this issue and at the claims made by Bill Gates. Bill Gates, a shareholder of Monsanto, a company that is heavily involved with genetically modified crops, has publically promoted the idea that genetically modified organisms help to fight hunger around the world. Two international organizations, the IAASTD and the Union of Concerned Scientists, both of which perform research on world hunger, have determined that this is not the case. The article claims that Bill Gates was aware of this fact even before he openly endorsed the idea. Furthermore, not only do GMO crops fail to yield, they are a health hazard, and have even led to the bankruptcy and ultimately the suicide of numerous farmers. Gucciardi sees financial aspects at the root of Gates' support for this claim.  

b.

Although it has been known for many years that genetically modified crops are ineffective, Bill Gates decided to publically state that they are crucial for the fight against hunger around the world. What motivated him to make such a claim?

One can only speculate on his reasons. The article does not cite any proof that Gates was aware of the results of the research. He may truly have been unaware of the facts, or may have received false information - so-called “alternative facts” or “fake news” as it is referred to these days. He may have innocently believed in the ideas promoted by the company, and therefore seen GMO crops as the ideal solution.

Although possible, this explanation seems highly unlikely. Researchers certainly would have informed him thoroughly on the subject. It is much more likely that, in spite of the abundant evidence to the contrary, he deliberately decided to encourage the use of GMOs. As the author suggests, financial reasons are likely to be involved. Since Gates himself is shareholder of the GMO company Monsanto, it may have been in his own best interests that the company make considerable profits, as this would increase his own profits as well.

In this regard, it would seem blindingly obvious that the author is correct in his assertion that financial motives may indeed have been the stimulus for Gates to falsely promote the technology used by Monsanto and to deliberately mislead the public.

 

 

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