11 September, 2008

Africa and Genetically Modified Food

Many have said how harmful genetically modified food is; and much has been written on the dangers of modified food. And despite the poverty and there not being enough food in many African countries, Africa rejects genetically modified food mainly due to modified seeds, if allowed in, would contaminate domestic crops; which would in turn make Africa dependent on the companies that modified the seeds and which would make African farmers 'be caught in a vicious circle, increasingly dependent on a small number of giant multinationals'.

As beneficial as the proponents of genetically modified food say the modified food is, many have pointed out that the harm and the dangers to health and the environment of genetically modified food, are too serious for Africa; as desperate and hungry as many Africans are, to allow and accept modified food - they say - would only endanger Africa more. From AFP:

  • Genetically-modified crops face stiff opposition from green lobbyists and media in developed countries, and campaigners reflect those attitudes in promoting traditional farming techniques in Africa, said Professor David King.
  • "The Western world move toward organic farming -- a lifestyle choice for a community with surplus food -- and against agricultural technology in general and GM in particular, has been adopted across the whole of Africa, with the exception of South Africa, with devastating consequences," he said.
But for how long can Africa reject modified food? With poverty and hunger as widespread as it is across Africa; with food prices soaring up and making it even harder on Africa; and with drought and famine hitting several African countries - it's just a matter of time before Africa gives up and accepts genetically modified food.

It would be better and more beneficial to Africa, if only Africans, leaders in particular, would vigorously support and encourage traditional African farming methods, farming methods that have supported generations of Africans before; and properly and wisely use the abundant natural resources that many African countries have - Africa won't need to turn to modified food. And become dependent on a few, foreign, biotechnology multinational companies. It would shackle Africa with only more chains; chains similar to those of the IMF and the World Bank.

Photo: BBC

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