We have the power to feed Africa’s hungry children—namely, the technology to genetically modify crops to be resistant to drought and pestilence. Study after study has shown that these GMOs are safe to eat, but the green movement continues to oppose these famine-solving technologies. Given the lack of solid evidence to support this opposition, we have to presume it’s because of an emotional aversion to something so “unnatural.”It would be one thing if this aversion could be confined to the wealthy countries where it is popular; it’s quite another when it interferes with the agricultural policies of far-away countries that need all the technological help they can get feeding hungry people. As the Washington Post reports, the latter, unfortunately, is exactly what’s happening in Tanzania:
Scientists are developing drought-tolerant corn, something that could ease hunger across Tanzania and sub-Saharan Africa. But because it is genetically modified, the corn cannot be planted here [in Tanzania]. Opponents of genetically modified crops have made a stand in Africa, and now villages such as Engaruka are squarely in the middle of a global ideological war over agricultural technology.Since U.S. farmers first adopted GM crops in 1996, 17 million farmers in 29 countries have followed suit. Europe has rejected the crops, though, arguing that farmers would be exploited by large seed companies and that more research is needed into possible risks to the environment and food safety. And European activists have pressured Africa to do the same. Just four African countries—Sudan, Egypt, Burkina Faso and South Africa—have allowed them.
Anti-GMO crusaders have been called the climate deniers of the left, and for good reason: their stand is anti-science. The global population is still growing, and we’re going to need to produce more from our planet’s arable land to feed these people. GMOs are a timely solution to a growing problem. Green fear mongering is starving the world’s poor, and it’s only going to get worse with time.[Soybean field image courtesy of Shutterstock]