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Anti-GMO Activists Are Harming Hungry Africans

African crop yields lag well behind those of the world’s developed countries, and the continent’s food security is shaky at best. Starvation is an ever-present threat for many, and the impending effects of climate change loom ominously in the distance. But scientists have solutions, genetically modified crops that are resistant to droughts, pests, and disease, that, pending government approval, are ready for planting. Dismayingly, Luddite anti-GMO campaigners have smeared these potential problem-solvers as unsafe and unnatural, and as a result, to-date no African government has approved the use of GM crops. The Guardian reports:

[O]pponents have waged effective campaigns against GM technology based on misinformation and scaremongering. Consider Uganda, where the banana crop is under attack from pests and diseases, spurring the government to develop genetically modified, resistant varieties. Anti-GM campaigners have linked the technology to obesity, cancer and infertility and used images of deformed cattle to heighten consumer fears about health risks.

Unsurprisingly, public support for GM is low and politicians see only downsides in promoting the technology. Consequently, a proposed biosafety law to regulate and control the release of GM varieties has been suspended, and Uganda’s modified bananas remain at the field trial stage.

This is not a technical problem, but a policy one; scientists continue to churn out more robust versions of crops, only to find their efforts stuck on what the Guardian calls a “treadmill of continual field trials.” Every option has risks that must be weighed, but the anti-GMO activists don’t have a leg to stand on: Time after time, studies have exonerated genetically modified crops. Science says they’re safe, and that should trump the emotional and irresponsible opposition to the agricultural technology many greens continue to hold.

There are millions of hungry people, not just in Africa but around the world, who could benefit from genetically modified crops. Uninformed resistance is as unconscionable as it is tragic.

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  • Duperray

    These NGO’s are always the same: Under the pretexte “to help underdeveloped states” they impose their views about energy (no dams, no CCG’s, only wind turbines and photovoltaïcs… what a waste!), vaccines and now GMO bans. Beside their existence and local influence, they impose their views also by controlling international institutions (IMF, world bank, UN and so on…) in order these do not fund projects which are not in line with NGO views….!
    Only China and Russia do not abide to these NGO diktata and a large dam in central east Africa has been constructed despite Wold bank opposition. Africa is their present major field of action as developed countries start to become reluctant and India declaring some of them “nefast to population poverty fixing”. Some NGO fundings are also not so crystal clear…
    It is very ironic to see that the “bad guys” (China, Russia) are now the only one funding african projects without restrictions (perhaps we do not know the hidden constraints..), while West is knitted with Ideology …!

  • cubanbob

    Follow the money: NGO’s need to fund raise and the European’s don’t want their former colonies exporting agricultural products to Europe lest the farmers there get bent out of shape.

  • Pete

    “There are millions of hungry people, not just in Africa but around the world, who could benefit from genetically modified crops.”

    Like the eco-kooks care.

    Look what was the result of their anti-DDT campaign in Africa — millions of malaria deaths. but probably that’s what these kooks are actually after — to thin the human race down.

  • Dan

    What’s a couple of million dead Africans compared to a liberal’s smug sense of self-satisfaction. Party of Science indeed!

  • Breif2

    “scientists continue to churn out more robust versions of crops, only to find their efforts stuck on what the Guardian calls a ‘treadmill of continual field trials.'”

    If only! Many of the Luddites actively oppose field trials and even sabotage them.

    In the meantime, the faraway wogs may starve to death, but at least their bodies will be pure of GM-food.

  • LarryD

    Past time to start investigations for genocide.

  • alanstorm

    How come the “Party of Science” is uninterested in science, and the “Party of Choice” doesn’t want to offer any choices?

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