The controversy over African countries accepting GM foods continues as Zambia continues to refuse importation of GM foods until it is proven that they pose no threat to the health of the people or the environment. (GM foods were banned in 2002 ) Reports claim that Zambia is facing a drought and needs 200,000 tones of maize immediately and the US is putting pressure on Zambia to import GM foods. The ban followed research by Zambian scientists and economists conducted in South Africa, Europe and the US as well as consultations took place with local farmers, women’s groups, politicians, church leaders and NGOs – sounds very democratic!
Local research concluded
"GM crops are likely to bring many problems, including serious
negative effects on the development of small-scale farming in Zambia —
the basis for the country’s food security system," says agricultural
scientist Bernadette Lubozya, the report’s author.
Lubozya’s report concluded that to ensure sustainable agriculture in
Zambia, rather than adopting GM crops, the country should encourage
farmers to rely more on internal inputs within the farm and its
South Africans are beginning to fight back against the importation and growing of GM food. South African civil society group SAFeAGE – African Freeze Alliance on Genetic Engineering are calling for an immediate and complete ban on all GM production and importation. Their site is worth visiting for all the information and facts on GM foods and their impact on our health and environment.
There are conflicting reports on GM foods worldwide – the pro lobby I suspect are working in the interest of the GM manufacturers such as US corporate giant Monsanto . Europe is also not very not very keen on GM foods and crops and has recently made moves to ban US imports of GM maize. However the law varies from country to country with Germany probably having the strictest laws against GM products.
PS – of interest to all you smokers out there Tanzania growing GM tobacco