US cuts off food aid to Sudan over GMOs (13/3/2004)

US cuts off food aid to Sudan

According to testimony made by USAID before the Committee on International Relations Subcommittee on Africa in the U.S. House of Representatives on March 11, as of March 7 USAID has stopped all further food aid shipments to Port Sudan because the Government Of Sudan has asked that US commodities be certified free of GMOs.

They are doing this even though they have been warned by the United Nations that food stocks for relief operations will be exhausted by April/May of this year. USAID in its own testimony admits, "the potential humanitarian consequences of this pipeline break for the needy in Sudan cannot be over emphasized".

When this issue first arose in May, 2003, USAID informed the government that the United States did not (read: would not) provide such certifications but instead sent a team to Khartoum to lobby and reassure the Sudanese government on the issue.

According to USAID, the United States is the major donor of food aid to Sudan, providing some 70% of the World Food Program's total pipeline for the country. The majority of US-donated food aid enters the country through Port Sudan, including 40% of all food aid intended for southern Sudan.

Now USAID is upping the pressure on Sudan by refusing to make additional food commitments to the humanitarian crises in Sudan, until this issue is resolved.


"It's wicked, when there is such an excess of non-GM food aid available, for GM to be forced on countries for reasons of GM politics... if there is an area where anger needs to be harnessed it is here." UK Environment Minister, Michael Meacher, speaking at a briefing of British parliamentarians, November 27, 2002 about the food aid crisis in southern Africa http://ngin.tripod.com/271102d.htm

"[UK Prime Minister] Blair's chief scientific adviser denounced the United States' attempts to force the technology into Africa as a 'massive human experiment'. In a scathing attack on President Bush's administration, Professor David King also questioned the morality of the US's desire to flood genetically modified foods into African countries, where people are already facing starvation in the coming months." The Observer, UK, Sep 1, 2002

"..there is no shortage of non-GMO foods which could be offered to Zambia by public and private donors. To a large extent, this 'crisis' has been manufactured (might I say, 'engineered') by those looking for a new source of traction in the evolving global debate over agricultural biotechnology. To use the needs of Zambians to score 'political points' on behalf of biotechnology strikes many as unethical and indeed shameless. " Dr Chuck Benbrook, leading US agronomist and former Executive Director of the Board on Agriculture for the US National Academy of Sciences http://ngin.tripod.com/270902a.htm

more quotes like this http://ngin.tripod.com/forcefeed.htm  

Go to a Print friendly Page

Email this Article to a Friend

Back to the Archive