1.Scientist set for GM push into Africa
2.Jennifer Thomson: Use biotechnology to feed the poor
This is what the South African GM lobbyist Jennifer Thomson told the Australian press:
"The European countries are not in favour of it [GM] and they're trying to sway the opinion of the people in African countries, saying if you eat GM foods you will be sterilised and totally appalling things like that," Professor Thomson said. "Its very inconsiderate and actually very cruel, to the extent that the Zambian Government will not even accept food aid, not even if it's milk." (item 1)
Presumably Thomson thinks Australians are stupid and will be taken in by this fiction.
Before the Zambian government made its decision not to accept GM maize (not milk!!) as food aid, it ordered a careful assessment by its own team of experts of the possible impact of accepting GM grain.
And there was a wealth of support from scientists, churches and development charities, amongst others, for Zambia's right to reach such a decision, despite the effort to bully it into submission by the US administration and other GM supporters. (see 'Force-feeding the hungry') http://ngin.tripod.com/forcefeed.htm
Oxfam is among the aid agencies that have urged governments and the FAO "to develop and implement food aid standards that prevent the distribution of GMOs in food aid." (OXFAM CONDEMNS THE DISTRIBUTION OF FOOD AID CONTAMINATED WITH GMOS) http://ngin.tripod.com/170802d.htm
And even the zealously pro-GM Nuffield Council on Bio-ethics has upheld this right of recipient countries to have their preference for non-GM food aid respected. http://www.lobbywatch.org/archive2.asp?arcid=3124
The PR exploitation of drought and hunger in Zambia to punt GMOs shows that for GM lobbyists like Thomson, there are no limits, even when it involves rewriting history. (see 'Fake Blood on the Maize')
Thomson, incidentally, is on the board of the biotech industry backed lobby group AfricaBio. She is also an advisor to the biotech-industry funded Council for Biotechnology Information in the US, a Board Member of the biotech-industry backed ISAAA and Chair of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation, which receives backing from the industry and USAID to introduce GM crops into Africa.
Scientist set for GM push into Africa
The Age, August 7, 2006 http://www.theage.com.au/news/business/scientist-set-for-gm-push-into-africa/2006/08/06/1154802756939.html
ONE of Africa's leading scientists will call on Europe to allow developing countries access to genetically modified crops when the Agricultural Biotechnology International Conference opens in Melbourne today, insisting that drought-resistant, insect-repellent GM crops are key to solving the continent's devastating food problems.
Jennifer Thomson, chair of the board of the African Agricultural Technology Foundation in Kenya, says she aims to use this week's gathering to "raise awareness that this is a technology that can really help food security in the developing world, and particularly in Africa".
"The European countries are not in favour of it and they're trying to sway the opinion of the people in African countries, saying if you eat GM foods you will be sterilised and totally appalling things like that," Professor Thomson said. "Its very inconsiderate and actually very cruel, to the extent that the Zambian Government will not even accept food aid, not even if it's milk."
Professor Thomson, whose research has led to the development of genetically modified maize resistant to the African maize streak virus and drought, said that in countries such as Kenya and Uganda farmers can lose up to 80 per cent of their crops each year because of drought and vulnerability to pests.
But she argued that allowing the genetic modification of seeds to make them more resistant to drought, insects and diseases could go long way towards solving the problem.
She believes that biotechnology, which can improve the nutritional quality of food and help farmers expand the areas they cultivate, should be part of African agricultural and economic reform.
The World Trade Organisation in May this year overturned the European Union's four-year moratorium on GM foods after the US, Argentina and Canada filed a trade dispute in 2003 against Europe's reluctance to accept GM foods or crops.
However, the US-led group of countries failed in their bid to prevent the European nations using strict regulations to control GM foods and crops, meaning each country has the right to decide its own position on GM foods and crops.
Professor Thomson, also the professor of microbiology at the University of Cape Town in South Africa, said business had a key role to play in the GM debate, explaining that public-private partnerships were needed to "get these products working and into the community".
The Agricultural Biotechnology International conference will run for four days.
2.Jennifer Thomson: Use biotechnology to feed the poor
Europe's opposition to GM food hurts the world's impoverished
The Australian, August 7 2006 http://www.theaustralian.news.com.au/story/0,20867,20038620-7583,00.html
WE all know that much of the developing world struggles to find enough food for its people. Yet bureaucrats in Europe sit and determine that these countries and others should be cautious in adopting genetically modified crops until they are deemed safe. Meanwhile thousands, if not hundreds of thousands, of people are dying.
Melbourne is hosting an international agricultural biotechnology conference that offers the chance to deba
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