|20 Oct 2002 @ 23:07, by ashanti|
* In the developed countries, the debate about GMO (genetically modified) foods is relatively straightforward. Either you believe they are harmful, with as yet unknown and untested ramifications, or you agree with the multinationals who produce them - they are just fine. Most intelligent, health-conscious people reject the imposition of GMO foods on humanity and our children.
* However, in Africa, the issue becomes rather more complex. The USA is offering GMO food aid to African countries blighted by famine. (Presumably, they have nowhere else to dump it, with the Western rejection). What does one do? This has generated a huge controversy, as many African leaders are wary of accepting the frankenfoods, but their people are starving. The USA tells Africa, - Eat GMO foods, or starve. It is a kind of blackmail, because the USA says it will not be able to send food that is certified non-GMO.. Some countries, such as Zambia have banned GMO foods. President Levy Mwanawasa told the BBC he would not allow Zambians to eat "poison".
* Other countries in the region see no other alternative but to accept the Frankenfoods to feed their starving people. Given that Africa is perfectly capable of growing her own food, but has become trapped by the system of growing cash crops for the West, accepting cash to then buy back the food from the West, the situation is ridiculous. There is no need for the people of Africa to be starving, none at all.
* A way out of the starvation trap is for families and communities to group together and grow Food Gardens. This creates healthy, natural fresh fruit and vegetables, and protein can be sourced from growing legumes. Using permaculture models, Food Gardens can be a sustainable, natural way of feeding people. It's that simple - and doesn't require huge amounts of money to gather seeds for planting. Food and Trees for Africa is one South African group that are working on spreading this solution, and empowering people to be self-sufficient.