ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network

7 February 2003


It's excellent that the US has backed off from it's original "Eat GM or starve, America tells Africa" stance, but note that: "Wheat and sorghum are generally accepted by Zambians, despite the fact that white maize is the staple food consumed by most households." In fact, what the Zambian Government refused was not white maize, which the US grows and which is non-GM, but yellow maize which was all the US was previoulsy willing to provide and which is GM.

for more on the food aid crisis:

1.US Makes Non-GM Food Donation
2.Scientists puzzled by sudden death of Australia's first cloned sheep -
autopsy fails to find what killed the animal, body cremated.


US Makes Non-GM Food Donation

UN Integrated Regional Information Networks

February 6, 2003
Posted to the web February 6, 2003


The US government on Thursday donated 30,000 mt of non-genetically modified (GM) sorghum and bulgur wheat to Zambia, struggling to cope with widespread food shortages.

The US $15 million donation comes at a time when the Zambian government had appealed for more relief food. In the national budget presented last week, Finance and National Planning Minister Emmanuel Kasonde set aside US $14 million for the commercial purchase of maize.

US ambassador Martin Brennan said the food aid was intended to "assist Zambia's most vulnerable people during the current food shortage". Close to three million Zambians are facing food shortages following two consecutive poor harvests, and concern has been raised over the impact of a possible drought this year.

The donation of sorghum and bulgur (partly cooked and dried wheat grains) follows a wrangle last year over the government's refusal to accept US-supplied GM maize on health and environmental grounds.

The World Food Programme (WFP) will distribute 10,000 mt of the US shipment, while their partners CARE International, and the church-run World Vision and Catholic Relief Services will distribute the remainder.

The US donation has beefed up existing stocks of relief food. "What I can say right now is that we have a healthy food pipeline, we are receiving thousands of tonnes of relief food every other week," WFP spokeswoman Sibi Lawson told IRIN.

Wheat and sorghum are generally accepted by Zambians, despite the fact that white maize is the staple food consumed by most households.


2.Cloned sheep dies in Adelaide

ABC News
February 7, 2003

Scientists are puzzled by the sudden death of Australia's first cloned sheep, Matilda.

An autopsy has failed to find what killed the animal.

Matilda created headlines almost three years ago when she was produced at the Turretfield Research Centre north of Adelaide.

Scientists say her death was surprising as Matilda had been healthy and even produced three offspring herself.

Rob Lewis from the South Australian Research and Development Institute says it is unlikely that her early demise is linked to the fact she was a clone.

"Matilda and her subsequent clones are part of an ongoing experimention to develop these techniques, but in this particular case we were unable to ascertain any direct relationship between her origin and her actual death," he said.

She was the first of several other cloned animals produced at the centre, including an elite stud ram, all of which are said to be fit and healthy.

Matilda's remains have already been cremated.

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