ngin - Norfolk Genetic Information Network
29 january 2003


What are the US-dominated World Food Programme up to in Africa?

On the 29th October 2002 the Government of Zambia announced that it had decided not to reverse its earlier rejection of GM food aid "in view of the current scientific uncertainty surrounding the issue". It then became clear that the WFP had made no move to remedy the situation - by bringing in alternative food supplies and removing the GM food aid - since the Zambian Government first formally announced its rejection of GM food aid back in June.

The reason for this dangerous delay? According to a report in Afrol News:

"Only now [ie 4 months later!!], further supplies of food aid had been ordered..." UN agencies had been expecting a change in government mind until the last moment. The decision not to order non-GM food aid until now has been observed as direct pressure against the Zambian government." ("Continued pressure against Zambia on GM food", 30th October 2002)

The WFP continues to promote GM food to the hungry and continues its dangerous go slow in Zambia.

1.Nothing Wrong with GM Food, Famine-threatened Ugandans Told
2.WFP urged to remove GM relief food in Zambia


1.Nothing Wrong with GM Food, Famine-threatened Ugandans Told

Betterhumans Staff

[Tuesday, January 28, 2003] With more than 800,000 people facing starvation, Uganda will accept donations of genetically modified food this April.

"Americans are also eating this food and there is nothing wrong with it," World Food Programme country director Ken Noah Davies told a press conference at WFP headquarters in Kampala.

Davies was announcing a 24,000-ton donation of cereals from the US aimed at preventing famine in northern Uganda.

Thirty percent of crops grown in the US are genetically modified, Davies noted, meaning the donation would likely contain modified foods.


2.WFP urged to remove GM relief food in Zambia

Source - Xinhua News Agency (Eng)
Wednesday, January 29, 2003  01:26

LUSAKA, Jan. 28 (Xinhua) -- Zambia has appealed to the World Food Program (WFP) to remove the Genetically Modified relief food stocks still stored in various sheds around the country to stop the growing tendency of looting by hunger-stricken villagers, Deputy Minister in the Office of Vice President Steven Mukuka told Zambia News Agency on Tuesday.

The GM relief foodstuff - mainly maize has been stuck in storage sheds around the country since the government rejected them last year because their repercussions, after consumption, on human life were not known.

Mukuka expressed the government's concern at the pace at which the GM stocks were being shipped out of the country. He said the government would like to see the said stocks quickly taken to countries where it had been accepted.

"About ten months ago, our office requested the WFP to remove the stocks from the places where it had been taken for storage because the government had rejected it," Mukuka said.

He called on the WFP to look at the situation as being critical especially with the recent looting of the GM mealie meal in Southern Province's Sinazongwe District.

Mukuka added that it is important to respect the government's decisions and that if the WFP needed help in removing the relief food, the government was ready to assist in any way possible.

Mukuka who described the Sinazogwe incident as unfortunate warned that if the GM relief food stocks were not urgently removed, the trend was likely to spread to other parts of the country where the stocks were still stored.

He further appealed to the Zambian people to respect and understand government's decision on the rejected GM relief food as it has maintained that stance.

He also warned that looters of the GM relief food risk being prosecuted.

Over 6,000 hungry villagers in Sinazongwe looted 4,305 by 25 kg GM mealie meal over the weekend after beating up a police constable guarding the grain.
"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, November 27, 2002

"The simple solution is for the US to behave as a real aid donor," says EU commissioner Pascal Lamy, and not use its food aid to "dispose of its genetically modified crop surpluses."

"[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, a leading US agronomist and former Executive Director of the Board on Agriculture for the US National Academy of Sciences

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