Food for Thought on GM Crops
COPENHAGEN – As the world continues to debate the impact of climate-change while seeking a new global treaty to prevent it, Kenya has endured a prolonged drought followed by heavy flooding. Maize plants have withered, hitting poor rural families hard. People are starving, and many of those who survive are grossly malnourished.
There is hope: next year, the Kenyan authorities will begin testing maize varieties that they hope will provide high yields and prove more resistant to drought. But why did farmers in Kenya and other African countries not have access to drought-resistant crop varieties before catastrophe struck?
One reason is that such crops rely on research tools used in molecular biology, including genetic engineering. African governments have been told that genetic engineering is dangerous, with many Europeans and their national governments – as well as transnational NGOs such as Greenpeace – determined to stay away from it.