Gute Pflanzen, schlechte Pflanzen

NAIROBI – Kenias Importverbot für genetisch manipulierte (GM-) Pflanzen ist ein Beispiel für einen verstörenden Trend in einem Land, das traditionell als landwirtschaftlicher Vorreiter angesehen wurde. Für einen Kontinent, der oft darum kämpfen muss, seine Versorgung mit Nahrungsmitteln sicher zu stellen, bedeutet dies einen gigantischen Schritt zurück. Angst, Vorurteile und Spekulation müssen einem rationalen, wissenschaftlichen Ansatz Platz machen. Und Kenia kann dabei wegweisend sein.

GM-Pflanzen (die auch genetisch hergestellte oder Biotechnologie-Pflanzen genannt werden) haben sich wiederholt als sicher herausgestellt und werden weltweit erfolgreich dazu verwendet, die landwirtschaftliche Produktivität zu steigern. Aber Millionen afrikanische Bauern, darunter auch kenianische, werden durch Bürokratie, Propaganda und Desinformation davon abgehalten, eine Technologie zu verwenden, die die Einkommen verbessern und Nahrungsmittelknappheit lindern kann.

Über eine Million Kenianer sind heute aufgrund von Getreideknappheit auf Lebensmittelhilfen angewiesen. Das Netzwerk der Frühwarnsysteme gegen Hungersnot des Landes sagt voraus, dass die bereits jetzt hohen Maispreise bis zum Jahresende weiterhin steigen werden, was die Lebensmittelsicherheit und Wirtschaftsleistung weiter schwächen wird. Für Kenia, das darum kämpft, seine Bürger zu ernähren und seine Wirtschaft zu stabilisieren, sollte GM-Technologie ein willkommenes Mittel sein, Erträge und Einkommen zu steigern, was Landwirten, Konsumenten und der Umwelt zugute käme.

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