Refuse genetically modified foods (GMO) – A call by African leaders to Africans

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Kenya and Africa in general are in danger of becoming the dumping ground for the struggling Genetically Modified foods industry and the laboratory for frustrated scientists. The proponents of GM technology sell a sweet message of Genetically Modified – GM crops bringing the second green revolution and the answer to African hunger, but a closer look makes it clear that GMO foods have no place in African agriculture.

The push to bring genetically modified (GM) crops into African agriculture is not letting up, even as (and partly because) the GM industry is faltering in much of the world. A growing list of organisations, networks and lobby groups with close ties to the GM industry are working to promote GM agriculture on the continent.

The issue of genetically modified organisms (GMOs) as they relate to the food supply is an ongoing, nuanced and highly contentious issue.

Individuals from the medical and scientific fields fall on both sides of the argument, some claiming that genetically modified crops are helping to solve issues related to the increasing global population, hunger, environmental sustainability, while others believe they’re doing more harm than good.

With studies supporting both sides, many wonder: Who should we believe?

Major international and national expert academies and institutions accept the scientific consensus that food produced from genetically modified crops is as safe as any other, and that no specific safety risks or health concerns can be attributed to consumption of so-called GMOs.

However, people’s opinion across the globe has been markedly skeptical of GMOs since they were first introduced into the food supply in 1994. Some of the most frequently cited issues are fears about food safety, corporate control of seeds and the food supply, potential pesticide use associated with the GMO crops, and the welfare of smallholder farmers.

Genetically modified (GM) foods are foods derived from organisms whose genetic material (DNA) has been modified in a way that does not occur naturally, e.g. through the introduction of a gene from a different organism.

~ WHO

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