(p. A15) Chikombedzi, Zimbabwe
My country’s government would rather see people starve than let them eat genetically modified food.
That’s the only conclusion to draw from the announcement in February that Zimbabwe will reject any food aid that includes a genetically-modified-organism ingredient–such as grains, corn and other crops made more vigorous or fruitful through GMO breeding. The ban comes just as Zimbabweans are suffering from our worst drought in two decades and up to three million people need emergency relief.
“The position of the government is very clear,” said Joseph Made, the minister of agriculture. “We do not accept GMO as we are protecting the environment from the grain point of view.”
In other words, my country–which can’t feed itself–will refuse what millions around the world eat safely every day in their breakfasts, lunches and dinners as a conventional source of calories. It doesn’t matter whether the aid arrives as food for people or feed for animals. Our customs inspectors will make sure that no food with GMOs reaches a single hungry mouth.
For the full commentary, see:
NYASHA MUDUKUTI. “We May Starve, but at Least We’ll Be GMO-Free; Unlike the Europeans we copied, Zimbabwe can’t afford such an unscientific ideological luxury.” The Wall Street Journal (Fri., March 11, 2016): A15.
(Note: italics in original.)
(Note: the online version of the commentary has the date March 10, 2016.)