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Is Monsanto lying to Africans about GM?

Posted by Richard D North in Food / Green / Money on 30 May 2008

Why we posted this: Anti-GM campaigners feel very free to say the likes of Monsanto are liars – especially when the firms say they can help the Third World. The campaigners are making a very serious charge. Let’s check it out..

The original story:
GM food: Monster or saviour?  
Jeremy Cooke
BBC News
29 May, 2008  
Summary of the story:
The UK Soil Association’s leader, Peter Melchett told BBC TV news (30 May, 2008) that promoters of GM technology were lying when they describe their work as as a way of producing drought resistant crops for Africa.

livingissues comment:
GM crops are freely chosen by farmers all over the world for their economic benefit. Now Monsanto, one of the leading researchers and producers of GM food, is at work on the final stages of developing a drought-resistant maize which may help the continent overcome its chronic problem of low yields.

If you visit the Monsanto website, you’ll find that the firm is not yet claiming success – it is expressing great optimism, which isn’t the same thing. You’ll also see the width of the co-operative work the firm is involved in as it develops these new seeds.

If Monsanto’s work in Africa is any sort of success, that is a hugely important matter. However strongly Peter Melchett opposes GM on ecological, economic or spiritual grounds, it seems way too early for him to say that Monsanto are lying to Africans.

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