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Refusing GM Food Aid
Transcript of Refusing GM Food Aid
A Case Study of Zambia in 2002
Case Study: Zambia in 2002
3 million (30%) people faced extreme hunger
~60 % below national poverty line
Staple Crop – Maize
High rate of poverty, food insecurity, HIV/AIDS, corruption, and low agricultural productivity
Current GMO Policy-Zambia
Strongest anti-GMO stance in Africa
.01% max trace
Some "ready to explore", but little change
14 million faced severe hunger
Poverty and Disease
Southern Africa’s Food Crisis:2002
Southern Africa’s Food Crisis: 2002
The World Responds
WFP called on Western nations for financial resources and food aid
U.S – largest WFP donor
Zambia – rejected 35,000 tons of U.S food aid
Possibility of GM
Why the Refusal?
Zambian leaders cited…
Potential, unknown health concerns
“We may be poor and experiencing food risks…but I am not prepared to accept that we should use our people as guinea pigs”
“We would rather starve than get something toxic”
President Levy Mwanawasa (2002)
Protect against European corn borer
Used extensively in U.S
Positive safety reports
Autonomy rests with recipient country
National regulations upheld
Pushes for Zambia to accept
Accuses EU of manipulation
Respectful of Zambia's decision
“For the sake of a continent threatened by famine
I urge the European governments to end their opposition…
many African nations are…worried that their products will be shut out of important European markets” (2004)
African leaders who refused aid should be tried
“for the highest crimes against humanity in the highest courts of the world”
Tony Hall (2003) – U.S ambassador to UN FAO
“Zambia is a sovereign country and makes its own decisions…
Zambians do not need to be heroic to assert their sovereignty”
-Pascal Lamy (2003)
EU Trade Commissioner
GM AID could have saved/improved lives
Non-GM aid with same ability
GM proven safe
Unknown health effects
“Iron Triangle” of U.S economic interest in food aid
United Nations Charter – Chapter 1, Article 2
"This organization is based on the
principle of the sovereign equality
of all its members”
Current GMO Policy: Zambia
Are they on to something?
2010: World Bank Recognition
GDP – up 6%/year from 2005-2012
Copper largely to thank
2010 – UN Human Development Index
2013 – Maize shortage
Current GMO Policy: Zambia
Change in the air?
ZNFU : Ready to “explore”
President Michael Sata critical of ban
But no changes to GMO policy
Current International GMO Policy
Diverse Points of View
Increase yield, efficiency
Spark scientific, agricultural innovation
Lacking in GM technology
Affect on exports
Was it ethical for Zambia to refuse the GM food aid?
Is it ethical for the U.S. to push GM acceptance?
What do you think the role of anti-GM groups should be in developing countries/food aid?
Is GM food an answer for alleviating hunger in developing countries?
“It is arrogant to tell the Zambians what food they must accept”
Doreen Stabinski, Greenpeace official (2002)
Losing the EU market