Tag Archives: Africa

GMOs are a fraud the US and Africa must resist believing in, using

GMOd tomatoesNational Geographic writer Simon Worrall has nothing good to say about GMOs and plenty of cautions about following what has become conventional wisdom in the agri-business food industry. BTW, when did we start to refer to frankenscience by the term ‘conventional‘?

Monsanto was driven out of England after widespread protests against seed trials. Why are the Europeans so much more critical of GMOs?

Because Europeans have been better informed of the facts. The media in Europe, up to a few years ago, reported this scientific controversy fairly. People knew many well-credentialed scientists did not agree with the claim that these foods were safe. Adverse research showing harm to lab animals got publicized. As a result, European citizens made it clear they didn’t want these foods. Here, the media has not reported the controversy fairly. They’ve almost always presented the pro-GMO side. As a result, the American public has been systematically deceived…

Only if there were not risks that might impact health in ways we don’t yet know. As I said, when it comes to food safety, benefits should not be considered in offsetting risks. Everybody has to eat food and changes to food should not entail new risks, no matter what the purported benefits. Several studies by the UN and World Bank also concluded that genetic engineering is not needed to meet the world’s food needs. One of the directors of these studies was asked, “What role do you see for GMOs in the future of food?” He said, “Actually none. They aren’t needed. They haven’t been boosting yields. Small scale, agro-ecological methods are what’s needed in the Third World.”

Worrall believes in small holding farming, especially in Africa which is just beginning to experience the destruction of GMOs:

What would you say to an African farmer who wants to use GMOs to feed his starving child today rather than worry about an imaginary threat tomorrow?

First I would say: Read what the UN and World Bank-sponsored reports have said. You don’t need GMOs … there are solutions that do not rely on GMOs, which have been proven to work in Africa. So I would say: Get with the sound science, spend less money, and solve your food problem in a way that will create healthy soil, a healthy family and a healthy Africa.

New Alliance heralds rapid destruction of rural Africa

rural agriculture in AfricaRural life and natural techniques of agriculture in Africa are in imminent danger of disappearing from this continent forever. Industrialized countries have run out of land and easily exploitable communities in their own countries and are now turning their attention to Africa, where they are teaming up with governments of African countries to seize land from villagers, create mono-culture plantation farms, export massive amounts of food. And to force the use of modified seeds, the free distribution and exchange of native seeds is being outlawed.

In plain English, African countries are required to change their trade and agriculture laws to include ending the free distribution of seeds, relax the tax system and national export controls, and open the doors wide for profit repatriation (allowing the money as well as the crops to be exported). In Mozambique, as elsewhere across the continent, local farmers have been evicted from their land under land sales agreements and, according to Guardian newspaper, the country “is now obliged to write new laws promoting what its agreement calls ‘partnerships’ of this kind”

…African nations are required to “change their seed laws, trade laws and land ownership in order to prioritize corporate profits over local food needs”.

…The New Alliance, according to the British prime minister, is “a great combination of promoting good governance and helping Africa to feed its people”. He and the rest of the G8, Friends of the Earth believes, “[pretend] to be tackling hunger and land grabbing in Africa while backing a scheme that will ruin the lives of hundreds of thousands of small farmers”. This new deal is “a pro-corporate assault on African nations”, providing “investment and support” opportunities for greedy investors looking to further expand their corporate assets with the support of participating governments.

…True investment in Africa is investment in the people of Africa: the smallholder farmers, the women and children, and the communities across the continent. It involves working collectively, consulting, encouraging participation and, crucially, sharing – sharing knowledge, experience, technology, land, food, water and minerals equitably among the people of Africa and indeed the wider world.

To date, 9 of 54 African nations have entered into “New Alliance” agreements, including

Ethiopia, where wide ranging human rights violations, including forced displacement and rapes, have reportedly accompanied land sales…


Monsanto responsible for Indian farmer suicidesIn India, farmers who find themselves embroiled in mounting debt from the use of GMO seeds commit suicide at the rate of one every 30 minutes. How will African farmers react when they discover the ramifications of the seed agreements being forced on them?

The only seeds available in India now are GMOs (genetically modified organisms), which require farmers to pay an annual royalty each time they are replanted. The GMOs need additional fertilizers, and as the seasons move forward, more insecticides and pesticides. The soil in which these seeds are planted requires more water. All of which means more and more money for the farmer to lay out.

… Another story weaving in and out of the film is that of a neighboring girl in college who has recently lost her father to suicide, an end claiming lives all over India’s farmlands. She wants to tell his story, along with the stories of all the other suicide victims in the area. Her research and intuition have shown her that at the root of these suicides are GMO seeds.


Also see “Lack of conventional seeds enlarges Bt cotton area” and Bitter Seeds (the movie)

Wild gorillas meet man in Uganda

What if you were a baby gorilla in Uganda, wandering peaceably around the jungle with your Silverback Daddy and the rest of your gorilla family … and happened upon a bunch of concrete steps making a pathway going up and down through the jungle, and discovered on those steps small troops of humans walking around. And one of those humans happened to be sitting down at just about your eye height and he had the oddest, silver hair. What would your baby gorilla mind tell you to do? Obviously, you must check this fellow out thoroughly. You must groom his hair a bit, lick him, and then climb up a small tree to see him better from a top view.

Gigantic Daddy at one point, grabs junior to move him on, but the little one isn’t ready to leave yet, and his fascination has attracted several of his brothers and sisters, who mill about next to the man together with junior. So Daddy Silverback walks a few feet behind the man and plunks himself down to sit and watch casually while his children, and then two female gorillas as well, examine this man thoroughly by touching his upper body, head and hair. Eventually, the family has seen enough and amble away. When the smaller gorillas move on, so does gigantic Daddy. They leave one very amazed man still sitting, keeping his head well down while the gorillas are in motion so as not to appear threatening or confrontative to them in any way. Clearly, the same benign Daddy who looks on with only moderate interest while his children swarm around the silver haired man, could very easily tear that man into several pieces if he was of a mind to do it.

This is a beautiful little vignette. Watch it if you have five and a half minutes to spend on a bit of pure enjoyment, observing the intersection of nature with the world of man.

The silver haired subject of the gorilla examination was visiting the Bwindi National Park wildlife preserve as an eco-tourist. Eco-tourism provides substantial revenue to the people of Uganda.