We’ve been telling you for months about the threat of starvation in Zambia and other sub-Saharan African nations. One particularly underreported element of this story is that Zambia’s dictator has rejected U.S. food aid because some of it happens to be genetically enhanced. And some European nations are threatening hungry African nations by tying foreign aid to their rejection of these U.S. crops. Now, thanks to U.S. trade representative Robert Zoellick, the press is starting to pay attention.
Quoth Zoellick in The New York Times: “I find it immoral that people are not being able to be supplied food to live in Africa because people have invented dangers about biotechnology.” The Washington Post has Zoellick despairing over “the European anti-scientific view spreading to other parts of the world — not letting Africans eat food you and I eat, and instead letting people starve.”
Zoellick is in good company when he decries the immorality of the EU’s behavior. The Vatican has come out in favor of using genetically enhanced food to feed the hungry.
In this war between the U.S. and the EU over biotech crops, one country has taken a more neutral stand. Not surprisingly, it’s Switzerland. Field tests of genetically enhanced wheat have just been approved there and, true to form, Greenpeace is outraged.
Of course, Greenpeace isn’t the only NGO pressuring the EU to maintain its hard-line position against biotech foods. The Consumer’s Union, publisher of Consumer Reports, is heading to Brussels and “calling on the US government to stop pressuring the EU and Africa to accept its GM corn.”
It shouldn’t be up to the U.S. trade representative to condemn Greenpeace and the Consumers Union for greasing the skids of African starvation. It should be up to all of us.