It’s the quote of the year, really, if you live in Kenya. Maybe the quote of a lifetime. That African nation’s agriculture minister has had enough of anti-technology activists holding back Kenya’s food supplies in the face of a continent-wide food crisis. And he’s speaking up. On Sunday, William Ruto told Nairobi newspaper The Nation that biotech science, including the embrace of genetically modified crops, is good for food production. And environmental activists who oppose it are either misinformed or selfish:
“There are no miracles. If we have to produce more, we must embrace the technology. As a country, we have the option of adopting it to fight hunger or rejecting it and perishing.”
He’s right. Five million Kenyans are facing food shortages this year. And at least 80,000 of them face a starvation threat serious enough to warrant an emergency intervention from the United Nations. Yet green scare groups (most notably Friends of the Earth, see here and here for examples) continue to promote the myth that helping starving Africans through better science remains an elusive pipe dream.
Misinformed? Selfish? It doesn’t much matter which. While activists bicker over hypothetical dangers, real people keep on starving.