The Guardian
Ian Sample

Hunger in Africa blamed on western rejection of GM food

The rise of organic farming and rejection of GM crops in Britain and other developed countries is largely to blame for the impoverishment of Africa, according to the government’s former chief scientist.

Sir David King, who left the job at the end of last year, says anti-scientific attitudes towards modern agriculture are being exported to Africa and holding back a green revolution that could dramatically improve the continent’s food supply.

“The problem is that the western world’s move toward organic farming – a lifestyle choice for a community with surplus food – and against agricultural technology in general and GM in particular, has been adopted across the whole of Africa, with the exception of South Africa, with devastating consequences.”

Last week, King, who is now director of the Smith school of enterprise and the environment at Oxford University, said genetically modified crops could help Africa mirror the substantial increases in crop production seen in India and China.

Professor Robert Watson, the government’s chief scientific adviser at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs[…]
“You cannot argue that Africa has hunger because it doesn’t have GM today,” said Watson. “We have more food today than ever before but it isn’t getting to the right people. It’s not a food production problem,”

King will also call for a shift in research towards tackling climate change.

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