Vandana Shiva: Force-Feeding GMOs to the Poor
FOOD AID IS INCREASINGLY being used as a weapon to create markets for the biotechnology industry and genetically engineered foods. The most dramatic example of this inhuman form of aid was the attempt by USAID to supply GM maize as food aid to the famine stricken countries of Southern Africa including Zambia, Zimbabwe, Lesotho, Mozambique and Malawi. Malawi accepted the GM maize because under pressure from the World Bank it had been forced to sell its maize reserves in order to repay commercial loans. However, Zambia, Zimbabwe and Mozambique, which had played a significant role in negotiating the Biosafety Protocol, the regulatory system for GMOs under the United Nations Conventionon Biodiversity, refused to accept GM maize in the form of food aid.
Zambian President Levy Mwanawasa said his people would rather die than eat toxic food. The President's statement followed a national consultative meeting in Lusaka on 12 August 2002 at which farmers, women's groups, church leaders, traditional leaders, members of parliament, opposition politicians and government jointly recommended that Zambia should not accept GM food aid.