25 November 2002
GOVERNMENTS HAVE RIGHT TO CHOOSE, ADMITS WFP
Judith Lewis, WFP on BBC Radio 4's 'Today Programme', Monday 25th Nov around 0845
"WFP is working in other countries [to Zambia] to mill grain."
"We believe governments have the right to choose [not to have GM grain]... A sovereign issue that must be determined by the governments."
This is a major admission from a US dominated organisation that has admitted delivering GM contaminated aid since 19996 without any notification to the recipient countries.
No one dying because of GM rejection [from WEEKLY WATCH 7]
Zambian academic, Obed Lungu, dean of the school of agriculture at the University of Zambia, stated during an Ottawa conference on trade and development that Zambia was united in rejecting GM products. He also said non-GM food is available and despite news reports inspired by GM promoters, "Nobody is starving. There is alternate food available."
The head of the World Food Programme also says he's "optimistic we will find a way to get around this" but he did not rule out some deaths. If there are such deaths then the WFP will bear a heavy responsibility. Zambia informed the WFP of their choice back in June, which has left half a year for the WFP to source alternative non-GM food aid. Instead of taking action, the WFP chose to spend those months pressurising Southern African countries to accept GM grain. The suggestion that the choice is between GM or death has always been false. It's been a question of whether the US, USAID and the WFP would risk, or even actively engineer, starvation in pursuit of their own agenda.
for a primer on what's going on in southern Africa:
"It is important to get prior consent from a country rather than imposing GE contaminated food grain on a nation." Dr Lewanika, a scientific advisor to the Zambian government
"Asked if people were going 'too far' by saying that gene-altered humanitarian exports were part of a strategy to spread the crops around the world, [Neil E. Harl, a professor of economics at Iowa State University] said: 'I'm not sure that is going too far.' "
"The hope of the industry is that over time the market is so flooded [with GMOs] that there's nothing you can do about it. You just sort of surrender." Don Westfall, biotech industry consultant and vice-president of Promar International, Toronto Star, January 9 2001
"If the US insists on imposing this genetically modified maize on our people, we will be justified in questioning their motive." Editorial, Dignity in hunger, The Post, Zambia, July 30, 2002
"It is unconscionable that the U.S. administration would use the threat of mass starvation as means to promote products that potentially carry a wide range of health and environmental risks... Yet all some folks in the U.S. government and business communities can think of is how to make even more money off their suffering," James Clancy, president of Canada's National Union of Public and General Employees, "NUPGE condemns famine exploitation to sell GM foods", NUPGE, October 9 2002
"..there is no shortage of non-GMO foods which could be offered to Zambia by public and private donors. To a large extent, this 'crisis' has been manufactured (might I say, 'engineered') by those looking for a new source of traction in the evolving global debate over agricultural biotechnology. To use the needs of Zambians to score 'political points' on behalf of biotechnology strikes many as unethical and indeed shameless. " Dr Chuck Benbrook, a leading US agronomist and former Executive Director of the Board on Agriculture for the US National Academy of Sciences