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Friday, 29 April 2011

Africa still debating GMOs' pros and cons

Most African governments are still sceptical about genetically modified organism (GMO) crops as a result of concerns about food safety, the environment and the general public mistrust of multinationals that are often seen as manipulative and unscrupulous, food and agricultural experts say. "Polarisation and lack of awareness are still the biggest challenge," said Abisai Mafa, the chief executive of the National Biotechnology Authority. "People are not informed. Polarisation is the biggest constraint. People are still taking very polarised positions and that it is very dangerous." Mafa and other pro-GMO agricultural proponents at a seminar on agricultural trade and rural financial solutions held recently charged that bickering over GMO issues had prolonged delays in developing and implementing national biosafety regulations and guidelines in most African countries. African governments are still sceptical about genetically modified organism (GMO) crops as a result of concerns about food safety, the environment and the general public mistrust of multinationals that are often seen as manipulative and unscrupulous, food and agricultural experts say. "Polarisation and lack of awareness are still the biggest challenge," said Abisai Mafa, the chief executive of the National Biotechnology Authority. "People are not informed. Polarisation is the biggest constraint. People are still taking very polarised positions and that it is very dangerous." Mafa and other pro-GMO agricultural proponents at a seminar on agricultural trade and rural financial solutions held recently charged that bickering over GMO issues had prolonged delays in developing and implementing national biosafety regulations and guidelines in most African countries.

Source: AllAfrica/The Herald