African governments must do more to control the planting of genetically modified (GM) crops that could affect smallholders, says a report by Friends of the Earth International.
The report from the environmental NGO says international agricultural companies wield too much influence over safety and trade legislation related to GM organisms (GMOs) in Africa. As a result, many governments ignore the threats these crops may pose to local farmers, it says.
Who benefits from GM crops? was released last month (23 February). It looks at the quality of GMO legislation around the world.
Report author Haidee Swanby, a researcher at the South Africa-based African Centre for Biosafety says GM technology is inappropriate for the smallholder systems prevalent in Africa. “It is designed for the kind of large-scale, capital intensive monocrop systems that operate in industrialised countries,” she says.
And Daniel Otunge, coordinator of the Open Forum on Agricultural Biotechnology in Africa at the not-for-profit African Agricultural Technology Foundation, says the report is an old vendetta against a new technology. “GM crops are as safe if not safer than their conventional counterparts,” he says. “Modern biotechnology is about science, not propaganda against multinationals.”
Read full, original article: Greater GM protection urged for small-scale farmers